New member researching CH/X101311 Leonard CHORLEY, RM service and boxing record

Discussion in 'Commandos & Royal Marines' started by G7PXA, Jan 27, 2023.

  1. G7PXA

    G7PXA Member

    Hi All,
    I am researching my Uncle Lenoard Chorley who was a Royal Marine Welterweight boxer who not only represented the RMs but also the Royal Navy and was a undisputed champion. He was in the 8th Battalion, 103rd Brigade, he went to the Middle East, Eqypt and Sicily, France, Belgium and Holland. His service number is CH/X101311 and enlisted on 24/9/1940 I believe he was in Plaistow London at the time of enlistment. I have received his service record but there does not appear to be any details regarding overseas.
    Thank you for your help

    Attached Files:

    Chris C likes this.
  2. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

  3. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Hello and welcome to the forum.

  4. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target All life is precious

    Welcome and thanks for posting

    Not familiar with RN terminology but last but one page, bottom entry states "Embarked from Sicily" 27.9 but cant read the year.
    How he got there and back is to me, a mystery.
    The dates are bracketed but the stamp to the right is unreadable.

    Needs to be seen by a Royal Navy Expert.

    Good luck in your endeavours.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2023
  5. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Hello and welcome you probably need more of a unit expert for Royal Marines but I can offer the following.

    He appears to have been attached to Naval Party 1500 (NP 1500) and NP 1732 in 1944/45.
    See Naval Party, Royal Navy, 1942-1991 by Ben Warlow
    MNBDO2 - Mobile Naval Base Defence Organisation. This unit disbanded to reallocate manpower to RM Commandos and landing craft in mid-1944 for Normandy.
    HMS ODYSSEY was the Royal Navy accounting base for Naval Parties amongst other things.
    timuk likes this.
  6. G7PXA

    G7PXA Member

    Thank you all. Should I re-post this thread in another area as this is for new members to say hello?
  7. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    No need, I've already moved it for you :)
    Hugh MacLean likes this.
  8. G7PXA

    G7PXA Member

    Thank you dbf I appreciate this. I have written to the MOD again asking for copies of his victualling and pay records as I do not appear to have these. Is there anywhere else I can look for information regarding my uncles time in the Marines as I am really struggling.
  9. Rothy

    Rothy Well-Known Member

    Hello Hayley,

    Thank you for sharing your uncle’s service record. I’ve done a quick review of the record and my notes follow. These might be improved with a further, closer study, but for now here is what seems to have happened.

    Marine Leonard Chorley was a Royal Marines Signaller.

    He enlisted on 24th September 1940 and was posted to the Royal Marines Reserve Depot, Exton in Devon. During the winter of 1940, the 7th and 8th R.M. Battalions, intended for the 103rd R.M. Brigade, began forming at Exton with recruits at the Reserve Depot. At the end of December 1940 (?), many men from thee two battalions were posted to make up the establishments of M.N.B.D.O. I and II.

    On 18th December 1940, Marine Chorley was transferred to Chatham Division where he appears to have trained as a Signaller. He also appears to have been attached for a short time (April/May 1941) to the 2nd Coast Defence Brigade, R.M. – the coast artillery defence unit of the 2nd R.M. Group, M.N.B.D.O. II.

    On 1st April 1941 he was posted to one of two R.M. Signal Companies serving as part of the 2nd Royal Marines Group, Mobile Naval Base Defence Organisation II (M.N.B.D.O. II). As a member of one of these Signals Companies, he served as acting/temporary Corporal in charge of a (signals) line party between 13th October 1942 and 11th March 1944. The M.N.B.D.O. II remained in the United Kingdom until early 1943 when it embarked for overseas service.

    The M.N.B.D.O. II arrived in Egypt in April(?) 1943. Under the plans made for the invasion of Sicily, known as Operation ‘Husky’, the M.N.B.D.O. II was allotted to the anti-aircraft, coast and ground defence and internal security of Augusta port. In this role, the formation came under the command of the Eight Army. In addition, Marine coast defence gunners were tasked with manning capture Italian guns at Syracuse. Elements of the M.N.B.D.O. II began landing on Sicily on 9th July 1943. The balance of the M.N.B.D.O. II landed in the days which followed. Orders were received in December 1943 for the return to the United Kingdom. The Marines left Sicily in January 1944 and arrived home in February. The Headquarters, 2nd R.M. Group, was disbanded in May 1944 and all but those of the anti-aircraft regiments forming 5th R.M. A.A. Regiment, were sent to North Wales for selection as landing craft crews, commandos and other roles.

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  10. G7PXA

    G7PXA Member

    Thank you so much Steve for your time in making this easier to understand. I knew he served in Egypt, Middle East and Sicily. He prepared for D Day landings but not sure if he took part and I know he went to Germany, France and Holland. He was the Marine Boxing Champion and I have not been able to find any information regarding this and the bouts that he took part in, which I understand he won most of them.

    Would you know if there was any way to find out about his boxing? I am doing a talk on Wednesday evening to my local family history group regarding military records. Would you object to me using your material and sourcing it to you?
  11. Rothy

    Rothy Well-Known Member

    A little further on into the service record....

    Marine Chorley later served in Northwest Europe, first in France with Naval Party 1500 until 5th October 1944 and then in the Netherlands and Belgium with Naval Party 1732. The former NP appears to have served on the Mulberry Harbour known as Mulberry ‘B’ – Port Winston. Mulberry "B" (British) was the harbour assembled on Gold Beach at Arromanches for use by the British and Canadian invasion forces. The harbour was decommissioned six months after D-Day as Allied forces were able to use the recently captured port of Antwerp to offload troops and supplies. NP 1732 served at Rotterdam and in the Brussels area.
  12. Rothy

    Rothy Well-Known Member


    It might be worth contacting the RM Museum for any further information.

    Please use the information as you see fit - it is all in the public domain. Much of the information came from James Ladd's book "The Royal Marines, 1919-1980". The details for the Naval Parties came from:
    NAVAL PARTIES of the ROYAL NAVY, 1942-1991, compiled by Lt Cdr Ben Warlow, RN (Rtd), October 1995 as recommended by Hugh MacLean above.

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  13. G7PXA

    G7PXA Member

    Thank you for this Steve it is most helpful.
    I thought the museum had closed down as when searching I have not been able to find anything recent. The last article I found was a YouTube video requesting support for a new museum building. I will try again.

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