RN Beach Head Commandos (P, L and S units)

Discussion in 'Commandos & Royal Marines' started by Martin Halliday, Mar 3, 2023.

  1. Martin Halliday

    Martin Halliday New Member

    I am undertaking research on the RN Beach Head Commandos that were based (briefly) in Hythe (Southampton Water), Hampshire before embarking for Juno Beach as part of Operation Neptune. There is a memorial to these brave men in a shore front park in my village of Hythe, Hants (photo attached).
    My research so far indicates that in the week before D Day, P unit marched from HMS Mastodon (Exbury, Hants) to Hythe before embarkation. They formed part of J1 assault (7th Canadian Brigade) for MIKE beach sector at Juno, suffering casualties and eventually relieved by W (Canadian) RN Beach Head Commandos for rest and regrouping prior to returning to MIKE. Also at Juno were L RN Beach Head Commandos (NAN White beach section) and S RN Beach Head Commandos (NAN Red beach section) as part of the 8th Canadian Brigade assault.
    Does anyone have an information that will help my research into P, L & S RN Beach Head Commandos in terms of where they were based immediately prior to D Day and the Juno assaults.
    Each year, residents of Hythe invited RN Beach Head Commando veterans back to Hythe until 2003 when the veterans association was disbanded and the village of Hythe was presented with a commemorative plaque by the veterans association which remains proudly displayed in the Hythe Community Centre (photo attached)
    Thanks for any information that will help my research.

    Attached Files:

    Rothy likes this.
  2. Welcome to the forum Martin!

    A minor correction first: the actual designation was Royal Naval Beach Commando (wtihout the "Head").

    A few links on RN Beach Commandos:

    Loads of info including (when you follow the links at the beginning of each Unit in the Unit History Records pages) archival records with a short summary and personnel rolls (I attach those for RNBCs Love, Peter & Sugar) here:
    Royal Naval Beach Commandos 1942-45

    Not quite your question, but an interesting read still is the book by EG Finley on RCN Beach Commando W:
    Part 1 'The Chronicles':
    Part 2 - 'The Portholes':
    Complete book :

    I also attach the Combined Operations Pamphlet No.17 - RN Beach Commandos dated April, 1943 which describes in detail their organisation and role, and also a Nominal Roll of RNBC members compiled from commandoveterans.org.


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 3, 2023
    Charley Fortnum and dbf like this.
  3. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Thank you for that 'information dump', Michel!

    It helps with some of the digging I was doing into my great uncle's time with the RN Beach Commandos:

    William Alfred POWELL: Navy Special Operations [Greece & Malta]

    That final pamphlet, No. 17, is a very good find.
  4. Martin Halliday

    Martin Halliday New Member

    Thank you so very much Michel. The information and documents are invaluable. Thank you once again, very much appreciated. Regards Martin

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