Thursday, 11 November 2010

1st Special Service Brigade. 3 commando.

It is on this day, that with great pride and a tinge of sadness that I remember my mates who died far to young, and the men of Commando forces that went before us.....

The above picture was taken at Mervllie battery ,Normandy of a great old fella, with a broad smile and a cheeky glint in his eye , as I approached him to wish him well through the throng of people he saw me and reached out his hand we shook hand's but he continued to hold on to mine and tell me of his fight on D Day, The 1st ssb, came ashore at ouistraham with the specific task of punching through and linking up with 6 para and John Howard's men at pegasus bridge , under the command of Lord lovat, many of the men can remember Lovat and his piper Bill Millen  striding forth under heavy fire with Bill playing rousing tunes for the boy's ( millen's bag pipes were holed several times)  and maintained the momentum of the attack,and having also spoken to 6 para vet's they remember Bill's music well as in thier word's they Knew that in the face of a fearsome fight with german armour bieng  brought to bear that the Commando's were close to linking up thus lifting their tough fighting spirit, , It was on D+ 1 amid the struggle to gain control of Merville battery after it had refallen into german hands after airborne element's and the remains of Colonel Ottways para's had moved on to the Orne line That 2 troops ( approx 90 men) of 3 Commando attempted to take the battery  ,in the attempt they lost half thier number's to self propelled gun's it isbecause of thier tenacity that they were able to prevent 45 Commando being overwhelmed by a strong German counter attack , thus linking up to form a tight  , Commando perimeter around Merville , the German's made determined effort's to dislodge them over the coming day's............ they spent 84 day's in the line way beyond the battle for Normandy, and would fight into Germany until the end of april 1945.......       My above old friend had joined the Commando's in 1940 ( they were the first) and had survived ... His wife of 60 years later told me that she'd never heard some of the thing's he'd said and rarely speaks the way he did, I was fortunate , He spoke to me the way soldiers do and he did'nt let go of my hand .... I was bound to him by  our Commando loyalty and our Green Beret's it was a great moment,  I wished him and his wife well and Lee took some photo's it was just a snapshot of another mans remarkable history.....


  1. I toured this area with my wife and kids in 2008. It was a very humbling experience.
    All the best to you guys on today of all days.

  2. Yes bud a truly humbling moment taking to him. Was treated like a movie star by all he was.God bless him.