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45 Cdo Royal Marines Formed in Burley Hampshire

Unit/ Formation: 45 Cdo RM

Location: Great Britian

Period/ Conflict: World War II

Year: 1943

Date/s: 1st August 1943

45 RM Commando was formed during the first week of August 1943 from 5th RM Bn at Burley, Hampshire, with five Troops (‘A’ to ‘E’), support Troop (‘F’) and HQ Troop (‘H’), with 500 all ranks.

The 5th RM Battalion was originally raised for a brief period at the end of World War I (September 1918-February 1919), and was again raised on 2 April 1940 following mass mobilisation and the influx of "hostilities only" (HO) marines. The battalion was raised at Cowshot Camp in Brookwood, being incorporated into 101 RM Bde, along with the 1st RM Battalion.

Between August and October 1940 the battalion took part in operations in Dakar. On return until August 1943 the battalion conducted extensive training in Wales, Scotland, the Isle of Wight and Burley, where the battalion reformed as 45 RM Commando on 1 August 1943. It was commanded between March 1940 and February 1942 by Arnold Reading.

45 RM Commando

After reforming and retitling, the unit transitioned to the Commando role as a formed unit. Personnel undertook, and completed, the Commando Basic Training Course at Achnacarry, Scotland.

As part of the 1st Special Service Brigade, the Commando participated in Operation Overlord, before going on to move through Europe into Germany, including Brachterbeek on 23 January 1945.

During the Ardennes Offensive, the retitled 1st Commando Brigade was given the task of holding a stretch of the River Meuse; it was during this period of operations that Lance Corporal H. Harden, a medical orderly of the RAMC attached to 45 (RM) Commando, won the Victoria Cross.

After world War II the Commando was reorganised in the UK, redesignated 45 Commando RM in Hong Kong in March 1946, the modern day unit is apart of 3 Cdo Bde and based in Arbroath Scotland.

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Could you explain the significance of '45'? I cannot find any information. Thanks.

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