41 Commando (RM)

Discussion in 'Commandos & Royal Marines' started by Mark Hibberd, Aug 19, 2018.

  1. Mark Hibberd

    Mark Hibberd New Member


    I am trying to find any info on Fredrick Covell, 41 Commando, Fred is my wife Natasha's grandad and died quite a few years ago now. Our boys have been doing what there family did during the second world war.

    Nat's knows Fred was in 41 Commando and believes he fought in Italy and Normandy. Fred never talked about the war so any details would be gratefully received.

    ritsonvaljos likes this.
  2. Historic Steve

    Historic Steve Researching 21 Army Group/BAOR post VE day

    Can only help post VE Day 8 May 45
    41st Commando Battalion Royal Marines under command 4th Commando Brigade Royal Marines
    Battalion Headquarters: unknown in Holland
    30 May 45 – Borken east of Bocholt Germany for train guard duties
    6 Jul 45 – Recklinghausen north-west of Dortmund now under command 9th Infantry Brigade of 3rd Infantry Division employed as Internment Camp guards
    8 Jul 45 – Warburg south-east of Paderborn
    8 Sep 45 – Recklinghausen north-west of Dortmund
    26 Nov 45 – to United Kingdom

    Hope this helps
    ozzy16 likes this.
  3. Mark Hibberd

    Mark Hibberd New Member

    Thanks Historic Steve

    A great start to piercing together Fred's WW2 journey.
  4. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    As family you should be able to apply for Frederick's service record from the M.O.D. There is a fee but it will tell you every detail you want to know (and more) about his wartime service. Definitely worth obtaining and it would stop any guessing about where he was and what he might have done.
  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  6. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    41 Cdo RM were part of Layforce during the Salerno landings of 9 Sep 43. The other unit was 2 Army Cdo.

    Their task at Salerno was to secure the La Molina Pass and prevent the Germans from bringing soldiers down from Naples to interfere with the landings. It was supposed to be a 24 hour job but it lasted nearly a week.

    They were led by an extraordinary chap called Churchill. He and his men did some brilliant things at Piegolelle and have a hill named after them.

    Read the book by Hugh Pond.


    canuck likes this.
  7. Mark Hibberd

    Mark Hibberd New Member

    Thanks for the advice will look into the book.
  8. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member


    Also look for ‘They did what was asked of them’ which covers the whole of 41 RM Commando’s war. It’s by Raymond Mitchell who served with them during WW2 and has also written a memoir called ‘Royal Marine Commando’ which is good for Sicily and Salerno.

    They took part in invasions of Sicily in July 43, Italy in September 43 before returning to UK to take part in invasion of Normandy. Then up through France and Belgium before amphibious attack on Walcheren to open up Antwerp before ending the war in Germany.

    One difficulty with research is that the unit’s war diary for 1943 has disappeared. Good news, however, is that the war diary for 1944 is at Kew.


    No.4CommandoBairn likes this.
  9. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member


    I think Churchill commanded 2 Commando, rather than 41 RM Commando. You are right though they certainly all ‘did some brilliant things’!


    No.4CommandoBairn likes this.
  10. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    If you get really stuck, I know the family of an old 41 RM. I can always get in touch and see if they'd be interested in responding to an inquiry, though I don't know how much their father told them or left behind at his death.
  11. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    I think that you are right. He commanded 2 Army Cdo.


    No.4CommandoBairn likes this.
  12. Keith McIntosh

    Keith McIntosh New Member

    Hi Mark

    I went for a few pints every week for 25 years with Fred. I often asked questions about his service and operations, but he never talked about them

    There was only one occasion when he said that they were making a landing at Salerno at night and had to dig in overnight for a dawn raid. He said that the orders were for total silence and during the night the trenches they had dug were overrun by rats. Normally rats were not an issue as they would have killed them but if they are not killed on the first strike they squeal. They had to endure these creatures crawling over them all night.

    Let me know how you get on. We are applying for Fred's service medals as Doris did not.

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