Unit/ Formation: Royal Marines
Period/ Conflict: World War II
Date/s: 4 May 1940
Among the last of the British forces to leave Central Norway was a Royal Marine howitzer battery, which had been operating in the Namsos area.
Captain GW Wilson Officer Commanding, 31st RM Howitzer Battery (RM Group Mobile Naval Base Defence Organisation (MNBDO) (2)) received orders to withdraw immediately, leaving his guns and equipment.
He replied that he would evacuate with all speed, bringing his guns with him. A further signal told him that the destroyer could not wait. He answered that nevertheless he and his men would remain with the battery until it was ready to be moved.
Although he kept the destroyer waiting for twenty minutes, by requisitioning every boat he could find he succeeded in bringing away every gun, all his equipment and every man. “It is not the policy of the Corps to leave its equipment in enemy hands”, he explained.
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