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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 the Battle for Hong Kong and the Lisbon Maru Massacre #RoyalMarines

Mar 31, 2019 10:11 am

The Battle for Hong Kong
During the battle of Hong Kong, there were 40 Royal Marines attached to HMS Tamar.
When the battle began, the Royal Marines fought against Japanese force in Wan Chai Gap and Magazine Gap, alongside with HKVDC (Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps) and Royal Engineers.
Royal Marines fought at Queen’s Road East where they tried to stop the Japanese penetrating the defences via ARP tunnels that they had entered on Stubbs Road.
Commanding officer, Major Giles RM instructed his men to defend the island "…to the last man and last round"
The Lisbon Maru
On October 1st 1942, the American submarine Grouper fired six torpedoes at a Japanese troop transport, the Lisbon Maru, off Shanghai (29°57'N, 122°56'N).
Five of the unreliable Mk 14 fish either passed under the target or failed to detonate, but one exploded against the stern, bringing the ship to a standstill. Grouper immediately came under attack from patrol boats and aircraft, and departed the scene, taking one last look at 700 Japanese soldiers being taken off the stricken vessel.
What they didn't see, however, was that the soldiers had battened down the hatches over the holds as they left. In those holds, trapped and waiting to drown in appalling conditions of filth, disease, and malnutrition were over 1,800 British and Commonwealth Prisoners of War including Royal Marines who had been captured at the fall of Hong Kong nine months earlier. None need have died, but only 748 returned to Britain alive.
For more information visit The Hong Kong War Diaries
Royal Marines of HMS Tamar
Farrington, George B. Major
Giles, Robert Clement Major
Allen, William Richard Marine PLY/X 2196 UP 2.10.42 LM
Ambrose, Fred Corporal PLY/22402 UP 2.10.42 LM
Ball, Denis Ronald Corporal PL Y/22054 (LM)
Breese, George Edwin Sergeant PL Y/X 539 (LM)
Chamberlain, Frank W. Marine (argyle)
Clayton, William Charles Marine (XD6)
Cole, Frank Sergeant PL Y/X 946 (LM)
Cox, Norman Marine (XD3)
Croft, ‘Jake’ Sydney Marine PL Y/X 753 (93) (LM)S
Dark, Sidney Gordon Sergeant
Duffy, Charles Marine (XD3)
Feather, James William Marine PLY/X 1819 K 29.9.42
Glover, Basil Marine (argyle) (XD5)
Green, William Henry Corporal PO/22388 UPO 2.10.42 LM
Griffith, Robert A.S. Sergeant PL Y/X 689 (LM)
Guppy, Reginald Albert Corporal RM PLY/22197 K 8.8.42
Hamer, William Marine (argyle)
Hancock, Frank William Marine (argyle) (XD5)
Handsely, Henry Sidney Marine (argyle) (XD5)
Hewett, Edward Tucker Marine CH/X 458 (LM) K 11.10.42 Y
Horsley, Eric Marine PO/X 2159 UP 2.10.42 LM
Hulze, Samuel Marine (argyle)
Jack, Robert Reid Marine
Jeffrey, Richard Marine PLY/X.2411 W RNH K 9.9.42
Jones, Herbert Cyril Marine PLY/X 48 UP 2.10.42 LM
Kenworthy, Lawrence Marine (argyle)
Kilroy, John Marine (argyle)
Laver, Ronald Marine PL Y/X990 (LM)
Menhinick, Digby Collins Sergeant K Dec 23
Metcalfe, Ernest Marine PO/215951 UPO 2.10.42 LM
Mile Royal Marines
Moxham, Fred Marine (XD3)
Northover, Ronald C. Marine W RNH (LM)
Pearce, Jack Marine (argyle)
Pearman, John Edward Marine PL Y/X2061 (LM)
Quinn, John Marine PL Y/X 3296 (LM)
Richardson, Joseph H. Marine PO/X 89 UPO 2.10.42
Rogers, Henry Albert Marine
Rogers, S.R. Marine (argyle)
Ropers, George Henry Marine Formosa
Ropers, M. Bugler (argyle)
Rogerson, George Marine (argyle) (XD5)
Rushman, Mervyn FrancisSergeant PLY/X 488 UP 2.10.42 LM
Sanderson, Ronald Marine (argyle) (XD5)
Sutherland, Francis Marine (argyle) (XD5)
Trim, Albert Cyril Corporal PL Y/22192 (LM)
Wall, Thomas Mervyn Sergeant RM PLY/X22054 (LM) K 14.10.42 Y
Williams, Henry L. Marine PL Y/X 1037 (LM)
Woodings, Percy Marine PL Y/X 1586 (LM)
Wynn, John William Marine (XD1)
The original list of Royal Marines can be found here
Burial Records
K - Known grave. (At Stanley or Sai Wan military cemeteries unless otherwise stated). U - Unknown grave. (Commemorated in Hong Kong unless otherwise stated). UP - Unknown grave. Commemorated in Plymouth UPO - Unknown grave. Commemorated in Portsmouth
WMH - War Memorial Hospital
Hospital Records
S - Hospitalised, Sick
Initial Place of Internment
Argyle - Argyle Street Camp
Transportations to Japanese POW Camps
(XD1) First transportation LM - Lisbon Maru – died (LM) - Lisbon Maru (survived) (XD3) Third transportation (XD4) Fourth transportation (XD5) Fifth transportation (XD6) Sixth transportation

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"Operation Chariot" - St Nazaire Raid - 28th March 1942 #RoyalMarines

Mar 28, 2019 05:46 am

The St Nazaire Raid or Operation Chariot was a successful British amphibious attack on the heavily defended Normandie dry dock at St Nazaire in German-occupied France during the Second World War.
The operation was undertaken by the Royal Navy and British Commandos under the auspices of Combined Operations Headquarters on 28 March 1942. St Nazaire was targeted because the loss of its dry dock would force any large German warship in need of repairs, such as the Tirpitz, to return to home waters via either the English Channel or the GIUK gap, both of which were heavily defended by British units including the Royal Navy's Home Fleet, rather than having a haven available on the Atlantic coast.
The obsolete destroyer HMS Campbeltown, accompanied by 18 smaller craft, crossed the English Channel to the Atlantic coast of France and was rammed into the Normandie dock gates. The ship had been packed with delayed-action explosives, well hidden within a steel and concrete case, that detonated later that day, putting the dock out of service for the remainder of the war and up to five years after.
[Photo; Aerial reconnaissance photograph of the docks at St Nazaire taken before the operation. The dry dock is slightly above the centre of photo. © IWM (C 2351)].
A force of commandos landed to destroy machinery and other structures. Heavy German gunfire sank, set ablaze or immobilised virtually all the small craft intended to transport the commandos back to England; the commandos had to fight their way out through the town to try to escape overland. Almost all were forced to surrender when their ammunition was expended and they were surrounded.
By Bundesarchiv, Bild 101II-MW-3722-03 / Kramer / CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 de,
After the raid 228 men of the force of 611 returned to Britain; 169 were killed and 215 became prisoners of war. German casualties were over 360 dead, some killed after the raid when Campbeltown exploded. To recognise their bravery, 89 decorations were awarded to members of the raiding party, including five Victoria Crosses. After the war, St Nazaire was one of 38 battle honours awarded to the Commandos; the operation has since become known as The Greatest Raid of All within military circles.

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