Second World War - Lynsted Memorial Project

Alan Douglas COMYN (of Wychling)

b. 24th October 1919
d. 19th August 1942. Aged 22

40 Commando
Royal Marines (Special Service)

Dorney War Memorial, Buckinghamshire
Portsmouth Naval War Memorial
Killed in action or died of wounds
during "Operation Jubilee"

Portsmouth Naval Memorial

Born 24 October 1919, Bombay, India, Alan was the younger son of Colonel Dr Kenneth Comyn and Cissy Leonore (née Carrozi) Comyn. In 1941, Alan married Lydia Anne Walker in Tonbridge. In 1943 they had a daughter, Annette M Douglas Comyn. At the time of Alan's death, Lydia was living in Wychling.

Alan lost his during "Operation Jubilee", aka the Dieppe Raid, on 19 August 1942. An Allied assault on the German-occupied port of Dieppe, Commandos were deployed in support of a Canadian assault force. 3 and 4 Commandos were to destroy the enemy coastal batteries covering the main landing beaches. Dieppe after withdrawal - IWM imageAlan's unit, 40 Commando, were to cover the port area and was to be responsible for reinforcements as required. In the pre-dawn run-in the landing craft carrying 3 Commando were fired upon and scattered with the result that only two small parties managed to land, one was overwhelmed. One party was to successfully engage the Berneval battery for some hours before withdrawing. On the other flank at Varengeville, 4 Commando, under the command of Lord Lovat, carried out what was officially hailed as a 'classic operation of war' and completely destroyed the Hess Battery, successfully withdrawing and re-embarking with prisoners. Unfortunately, 40 Commando had committed to their landing, under impossible conditions. Of the 370 officers and men, 76 were lost on the beaches. Among those killed was the Commanding officer, while the second-in-command, Robert Houghton was captured.

Of the 24 landing craft which took part, 10 managed to land a total of 24 tanks, all of which were lost.

The main assault lasted less than six hours until strong German defences and mounting Allied losses forced its commanders to call a retreat.

Alan is remembered on the memorial stone sited in the Dorney War Memorial Ground, Village Road, Dorney, Buckinghamshire and on the Portsmouth Naval War Memorial.

His elder brother, Kenneth Fitzwilliam, also served in WW2. He was captured on 15 February 1942 when Singapore was captured. He served the rest of the war in a Japanese Prisoner of War Camp.

Then living at Undercliffe, Pilgrims Way, Lenham, Alan's wife died on 11 April 1964. She never remarried.

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