48 Royal Marine Commandos

No. 48 (Royal Marine) Commando was a battalion-sized formation of the British Commandos, formed in 1944 during the Second World War. No. 48 Commando was assigned to the 4th Special Service Brigade and served in North West Europe, taking part in the Normandy landings and operations around Ostend and Antwerp before being disbanded after the war in January 1946

 

 No. 48 (Royal Marine) Commando was formed in March 1944 and was the last commando unit formed during the Second World War. It was formed by the conversion of the 7th Royal Marine Battalion and the Mobile Naval Base Defence Organisations (MNBDOs) defence battalions to commando duties. Under the command of Lieutenant Colonel James Moulton, it carried out a shortened commando course at Achnacarry and then joined the all Royal Marine 4th Special Service Brigade alongside No. 41, No. 46 and No. 47 (Royal Marine) Commandos

 

Assigned to the Normandy landings, 4th Special Service Brigade was given the task of seizing a number of coastal villages, including Luc-sur-Mer, St. Aubin-sur-Mer and Langrune-sur-Mer. The Brigade then had to push inland and capture the heavily fortified strong point near the radar station at Douvres, which they were required to hold on to for 48 hours before being relieved.

 

Landing on the Canadian Juno Beach, No. 48 (Royal Marine) Commando was the first Commando unit to land near Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer and started the assault on Langrune-sur-Mer, which was liberated after heavy fighting and severe losses. They then held a position awaiting reinforcement and equipment to land.

 

The rest of 4th Special Service Brigade carried out two attacks to take a German hill position near the village of Dozule. After the failure of both attacks, No. 48 was reinforced by No. 46 and No. 47 Commandos. Reinforced, No.48 Commando bypassed the village of Dozule to occupy the high ground at point 120, in the process cutting off a number of retreating Germans and destroying their vehicles

 

Instead of being withdrawn after 48 hours, No. 4 Special Service Brigade continued in the Allied advance to the Seine. On route liberating Pont l'Eveque, Saint-Maclou, Pavilly, Yerville, Motteville, Yvetot, Bermonville and Valmont before coming out of the line on 18 August 1944.

 

 

Battle of the Scheldt

4th Special Service Brigade returned to the front line to take part in the Battle of the Scheldt and Operation Infatuate in November 1944, tasked with the liberation of the island of Walcheren.[citation needed]

 

On 1 November, No. 48 Commando disembarked from tank landing craft and, under German shell fire, captured their first objective – a row of concrete gun emplacements on the southern shoulder of the gap – and then moved on to their next objective, a radar station that had been abandoned by the German defenders. Their next objective, an artillery battery, was assaulted by Y Troop, who were all either killed or wounded before they could reach it. Calling for naval gunfire support from H.M.S. Roberts and artillery support from 2nd Canadian Division, the position was next assaulted by Z Troop. Z Troop's assault also failed, with half of them being killed or wounded by German mortar fire. The position was again targeted by the 2nd Canadian artillery and RAF rocket firing Hawker Typhoons. Assaulted again by No. 48 Commando, the battery was eventually captured and 100 Germans made prisoner of war. No. 48 Commando's next objective was the capture of Zouteland, which was planned for 2 November. The attack started at dawn, following a bombardment from H.M.S. Erebus; the garrison surrendered after two hours of fighting.

 

Following the Battle of the Scheldt, No. 48 Commando raided across the Maas River in the Netherlands and then took part in the army of occupation in Germany.

Name: Fulham, William Frederick

Rank: Marine

Age:24

No.14567562

Unit:16 Light Field Ambulance RAMC

Missing since: 01-11-1944

Next of Kin:Husband of H.M.E. Fulham of Itchen, Southampton. Son of Frederick and Annie Fulham of Bristol.

 

Groesbeek memorial panel:9

 

KIA Information: Known to have been killed in Vlissingen/Walcheren area.


Name: Stephens, Kenneth William

Rank: Marine

Age:22

No.PLY/X 108058

Unit

Missing since: 08-11-1944

Next of Kin:

 

Plymouth memorial Panel: 103-2

 

KIA Information: Known to have been killed in Vlissingen/Walcheren area.

 

At the time of his death a patrol from his Commando had been sent to Veere on the North East of the island travelling in a convoy of 4 amphibious Buffaloes.  The second Buffaloe with Lieut. England in command struck a submerged 11inch shell rigged up to a post as a mine causing many casualties. 

(Source: Interviews with Mnes. Jack Desmond and Bert Skinner in Ken Ford's book DDay Commando - From Normandy to the Maas with 48RMCommando.)

 

 

Name: Hughes, Harold

Rank: Marine

Age:20

No.PLY/X 109789

Unit

Missing since: 01-11-1944

Next of Kin:Son of Harold and Ada Hughes, of Hanley, Staffordshire.

 

Plymouth memorial Panel: 92-1

 

KIA Information: Known to have been killed in Vlissingen/Walcheren area.

 


Name: Steventon, Thomas

Rank: Corporal

Age:21

No.PO/X 117135

Unit

Missing since: 01-11-1944

Next of Kin:Son of Thomas and Florence Steventon, of Wednesbury, Staffordshire.

 

Portsmouth memorial Panel: 87-1

 

KIA Information: Known to have been killed in Vlissingen/Walcheren area.

 

An unknown Royal Marine Corporal, is buried at Bergen op Zoom War Cemetery Grave 6.D.4 

Name: McArthur, James

Rank: Marine

Age:21

No.CH/X 107114

Unit: S Troop

Missing since: 01-11-1944

Next of Kin:Son of William and Isabelle McArthur of Oatlands, Glasgow.

 

Chatham memorial Panel: 79-2

 

KIA Information: Known to have been killed in Vlissingen/Walcheren area.