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These are two Jack Shears with a connection with Cardiff.

John Frederick SHEARS

John Henry SHEARS

" the insignia if I remember correctly was a dagger with a snake. "

I wondered if the insignia you remembered is the Royal Army Medical Corps cap badge, a snake with the staff of Aesculapius?

Good luck with your research

The men are Airborne troops and were attached to the 5th Parachute Brigade Head Quarters. The photograph was taken by Captain Malindine at R.A.F. Harwell prior to departing for Normandy on Operation Tonga.
The men all wear oversmocks which were designed to stop their equipment and weapons becoming entangled in their canopy lines when they parachuted, these were to be discarded on landing.
Good luck with your research

The Statutory Death Register (821/485) records Alexander's cause of death as "Traumatic rupture of the spleen."
Good luck with your research
MA 80,
Your grandfather Ronald Herbert Allen served with 4 Troop of No.3 Commando.
He originally enlisted in the Northamptonshire Regiment and then was transferred to the Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Regiment.

Your grandfather can be found found in this photograph aged 19, fourth row from the top on the far right

He took part in the Dieppe raid and saw action on Sicily and in Italy.
He appears in the 4 Troop photograph taken at Aci Castello, Sicily in November 1943 (2nd Row from the front, 6 from the left)

For administrative purposes only, he was transferred back to 4th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment T.A. This was a Territorial Battalion that had been converted to a Search light unit attached to the Royal Artillery. That accounts for the Royal Artillery collar badge on your granfather's beret in the Sicily photograph.

You would need a copy of his service records to confirm when he joined No.3 Commando and if he remained with them when they returned to England in preparation for D-Day in january 1944.

Good luck with your research

Campo Concentramento Prigionieri Di Guerra n. 101?
Nick found a reference to S.A.COLLEY serving with both 12 & 6 Commando.
12 Commando were disbanded and the men were cross posted to other Army Commando units in August 1943.
6 Commando returned from North Africa and were billeted in Hove, Sussex prior to D-Day.

Do you have a photograph of Sidney that you could cross reference with Troop photographs in the gallery?

The war diaries for 6 Commando in Normandy are available to view on this website:

Hi Martin,

Sydney A COLLEY born in 1919, his mother's maiden name was Pedersen

James A COLLEY married Florence M PEDERSEN 3Q 1917 Sculcoates, Yorkshire

Florence M COLLEY born 1896, died in Hull in 1931 aged 35.

HI Nick & Martin,
Could this be Sydney?

Sydney A. COLLEY born 11th November 1919, he is an accounts department clerk residing at 36 Mayfield Street, Hull in the 1939 Register.

Sidney COLLEY 11th November 1919 - 3Q 2005 Camden, London

His father:

James Arthur COLLEY 31st May 1891 - 3Q 1979 Hull

There is an entry for him on the No.6 Commando site, stating that he was Army Dental Corps and served with 6 Troop, 6 Commando.

Welcome to the forum,

The Commando to the left of your father is Bryan Woolnough, he was also a Signaller in 2 Commando Brigade Signals.
The street sign in the top left hand corner suggests that the photograph was taken in Italy, are there any stamps on the reverse?

Good luck with your research

72223 Philip Anthony WELLESLEY-COLLEY, South Nottinghamshire Hussars R.H.A. & 4 Commando
2nd April 1919 - 6th June 1944 aged 25

5184082 Pte. Clifford Francis George FRANKS Gloucestershire Regiment & 4 Commando
13th September 1918 Bridgewater, Somerset - 15th January 1972 Cheltenham, Gloucestershire aged 53
Served with Gloucestershire Regiment in Belgium and France in 1940. Wounded in the retreat to Dunkirk
G & B Troop 4 Commando. Severely wounded in the leg within half an hour of landing on D-Day 6th June 1944.

[^Admin...Archive updated]

Yes, no problem.
Please may I ask what your mother's name was?
I believe that it is the Leonard William Penn that you are looking for. I couldn't find a birth for Leonard W. PENN in 1919
This is the information you will need to obtain a death certificate ordered from:

Last name PENN
Gender Male
Birth day 8
Birth month 3
Birth year 1925
Age -
Death quarter 2
Death year 1997
District Hackney
District number 2301C
Register number C25F
Entry number 114
Date of registration mm/yy 0597
County London
Country England

Could this be your Leonard?

Leonard William PENN
8th March 1925 - 2Q 1997 Hackney, London

Obituary Leonard William (Inky) PENN M.M. (6 Commando)
The Commando Association Newsletter No.105 September 1997 of Hackney, London

Marriage Jean C. WATERTON 1Q 1948 Hackney, London?

Good luck with your research

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