RN fighting party?

I remember in the late 50's, when joining, seeing sailors with RN commando flashes on the uniforms.Thought it was a pretty good thing to aim for but they seem to fade away.I know nothing of what they did but,reading a book about WW1 I see there were RN detachments sent to the front to fight[and did pretty damn good too].
I wonder how long it will be before some chinless prat thinks "Just a minute! loads of sailors with no ships,train up a battalion and ship 'em out to Affistan"
OK I thought this was just a talking point but the way this government,or at least the way Blairs ego streched,maybe this idea is germinating in some deskbound officers head.
Hope they would be a better calibre than those on the Iraq waterway!
What did the RN Commandos do?I never saw them again after training at Raleigh.
Left over from WW2 I suspect.
there are still RN commandos. Once you have done the 12 week all arms course. you earn the right to wear green beret and comado dagger on your 1s. Normally branches that are required to work with marines get the chance to do it. Chefs, MAs etc.

As for shiping out sailors to afghanistan and iraq. They already do in droves. When the marines were out in afghan the navy (inc marines) made up almost 70% of all troops in afghan. OK they arnt puting sailors on the front line (nothing more dangerous than jack with a rifle) but they are out there and in numbers.
I knew there were medics etc out there but as a GA2 armourer for 11 years I never saw any RN commando courses or RN commandos.
considering I spent two drafts at Whale Island on Gunnery duties[as we did] I think I would have heard of any course as I was interested in them and spent most of my time rifle shooting at Tipner trying[but not making it] to get to Bisley.
Guess they must have kept well hidden!
There were none there[that I could see,] none on the two years I spent on the Victorious,none at Terror or Tamar[that I saw']in fact I was accepted into the parachute training school in Singapore when the ship docked and I was packed they closed the school I was told they moved it to Salisbury plain.I was up for any of that type of training, pity I never came across it.
Was accepted on the Victorious for transfer to the Marines,but after an interview thought it was not for me.
Getting on a bit to go through that type of training.Cheers
The RN Commandos in the late 50s early 60s were not necessarily all true Commandos although they wore the shoulder flash. They were Fleet Air Arm ratings from 845 and later 848 Naval Air Commando Squadrons affectionately known still to this day as ‘Junglies’

These were helicopter squadrons formed to support the marines (and army) in Borneo. I guess it proved controversial because although some were willing and capable of passing the Tarzan course at CTC Lympstone most were not interested or ‘non volunteers.’ The ones that passed were entitled to the Green Beret and the others a black one.

Although we all lived under the same jungle conditions as the Bootnecks we were still helicopter aircrew and maintainers and not really commandos at all.

But these squadrons still survive and have been in Iraq and Afghanistan since the start, and a very versatile and hardy lot they are, far more experienced in this kind of warfare than the RAF.

One observation though from 1961 – The Bootnecks, the Ghurkhas and Jack took turns in guarding the aircraft at night in Borneo, after a couple of weeks a Ghurkha spokesman approached our C/O, and said, “Sir if you promise not to give Jack a gun we do two nights.†And that says all!
My oppo was in 845 sqdn in Boreno and he told me he'd done a dickie commando course for when he went out there.
Made a basha out of deadly nightshade and got very sick. Silly boy
I do not know what happens now in this century

Though comms ratings did quite a lot in the 60's-late 70's
Bulwark had the feard BLUEBERRETS Basically a gang thrown together
as first line defence until the qualified crowd arrived

Personally I did NGS where you spotted behind the enemy lines to
bring the 4.5s into accurate fire (though we had no real enemies at the time so I was no hero) that entailed learning with the RM's and Para's
Of how to arrive behind the enemy lines, hopefully not get caught, and
what to do if you did get caught (sell your story to Revellie :)

Jack McHammocklashing RO9


Lantern Swinger
Jack_McHammocklashing said:
Though comms ratings did quite a lot in the 60's-late 70's
Jack McHammocklashing RO9
I do believe that 148 battery are the shoreside 'Comms' gunnery spottin team. I'm led to believe that they have to do some kind of field training.
I don`t know if it still applies but chockheads on the MAOT Teams (Mobile Air Operation Teams) Used to do the Bootie course, you did`nt fail, but you got a green lid if you passed.

I too remember seeing Rayal Navy Commando shoulder flashes when i joined up in 1956.

Having spent 2 Commissions on Bulwark as a Commando carrier, i never saw any WAFU Ratings with the flash, that was in 1960/61 and 1970/71.
Royal Navy Commandos in WWII controlled beachheads etc did a top job at Normandy of keeping the troops moving and took some casualties.
Most RN Commandos nowadays would be Medical Branch or Schoolies and of course the Padre (Bless you my son).
The WWI matelots were part of the Royal Navy Division which fought as Infantry at Gallipoli and on the Somme,among numerous other campaigns
A kiwi connection with RND is Bernard Freyburg (RN Lieutenant) who won a VC at Gallipoli while taking part in the landings, he later commanded the NZ Division in WWII and served as Governor General of New Zealand in the 50's.


Lantern Swinger
RN Sparkers have been attached to the Army since Korea as Forward Bombardment Operators. [It was discontinued after WWII until Korea IIRC]. The Telegraphists [RO's in modern parlance] did the Para course and when the Bombardment Units went Commando in the early 1960's then they also did the AACC at Lympstone as well as 'P' Company. [I think the first RO to do the Commando Course was Jimmy George [RIP] as his 5 man team was the first to support the commandos aboard the newly rolled Commando Carriers [can't remember which one]. As far as I know, RO's still do the Commando course and are para trained but believe they will now take anyone from any arm who can cut the mustard both physically. [and intellectually, there's a lot to learn] :whew:


Lantern Swinger
yes the sholder flash and the wearing of the green beret still continues today although it is mainly kept with in the medic and FAA (junglie) there are others but very few. the MAOT is compulsory green lid now for all matelots, as is the RMTU, junglies is not compulsary green lid (thank god, i couldnt find lympstone let alone pass the course) however if you choose to try the course then within the junglie world you will be supported on your wish (time off lack of manpower etc etc)
Saw a whole group of them in Norway last year on exercise....Royal Navy Commando shoulder flashes.......they were all officers Lt's if my memory serves me.

Couldnt miss the rig or the flashes..in the middle of a Norwegian bar...flash barstewards.....they didnt trap though despite being in there most of the day!
Ok1 there are still RN commandoes but exactly what extra training does it entail?We have an argument about this at the local Legion,does it entail jumping out of planes,rockclimbing,unarmed combat etc?somehow I'm not sure ti does but I can be convinced.
seafarer1939 said:
Ok1 there are still RN commandoes but exactly what extra training does it entail?We have an argument about this at the local Legion,does it entail jumping out of planes,rockclimbing,unarmed combat etc?somehow I'm not sure ti does but I can be convinced.
In the good old days when all Medics working with the Corp had to be Green Lidded what happened was they would either do a fast track recruit training which would jump them forward troop to troop passing the Cdo tests at the end, or go for the AACC.

When I did it (Passed Sept 1997) we were one of the first to do the Royal Navy Medical Assistants Military Awareness course which was dove-tailed into recruit training. I started two some with 722 and passed out with 719, including a spell in hunter troop with rope burns on my hand after wet new ropes on the bottom field. I did all the test exercises including hunters moon, Devon’s leap, finalex ect and did the Cdo tests with the troop. After passing I went on leave for 10 days while the troop did kings squad. I did the Falklands Hall Pass out, In half blues, and was inspected with the rest of the troop , in No 1’s after King squad march past, then the normal pass out on the parade square.

Nowadays medics working with the Corps need to be “Military Aware†this is a separate course at CTC, the exact dynamics of which I’m not up to date with, but it involves, packing a bergan, putting up a bivvy and the rest of the basic drills. That’s probably the bit about people who say they have been to CTC but not “really Commando†trained. Not starting a blue lid, green lid thing as pretty much to a man (and girl for that matter) all MA’s I’ve worked with during my time with the Corps have been hoofing. Come the hour, come the man and all that.
the aircraft handler branch of the royal navy are often selected for green beret i can confirm this as an ex member the royals need the expertise of the handler to function in a air/helo role i myself have done the course and it aint easy but what is