• Si Biggs

Belgrade War Cemetery, Serbia

Belgrade War Cemetery was created to receive the remains of British and Commonwealth casualties brought in from more than sixty small burial grounds and from isolated sites all over Yugoslavia. The largest number from any one place came from Milna Military Cemetery and the Royal Naval and Harbour Cemeteries on the island of Vis (Lissa) which was our base.



The burials in the War Cemetery include escaped prisoners of war from Italy and Greece. The civilians buried here include a mining technician, a teacher of English, a newpaper correspondent, a member of the Embassy staff and the child of another member of Embassy staff. They were buried or re-buried in the cemetery by permission of the Army Graves Service.


Royal Marines interned in Belgrade War Cemetery;


PICKERING, ALFRED GEORGE, Aged 19

03/06/1944, Marine, No.40 R.M. Commando, 'CH/X 111702'

"Son of Arthur and Rose Lilian Pickering, of Bow, London."


ROYLE, FRANK

03/06/1944, Corporal, No. 43 R.M. Commando. 'CH/X 104572'


SCHOOLEY, RALPH GERALD, Aged 27, Mentioned in Despatches

03/06/1944, Captain Royal Marines, No. 43 R.M. Commando.

"Son of Wilfred John and Gladys Schooley; husband of Catherine Margery Schooley (nee Evans), of Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan."


Officers of 43 RM Commando including, Lieutenant FRANK HOLGATE HANCOCK, Captain RALPH GERALD SCHOOLEY, Captain JOHN PHILIP BLAKE MC Photo courtesy of Jeff Gordon, son of Sgt. Jack Gordon 43 RM Cdo. Posted by Pete R. [Commando Veterans Archive]


HILL BERTRAM PETER

28/05/1944, Lieutenant Royal Marines, No. 40 R.M. Commando.


TARRANT, KENNETH ALBERT, Aged 19

03/06/1944, Marine, No. 40. R.M. Commando. 'PO/X 116866'

"Son of Edward and Ada Elizabeth Tarrant, of Moulton, Northamptonshire."


BLAKE, JOHN PHILIP, Aged 26, Military Cross

03/06/1944, Captain Royal Marines, No. 43 R.M. Commando.

"Son of Philip and Marjorie Flora Blake, of Havant, Hampshire. B.A. (Cantab.)."

Captain John Blake MC died during

operations against the enemy held island of Brac. He had earlier been awarded the Military Cross for leadership, gallantry and devotion to duty while serving with Royal Marine Commandos in the capture of Mt. Ornito, Italy on the 3 Feb. 1944.

Born at Portsmouth in 1917 and educated at Aldenham, and then Cambridge in 1936. He graduated with a degree in Mathematics and in 1939 took up a post as mathematics master at Sherborne School before joining the Royal Marines after only one term at the school. He also played cricket for Hampshire in 1939.

Marine Percy Jeal

JEAL, PERCY WILLIAM, Aged 20

28/03/1944, Marine, No. 43 R.M. Commando. 'CH/X 105907'

"Son of Percy Walter and Mary Jeal, of Hassocks, Sussex."


SAUNDERS, SAMUEL JOHN ALBERT, Aged 19

28/03/1944, Marine, No. 43 R.M. Commando. 'CH/X 109090'

"Son of Albert Edward and Elizabeth Saunders, of Barking, Essex."


My father, Cpl Geoff Abbott, kept a small photo album of his time in active service as a signaller with B Troop, 43 Royal Marine Commando. In this album is a photo that he had taken of the newly dug graves of two fellow RM signallers, Samuel Saunders and Percy Jeal, in Vis Cemetery.

A record of the history of 43 RM Commando states of that incident at the encampment on the island of Vis on 28th March 1944: “The month of March ended sadly with a heavy attack on Vis by enemy aircraft on the 28 Mar. A direct hit by a 500 lb was scored on our only building, killing Lieut Frank Hancock RM and two signallers. Most of the documents of the Commando were completely destroyed.”

Although, like many ex-service men, my father had talked very little of his war experiences to us, his family, he had mentioned this incident to us, and that he had been one of those who had dug the graves. He had clearly known Marine Samuel Saunders very well, serving in the same unit, and the reason for taking the photo was so that he could send a copy to the family of Samuel Saunders, along with a letter of condolence from himself personally. He wanted to keep a record of the grave, so that the family could see where their son had been laid to rest, and that significant care had been taken in doing so.


[Cathy Hall in an article about Percy Jeals' service here Keymer and Clayton War Memorials]


The Graves of Sam Saunders and Percy Jeal

SHORT, DENNIS LESLIE WAYNE NICHOLAS, Aged 20

03/06/1944, Lance Corporal, No. 40 R.M. Commando. 'PLY/X 111155'

"Son of Eva Maud Short, and stepson of William Nation, of Wookey Hole, Somerset."


SNOWDEN, FRED

04/06/1944, Marine, No. 43 R.M. Commando. 'EX/3248' 9. E. 1.


Marine Fred Snowden died during operations on the enemy held island of Brac, Yugoslavia.


Extract from the Stirling Observer Thursday 22 June 1944.


"Mrs Snowdon, 1 East Murrayfield, Bannockburn, has been officially notified that her husband, Marine Commando Fred Snowdon, has died of wounds received in action in Italy. Twenty-four years of age, he was a warehouse packer in York before joining the Marines four years ago. He served with them in Gibraltar, Norway, Iceland, Dakar and North Africa, before going to Italy. The couple were married on 5th June of last year."


VELLAM, ALBERT CHARLES, Aged 20

20/08/1941, Marine, "R.M. Group, M.N.B.D.O.(1)." 'PO/X 101518'

"Son of John Robert and Mary Ann Vellam, of Postland, Lincolnshire."


WILLIAMSON, FRED, Aged 22

03/06/1944, Marine, No. 43 R.M. Commando. 'CH/X 106447'

"Son of John William and Ada Florence Williamson; husband of Jillian Iris Williamson, of West Mersea, Essex."


WOOD, ROBERT FREDERICK, Aged 22

03/06/1944, Marine, No. 40 R.M. Commando. 'CH/X 3476'

"Son of Robert Lewis Wood and Eva Wood; husband of Hannah Mary Wood, of Velindre, Cardiganshire."


BONE, PERCY JAMES, Aged 23

03/06/1944, Marine, No. 40 R.M. Commando. 'PO/X 101277'

"Son of George Albert and Alice Ada Bone, of Palmers Green, Middlesex."


BROOKES, JAMES ALFRED, Aged 24

03/06/1944, Marine, No. 43 R.M. Commando. 'EX/3707'

"Son of Mrs. M. Brookes of Hull."


BRYCE, WILLIAM, Aged 21

10/06/1944, Marine, No. 40 R.M. Commando. 'PLY/X 107517'

"Son of James and Jessie Leitch Bryce, of Wishaw, Lanarkshire."


BAILLIE, ARCHIBALD, Aged 21

25/09/1944, Marine, No. 43 R.M. Commando. 'CH/X 110260'

"Son of Mr. and Mrs. John Baillie, of Galston, Ayrshire."


Marine Archibald Baillie died of wounds at No.2 British Field Hospital at Otok, Vis Island.


HOOPER, ARTHUR WILLIAM GEORGE, Aged 32

3/05/1944, Marine, No. 43 R.M. Commando. 'PLY/X100963'

"Son of Frederick William and Louie Hooper."


HOVERD, ROBERT HENRY, Aged 20

03/06/1944, Marine, No. 43 R.M. Commando. 'CH/X 108492'

"Son of Richard Stephen and Emma Louise Hoverd, of Morden, Surrey."


HURST, CECIL, Aged 23

03/06/1944, Marine, No. 43 R.M. Commando. 'PO/X 106979'

"Son of George Thomas Hurst and Annie Elizabeth Hurst, of Gedling, Nottinghamshire."


IVENS, FREDERICK CHARLES, Aged 21

03/06/1944, Marine, No. 43 R.M. Commando. 'PLY/X 107485'

"Son of Charles and Lucy Ellen Ivens, of Hull."


Marine Frederick Ivens died during a raid on the Island of Brac, Yugoslavia. Initially buried with others on Brac near Nerezische, their remains were later reinterred in a collective grave at Belgrade War Cemetery.


Those buried with him are Marines Hopper, Pickering and Tarrant of 40RM Commando, and Marines Brookes, Cooper, Hurst, and Williamson of 43RM Commando.


TINNING, JAMES GORDON, Aged 22

02/09/1941, Sergeant, "1st A.A. Regt., R.M. Group, M.N.B.D.O.1." 'EX/1799' 5. C. 4.

"Husband of Margaret Tinning, of Burgh by Sands, Cumberland."


ASHCROFT, JOHN, Aged 29

11/10/1941, Marine, 2 A.A. Regt. 'EX/5653'

"Son of Alfred and Mary Ashcroft, of Blackpool, Lancashire; husband of Marion Ashcroft, of Blackpool."


BATES, GEORGE HENRY, Aged 25

03/06/1944, Marine, No. 40 R.M. Commando. 'EX/962'

"Son of William Henry and Ethel Georgina Bates, of Kilburn, Middlesex."


CROSS, LEONARD, Aged 21

03/06/1944, Lieutenant Royal Marines, No. 40 R.M. Commando. "Son of John George and Mabel Cross, of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil."


MANNERS, JAMES CALVERT, Aged 28, Distinguished Service Order

03/06/1944, Lieutenant Colonel Royal Marines , No. 40 R.M. Commando.

"Croix de Guerre. Son of Herbert Cecil and Dorothy Manners; husband of Pamela Honor Manners, of Vaucluse, New South Wales, Australia."


Lieutenant Colonel James Manners DSO, Officer Commanding 40RM Commando, died during operations on the enemy held island of Brac, Yugoslavia. He had been Commanding Officer since just after the Dieppe raid and was appointed D.S.O. for gallant and distinguished services in operations leading to the capture of Termoli. [London Gazette 36367, page 687, 8/2/1944.]


Dieppe - Operation Jubilee

Sicily - Operation Husky

Termoli - Operation Devon

Brac - Operation Flounced


COOPER, WILLIAM GEORGE ALBERT, Aged 23

04/06/1944, Marine, No. 43 R.M. Commando. 'PO/X 108241'

"Son of John William and Charlotte Cooper; husband of Mary Margaret Cooper, of Lower Edmonton, Middlesex."


DUTTON, CHARLES LLEWELLYN, Aged 21

03/06/1944, Lieutenant Royal Marines, No. 40 R.M. Commando.

"Son of Charles Frederick and Dorothy Isabel Dutton, of Purley, Surrey. His brother Derek Alan also died on service."


KITCHINGMAN, THOMAS, Aged 21

09/03/1945, Marine "Royal Marines (Special Boat Service, S.A.S. Regiment, A.A.C.)", 'PO/X 105923'

"Son of Harold and Bridget Kitchingman, of Harehills, Leeds, Yorkshire."


LAIDLAW, IAN DOUGLAS, Aged 21

03/06/1944, Lieutenant Royal Marines, No. 40 R.M. Commando.

"Son of Douglas and Edith Laidlaw, of Knockholt, Kent."


MAISEY, JACK ERNEST WILLIAM, Aged 21

22/09/1944, Marine Royal Marines No. 43 R.M. Commando. 'PLY/X 104313'

"Son of Frederick William and Jeanne Louisa Maisey, of Swindon, Wiltshire."

Marine Charles McVeigh died during operations on the enemy held island of Miljet, Yugoslavia.

McVEIGH, CHARLES

23/05/1944, Marine, No. 43 R.M. Commando. 'PO/X 108868'


GEE, DONALD PERCY, Aged 23

03/06/1944, Marine, No. 40 R.M. Commando. 'EX/1172'


Marine Donald Gee died during operations against the enemy held Dalmatian island of Brac, Yugoslavia (now Croatia).


HANCOCK, FRANK HOLGATE, Aged 20

28/03/1944, Lieutenant Royal Marines, No. 43 R.M. Commando.

"Son of Francis James Hancock and Mildred Hancock, of Bearsted, Kent."


Lieutenant Frank Hancock died during an air attack on Vis, their base of operations against enemy held Dalmatian Islands.

The 43RM Cdo. War Diary entry for 28th March 1944 states " Enemy aircraft attacked Vis town , and bombs also fell in Podselje . A direct hit was scored on the Cdo Orderly room,resulting in the death of Ty. Lt. F.H. Hancock and two marines."


HARVEY, LESLIE GEORGE, Aged 21

03/06/1944, Lance Corporal Royal Marines, No. 40 R.M. Commando. 'PLY/X 3864'

"Son of George and Margaret Christine Harvey, of Liverpool."


HOPPER, NORMAN CHARLES, Aged 20

03/06/1944, Marine, No.40 R.M. Commando. 'PO/X117193'

"Son of Charles Edward and Ethel Bugbird Hopper."


Commando Veterans Belgrade Cemetery


Commonwealth War Graves Commission



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