View this email in your browser

Breakfast at Babs

A Blog by Simon 'Peters' Biggs

Extracted from:
Breakfast Chatter & History

Come and see our History Mapped out!
The Royal Marines a Geo History 1664 - Present


Look out for a new book on the History of the Royal Marines coming in Autumn 2019

Royal Marines Search for Survivors of the Lakonia Disaster 1963

Dec 22, 2018 09:31 am

Royal Marines Bandsman from HMS Centaur search for survivors from the Lakonia Disater which caught fire and sank north of Madeira on 22 December 1963, with the loss of 128 lives.
TSMS Lakonia was a Greek cruise ship 609 feet in length and 20,300 tons. She had sailed from Southampton on the 19th December bound for Madeira, the first stop in a cruise round the Canary Islands carrying 1022 on board, 646 passengers, all but 21 British, and 376 mainly Greek and German crew members. Smoke was first seen coming from the hairdressing salon and fire spread with ever increasing speed although passengers were unaware that the quietly-ringing bells heard for just a short time were trying to warn of the horrors to come. It was still dark as Centaur arrived at the scene at "dead slow", making just enough headway to keep her bow into the stream. As the sky began to lighten on that Christmas Eve, evidence of the shambolic evacuation of a ship in trouble was spotted in the heavy swell as the first body was seen in it's brightly-coloured lifejacket.
It was decided to launch the first of Centaur's cutters to search for survivors crewed by a junior officer as skipper, a stoker/engineer, a coxswain and two medics.......i.e. Royal Marine Bandsmen! These were Musn Richard "Bagsy" Baker, euphonium and cello and BR "Willi" Watson, horn player, Neptune House pals as boys with Baker the elder by just a few months. They were "2nd Watch" that day and, grabbing their "medical" kit, they embarked on the pitching cutter and set out into the heavy Atlantic swell.
The first body found and pulled aboard the cutter surprised the two bandies by how heavy it was. Full of sea-water it took a great deal of strength to haul it over the gunwale and as they succeeded they heard a loud groan coming from the victim, raising their hopes that there could be life there. It soon became apparent that movement and weight exerted pressure that forced air past the dead person's vocal chords... and they were to hear this dismal sound many times during the day.

Read in browser »

Battle of the River Plate 13th December 1939 - Royal Marines HMS Exeter B Turret - HMS Ajax X Turret

Dec 13, 2018 06:41 am

During the Battle of the River Plate 15 Marines lost their lives mostly manning turrets, HMS Exeter 10 Marines killed, HMS Ajax 5 Marines killed.
Historical background
Since the war started, a German battleship, the Graf Spee, had been roaming the South Atlantic sinking unarmed British merchant ships. She was being hunted by several British hunting groups, and was found by the three British cruisers, Exeter, Ajax, and Achilles on 13th December 1939, and then began the Battle of the River Plate. The main armament of the Exeter was six 8inch guns, and that of the Ajax and Achilles was eight 6inch guns. The Graf Spee had six 11inch guns and eight 6inch guns.
Personal story
HMS Exeter
On the morning of 13 Dec 1939 I was keeping the morning watch in the after control position. My particular job was to keep the lookouts awake and doing their job. It is all too easy to go to sleep sitting on a comfortable seat and leaning against a bracket holding a powerful set of Admiralty binoculars. I was a junior lieutenant in the Royal Marines and was second in command of the Royal Marine Detachment. Humphrey Woods was the Captain of Marines and at action stations he was in charge of B turret manned by the R.M. Detachment. Most cruisers had four turrets A,B,X and Y and the Marines manned X turret.
However as Exeter only had three turrets A,B and Y, The Marines manned B turret. I had tried to get charge of the turret myself a few weeks earlier as it would be more interesting than chasing lookouts. But Captain Woods was not having any of it and I had to remain with my lookouts.
At about 0600 the Graf Spee was sighted well down on the horizon and the bugler sounded Action Stations over the tannoy. I well remember my heart went well down into my boots as everyone was hurrying to his position. Very soon two great clouds of fire and smoke burst from the enemy as he fired his first broadside and about a minute later a line of shells landed in the sea about 300 yards short. Our course was set to get within range of the enemy and return fire. The next enemy broadside was correct for range but fell about 300 yards astern. Thereafter we were receiving our punishment but managed to get within gun range of the Graf Spee and scored several hits.
A and B turrets, HMS Exeter
B turret was hit by an 11 inch shell between the guns after firing about 5 broadsides and everyone in front of the breeches were killed including Capt Woods. Splinters from this shell killed several people on the bridge and cut all communications so Captain Bell (The ship's Captain) came aft to fight the ship from the after control Position. Very soon both A and Y turrets were put out of action because their electrical supplies were cut off, so Captain Bell said within my hearing " I'm going to ram the --------. It will be the end of us but it will sink him too". So off we set. Fortunately the electricians managed to get Y turret working again so we turned away and carried on firing with Y turret. Normal steering of the ship was not possible due to damage so we organised a chain of seamen to pass steering orders down to the after steering position. Lookouts were no longer required so I went to look at B turret. There was some burning debris on top of one gun loading tray and immediately under it a naked charge ready for loading into the gun. Looked a nasty situation so I removed the charge by chucking it overboard and put out the fire.
I remember Marine Russel with his forearm shot away. He was walking around rallying some leaderless seamen and putting them to useful work. When we got back to Stanley in the Falkland Islands Mne Russel was taken into the hospital and appeared to be making a good recovery. However he needed a minor operation to improve his forearm stump and he died under the anaesthetic. He was buried with full military honours in Stanley on the very day the ship left for UK. While we were getting our punishment Commodore Harwood in the Ajax and the Achilles were scoring hits on the Graf Spee from the disengaged side. It was clear that the Graf Spee was trying to get into Montevideo so Commodore Harwood signalled us to report the state of the ship and then ordered us to go back to Stanley in the Falkland Islands. Ajax and Achilles followed the Graf Spee until she was interned in Montevideo and waited outside for reinforcements in case she tried to get away. That evening we buried about 50 of the ships company at sea. On 17th December, the Graf Spee sailed out of Montevideo and scuttled herself, thus saving many lives.
Admiral Graf Spee scuttled and ablaze off Montevideo

Read in browser »

41 Commando - Chosin Reservoir Korea November/ December 1950 - Task Force Drysdale #RoyalMarines

Dec 12, 2018 10:05 am

'As Commanding General of the First Marine Division, I desire to take this opportunity to acknowledge the high qualities of leadership, heroism, devotion to duty, and self-sacrifice displayed by officers and men of the 41 Independent Commando of the Royal Marines while serving with this division in North Korea.
I am familiar with the long and glorious history of the Royal Marines. This history records many outstanding feats of heroism, devotion to duty, and self-sacrifice by units and individuals alike. The performance of the 41 Commandos during the drive from Koto-ri to Hagaru-ri, during the defense of Hagaru-ri, and during the advance from Hagaru-ri to the south will, in the perspective of history, take equal rank with the past exploits of the Royal Marines.
I can give you no higher compliment than to state that your conduct and that of your officers and men under your command was worthy of the highest traditions of Marines.'
General O.P. Smith to Lt.Col. Drysdale
Extracted for an article by Ernest P Bond Jr, US Marine Corps Gazette
After conducting various raiding operations up and down the Korean coast 41 Commando under Lt.Col. Drysdale were shipped via sea transport to the port of Hungnam in North Korea to serve with the US First Marine Division. as an additional reconnaissance unit.
Their mission was to locate and destroy enemy forces on the left flank ranging as far as 23 miles west of Koto-ri. It was hoped that the British unit and the Division Reconnaissance Company might flush out the Communist troops beyond the reach of routine infantry patrols.
41 Independent Commando, a small complement of about 200 plus, were based a few miles inland at Hamhung where they remained for several days for fresh supplies, equipment and cold weather clothing. Like many others, 41 Independent Commando joined in the "I'll be home for Christmas" euphoria, and waited. They were ready to go, but vehicles to transport them to Koto-ri evidently were not ready. When days passed and still the vehicles did not appear, it became necessary for the Divisional Service Units to provide the transportation.
The situation was getting more critical by the day. The Communist Chinese forces were furiously pressing their attack at Hagaru-ri and Yudamni. There was only one Marine infantry battalion at Hagaru-ri and it was becoming increasingly more difficult to hold. Reinforcements were an absolute necessity. When 41 Independent Commando finally arrived at Koto-ri, they were greeted with the news that the road to the north was blocked.
Task Force Drysdale was quickly organized to clear the road between Koto-ri and to reinforce Hagaru-ri. It was comprised of about 900 men and was made up of 41 Commando; George Company [G/3/1 USMC], under the command of Carl Sitter; and Baker Company [B/1/31st INF USA], under the command of Charles L. Peckham, which was en route to join Task Force MacLean east of the Chosin Reservoir. Lt.Col. Drysdale said, "Lads, it will not be a walk in the sun-Semper Fi."
On November 29, on a cold, snowy morning, with the temperature hovering near zero, the Task Force set off from Koto-ri to Hagaru-ri on one of the most astonishing rescue operations in military history. Since close air support was delayed because of poor visibility, it was not until 9:00 AM before they could get underway. The plan was that 41 Commando would take the first hill to the east of the road; George Company would take the second hill; and Baker Company would remain on the road to parallel the progress of the two units as they secured the high ground. It was not long before they came to realize that there were huge numbers of Communist troops ahead, attacking in all different directions and destroying everything-and everyone-in their path. The master plan of the enemy had been put into place-to annihilate the First Marine Division. In the words of General Sung Shin-lin, ". . . Kill these Marines as you would snakes in your homes."
The day before, three Communist Chinese divisions hit the 5th and 7th Marines at Yudam-ni. Other elements struck Fox Company holding Toktong Pass. The main supply route was cut in several places. At Hagaru-ri the Marines and soldiers were completely surrounded and there was no place to turn.
The Task Force made up a convoy about 2 miles long and included 100 vehicles and 12 tanks. They leapfrogged their way north with little opposition until suddenly the Communist Chinese opened fire from the right front. Fighting back from exposed positions along the road, they soon came to realize that the enemy was in far greater numbers than they had anticipated. There were Chinese in front of them and in back of them as they pushed on slowly around roadblocks and other obstacles. Halfway to Hagaruri, they reached Hell Fire Valley, a long alpine valley in the middle of a mountainous range with a frozen creek winding through. They were being bombarded everywhere. Three hours passed and they had advanced only two miles. Four hours passed, and still no progress. In desperation, Col. Drysdale called for reinforcements. Early that afternoon, eight tanks arrived.
It was obvious that the hill-by-hill attack was not working. Consequently, it was decided that they should depend on the tanks and close air support to keep the flanks clear while the Task Force pushed through on trucks as rapidly as possible. The column moved out again and was hit immediately by enemy fire. The tanks halted. Casualties were being taken.
Meanwhile, George Company assumed the lead in the column. The tanks pushed on up the road using a by-pass around a destroyed bridge. The column continued northward-first George Company, then 41 Commando, then Baker Company, and finally the transport vehicles. Heavy mortar fire continued, and once again the column had to stop. Casualties continued to mount, and Lt.Col. Drysdale himself was wounded in the fray. Radio communications were knocked out, and it was now starting to get dark.
During daylight hours, American Corsair fighters mercilessly attacked the Chinese. When darkness descended, they were forced to return to their carriers leaving the convoy completely on their own.
Amid a continuous stream of bullets, grenades, and a fire inferno, the column again formed to leapfrog their way through. With the tanks in the lead, George Company could see the lights at the Hagaru-ri airstrip where American engineers were working feverishly. They kept going somehow, even through an ambush that destroyed a number of ammunition trucks. One writer described the scene-". . . the whole area glowed and flamed in the melted snow as though under some astonishing midnight sun." After ten hours and an average of one mile an hour, they reached the Hagaru-ri perimeter where they dug in the frozen earth and continued to fight off the constant Chinese barrages.
41 Commando, the next in line to try to reach Hagaru-ri alive, took a blast when a mortar shell hit an ammunition truck at the end of the Commando column. The blast formed a road-block and 41 Commando was now cut off from Baker Company following behind. The Chinese went in for the kill. Despite severe casualties, the Royal Marines pushed their way through three more roadblocks. About 1:30 in the morning, they dragged themselves into Hagaru-ri. It was a bloody battle, but in the end, about 150 men, including Lt.Col. Drysdale, broke through to Hagaru-ri.
There was mass confusion for Baker Company when the ammunition truck exploded in the rear of the 41 Independent Commando. The explosion forced Baker Company and the long train of vehicles to come to a halt. There was a mad scramble as the troops took up defensive positions. Some officers and NCOs, unable to take control, acted independently and hurriedly set up defensive lines. All in all, it was a terrible ordeal which continued throughout most of the night. Of the three companies, Baker Company was the hardest hit. In the end, one officer and 69 men found their way back to Koto-ri and 140 were missing in action.
General MacArthur, now facing a totally different situation, radioed Washington:
All hope of localization of the Korean conflict to enemy forces composed of North Korean troops with alien token elements can now be completely abandoned. . . . We face an entirely new war ... Our present strength of force is not sufficient to meet this undeclared war by the Chinese.... This command had done everything humanly possible within its capabilities but now is faced with conditions beyond its control and its strength.
General MacArthur was going over to the defensive, and Washington had no choice but to concur.
General O.P. Smith was left with only one option and that was to fight his way out. When he made his famous "Retreat, Hell" decision at Hagaru-ri, 41 Independent Commando was very much a strong presence despite having lost 50 percent of their original number.
The breakout southward from Hagaru-ri began early on the morning of December 6. The 7th Marines was ordered to take the lead, followed by the 5th Marines, with 41 Commando and the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines attached. It was cold and the wind was vicious. The road was jammed with trucks, jeeps and tanks. Destroyed vehicles and trash were everywhere, and there seemed to be nothing but death all around them. It took 38 hours to travel 11 miles. Despite the cold, despite their painful, aching, tired bodies, all they could do was keep walking.
The 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines was the first to arrive at Koto-ri. The Chinese were still attacking the main column from both flanks and they were pouring in everything they had. The Marines retaliated in kind.
The last elements of the First Marine Division arrived in Koto-ri around midnight on December 7-8 and they all had had it. More than 14,000 men were crammed into this small village. Tired, dirty, hungry and cold, all they wanted to do was collapse. But before they knew it, they were receiving orders to resume the attack the next morning through the Funchilin Pass to Chinhung-ni. One Royal Marine said, "Cheer up, lads, we'll get out of this mess." His tone of voice inspired renewed courage and confidence to go on.
The long column continued in a seemingly endless procession only to encounter still another roadblock-a huge chasm where a bridge was supposed to be. The column could climb down one side and up the other side to get to the road ahead, but there was no way they could get their equipment through, plus their dead and wounded. There was nothing to do but rebuild the bridge! It was nothing short of a miracle when the flood of people, vehicles and equipment stretching back to Koto-ri resumed their crossing throughout the night. It was now just a matter of putting one frozen foot ahead of another.
All of the fight was out of the Chinese and the troops were encountering less and less resistance. By 9:00 PM December 11, all units arrived in Hungnam. The armored tanks rolled in at midnight. Hot food, water, showers, warm stoves, and R&R were waiting for them. As soon as the necessary preparations were made, they were moved to the safety of waiting ships. The disastrous Chosin Reservoir campaign was over.
See the pin's here - RM A Geo History

Read in browser »

42 Commando Raid on Limbang - Hostage Rescue - 12th December 1962 #RoyalMarines

Dec 12, 2018 04:32 am

'I assess the most important factor in the success of the operation was first class leadership by junior NCOs. Their section battle craft was a joy to watch and the credit for this belongs to the troop and Section commanders.’
Captain JJ Moore RM (Later Major General Sir John Jeremy Moore KCB, OBE, MC & Bar)
The Limbang raid was a military engagement between British Royal Marine commandos and insurgents of the North Kalimantan National Army (TNKU), on 12 December 1962.
After an amphibious assault on the town of Limbang in Sarawak, Borneo, the commandos managed to rescue the hostages being held there by the TNKU.
On 9 December 1962, as the Brunei Revolt broke out, TNKU militants led by Salleh bin Sambas seized the small town of Limbang. From the police station, they captured several rifles, Sterling submachine guns and one Bren light machine gun. This greatly enhanced their weaponry, as they had only been armed with shotguns. They imprisoned the British resident and his wife, along with 12 others, and announced their intention of hanging them on 12 December.
The Raid
The task of freeing the hostages was given to L Company, 42 Commando, commanded by Captain Jeremy Moore, who were deployed from the commando carrier HMS Albion. To bring the commandos to their target, two cargo lighters were commandeered and crewed by Royal Navy personnel. One of them carried a Vickers machine gun. Moore planned to sail his force up the Limbang river, and then to assault the town directly, so as to avoid giving the rebels time to execute the hostages.
The lighters approached Limbang at dawn on the morning of 12 December. The sound of their engines warned the rebels, and the commandos lost the element of surprise. As they moved into their landing area, they were met by heavy fire from the police station, where Salleh himself was manning the Bren gun. The deck of the lighters offered little protection, and two marines were killed before landing. One craft provided covering fire with the Vickers gun, while the first disembarked its men.
The commandos charged the police station, where they killed ten rebels and captured the Bren gun. Salleh Bin Sambas was injured, but made good his escape. The hostages were discovered in the hospital, where the resident was singing loudly, to avoid being mistaken for a rebel. After all the commandos had landed, they spent the rest of the day clearing Limbang house by house, during which three more marines and two more rebels were killed.
British forces operations continued in the area in the following days, and captured 11 more prisoners. The intelligence they gathered suggested that the TNKU force had been undone by the Limbang battle: the more committed fighters had escaped into the surrounding jungle, while the local conscripts had thrown away their weapons and uniforms.
Their leader, Salleh was subsequently captured by the British Forces six months after the raid. He was found guilty for bearing the arms against the Crown, and was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment at Kuching Central Prison. During the trial, he pleaded guilty on all charges, and requested the judges to release the other prisoner, citing that he was willing to take the fall himself and would head to the gallows. However, none of his requests were granted and his sentence proceeded as planned. He was later released in the 1970s, and now resides in Limbang as a Penghulu (Village Headman) at Kampung Pahlawan.
For their role in the battle, Corporals Lester and Rawlinson were awarded Military Medals, while Captain Moore was awarded a bar for his Military Cross. He later went on to command the British forces during the Falklands War.
Jeremy Black, the RN officer who commanded one of the lighters, later became Captain of HMS Invincible, during the same conflict. After this action L Company became known as "Limbang Company".
The lighters were piloted in by Erskine Muton of the Brunei State Marine who was awarded the MBE for his civilian gallantry. Citation in The London Gazette.
A memorial stands alone opposite the Limbang Police Station.
It commemorates the death of five Royal Marines and four Royal Malaysian Police Constables who was killed in action during the Limbang Rebellion/Limbang Raid.
Built close to the spot where where the first Z craft landed, the unveiling of the monument in 1963 was attended by many of the Royal Marines who took part in the raid.
See the pin here - RM Geo History

Read in browser »

Operation Frankton - The #cockleshellheroes

Dec 07, 2018 08:09 am

Combined Operations commander Admiral Louis Mountbatten regarded it as “the most courageous and imaginative of all the raids ever carried out by the men of Combined Operations”
Of the six two man canoes that had been brought to the French coast by HMS Tuna on the 7th December, only five had been launched because one canoe was damaged getting off the submarine. Two canoes were lost during the first phase when making their way to the river mouth – they encountered unexpectedly heavy seas and a strong tidal race. The three remaining canoes made their way up the Gironde estuary to the harbour basin of Bordeaux. As they lay up in hiding during the first day one pair of crew were discovered and captured by the Germans.
The remaining two crews continued in their journey upstream for the following four nights, making slower progress than expected because of a strong ebb tide. Each day they hid up in the undergrowth beside the river as the Germans mounted a search for them. The attack was postponed until the night of 11th/12th December. On that night Major Hasler and Marine Bill Sparks in canoe ‘Catfish’ and Corporal A. F. Laver and Marine W. H. Mills in canoe ‘Crayfish’ made the attack they had been planning for the past few months. Bill Sparks later described the events:
We approached the basin of Bordeaux. Lights shone from the jetties; so much illumination alarmed us. We paddled up the middle of the stream, inspecting the targets as we passed silently by. There were several ships moored in a row, which was very thoughtful of the Germans, making our targets so readily accessible.
The first was a tanker. Next we found a cargo-liner. Then another cargo ship but with a tanker moored alongside. Then another cargo ship, just beyond that we saw another ship which was impossible to identify because, lying alongside and obscuring our view, was a sperrbrecher, a smaller craft, no bigger than a frigate.
We were lucky. We could have arrived to discover that the harbour was empty; there had been no way to knowing how many ships we would find until this moment, and we were satisfied. We chose four targets.
We turned back towards the cargo ship and pulled up alongside. Her hull shrouded us in darkness. We could hear the crew singing. I wondered what they’d be singing in a few hours’ time. It proved an easy target. I attached my magnet-holder to the hull to prevent the tide from carrying us away.
The Major placed the first mine on the six-foot rod and lowered it into the water, placing the mine on her stern. He detached the rod, having felt the limpet mine clamp itself to the hull. I released my magnetic holder and the tide slowly swept us along, so we could place another mine amidships and a third on her bows.
Then we came to the ship with the sperrbrecher moored to it. I clamped the holder to the hull and Blondie planted a mine.
Suddenly we were bathed in light. I looked up and saw the silhouette of a German sentry leaning over the side, shining his torch on us. We froze, hardly daring to breathe. A succession of split-second thoughts raced through my mind; what do we do if he challenges us? Do we answer? Just ignore him? If we ignore him, will he sound the alarm?
I quickly realized the best course of action was to hang onto the side of the ship. We were still well camouflaged, but the cockpit cover was open so I could hand Blondie the limpets.
I cautiously leant forward, bending right across the cockpit so that my camouflaged back would conceal it. It may have been only seconds – it seemed like minutes – that we waited, but I began to think that we could sit there no longer. I gently eased the magnetic holder off, allowing the tide to carry us along the side of the ship.
The Germans appeared to be taken in by their camouflage and they went on to attach their limpet mines. Six ships were badly damaged as consequence of their attack. The four men then made their some way down river before sinking their canoes. They then set off on foot across occupied France in separate pairs. Laver and Mills were caught by the Germans two days later.
Hasler and Sparks eventually met up with the French Resistance whose members helped them to escape to Spain, where they arrived after walking over the Pyrenees in February 1943. They arrived back in Britain in April.
The Frankton Memorial at Point de Grave near Bordeaux
All the surviving members of the crews who had been captured by the Germans were executed by them under the Commando Order.
See the pin here - RM A Geo History

Read in browser »

Bombing Run - War Correspondents fly with the Lancaster's of Bomber Command

Dec 04, 2018 04:19 am

Bombing Berlin
BBC correspondent Stephen Evans tells the story of Wynford Vaughan-Thomas's 1943 report recorded aboard a Lancaster Bomber during a raid on Berlin. From September 2013.
BBC - Archive on 4
Unheard Tapes of Bomber Command
July 1943, a young flight lieutenant, Steve Stevens, got back from a bombing raid over Essen, and recorded his recollections straight onto a wire recorder.
Dan Snows History Hit
'Orchestrated Hell'
Edward R. Murrow broadcast an account of another raid over Berlin on 3rd December 1943, heard by the CBS radio audience in the U.S:
World War Two Today
Images of crew from
Wikipedia - Avro Lancaster
Images top to bottom
The personnel required to keep one Avro Lancaster flying on operations, taken at Scampton, Lincolnshire. Front row (left to right); flying control officer, WAAF parachute packer, meteorological officer, seven aircrew (pilot and captain, navigator and observer, air bomber, flight engineer, wireless operator/air gunner and two air gunners): second row, twelve flight maintenance crew (left to right; n.c.o. fitter, flight maintenance mechanic, n.c.o. fitter, five flight maintenance mechanics, electrical mechanic, instrument repairer, and two radio mechanics): third row, bombing up team; WAAF tractor driver with a bomb train of 16 Small Bomb Containers (SBC), each loaded with 236 x 4-lb No. 15 incendiaries and, behind, three bombing-up crew: fourth row, seventeen ground servicing crew (left to right; corporal mechanic, four aircraft mechanics, engineer officer, fitter/armourer, three armourers, radio mechanic, two instrument repairers, three bomb handlers, machine gunbelt fitter): back row (left to right); AEC Matador petrol tender and two crew, Avro Lancaster B Mark I heavy bomber, mobile workshop and three crew.
Lancaster pilot at the controls, left, flight engineer at right
The flight engineer checks control panel from his seat
Bomb aimer in his position in the nose.
Inside G for George of No. 460 Squadron.
Looking forward between wing spars. At left the wireless operator, at right the navigator
Gunner in Fraser Nash FN50 mid-upper turret with twin .303 Brownings, February 1943
Gunner in the Nash & Thompson FN20 tail turret
A Lancaster Bomber over Hamburg

Read in browser »

Pte Stanley Robert McDougall VC (1890-1968) - Pages of the Sea

Dec 01, 2018 03:12 am

On 11 November 2018, tens of thousands of people took part in Pages of the Sea – a commissioned art project by filmmaker Danny Boyle, inviting people to gather on thirty-two beaches around the UK for a nationwide gesture of remembrance for the men and women who left their home shores during the First World War.
Weymouth Beach
Pte Stanley Robert McDougall (1890-1968). Won V.C. for single-handedly repulsing German attack
Born in Tasmania, McDougall enlisted in 1915, joining the 47th Infantry Battalion, Australian Imperial Force and was sent to the Western Front. In March 1918 at Dernancourt, McDougall, then a sergeant, repulsed a German attack that had breached the allied lines. Single-handed, he charged the enemy's second wave with rifle and bayonet, killing seven and capturing a machine-gun. He fired on others until his ammunition ran out, after which he seized a bayonet and killed four more. He then used a Lewis gun on the enemy, killing others and enabling his comrades to capture 33 prisoners. Eight days later, at the same place, this non-commissioned officer won the Military Medal for taking over his platoon when its commander was killed. After the war became an officer with the Tasmanian Forestry Department, performing outstanding work fighting bushfires.
McDougall was among more than 120,000 ANZACS who passed through Weymouth between 1915-19. The area was chosen as the base for the ANZACS to convalesce, with four camps set up in Chickerell, Westham, Littlemoorand Portland. 87 troops are buried in Melcombe Regis Cemetery.

Read in browser »

Thank you for reading.....

Please visit my site, share and re-tweet

Breakfast at Babs'

'What could possibly go wrong....?'

​The gritty tale of a team of Royal Marine Commandos on a special mission in Iraq.

Based on a real Mission conducted by Royal Marines Commandos from 539 ASRM (Assault Squadron RM), and a mix of  fact and fiction from real experiences, this novel will take you into Iraq during a time of insurrection and danger

A must read for anyone interested in modern Military fiction or fact!
Buy Now Amazon Paperback
Buy Now Amazon Kindle


F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K
F O L L O W on T W I T T E R
Copyright © 2018 Breakfast at Babs, All rights reserved.

Please contact me at

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.