Fox Commando Royal Navy

Welcome to Fox Commando Royal Navy

 

We are a small reenactment group within the larger Northern World War 2 Association and as we now have a Combined Opps section we can accept individuals who wish to portray other branches of the armed sevices (REME, RA, RAF, RM, Infantry) who during the war wore the Combined Opps Badge or came across the beach that Fox Commando worked.

What do we portray

Fox Commando depict a Royal Navy Beach Commando HQ which could of been found on any invasion beach from Madagascar to crossing of the Rhine. Not just Sailors but Army and RAF personel whos work put them on an invasion beach.

 

The Royal Navy Commando's where one of the best kept secrets of WW2 one of the Forgotten Elite

 

 

Where are we based

We do not have a fixed base as we have members from Sheffield to Newcastle- Hull to Howarth,so no matter where you live as long as you can get to shows your welcome.  We are a sub unit of the Northern World War 2 Association.

This year as part of the Norther World War 2 Association (http://www.nww2a.co.uk/) we will be attending shows at Hull,Northallerton,Ryedale Folk museum, Yorkshire War Experience  and many more.

Please see the events page for full list of shows. 

A breif History of the Royal Navy Commandos

 

The Royal Navy Beach Parties were first formed in the spring of 1942 and were first used on OPERATION IRONCLAD, the capture of the port of Diego Suaret in the North of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.

The RN Beach Parties C+D  where used on OPERATION JUBILEE (Deppie) in August 1942 as crews for the Landing craft, they suffered a great number of casualties.

After the failed raid it was realised that speacil units were needed to go in with the First wave of troops to secure and clear the beaches of obsticales and to keep the flow of men and equipment running smoothly and if the landings failed they were to provide the reargaurd for the invading troops so they could withdraw. The Royal Navy Commandos where expendable!

A training base H.M.S ARMADILLO was set up near the Commando Training base at Ardentinny Scotland.

The Sailors were put through an intensive Commando Course and on completion they were awarded the coverted Commando dagger and the Green Beret

A Commando unit was made up of 1 Beachmaster (Ltcmd) (BM) 3 Assistant Beachmasters (Lt, S/Lt) (ABM) and 22 other ratings. This was increased to 68 other ratings later in the war.

The Units were sent in to the landings split between different LCA's in case they were hit on the run in, One rating once asked the question "Will the landing fail if we do not make the beach", the reply he got was, "If you do not make it there are others who will follow and take the beach you are expendable".

The units were given letter's as opposed to the army which had number's, the letters where A-W, W being an all Canadian unit, each unit had its own beach signals unit.

 Many Units could be on the beach for up to six weeks hence their Motto "First in Last Out" and in the case of some members of Nan Commando in Italy in 1943 they where in action for 15 weeks

Fox Commando was formed in the June 1942 as a Royal Navy Beach party in December that year they where renamed as Royal Navy Beach Commando and then in December 1943 renamed again this time as Royal Navy Commando.

Fox Commando was disbanded in March 1945 with some members going to other units but most were returned to their base at Armadillo until the end of the war.

The Royal Navy Commandos were Disbanded in 1946 and quietly forgotten by the Navy as they where never fond of sailors fighting in Kaki 

 

 

 

 

 

Quotes from former RN Commandos

Lt Cmdr Edaward Gueritz ( later Rear Admiral CB O.B.E  D.S.C) Principal Beach Master F (FOX) Commando RN,Queen Red Sector Sword Beach 6th June 1944 aged 24

 As a 22 yr old Lt Gueritz was a beach master on Operation Ironclad which was the taking of the ports in Madagascar in the Indian ocean in 1942.

As PMB of Queen Sword he was on the beach for 19 days until he sustained a head wound from a shell splinter which punched a hole in his steel helmet and it was not until he took off his helmet  that he was aware of the wound, he was shipped back to the UK .

"As a principal beach master we had distiguising marks on our helmets for easy identifcation, my helmet was painted Blue and my own contribution was to wear a red scarf and carry a large blackthorn walking stick.

The scene on the beaches in the early stages of the assault landing on Red beach Queen Sector of Sword beach was not the same as the training that many of us had undergone because this time they were aiming at us for real, of the two LCT's (Landing craft Tank) beached to give fire support on the eastern edge of red beach one was on fire and some of the wounded where crawling up the beach, a number of amoured vehicals from the 2nd LCT were standing half way up the beach, some firing; flail tanks were operating to explode beach mines and clear the wire, the beach exits were jammed  with vehicles impeded by the soft sand and unexploded mines, the shapest impression, as always, was greated by the sight of dead bodies scattered on the beach from the waters edge. one of these turned out to be my immediate superior, Commander Rowley Nichols, who was deputy naval officer in charge of the Sword assault area".

 

Able Seaman Ken Oakley F Commando

More and more landing craft were beaching by now (09.00), and we were kept busy persuding the army personel not to stay on the beach to brew their tea, but to go and chase the Germans away as they where still shelling us. The flail tanks and other funnies had done a good job in clearing mines from the beach and we where getting good exit lanes marked down to a good road.

Ltcmd Edward Gueritz PBM F Commando

On Queen sector, circumstances conspired to create very consierable congestion on the beach and just inland. The traffic congestion impeded the forward movment of the intermediate Brigade, which came ashore hot on the heels of the assault wave at about 09.30. This brigade had intended to press forward with the tanks of the Staffordshire Yeomanry to attack Caen. Also, 41 Commando of Special Service brigade, led by Lord Lovat, moved briskly over Red beach to swing left and join 6th Airborne Division over the Orne river and canal. Commandos where easily distiguised by their green berets, whereas everyone else wore a steel helmet.

AB Ken Oakley F Commando  

Suddenly, the shrill scream of bagpipes could be heard along the beach and on looking to my right I saw a piper emerging from an LCT and following him Lord Lovat then the remainder of the commandos marched off as if they where on Horse Guards Parade, it was an incrediable sight.

Leading Seaman Robert Hardy F Commando

I landed with the first assault wave just after 07.30 on the eastern edge of Queen Red Sector My job on that day was along with members of my section was to errect the left hand beach flank marker ,I and Mike Miller where the only two to reach our beach HQ that day as three where wounded two got themselves killed  and Jock Mcdonald got himself captured by some Free French soliders who thought he was German spy because of his accent he was returned to us the next day.

 

 

 

 

 

    

What do we do

We depict a Royal Navy Commando Beach HQ, and the attended Mess that would be found on an invasion beach D-Day plus 4, We aim to inform the public of the forgoten BUT vital role that the Royal Navy Commandos played during World War 2 and impress on the people that without the RNC the invsions could of failed.
We we also take part in battles that are run during weekends by the Northern World War 2 Association our parent group.

Are you for us and are we what you are looking for

Fox Commando RN is looking for new members male or female, we have wrns (Womens Royal Navy Service), this year we hope to have an ATS section starting, we also have French resistance, Other's in the group are RAF, 1st Special Service Brigade and the Duke of Wellingtons Regiment.

You must be aged 16 or over and beable to travel to shows,  we attend shows all over the north of england from North of Newcastle to Sheffield. Hull to Lancashire

We are a family based group as is the Nww2a so if you have kids then thats ok as they can be involed in reenactment too.

What we do not want are rivet counters and those that wish to prevoke confrontation.

We are a happy group and want to say that way.

 

 

Images from shows

Postions available within Fox Commando

A Commando unit was made of 3 officers and 26 other rates, we are currently looking to fill the following postions

21 Able Seaman all branches

WRNS SECTION  

 WRNS (wrens) all ranks except officers, trades, Signalers Visual/cypher/Drivers/Amourers/Nurse/Boats crew

French resistance/civilians to act as guides for battles

Any Unit that would of been on the invasion beach even just crossing to go into battle

We have in our combined operations section so far  RAF, Royal engineer  Royal Marines Commandos and  West Riding Infantry and this year we have joining us members of the  Duke of Wellingtons Regiment

Joining Fox Commando and Combined Operations Unit allows you to join any section  at the discresion of that sections leader. but under the direction of Fox Commando Leadership.

 

Contact

You can contact Fox Commando by email @

Richardhardyrn@aol.com
we have a facebook page

 Fox Commando Royal Navy and Combined Ops Unit

 

and you can see our parent group the Northern world war 2 association at

http://www.nww2a.org.uk

Fox Commando Royal Navy will be raising funds for the

Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity

http://www.rnrmc.org.uk/

You can also follow us facebook just look for Fox Commando and Combined operation unit