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First Royal Marines Killed in Action in WW2

Updated: Oct 5, 2023

In 1939 within days of the outbreak of war two Royal Marines had died ashore;


Sergeant (Pens) Ebenezer Luff, PO/ 15068, was killed in a road accident on the 6th September, and Marine Sydney Ritchie, PO/X 1715, died om teh 7th, both from RM Barracks, Eastney.


HMS Courageous (50) sinking

It was only 14 days into the war that the first Royal Marines were killed in action, 24 Royal Marines including 2 from the Band were lost when HMS Courageous was sunk by two torpedoes fired by U-29.



She capsized and sank in 20 minutes with the loss of 519 of her crew, the first Royal Navy ship to be lost in World War 2.


Royal Marines Roll of Honour and Graves Data base [https://www.royalmarineshistory.com/royalmarinesrollofhonour]

HMS Courageous Royal Marines Missing Presumed Dead;


BERRY, Harry, Marine, PLY/X 1354:

COOMBE, Frederick, Marine, PLY/ 18139:

CORNISH, George E, Marine, PLY/X 15992:

ETRIDGE, Leslie S, Musician, RMB/X 326:

FLETCHER, Austin R, Marine, PLY/X 708:

GRAY, Arthur S, Marine, PLY/ 22469:

GREENLEAF, Howard H S, Marine, PLY/X 649:

HEATH, James W, Colour Sergeant, PLY/ 21057:

HOWARD, James, Marine, PLY/19851:

HUMBLE, Frederick, Musician, RMB/ 2914:

JAMES, Christopher, Marine, PLY/ 20584:

KIBBLE, Ernest D G, Marine, PLY/X 481:

MAKINGS, Frank, MPK, Marine, PLY/ 18561:

PEACH, Ernest, Marine, PLY/ 17446:

SIMPSON, Robert, Marine, PLY/X 2010:

SMITH, James A J, Marine, PLY/ 21466:

STUBBS, Harold, Marine, PLY/X 1363:

TARGETT, Stanley L G, Marine, PLY/X 1214:

TILBROOK, John, Marine, PLY/X 1126:

WHEELER, Charles, Marine, PLY/ 16387:

WILLIAMS, Caradoc G, Marine, PLY/X 1419:

WILSON, Donald, Marine, PLY/ 15433:

WINSER, Samuel A G, Marine, PLY/15608:

YATES, Henry R, Marine, PLY/ 20432.


Are you a relative? Do you know a relative I would very much like to add personal pictures and information to these and other Royal Marine casualties as I continue to record our fallen here Royal Marines Roll of Honour and Graves Data base


Related Royal Marines 'Dits'




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