Royal Marines

Corps Memorable Dates

The Royal Marines has earned hundreds of various battle honours since their formation in 1664. However, only those that stand out are included in their current list of 'Memorable Dates'.

1918. Tuesday 23rd April. The Raid on Zeebrugge was to deny the Germans the use of the canal at Zeebrugge, a port in Belgium. It was conducted jointly between the Navy and Marines. The objective was successfully achieved, with troops landing on the Mole under heavy fire and positions held to allow others time to block the canal. Two Victoria Crosses were awarded, by ballot, to Marines following this operation.
Wednesday 28th April 1915. Gallipoli, Royal Marines were involved in both the initial, unopposed, landings on the peninsula and the subsequent amphibious operation to relieve troops once the Turks reinforced their position. Marines bore the brunt of Turkish attacks around Anzac Cove, where they had relieved the Australians. The Turks were also driven back a substantial distance by a counter attack by Marines in another part of the peninsula. A Victoria Cross was also awarded to a Royal Marine during this campaign. Lance Corporal Parker, for evacuating wounded while under fire.

1944. Tuesday 6th June.The Normandy Landings took place and the Royal Marines played a huge role in this operation, manning most landing craft, providing specialist groups e.g. mine clearance, manning guns on support ships and the commandos of course leading the assault itself. In total over 16,000 Royal Marines took part in Operation Overlord.

1761. Sunday 7th June. The Battle of Belle Isle in which the Marines played a major role in the capture of this island, from the first amphibious landing, and through all subsequent fighting. The laurel wreath borne on the colours, crest and cap badge of the Marines is believed to have been adopted in honour of the distinguished service of the Corps during this operation.

1982. Monday 14th June. The Recapture of the Falklands. The Royal Marines based in the Falklands were the first to come across Argentine invaders, and succeeded in killing around 30 of them (including the destruction of an AMTRAK vehicle) before being overrun, at no loss to themselves. Subsequently Marines dispatched from Britain played a leading role in the campaign, manning all landing craft and spearheading the unopposed amphibious landings at San Carlos. The Royal Marines yomped 75 miles across East Falkland to take part in the battle for Port Stanley, the main town. Successes in the mountains around Stanley for the Marines led to the Argentine surrender. Approximately 50% of the Corps as it existed in 1982 took part in this campaign.

1775. Saturday 17th June. The Marines took part in the Battle of Bunker Hill in North America. In which the Marines were called in to reinforce the British force attempting to storm Bunker Hill near Boston. After the first two attempts to take the position had failed, the third effort, along with the help of two battalions of Marines, succeeded.

1704. Thursday 24th July. The Marines played a major part in the capture of the Rock of Gibraltar. This attack took place in conjunction with Dutch Marines A total force of 2300 Marines (1900 British) took the Rock and defended it during the 9 month siege that followed. This is the only Battle Honour on display on the colours and crest.

1805. Monday 21st October. The Battle of Trafalgar in which around 3000 Royal Marines were present at Nelson's famous victory over the French and Spanish. Fighting on the upper decks, they suffered heavy casualties on the leading ships but formed the core of the boarding parties that succeeded in capturing so many enemy ships.

1664. Tuesday 28th October 11am. The Birth of the Corps. It was Charles II who ordered the first marine regiment, titled 'the Duke of York and Albany's Maritime Regiment of Foot'. The Duke was the head of the Admiralty at the time. They wore yellow jackets due to the allegiance to the Duke (it was his favourite colour), and that is why there is a yellow stripe on the Corps colours today. There were 1200 men in this new regiment, raised to fight the Dutch at sea in the Second Dutch War.
Wednesday 1st November 1944. The Assault on Walcheren. Three Royal Marine Commandos (equivalent in size to battalions) took part in this assault. Its objective was to clear the mouth of the Scheldt River and although little support was available to the Marines this was achieved after days of fighting. This success was owed in no small part to the small support craft, crewed by Marines, who risked themselves to get close enough to support the troops on land.
Unit Memorable dates
4O Commando Royal Marines
The Landing at Termoli - Sunday Tuesday 3rd of October 1943
The Assault on Port Said - Tuesday 6th of November 1956
41 Commando Royal Marines
The Landing at Salerno - Thursday 9th of September 1943
42 Commando Royal Marines
The Battle of Kangaw - Wednesday 31st of January 1945
The Limbang Landing Wednesday 12th December 1962
The Attack on Mount Harriet - Friday 11th & 12th of June 1982
43 Commando Royal Marines
The Assault on Comacchio - Monday 2nd of April 1945
44 Commando Royal Marines
The Battle of Kangaw - Wednesday 31st of January 1945
45 Commando Royal Marines
The Attack on Montforterbeek - Monday 22nd of January 1945
The Attack on Two Sisters - Friday 11th & 12th of June 1982
46 Commando Royal Marines
The Attack on LeHamel & Rots - Sunday 11th of June 1944
47 Commando Royal Marines
The Capture of Port-en-Bessin - Wednesday 7th of June 1944
48 Commando Royal Marines
The Normandy Landings - Tuesday 6th of June 1944
Commando Logistics Regiment Royal Marines
The Landing at Ajax Bay - Saturday 22nd of May 1982
3 Commando Brigade HQ
The Landing in San Carlos Water - Friday 21st of May 1982
3 Commando Brigade Air
The Recapture of the Falkland Islands Monday 14th of June 1982
Operational Landing Craft Squadrons
The Normandy Landings - Tuesday 6th of June 1944
The Landing in San Carlos Water - Friday 21st of May 1982
Royal Marines History & Traditional Facts.