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The Royal Marines a Geo History 1664 - Present

Dits - A monthly History Blog by Simon Biggs

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Royal Marines

Come and see over 354 years of History Mapped out with 450 pins and growing! RM a Geo History

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The Battle at the Canal du Nord - Royal Marines in Action

Sep 27, 2019 07:22 am

27 September-1 October 1918: Battle of the Canal du Nord (Third phase of Hindenburg Line Battle), Royal Marines Light Infantry and the Royal Marines Artillery
After a few weeks break for training and reinforcement, the 63rd Division took part in the Battle of the Canal du Nord on the 27th September, crossing the Canal du Nord opposite Moeuvres and then pushing forward through Anneux and Graincourt, and then over the Canal d’Escaut into the southern outskirts of Cambrai.
The Divisional history comments:
In four days the Naval Division had advanced, fighting almost the whole way, for a distance of over seven miles, and had carried four successive prepared positions, the last held by the enemy in front of Cambrai and each one resolutely defended.
Considering the magnitude of the operation, the importance of the results obtained and the vigorous character of the enemy resistance, it would not be wrong to regard this engagement as one of the most successful ever fought by the Division.
Friday 27 September 1918
Capture of ANNEUX by the 3rd Division supported by numbers 1, 3 and 8 RMA Howitzers. 61 Royal Marines killed
Saturday 28th September 1918
The number 1 RMA Siege Battery brought in to support the 63rd Division with a rail mounted 9.2 inch gun. 25 Royal Marines killed
Saturday 28th - 29th September 1918
The Bridging of Canal de L'Escaut on the Western Front involved the 63rd Royal Naval Division
Sunday 29th September 1918
The Seizing of a Crossing of the Escaul on the Western Front involved the Drake and Hawke Battalions.
Sunday 29th September - 2nd October 1918
The Battle of St Quentin Canal on the Western Front involved No 1 RMA Siege Battery and No's 5, 6 and 12 RMA Howitzers
Sunday 29th - 30th September
The attacks on Cambrai on the Western Front involved 188 and 190 Brigades.
29th September
A further 15 Royal Marines killed
30th September
A further 22 Royal Marines killed
Tuesday 1st October 1918
The attack on strong point at Cambrai on the Western Front involved D Company 1/RMLI.
Casualties listed from:
RND, 1st RM Battalion
RMA, Howitzer Brigade
RND, 63rd Divisional Train RND, Anson Battalion, attached 1st RM Battalion
RND, Hood Battalion, attached 1st RM Battalion
RND, 63rd Machine Gun Battalion
RND, 149th RN Field Ambulance, RM Medical Unit
RND, 150th RN Field Ambulance, RM Medical Unit
The Battle
The Battle of Canal du Nord was part of the Hundred Days Offensive of the First World War by the Allies against German positions on the Western Front. The battle took place in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France, along an incomplete portion of the Canal du Nord and on the outskirts of Cambrai between 27 September and 1 October 1918.
To prevent the Germans from sending reinforcements against one attack, the assault along the Canal du Nord was part of a sequence of Allied attacks at along the Western Front. The attack began the day after the Meuse-Argonne Offensive commenced, a day before an offensive in Belgian Flanders and two days before the Battle of St. Quentin Canal.
The attack took place along the boundary between the British First Army and Third Army, which were to continue the advance started with the Battle of the Drocourt-Quéant Line, Battle of Havrincourt and Battle of Epehy.
The First Army was to lead the crossing of the Canal du Nord and secure the northern flank of the British Third Army as both armies advanced towards Cambrai. The Third Army was also to capture the Escaut (Scheldt) Canal, to support the Fourth Army during the Battle of St. Quentin Canal.

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Flight Lieutenant Charles Herbert Collet DSO - RM Airmen

Sep 23, 2019 10:14 am

Flight Lieutenant Charles Herbert Collet DSO (4 February 1888 – 19 August 1915) who led the first British air raid of the war was a British naval airman during the First World War, regarded as one of the best naval airmen of his day
Charles Collet was born in India, the son of an engineer James Francis Herbert Collet and his wife Teresa Collet (née Pilley). For a time the family lived on Guernsey. At the time of his death, Charles Collet's parents lived in Woodleigh, West End, Southampton.
He was educated at Dulwich College.
Collet was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Royal Marine Artillery on 1 September 1905, and was promoted to lieutenant on 1 July 1906. On 21 October 1913 Collet was awarded Aviators' Certificate No. 666 after flying an Avro biplane at the Central Flying School at Upavon.
At the outbreak of the war on 4 August 1914, Collet was based at RNAS Eastchurch. On 10 August he took part in the Daily Mail–sponsored "Circuit of Britain" race, which was not cancelled despite the declaration of war. He flew a German-built DFW Mars (No. 154), which the RNAS had bought in 1913, and refitted with a Beardmore 120 hp engine. Unfortunately mechanical problems forced him to make an emergency landing at Scarborough racecourse, where he was promptly arrested and questioned. After repairs where made, Collet completed the race, coming second.
Collet's unit, under the command of Wing Commander Charles Rumney Samson, initially flew patrols along the North Sea coast, but on 27 August 1914 was moved to France. Renamed No. 3 Squadron RNAS, they were based at Saint-Pol-sur-Mer near Dunkirk, and operated a variety of aircraft and some improvised armoured cars.
The Düsseldorf Raid
On 22 September 1914 Collet, flying a Sopwith Tractor Biplane, led a raid by four aircraft, which flew two hundred miles to attack the Zeppelin sheds at Düsseldorf and Cologne, in the first British air raid of the war. Thick mist in the Rhine Valley meant that only Collet found his target, and he accurately dropped two 20-pound (9 kg) bombs from 400 feet (120 m) on the shed at Düsseldorf, although the bombs failed to explode. Despite being hit by enemy fire, he returned safely, as did the other three aircraft; they had spent more than an hour flying over Cologne attempting to find their target, but after failing to do so they returned to base without dropping their bombs.
Collet's feat was described thusly:
Flight Lieutenant Collet approached the Zeppelin shed at Düsseldorf at an altitude of 6,000 ft (1,800 m). There was a bank of mist below, which he encountered at 1,500 ft (460 m). He traversed the depth of this layer and emerged there from at a height of only 400 ft (120 m) above the ground. His objective was barely a quarter of a mile ahead. Travelling at high speed he launched his bombs with what proved to be deadly precision, and disappeared into cover almost before the enemy had grasped his intentions.
Collet was subsequently awarded the Distinguished Service Order on 21 October 1914.
On 23 February 1915 he was granted the temporary rank of captain whilst serving as a flight commander, and was promoted to the rank of flight lieutenant the following day
He was also twice mentioned in despatches.
In March 1915 his unit was moved from France to the island of Tenedos to take part in the Gallipoli campaign, were they flew reconnaissance and bombing missions over the Turkish positions. On 22 June Collet was flying a Voisin aircraft, with Major R.E.T. Hogg as observer, when he intercepted a German aircraft near Achi Baba. Hogg shot at it with a rifle, hitting it in the engine, and forcing it down.
On 19 August 1915, Collet took off from an airfield on Imbros, and had reached a height of 150–185 ft (46–56 m) when his engine failed. Collet turned to attempt a landing, but in the strong winds from the nearby cliffs he lost control, and his aircraft fell vertically to the ground, bursting into flames. His passenger, Chief Petty Officer Michael Sullivan Keogh of HMS Ark Royal, broke his thigh in the crash, but nevertheless dragged Collet from the wreckage, receiving severe burns. However, Collet was fatally injured and died 30 minutes later. Keogh was awarded the Albert Medal (2nd Class) for his attempt save Collet's life.
Collet is buried at the Lancashire Landing Cemetery in Turkey alongside 83 other Royal Marines.

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Deal Bombing 22nd September 1989, 11 killed, 21 injured #RoyalMarines

Sep 22, 2019 09:56 am

The Deal barracks bombing was an attack by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) on the Royal Marine Depot, Deal, England.
It took place at 8:22 am on 22 September 1989, when the IRA exploded a time bomb at the Royal Marines School of Music building.
The building collapsed, killing 11 marines from the Royal Marines Band Service and wounding another 21.
BALL Michael Francis Patrick Musician :
CLEATHEROE John Andrew Musician Band Corporal:
DAVIS Trevor James Edward Band Corporal:
FICE Richard George Musician:
JONES Richard Mark Musician:
McMILLAN David B/Cpl Royal Marines: NOLAN Christopher Robert Musician:
PAVEY Dean Patrick Band Corporal:
PETCH Mark Timothy Musician :
REEVES Timothy John Musician:
SIMMONDS Robert Leslie Musician
More here Wikipedia

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Hell Ship Toyofuku Maru/ Hofuku Maru #RoyalMarines

Sep 21, 2019 09:41 am

On 20 September 1944, the Toyofuku Maru/ Hofuku Maru left Manila as part of convoy MATA-27. Of the eleven ships in the convoy she was the largest and the only one carrying prisoners. Fast Carrier Task Force TF 38 commanded by Rear Admiral Marc Mitscher was the main strike force of the United States Navy.
Spotter planes from one of her carriers came across the Toyofuku Maru convoy on the morning of 21 September and a full scale attack was soon launched. At about 10.30 a.m. she received direct hits from two ariel torpedoes and three bombs.
She split in two and sank within five minutes. 1,047 prisoners were drowned, trapped below decks.
2 Royal Marines were killed.
BENSON, James A, Marine, PLY/X 100147, (Sultan):
DAVENPORT, Jack, Marine, PLY/X 100127, (Sultan),

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Annexation of Rockall

Sep 18, 2019 08:20 am

18th September 1955 Rockall was annexed by the British Crown when Lieutenant-Commander Desmond Scott RN, Sergeant Brian Peel RM, Corporal AA Fraser RM, and James Fisher (a civilian naturalist and former Royal Marine), were winched by a helicopter onto the island by a Royal Navy helicopter from HMS Vidal (The annexation of Rockall was announced by the Admiralty on 21 September 1955.
Queen Elizabeth authorised the annexation on 14 September.
Her orders stated: "On arrival at Rockall you will effect a landing and hoist the Union flag on whatever spot appears most suitable or practicable and you will then take possession of the island on our behalf."
The expedition team cemented in a brass plaque on Hall's Ledge and hoisted the Union Flag to stake the UK's claim. The inscription on the plaque read:
[Signed] R H Connell, CAPTAIN, H.M.S. VIDAL, 18 SEPTEMBER 1955
It was the final territorial expansion of the British empire.
Survey ship HMS Vidal reached the rock on 15 September equipped with a helicopter for ferrying the men to the island, but high winds prevented them from landing for three days.
Lieutenant Commander Scott told the BBC the whole operation had gone without a hitch, but said the large helicopter had made the pilot's job difficult.
"The landing space on our flight deck is only 33 ft [10m] square and the rotor blades of the helicopter sweep an arc of 49 ft [15m] so he has to be very, very careful," he said.
"Despite all this there were no snags. The one landing he made he bounced and stuck - much to our relief."
The first person to set foot on Rockall since the British Navy landed in 1862 was Royal Marine Sergeant Brian Peel, an experienced rock climber.
Sergeant Peel climbed down to the waterline to collect seaweed and other specimens for naturalist James Fischer. The marine said the descent had been straightforward, but admitted he had misjudged the heavy Atlantic swell.
"I did not get up the rock in time and a wave went right over the top of me," he said.
"I had to grab a handful of seaweed, ram it in my mouth and get up the rock as fast as possible."

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