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Sgt Leonard Burley No. 14400852 No.9 & No.10 (X troop 3) IA Commando  XML
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Joined: 24/05/2021 22:12:38
Messages: 1

My father , known as Sgt Leonard Burley No. 14400852 (born 29/6/1921) joined the Dorsets in the 1940s (1942 or 1943) After turning down a posting with SOE he joined the Commandos.

He will be turning 100 in a few weeks and I cam compiling a book of his interesting century. I am imagine one of very few surviving WW2 veterans

I have been looking through all the post on this very full site and thought I would send the Commando Service Cert (the only document I can find).

I note he is in the Roll for No.10 commando -( listed as a pt nor Sgt ) ...but not included in No. 9. roll

I have looked at all the photos but do not see him in any (he is very distinctive as he is 6ft 2ins - often known as Tiny. ) I think he may have been shy of being photographed but would love to know if there are any pictures at all

My father has an interesting history - like many in Troop3 I imagine . His real name is Ludwig Berlin (changed for military security purposes) - he was born in Nuremberg in Germany . He arrived, aged 18, as a refugee in the UK and spent a year interned on the Isle of Man. He then worked for a demolition mob in the blitz making bombed buildings safe. In 1942 he enlisted initially to the Pioneer Corps then the Dorsets and after basic training transferred to commando training . He was exceptionally fit - a sprinter and shot putter . During training in Scotland he was also entered into a boxing competition which he hated and was relieved to be knocked out after 2 rounds. He likes to tell of how his group of 6 recruits raced to get back to Barracks (he says because the first group back got double rations) On the last Scottish hill he would carry all 6 packs and run! According to my father they got the double rations and - as a life long vegetarian - he always traded his meat for spuds and pud.

He saw active service in Greece and Italy. He was at Monte Cassino and Lago Comacchio - an experience he found very traumatic .
I suspect he will be one of the oldest surviving veterans of No 9 and Troop 3 Perhaps this is something that could be included in a newsletter or blog?

I attach his service cert with correct info and dates for the record

I look forward to hearing if there is any more info or pictures about his training or service - to add the Birthday Book

many thanks

Anita Berlin
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Forum Member

Joined: 17/08/2012 13:26:51
Messages: 415

Thank you so much for telling us about your dad - please pass on my/our best wishes on his upcoming special birthday.

My dad's in a few photos but he was generally the one taking them - could be why your dad's not on any you've seen yet.

There may be 2 No.9 Commandos on this photo - dad's crouching with the dog.

If I have praised my comrades too highly I make no apology, for they were beyond all praise.

Lord Lovat - No 4 Commando
craig summerhill
Forum Member

Joined: 11/01/2013 00:08:04
Messages: 197
Location: Wales

What a absolute legend. Please convey my best wishes and respect for your fathers very special occasion and his service to our great nation. A fantastic story.

Look forward to more.
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Forum Member

Joined: 10/04/2007 22:56:27
Messages: 3300
Location: Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire

Hi Anita,

Welcome to the Forum and what a great story about your father.

In case you haven't noticed your father's Commando Service Certificate bears the signature of Major-General Robert Laycock as Chief of Combined Ops - as all Cdo Certificates do - but also his less well known brother, Lt Colonel Peter Laycock as Commanding Officer, No10 (IA) Commando.


Nick Collins,

Commando Association Historical Archivist & Photographer.

Proud son of Cpl Mick Collins, 5 Troop, No5 Cdo

"Truly we may say of them, when shall their glory fade?"

CVA Website Archivist

Joined: 23/09/2008 00:08:02
Messages: 4392

Hello Anita
Thanks for making contact and for posting the Commando Service Certificate. Your father was a member of the original Commando Association which stood down in 2005. He is named in what they published as Lost Legions Lists of members they had lost contact with over the years back in 1973. We took his Unit from there and it gives his primary commando as No.10. You have probably found this already but here is the link in case not

3 Troop were unique and never operated as a whole Troop so its nice to find a commando unit he was attached to and I will update the nominal rolls accordingly. I would like to add more to his service certificate including a photo if you care to share one and add a bit about his service. I have found some documents relating to your Father which include photos of the Home Office actual documents relating to registration in the UK as such and this link to the London Gazette. If you would like copies of the others let me know by email and I will send them to you. There?s only a couple but they have some detail on there. Again you may have these.

Scroll down to page 3337 here

Unfortunately the only photos we have are on our website. Many are as yet unidentified. In addition to 9 Commando we have a few in 3 or X Troops gallery here:

You could as a surprise sign him up to be a member of the new Commando Association which is totally free for our WW2 Commandos and I am sure they would be absolutely delighted to welcome him. The form if needed is here. Something to think about anyway.

Very best wishes


This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 30/05/2021 20:44:42

Pete Rogers, son of LSgt Joe Rogers MM & nephew of TSM Ken McAllister. Both No2 Commando.
God and the Soldier, all men adore, In time of danger and not before.
When the danger is passed and all things righted, God is forgotten, and the Soldier slighted.

**** nb. I no longer monitor the pm facility ****
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