Dawlish Commando Training World War Two

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by abrecan, Oct 13, 2008.

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  1. I was looking after an elderly veteran raider who mentioned commando training at Dawlish. His memories are clear and his training (and he) was apparently nails. Anyone else know anything about Dawlish Commando camp during the forties?


  2. Can you get him to post his stories on here? Sounds like it'd be a good read.
  3. Er, difficult. He's confined to a wheelchair and his family would need asking. The guy "was a sniper and used his gat mercilessly in Asia". Apparently a walking munitions dump according to his descriptions, with "personnel ordnance for my own use". Makes you wonder about all our third-age citizens hanging around coffee mornings, (being polite) don't it?

    Last Plymouth Veterans' Day was also a revelation.
  4. ‘Training’ at/around Dawlish (near Lympstone), does not necessarily mean he was based there, or vice-versa? Dawlish does not leap out, though various Cdos were at all sorts of places, sometimes very briefly. What Cdo was he in and when did he join? If he was Far East, suggests 3 Cdo Bde - No.1, No.5, No.42 RM or No.44 RM, and, possibly No.45 RM which were sent there after VE. Also possible he didn’t get there till after the war and was on ‘anti-bandit’ duty?

  5. Have not heard of a camp as such in Dawlish but will ask a few of the old farts and get back to you on this one.
    As with anything during WW2 it could be a tented area with regular exercises due to the proximity of Lympstone and Dawlish. Without visiting myself have you tried the same question on Rum Ration?

  6. Spooky replies at the same time saying the same thing basically........
  7. I have come across Dawlish some years ago, in the context of WWII Commando training.
    Sadly I do not recall the exact context and the book(s) are all still in the UK.
  8. Thankyou. Promising....:)
  9. No 2 Commando were based at Dartmouth and Paignton, just around the coast from Dawlish in 1940/41. There is a memorial in the local park and a plaque in the Town Hall.

    There was no barracks as such and most of the troops were billeted on local families and expected to be self disciplined enough to sort themselves out and parade at the right place on time!

    May well have been detachments further along the coast at Dawlish or may have been a separate Commando – since the main targets for them would have been in France it would make sense for them to be based along the South Coast.
  10. Spot on! An old friend o f mine was billeted on a Clydebank family in the early part of WW2 after he transferred from the Essex Regt.

    And like the old gentleman at the start of the thread - he was nails!
  11. Well Dawlish is a long way along the coast from Paignton and even further from Dartmouth.

    Dawlish is on the other side of the Exe estuary from Lympstone but anyone travelling between the two would again need to travel some distance as the first bridge (then and now) is the swing bridge (used as a rehearsal bridge for Pegasus Bridge) at Exeter.
  12. there is a ferry from Exmouth to the other side of the river though........but being commandos surely they would have swum?
  13. Poppy - "being commandos surely they would have swum?"

    And if full kit! :D Seriously, the suppositions are interesting but getting a bit tenuous. Original post mentions 'training' at/around Dawlish, (of the black swans), which doesn't mean billeted there. Originally the Cdos scratched around various locations for training, a few already established, many adapted for their purposes and some instated - again often short term.

    Also '40s', i.e. some time between 1940 and (effectively) 1946. So why the presumption he's 1940? So far, I see things pointing more to the other end of the scale? If he had been '1940' then surly he would want to recount exploits prior to SE Asia? 3 Cdo Bde never arrived there till 43/44 and at least the RMs continued to be reinforced to the end.

    No.2 were designated paras in 1940, Ringway, and the Cdos and Independents were put under command of Home Forces (anti-invasion duties) for the winter of 40/41 in cumbersome reorganised Bdes. All change again in spring 41 when they were restructured again as Cdos. No.2 (infantry, ex Independents/Norway) weren’t at Paignton that long before they moved to Weymouth, and, for the purpose of this theory, they spent the mid/latter war in 2 Bde CFM. :wink: