I hope you all had an enjoyable summer with your family and friends, September was a busy month for the Royal Marines, 47 pins on the map for this month, for example The Capture of Quebec in 1759, Landings in Beirut in 1840 and a hostage rescue by the SBS in 2009, still so many more to discover and share with you, when you have a moment please grab a coffee and take a look.
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Early in the Second World War the threat posed from the Japanese military push into Malaya and the Indian Ocean, prompted the Admiralty to plan for the relocation of the Eastern Fleet to a fall back safe harbour. In 1941 the Royal Navy began searching for a safe, deep anchorage, in a suitably strategic position in the Indian Ocean, where a naval base could be established.
Addu met the requirements and a reconnaissance party consisting of Fleet Air Arm, Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers and Royal Navy personnel under the command of Lieutenant Colonel W. B. F. Lukis, Royal Marines, was dispatched from Ceylon to the Islands in the strictest secrecy aboard HMS Glasgow.
Permission to establish base facilities on the Islands was granted and work began in August 1941 to secretly develop a fleet anchorage and base known as "Port T”.
During September 1941, M.N.B.D.O. I in Egypt formed two detachments to embark for destinations in the Indian Ocean where they were to construct defended bases to be used for refuelling by the Royal Navy. Two of the bases were known as Port ‘T’, the codename for Addu Atoll, and Port ‘W’, the codename for an anchorage at Nancowry Island in the Nicobars. Coast defence guns were also to be installed at a third island, Diego Garcia.
In command of Force ‘Piledriver’ was Lt. Colonel W.B.F. Lukis, R.M. and whose main objective was to construct the defences and other facilities at Port ‘T’. Force ‘Piledriver’ would be assisted by Force ‘Shortcut’, commanded by Lt. Colonel L.O. Jones, which would later be detached to construct Port ‘W’. The personnel for Force ‘Shortcut’ were selected from Landing and Maintenance Unit, R.M., commanded by Lt. Colonel Jones, together with details from the 1st Coast Regiment, R.M. with four 4-inch guns and ancillary troops. The structure of the Force was:
The two forces left Egypt for the Indian Ocean on 20th September 1941 leaving behind the Transport Company and elements of the Workshop Company.
A group of 150 Royal Marine engineers under the command of Colonel Jones were landed in Villingili from HMS GUARDIAN to establish coastal batteries, searchlights, signal towers, roads, camps and jetties. An airfield was planned for use by the middle of May 1942 and the Island of Gan, approximately 1½ mile long by ¾ mile wide, was chosen as the location. The residents of Gan and the adjacent Island of Feydhoo were moved to the Maamendhoo area of Hithadhoo.
The dramatic story of another secret war port was revealed by the Admiralty in July 1945.
"Port T" – a naval base with full defences – hacked out of the jungle on Addu Atoll, a collection of waterless coral islets in the Indian Ocean, 590 nautical miles from Colombo and 3,000 from Australia.
Like the Mulberry, Pluto "Port T" was always known by its code name. Absolute secrecy was essential, for this port was a vital link on the convoy route to Australia and for certain operations in the Indian Ocean.
Now it is possible to tell how a force of Royal Marines drawn from the first Mobile Naval Base Defence Organization, working against time and tropical disease, began preparing this secret Fleet anchorage, while the Japs were still planning their attack on Pearl Harbour.
The Royal Marines went ashore on Addu Atoll in September 1941. Their task was to establish coastal batteries, searchlights, signal towers, roads, camps, and jetties for a naval base.
The price they paid was heavy; 23 per cent of the whole force had to be evacuated in the first three months by the hospital ship Vita, as too ill to be of further service, but by the time Japan declared war the base was ready, and on January 3, 1942, the first convoy of the five troopships, escorted by the cruiser H.M.S. Emerald, put in to water and refuel.
From Wiki: The six major islands were garrisoned by the 1st Royal Marine Coast Defence Regiment, manning shore batteries and anti-aircraft guns. To facilitate the defence, causeways were built connecting the western islands of Gan, Eyehook (Abuhera), Maradhoo and Hithadhoo and, much later in the war, they were linked by a light railway.
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Flight Lieutenant Charles Herbert Collet DSO (4 February 1888 – 19 August 1915) was a British naval airman during the First World War, regarded as one of the best naval airmen of his day.
Collet was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Royal Marine Artillery on 1 September 1905, and was promoted to lieutenant on 1 July 1906.
On 21 October 1913 Collet was awarded Aviators' Certificate No. 666 after flying an Avro biplane at the Central Flying School at Upavon.
On 22 September 1914 Collet, flying a Sopwith Tractor Biplane, led a raid by four aircraft, which flew two hundred miles to attack the Zeppelin sheds at Düsseldorf and Cologne, in the first British air raid of the war.
Thick mist in the Rhine Valley meant that only Collet found his target, and he accurately dropped two 20-pound (9 kg) bombs from 400 feet (120 m) on the shed at Düsseldorf, although the bombs failed to explode.
Despite being hit by enemy fire, he returned safely, as did the other three aircraft; they had spent more than an hour flying over Cologne attempting to find their target, but after failing to do so they returned to base without dropping their bombs.
Collet's feat was described thusly:
Flight Lieutenant Collet approached the Zeppelin shed at Düsseldorf at an altitude of 6,000 ft (1,800 m). There was a bank of mist below, which he encountered at 1,500 ft (460 m).
He traversed the depth of this layer and emerged there from at a height of only 400 ft (120 m) above the ground. His objective was barely a quarter of a mile ahead.
Travelling at high speed he launched his bombs with what proved to be deadly precision, and disappeared into cover almost before the enemy had grasped his intentions.
Collet was subsequently awarded the Distinguished Service Order on 21 October 1914
Search RM Airman on the 'Dits' or the Geo History map page
1st and 2nd Marines Regiment of Foot participated in an opposed landing during the Williamite War in Ireland at Cork, Ireland on 21 September 1690 under the command of John Churchill, now the Duke of Marlborough.
In a combined land and sea operation, Williamite commander Marlborough, took the city and captured 5,000 Jacobite prisoners.
Cork Heritage Website;
In September 1690, King William dispatched the Earl of Marlborough, and a large contingent of men to regain control of Cork. On Monday, 22 September 1690, Marlborough arrived in Cork Harbour with over eighty ships and approximately five thousand men. A landing was opposed at Passage by Irish rebels, who possessed a battery of seven or eight cannons. However, they were soon overrun by several armed boats sent ashore to deal with this opposition.
The next day, Marlboroughs’ troops disembarked at Passage.
A regiment of about 800 men marched through Douglas and camped in the area of the Lough. A small contingent of Irish rebels attempted to block their passage but they were fired upon and killed. Marlborough decided that he could exploit the main defensive disadvantage of the walled area: its low-lying position overlooked by hills. Control of the hills would mean control of the walled town.
After advancing on the southern environs of the town, the English regiment set their sights on Cat Barracks, which was adjacent to the southern road leading to South Gate Drawbridge. This was a small barracks, constructed in 1685 by Thomas Philips, used as a storage depot for the firearms of nearby Elizabeth Fort. The rebels retreated into the town as the English advanced, setting fire to the southern suburbs as they did so – the area now occupied by Douglas Street, Cove Street and Barrack Street.
Marlborough dispatched General Ginkel and General Scravenmoer to secure the northern liberties of the town with the assistance of a cavalry comprising 1,200 men. An infantry consisting of Dutch soldiers under the command of a Major-General Tettau was also dispatched. At this point, Scravenmoer sent a message to the leader of the rebels, known as Colonel Mc Ellicutt, asking him not to burn any part of the city. The governor replied that he was not afraid of the advancing army and would burn what he saw fit.
In the afternoon of 23 September 1690, Tettau ordered the cannons to be transferred from their camp in the northern liberties to Fair Hill, just to the west of present-day Commons Road. This was an attempt to mount an assault on Shandon Castle. The rebels again set fire to the suburbs, this time around Shandon, and retreated within the safety of the town walls. Even an old church called Shandon was burned along with the Franciscan Friary on the North Mall.
On Thursday, 25 September, Col. Hale and two hundred members of his regiment advanced on Cat Barracks and, finding it deserted, immediately took possession of it. At this time the focus of the attack moved towards Elizabeth Fort, the stronghold of the Jacobite side. Bombardment of South Gate Bridge and the eastern wall also began. During the night, the attackers moved closer to the fort and hid themselves in ditches and laneways.
Williamite Army approaching the Walled Town of Cork (source: Cork City Library)
On Friday, 26 September, constant bombardment of Elizabeth Fort resulted in the collapse of the wall above its gate and part of the adjacent bastion. Shells from a mortar were fired into the city, killing two or three people. Meanwhile, on the northside, the Duke of Wurtemberg arrived at Scravemoer’s camp with a large force. Together, they made an advance on Shandon Castle, which they found also deserted. Scravemoer sent all his cavalry to join Marlborough on the southside, just by the site of present-day St. FinBarre’s Cathedral.
On Saturday, 27 September, the bombardment of the city escalated. The cannons concentrated on breaching the eastern wall, a point now marked by the City Library on the Grand Parade. Scravemoer decided to use the spire of St. FinBarre’s Cathedral as a vantage point from which to fire into the town. Lieutenant Horatio Townsend was chosen along with two files of men to mount a gun on top of the spire. The governor of Elizabeth Fort was killed by a musket shot from the spire. In retaliation, the Jacobite soldiers aimed two guns at the steeple and shook it immensely. Townshend is reputed to have refused to yield, ordering the access ladder to be removed from the base of the cathedral. Eventually, however, he was forced to retreat.
After a few more days of sustained attack, the rebels within the walled town surrendered. There were several reasons for this. Large portions of the town walls, North and South Main Streets, laneways and houses had been destroyed. The leader of the rebels, Mac Elligott, noticed that there were significant breaches in the wall and that the enemy had dug large ditches on adjacent marshy islands in an attempt to get closer to the town walls. In addition, Mac Elligott’s side was nearly out of ammunition. McEllicutt’s terms of surrender included the plea not to burn the suburbs surrounding the walled town. His request was denied, but he was obliged to sign the conditions of the Duke of Marlborough.
The key figures on the rebel side were summarily executed, along with several members of their families, and the suburbs were burned and destroyed. Elizabeth Fort was surrendered within one hour of the signing of the agreement, as stipulated, and the town gates were surrendered the following Monday morning at eight o’clock. All arms and ammunition were left in a secure place for the English to collect.
The principal rebel leaders were transported to the Tower of London. Many of the Jacobite soldiers were imprisoned in Clonmel, while many more were sent to jails in London. Col. John Hales replaced MacElligott as governor and was presented with the freedom of the town in a silver box. The Duke of Marlborough also received the freedom of the town from William of Orange.
18th September 1955 Rockall was annexed by the British Crown when Lieutenant-Commander Desmond Scott RN, Sergeant Brian Peel RM, Corporal AA Fraser RM, and James Fisher (a civilian naturalist and former Royal Marine), were winched by a helicopter onto the island by a Royal Navy helicopter from HMS Vidal (The annexation of Rockall was announced by the Admiralty on 21 September 1955.
Queen Elizabeth authorised the annexation on 14 September.
Her orders stated: "On arrival at Rockall you will effect a landing and hoist the Union flag on whatever spot appears most suitable or practicable and you will then take possession of the island on our behalf."
The expedition team cemented in a brass plaque on Hall's Ledge and hoisted the Union Flag to stake the UK's claim. The inscription on the plaque read:
BY AUTHORITY OF HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH THE SECOND, BY THE GRACE OF GOD OF THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND AND OF HER OTHER REALMS AND TERRITORIES, QUEEN, HEAD OF THE COMMONWEALTH, DEFENDER OF THE FAITH, ETC. ETC. ETC. AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH HER MAJESTY'S INSTRUCTIONS DATED 14. 9. 55. A LANDING WAS EFFECTED ON THIS DAY UPON THE ISLAND OF ROCKALL FROM H.M.S. VIDAL. THE UNION FLAG WAS HOISTED AND POSSESSION OF THE ISLAND WAS TAKEN IN THE NAME OF HER MAJESTY.
[Signed] R H Connell, CAPTAIN, H.M.S. VIDAL, 18 SEPTEMBER 1955
It was the final territorial expansion of the British empire.
Survey ship HMS Vidal reached the rock on 15 September equipped with a helicopter for ferrying the men to the island, but high winds prevented them from landing for three days.
Lieutenant Commander Scott told the BBC the whole operation had gone without a hitch, but said the large helicopter had made the pilot's job difficult.
"The landing space on our flight deck is only 33 ft [10m] square and the rotor blades of the helicopter sweep an arc of 49 ft [15m] so he has to be very, very careful," he said.
"Despite all this there were no snags. The one landing he made he bounced and stuck - much to our relief."
The first person to set foot on Rockall since the British Navy landed in 1862 was Royal Marine Sergeant Brian Peel, an experienced rock climber.
Sergeant Peel climbed down to the waterline to collect seaweed and other specimens for naturalist James Fischer. The marine said the descent had been straightforward, but admitted he had misjudged the heavy Atlantic swell.
"I did not get up the rock in time and a wave went right over the top of me," he said.
"I had to grab a handful of seaweed, ram it in my mouth and get up the rock as fast as possible."
Unit/ Formation: RM Airmen
Location: Wick & Hatston
Period/ Conflict: World War II
Date/s: July - October 1940
56 Fleet Air Arm pilots took part in the Battle of Britain with four becoming fighter 'aces'.
Although rarely acknowledged, three Naval pilots also flew with the famous 242 Squadron commanded by the legendary Douglas Bader including his wingman 'Dickie
The young Naval aviators who took part in the Battle of Britain between July and October 1940 saw some of the fiercest fighting of the battle.
As early as the first week in June, the Admiralty had given up more than 40 semi-trained pilots to the RAF, 30 more would join them. In all 57 naval pilots (“The Few of The Few”) would fly for the air force in the Battle of Britain; four of the 57 became ‘aces’ (downing at least five enemy aircraft).
23 Naval pilots served with twelve RAF Fighter Command Squadrons, flying Spitfires and Hurricanes including Sub Lt ‘Dickie’ Cork flew with the legendary ‘tin-legged’ Douglas Bader and his 242 Squadron.
Cork was Bader’s wingman during the battle, a popular character who remained proud of his naval heritage despite his RAF comrade’s constant ribbing and efforts to draw him over to the ‘dark side’.
A further 33 served with 804 and 808, the two Fleet Air Arm Battle of Britain Squadrons who operated under Fighter Command, providing Dockyard defence.
The two Fleet Air Arm squadrons flew Gloster Sea Gladiators, Grumman Martlets and Fairey Fulmars, normally only seen flying from aircraft carriers. 804 Naval Air Squadron, based at Hatston in Orkney, Scotland consisted of 22 pilots flying Sea Gladiators and Martlets whilst the 11 pilots of 808 Squadron based at Wick, Caithness were equipped with Fulmars.
While everyone knows the story of air to air combat over the skies of southern England, it is often forgotten that the Luftwaffe carried out over 500 attacks on Scotland, on shipyards and warships in the Firth of Forth.
Royal Marine Battle of Britain pilots were Captain AE Marsh RM and Lieutenant AJ Wright RM who flew with 804 and Lieutenant RC Hay RM with 808. Hay would become the only Royal Marine Ace.
In early July 1940 Wright was serving with 804 Squadron at Hatston, flying Sea Gladiators on dockyard defence. Wright embarked on HMS Furious by air with 'A' Flight of 804 on 5th September. The flight disembarked and returned to Hatston on 8th September during the Battle of Britain.
In all, seven naval pilots were killed and two wounded between July 10 and October 31 1940 – the official dates of the battle. Their names – and the 48 other Fleet Air Arm men who fought in Britain’s skies that fateful summer are listed on the Battle of Britain memorial in London.
Leros island’s Portolago Bay in the Dodecanese is a natural harbour: deep, two miles long and half a mile wide. At the head of the bay is the town of Portolago (or Lakki as it is known today), the bay – a broad gash in Leros’s south-east coast – became the Italian navy’s main base in the eastern Mediterranean, with port facilities on the southern shore, a double boom across its narrow entrance and several batteries of guns on the high cliffs above.
Just before midnight on 17 June 1944, the skipper of the Royal Navy’s ML 360, a 112-feet-long motor launch built by Fairmile for coastal operations, stopped the craft’s two powerful 650 bhp petrol engines a mile and a half from the entrance to Portolago Bay. The signal was given for the six limpeteers on board – all members of the RMBPD’s ‘Earthworm’ Detachment, based at the Raiding Forces Headquarters near Haifa in Palestine – to launch their canoes.
Commanded by Lieutenant J. F. Richards who was paired with Marine W. S. Stevens in Shark, the rest of the crews were Sergeant J. M. King with Marine R. N. Ruff in Salmon and Corporal E. W. ‘Johnny’ Horner with Marine Eric Fisher in Shrimp.
No one was keener than Marine Eric Fisher who was desperate to make up for the disappointment of missing out on Operation Frankton, though the accidental damage to his and Bill Ellery’s canoe had probably saved their lives. On returning to the UK, Fisher, Norman Colley and Bill Sparks had all joined Bill Pritchard Gordon’s No. 2 Section which, on being sent to the Mediterranean, was renamed the ‘Earthworm’ Detachment. But it was Fisher who got the nod for Sunbeam A.
They had all ‘blacked’ their faces and were wearing camouflage ‘Anorak Suits’. ‘There was,’ noted Lieutenant J. F. Richards, commanding the limpeteers, ‘very little wind and the sea was flat calm with only a slight mist.’
Using split paddles, Horner and Fisher were first in and passed the broken boom at the harbour entrance at 1:10 a.m., keeping close to the cliff. Once inside they altered course to cross the harbour and soon spotted two of their targets.
Richards’ own canoe Shark was the next to enter the harbour. Keeping close to the shadow of the cliff, he and Stevens made their way along the south shore to the naval base where they hoped to find their targets: a destroyer and three smaller escorts.
Coming alongside, Richards steadied the canoe with the magnetic holder while his No. 2, Stevens, placed limpets below the waterline in two positions: fifteen feet from the stern; and a little further forward where Richards judged the engine room to be. Stevens did this by first attaching the limpet to a cleverly designed ‘angle piece on the face of his paddle’, thus obviating the need for a separate placing rod. To minimise the noise of all the magnets clamping at the same time, it was vital to apply the limpet as gradually as possible.
They found 2 more escorts to mine then with only two limpets left, and time running out, Richards circled back the way he had come, looking for a destroyer. He found one – of the Italian Turbine class, but manned by Germans – lying against a small jetty. ‘I moved in,’ he recalled, ‘under the bows and manoeuvred to make contact with the magnetic holder. At this point we were urinated upon from above, by a sentry whom we had not seen or heard, and who then moved away.’
The last canoe Salmon had been spotted soon after entering the harbour at 1:20 a.m. Challenged by a sentry in a patrol boat, King and Ruff froze. After the third challenge, they back-paddled as far as the boom at the harbour entrance where they moved out into the centre of the channel before heading east again.
As before they were hailed from the patrol boat, causing them to pause until King felt it was safe to continue. They finally reached the naval base at 2:15 a.m. and stopped by a derelict barge to ‘bail out, since the water in the canoe was around their knees’.
The first of their two destroyer targets was directly ahead: it was, in King’s opinion, also of the Italian Turbine class. As several men were talking and smoking at his approach point, King tried from a different angle ‘but noticed a sentry standing on a jetty’ beside the destroyer. The sentry was soon joined by several more. A final approach from the ‘harbour end of the base’ was more successful, and three limpets were placed on either side of the ship’s stern. With the canoe once again ‘half full of water’, King wisely decided to leave the bay and make for Kalymnos. It was 2:40 a.m.
Incredibly, despite multiple sightings and challenges, all three canoes got away from Portolago without the alarm being raised. Why no shots were fired, or further investigation made, is a mystery. Dodging Greek fishing boats, they all reached the temporary safety of Kalymnos where they beached and camouflaged their canoes in small inlets and found somewhere to hide.
From around 4:45 a.m., and continuing for much of the day, they could hear explosions from the direction of Portolago. Richards was convinced that, as well as the noise of the limpets going off, they could hear the sound of depth charges as the Germans tried to find the submarine they believed was responsible for the attack.
By badly damaging two destroyers and sinking three smaller escort ships, Richards and his men had pulled off one of the most brilliant sabotage missions of the war. In a single night, three canoes ‘effectively neutralised’ the enemy’s naval forces in the eastern Aegean and they had not sustained a single casualty.
[Extracted and abridged with kind permission from SBS - Silent Warriors by Saul David]
POUNDFORCE comprising mainly the Fleet Volunteers, 14 men under command of Lt E G D Pounds, left in HMS WHITESAND BAY to support the Inchon landings with a diversionary raid, at Kunsun as part of a US Army Raiding battalion on the West coast on 12/13 September.
As part of elaborate deception operations intended to make the enemy believe that a major U.N. amphibious invasion actually planned for Incheon on 15 September 1950 would take place at Kunsan, HMS Whitesand landed Royal Marine Commandos and United States Army special forces troops on the docks at Kunsan, with those forces making sure that the enemy noticed their visit.
On September 4, 1864, the international fleet arrived at the entrance to the Shimonoseki Straits.
The next afternoon, the fleet moved closer to the Japanese shore batteries and both sides opened fire.
The battle lasted for over an hour, until the batteries were silenced. A British night landing took care of some of the guns as well. The battle was resumed early on the morning of September 6, with more cannon fire.
At 8:30 a.m., under supporting fire from the fleet a landing took place, British, French and Dutch troops captured the Japanese batteries by noon, although they were contested throughout the day.
Period/ Conflict: World War I
Date/s: 2nd to 3rd September 1918
Battle of Drocourt-Queant (Second and final phase of Second Arras) involving 63rd Division. 24 Royal Marines killed.
The Drocourt-Quéant Line (Wotan Stellung) was a set of mutually supporting defensive lines constructed by Germany between the French towns of Drocourt and Quéant during World War I. This defensive system was part of the northernmost section of the Hindenburg Line, a vast German defensive system that ran through northeastern France.
It was attacked and captured by Canadian and British troops in the closing months of the war as part of Canada's Hundred Days of successful offensive campaigning that helped end the war.
1st RM Battalion,
ADKINS, Horace (real name, but served as Frank Adams), Private, RMLI, 19288 (Po):
ARCHER, Harold E, Private, RMLI, S
DOW: ASH, Frederick R, Private, RMLI, S 2650 (Ch),
DOW: BADGER, Edgar, Private, RMLI, S 2324 (Ch):
BAKER, Reginald T, Private, RMLI, S 2915 (Ply):
BIDDLE, Walter W, Lance Corporal, RMLI, S 2369 (Ply):
BROOKE, Jacob B, Private,
RMLI, S 1126 (Po):
BURBIDGE, William, Private, RMLI, S 2354 (Po):
EVANS, Frederick W, Private, RMLI, S 2559 (Ply):
EVERITT, Charles E, Private, RMLI, S 1698 (Ply):
GOURLEY, David, Private, RMLI, 15688 (Ply):
HALFORD, Frederick C, Private,
RMLI, S 2454 (Ch):
HUMPHRIES, Clement F, Private, RMLI, S 2591 (Ply):
NEEDLE, Ernest T, Private, RMLI, S 1675 (Ply):
REES, Trevellyan D, Private, RMLI, 18588 (Ply):
ROCK, John T, Private, RMLI, S 2553 (Po):
SEABROOK, Sidney, Private, RMLI, 20668
STEER, James F, Sergeant, RMLI, S 1296 (Ch):
SURRIDGE, William N, Private, RMLI, 20063 (Po):
SYDENHAM, Henry J,
Private, RMLI, S 1637 (Po):
TORRANCE, Daniel, Private, RMLI, S 2420 (Ch):
WEIGHT, Frederick G, Regimental Sergeant Major, RMLI, 11722 (Ch):
YOUNG, William H, Private, RMLI, S 2024 (Ply), DOW
On the morning of 31 Aug 1944 the Commando moved in Motor Transport to the SEINE ferry crossing at DUCLAIR. By this time the German withdrawal from NORMANDY had become a rout. The only signs of the enemy were the masses of burnt out and abandoned vehicles beside the roads and stacked up around the river crossings.
Everwhere the RAF had left their mark. Occasional1y small scattered bodies of enemy were found but they were all lost and disorganised and rarely, if ever, showed fight. The French people came out in style to greet their liberators and the term B.L.A. really began to have meaning.
The Brigade crossed to DUCLAIR in Infantry Assault boats and the Commando after searching the area East of BARENTIN moved across to occupy a position on the road BARENTIN - LE HAVRE.
On the afternoon of the next day, 1 Sept. the Commando moved by every available vehicle and by Motor Transport ferry system to CANY BARVILLE. A considerable number of enemy were reported in LE HAVRE, but the Coastal defences were being evacuated.
After a recce by X-Troop on 2 Sept. the Commando moved again to FÉCAMP on the coast thus cutting the last escape route from LE HAVRE. The reception at FÉCAMP was beyond description and during the whole stay in this town the Commando’s reputation of 'Liberators' never waned. On Sunday, 3 Sept. the unit took part in a ceremonial church parade and the CO laid a wreath on the War Memorial.
When we got to a town called Fécamp, there was a Benedictine Monastery and we ended up with crates of Benedictine in grateful recognition [Mne Fred Wildman]