Friday, May 6, 2016

Audio: W. K. Newell, Canadian Beach Commando Unit

W. K. Newell, Canadian Beach Commando Unit

Canadian Navy commandos at Scottish training course in April 1944.
The "death slide" was maneuvered by a rope toggle or "trolley" rigged by
the commando himself. Photo credit - R.C.N. Lieut. G. Milne. GM 1611.

Introduction: One will find hundreds of audio files related to the experiences of men and women associated with many branches of Canadian Armed Forces and Canadian organizations (e.g., Red Cross, CWAC, etc.) at The Memory Project. Most audio files are accompanied by authentic WW2 photos and a written transcript.

Please link to audio files at The Memory Project (Page 91) related to the activities of W. K. Newell, a member of the Royal Canadian Navy Beach Commando Unit. His story touches on the purpose and responsibilities of the Beach Commandos under Lord Louis Mountbatten and the tough training program in Scotland.

Combined Commando Operations Dress Patch for the Canadian
Naval Uniform. Photo credit - The Memory Project

A small part of Mr. Newell's transcript follows:

The Beach Commando Unit, we were identified alphabetically, whereas the Marine and Army Commando Units were identified numerically. We had 3 units in our Commando of 28 men each. And we trained purposely for Operation Overlord which was the Normandy invasion. The three units worked independently but in coordination with each other. The Beach Commandos were part of combined operations commanded by Lord Louis Mountbatten. The basic responsibility of a Beach Commando was to go into a landing site, under cover of darkness, ahead of the assault troops, for purposes of securing the beach area and signalling out to sea to inform the landing craft and the other landing troops of the conditions for landing various elements of the assault....

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