Service record query and D Day landings

Discussion in 'Commandos & Royal Marines' started by Pikey, Nov 24, 2022.

  1. Pikey

    Pikey Member

    Hi I wonder if anyone can help a newbie please? I'm trying to understand this service record and I think I am right in believing that the initial assignment was to A company as a marine and that at this stage commando training had not been completed? I can't make out the first 2 words/names in the left hand column (June 43 - Aug 43). The next is COPRA with promotion to corporal which covers the Normandy landing period (which I know was Sword Beach), hence next question as a Marine on Sword Beach is there any way of finding out which landing craft and what unit/force the attachment would have been? Many thanks for any assistance.
    Son of LAC likes this.
  2. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron


    Welcome aboard. It would help others to help you if you provided: full name, DoB, service number, assigned formation and the obvious one there is no image attached. DM in a moment with tips.
  3. Rothy

    Rothy Well-Known Member

    Hi Pikey and welcome,

    I think the first entry "Ports. Divn." is Portsmouth Division.

    The second is "Quebec", presumably the Naval Base H.M.S. "Quebec". The navy base, HMS Quebec, was part of the No 1 Combined Training Centre at Inveraray. The Centre's prime purpose was to train army and navy service personnel in the use of minor landing craft for landing assault troops, supplies, ammunition and weaponry onto heavily defended enemy occupied beaches, with RAF support as required. See: No 1 Combined Training Centre, Inveraray - HMS Quebec

    From the above web site, regarding COPRA: HMS Copra was a Royal Navy shore base for the maintenance of personnel records and the calculation of pay and allowances for RN personnel attached to Combined Operations. COPRA stands for Combined Operations Pay Records & Accounts. See: HMS COPRA- Combined Operations Pay Records & Accounts Your Marine wouldn't have necessarily been based at COPRA, rather that the book keeping associated with his pay and records was undertaken there.

    Son of LAC and 4jonboy like this.
  4. Pikey

    Pikey Member

    Thank you, odd that you don't see the image as it is all I can see aside from my text! I'll try to attach and follow your other suggestions. Thanks again
  5. Pikey

    Pikey Member

    Many thanks that is great. Quebec makes perfect sense as this would lead on to the D-Day landings. I have a note of an LCF, but I fear that this may be a red herring as I am not sure LCFs had Royal Marines on board. I see your point about COPRA and assume this must have been a catch all as he was definitely not based there I know for certain that he departed from Warsash on June 3rd and like many was held on board for the night due to the weather before proceeding to Normandy. After landing at Sword he then continued on as part of the assault to retake Caen.
  6. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    If you are referring to Landing Craft Flak, the guns were manned by Royal Marines?
  7. Pikey

    Pikey Member

    Hi thanks, so it could be the case then - that's really helpful thank you.
  8. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    He doesn't appear to have trained as a Royal Marine Commando.
    As Rothy explained in # post 2, COPRA (Combined Operations Pay Records & Accounts)

    HMS Copra, was never anything other than a shore base. I have the names of many men recorded lost from HMS Copra because, sadly, the landing craft they were serving on at the time of their deaths, was not recorded. The use of HMS Copra on grave stones, in pay books and other service records confirms that the men concerned were in the Royal Navy and assigned to Combined Operations including crew members on landing craft. I have the names of all the craft and ships assigned on D-Day and nowhere is HMS Copra recorded as a vessel.

    Good luck with your research
    Son of LAC likes this.
  9. Pikey

    Pikey Member

    Thank you yes this makes perfect sense, I didn't think COPRA was a vessel and I'm 100% certain that he went from training in Scotland (aged 18+) to Normandy, probably via several unknown points! He was age 20 at D-day and I also know that later on in the mid 1950's he was assigned to 42 commando and then 45 commando, so my assumption is that he was a marine in the 40's and then undertook commando training in the 50's. Being the youngest he was stationed at the front of his landing craft and told to keep a look out for the depth as they went in to Sword Beach, but I don't know for certain what landing craft or when this would have been - but I guess this will always remain a mystery?
  10. Son of LAC

    Son of LAC Active Member

    I couldn't see the image either, but when I switched to Chrome rather than Firefox, it was there. Odd.
    davidbfpo likes this.
  11. Richard Lewis

    Richard Lewis Member

    Same with me. Try right clicking (IMG) and "Open image in new tab". Looks as if the image is from Facebook and Firefox is set to prevent tracking from sites such as Facebook, Twitter etc.
    Hope that helps.
    Son of LAC and davidbfpo like this.

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