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Messages posted by: Pete
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Hi Ron

The 2 Special Service Brigade casualties buried at Tirana are listed here. They are from Operation Healing 11 and Operation Mercerised.

The Fallen specifically from Healing 11 are also named at the foot of the page here:

I note you say your father was walking wounded. Do we have details ? If not let me know his full name and other details.

It is with much sadness that we advise you of the recent death of Bryan Charles William Samain, aged 99, who served as an officer primarily in 45RM Commando. Our thoughts and prayers are with all his family and friends at this sad time. Rest in peace Bryan.

Obituary written by his granddaughter Katy Riley

Bryan Samain, who has died at the age of 99 was a wartime Commando intelligence officer who later became a leading industrial publicist for major British companies.

Born in Chelmsford in 1925, he was educated at the Royal Masonic School. He trained as a journalist on the Daily Sketch and Sunday Graphic and later wrote for the Sydney Daily Mirror until volunteering for military service.

In 1943, he joined the Royal Marines, serving with 45 Royal Marine Commando in Normandy and later in Holland and Germany, principally as an intelligence officer. He was temporarily posted to 46 Royal Marine Commando to support the strategic crossing of the Rhine on the 23rd March 1945 and took part in the first wave of the Brigade's assault landing. He later rejoined 45 for the forced crossing of the Elbe shortly before the German surrender on the 8th May 1945. He also served with the unit in Hong Kong in 1946, helping to restore law and order in the territory following the Japanese occupation.

Following the war, he resumed his journalistic career in London before moving into PR, specialising in industrial publicity. He worked for Richard Thomas & Baldwins, Cementation and Costain. In 1960 he was appointed head of PR for Ford Motor Co. UK. Then, in 1970 he joined EMI to set up a worldwide corporate PR department.

His military past, however, never entirely deserted him. At the age of 22 he wrote Commando Men, a popular history of RM Commando operations in NW Europe in 1944-1945, which was re-published several times in his lifetime.

In December 2015, he was appointed a Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur as a veteran of the battle of Normandy in June-August 1944.

Bryan married Helen, a wartime WRENS officer in 1948, she died in 2016. They are survived by their two sons, Paul and Peter. Bryan Samain died on 24th June 2024.

[Photos and obituary courtesy of Bryan's granddaughter Katy Riley.]
Hi Chris

Unfortunately whilst we have a few earlier in the 60's we do not have any from Aden circa 1967 so you might also want to try the RM Historical Society. The link to their website page (with links at the bottom to their Facebook page) is here

Our gallery is here:

If you post a another photo of your father (civvies is fine if you have no other) with his dates of service and number I will add both to the archive if you wish.

[deleted and reposted below]
I did find the Naturalisation record you mentioned but it does not assist. Unfortunately I have not been able to find anything on his military service but I hope someone else will in the future.

What was your grandfather's full name and date and city of birth if known. Being Hungarian my initial thought was that if he had served as a commando in No.10 (Inter-Allied) Commando it would have been in 3 Troop, also known as 'X' Troop. Feel free to provide as much detail as is known about him. Did he settle in the UK after the war or return to Hungary, etc, etc.

Hi Paul

Does the document you posted cover his entire record of service from enlistment on other pages ? It looks like it may be a Regimental record. I know your father was wounded at St. Nazaire so are there pages that record this wounding amongst a date timeline ? Dates and references of him being taken off strength units, or taken on strength, promotions before his commission etc etc. ? Most full service records would have this detail somewhere. It would be interesting to see the page or any entries specifically relating to the period between March and August 1942 which should be on the full service record.

Hi Ruth

I have emailed you back after you sent the extracts from the Service Record with an explanation of what is written on the testimonial where it mentions your grandfather as being "Highly recommended for 'the Force' or to any other civilian employer", the Force being the Police Force. I have added an entry referencing your grandfather's service at the Holding Operational Commando. Feel free to email me back with a photo of your grandfather if you wish. Pete
Hi Ruth

If you email me the documents I will check them out and upload them for you. Just click on the email button at the bottom if this message.


Thanks for that. I will tell the Commando Association who are jointly responsible for the memorial with the Royal Marines and the Highland Council.

Gunner Ernest Cassey RMA died on the 3rd April 1918.

The inquest on the first four above was reported in several newspapers at the time.
This week marks the 80th anniversary of D Day at Normandy. We remember all the Fallen at Normandy and throughout the whole of World War 2 and in conflicts since, their families, and all who suffered life changing injuries.The Commando Fallen are remembered here: View our Roll of Honour [The Commando Roll of Honour]
Jackie Keefe has edited and published her father's memoirs and some of his poems. This a lovely book to read and is available from Amazon now.
John V. Lowman grew up in 1930's London and served in the Royal Fleet Air Arm, the Army, and the Army Commandos. He began writing poetry in 1946. The book is the memoir of a London lad conscripted in 1943 aged 18 with a mischievous zest for life that led him on to became one of Winston Churchill's Army Commandos. A highly personal account of serving in the forces during World War 2, preceded by his account of his childhood in a lower working class family in the 1930's.
It is with much sadness that we advise you of the very recent death of Mrs Desiree Leila Margaret Roderick MBE, a staunch supporter of Commandos and their welfare for most of her adult life. Affectionately known as 'Dizzy' to many, Mrs. Roderick was a member of both the Commando Association and the St. Nazaire Society, and her tireless work for the Commandos' Benevolent Fund was rewarded in 2008 with her inclusion in Her Majesty the Queen's M.B.E. honours list. Honorary Secretary of the Fund since 1985 her connections with the Commandos go back to WW2. Her brother Captain Joe Houghton M.C., No.2 Commando, was captured and executed after a raid in Norway and her husband at the time Captain Richard Broome, No.2 Commando, was killed in action at Salerno. Post war Desiree married Lieutenant John Roderick M.C. who had served in No.2 Commando and was wounded and a prisoner of war after the raid at St. Nazaire. In 2021 Mrs. Roderick reached a milestone celebrating her 100th birthday. Her amazing recollection of events of commando significance, her willingness to help others in need, or those like myself seeking her help with research, and her attention to detail to ensure historical accuracy, never wained in all that time. She will be greatly missed and our heartfelt sympathies go to all her family and friends at this sad time.
A Return to Sachsenhausen by Lt. Col. J.M.T.F. Churchill DSO, MC, OC No.2 Commando.
Hi 'Stonebow'

Welcome to the Commando Veterans Archive. Whilst there is as you will no doubt have seen a fair bit of information on your uncle Private Eric Gordon Curtis No.2 Commando I seem to have no information as yet on your Father's service in No.2 Commando. I do not have access to Service Records and so rely on other sources and recognise the nominal rolls are not complete. However you can apply if you have not already done so for a copy of your Father's record on the link below. Ensure you send a copy of his death certificate with your application. In the meantime if you have details or photos of your father from his commando days please do include them in any reply here, or feel free to email me the information via the email button below. I will then be able to update the archive accordingly.

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