Aberdyfi Commando memorial, Penhelig Park

Aberdyfi Commando memorial, Penhelig Park

This memorial, unveiled in 1999, commemorates the commandos of 3 Troop who trained in Aberdyfi during the Second World War. One died in a road accident locally, others were later killed in action. See below for details of men who died.

Between September 1942 and May 1943, a clandestine group of soldiers trained in the Aberdyfi area. Commanded by a Welsh officer, Major Brian Hilton-Jones of Caernarfon, No.10 (Inter Allied) Commando was made up almost entirely of men from mainland Europe. They included Dutch, French, Belgian, Polish and Yugoslav nationals.

Within No.10 (Inter Allied) Commando was a cadre of soldiers who were refugees from Germany and Austria. They were known as 3 Troop, and their commanding officer was George Lanyi (anglicized to George Lane). All were selected for their ability to speak fluent German. Many were Jewish and were eager to serve and avenge Nazi tyranny in their homelands.

Each was given a new English identity in case of capture. They wore the cap badge of either the Queen’s Own Royal West Kents, East Kents (Buffs), Royal Sussex or Hampshire Regiments, again to conceal their true identities.

Commandos were some of the fittest and best-trained soldiers in the British Army and were highly skilled in fieldcraft and subterfuge. From the camp in Aberdyfi they trained on Cader Idris and practised beach assaults on the Dyfi Estuary. They went to Manchester for parachute training at Ringway (now the international airport).

After leaving Aberdyfi the commandos went to Eastbourne for further training and exercises. With their specialist skills, 3 Troop soldiers were attached to other elite units and were pivotal to Allied operations including the Normandy landings in June 1944, the crossing of the Rhine and the Italian campaign.

Max Lewinsky, who died in Normandy, had met and married a local woman while training in Aberdyfi and is commemorated on Aberdyfi war memorial.

At the end of the war, all the commando units were disbanded, although many of 3 Troop continued in secretive work in Europe helping to track down war criminals and translating captured documents.

With thanks to Adrian Hughes of the Home Front Museum, Llandudno

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Men of 3 Troop, No.10 (X) Commando who died

  • Abrahamowicz, Richard George, Private 6436363. Died 07/06/1944 aged 21. Royal Sussex Regiment and No.10 Commando. Bayeux Memorial, France. Served as Richard George Arlen. Son of Salmon and Berthe Abrahamowicz.
  • Arenstein, Hans, Lance Corporal 6436352. Died 10/08/1944 aged 22. Royal Sussex Regiment and No.10 Commando. Buried Ranville War Cemetery, France. Served as Harry Andrews. Son of Max and Gertrude Arenstein of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Born 18th February 1922 Erfurt, Germany.
  • Barth, Georg Alexander, Officer Cadet 6436371. Died 29/06/1944 aged 27. Royal Sussex Regiment. Buried Barmouth and Llanaber Joint Burial Ground. Served as George Bryan Streets. Son of Josef and Leopoldine Barth; husband of Lici Barth of Paddington, London.
  • Franklyn, George Mack, Corporal 6387027. Died 06/06/1944 aged 21. Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment and No.10 Commando. Buried Hermanville War Cemetery, France. Son of Ernest J. and Carla Franklyn of Huddersfield.
  • Glaser, Kurt Joachim, Lieutenant 322333. Died 11/04/1945 aged 26. Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment and No.10 Commando. Buried Becklingen War Cemetery, Germany. Served as Keith James Griffith. Son of Dr. Willy Glaser and Maria Therese Glaser of Epsom, Surrey.
  • Gumpertz, Kurt Wilhem, Private 5550144. Died 12/06/1944 aged 24. Hampshire Regiment and No.10 Commando. Buried Hermanville War Cemetery. Served as Kenneth Wakefield Graham. Son of Karl Wilhelm and Else Gumpertz; husband of Elisabeth Gumpertz of Highbury, London.
  • Kagerer-Stein, Eugen, Serjeant 5550126. Died 13/06/1944 aged 30. Hampshire Regiment and No.10 Commando. Buried Ranville War Cemetery, France. Served as E Fuller. Son of Alfred and Anna Kagerer-Stein; husband of Cicely Kagerer-Stein of Balcombe, Sussex.
  • Lenel, Ernst Richard, Lance Corporal 6387016. Died 23/06/1944 aged 26. Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment and No.10 Commando. Commemorated on Bayeux Memorial, France. Served as Ernest Richard Lawrence. Son of Richard and of Emilie Lenel. His brother Victor also served.
  • Lewinsky, Max, Private 6387023. Died 06/06/1944 aged 32. Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment and No.10 Commando. Buried Hermanville War Cemetery, France. Served as Max Laddy. Fled from Prague to avoid Nazi persecution of Jews. Left a widow, Margaret, whom he had met while training in Aberdyfi. Also commemorated on Aberdyfi war memorial.
  • Meyer, Kurt, Lance Corporal 5550147. Died 13/06/1944 aged 25. Hampshire Regiment and No.10 Commando. Buried Ranville War Cemetery, France. Served as Peter Moody. Son of Fritz Max and Margeretta Meyer of Birmingham.
  • Nathan, Erich Wolfgang, Warrant Officer 6305467. Died 03/04/1945 aged 22. The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment) and No.10 Commando. Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany. Served as Eric William Howarth. Son of August Victor and Margaret Clara Elisabeth Nathan of Streatham Hill, London.
  • Nathan, Ernst, Private 6387022. Died 13/06/1944 aged 21. Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment and No.10 Commando. Buried Ranville War Cemetery, France. Served as Ernest Norton. Son of Moritz and Sibilla Nathan.
  • Sachs, Herbert, Private 6305471. Died 23/03/1945 aged 27. The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment) and No.10 Commando. Groesbeek Memorial, Netherlands. Served as Herbert Seymour. Son of Eugen and Margaret Sachs of St. John's Wood, London.
  • Vogel, Egon, Serjeant 6436356. Died 24/03/1945 aged 25. Royal Sussex Regiment and No.10 Commando. Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany. Served as Ernest Robert Villiers.
  • Weich, Salo, Corporal 6436350. Died 01/11/1944 aged 28. Royal Sussex Regiment and No.10 Commando. Buried Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery, Netherlands. Served as Robert Geoffery Hamilton. Son of Jacob and Sabine Weich, of Vienna, Austria.
  • Weiberger, Ernst George, Private 6305466. Died 06/06/1944 aged 28. The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment) and No.10 Commando. Buried Bayeux War Cemetery, France. Served as Ernest George Webster. Husband of Gerda Webster, of Twickenham, Middlesex.
  • Wells, Peter Vernon Allan, Lance Corporal 5550132. Died 19/01/1944 aged 26. Hampshire Regiment and No.10 Commando. Buried Minturno War Cemetery, Italy. Son of Arthur and Erna Auerhann of Cricklewood, Middlesex.