We would like to place Cookies on your computer to give you the best possible experience when you visit our website. If you are happy with the current Cookie settings and want to continue to use this website as normal, click 'OK'. You also have the option to change these settings, plus learn more about Cookies and how we use them. More information on Cookies.

Change settings

Sign into my account

Forgot your username Forgot your password

Protecting our Nation's Interests

Skip to main content

42 Commando History

Royal Marine Youtube

In October 1943 the 1st Battalion Royal Marines was re-organised and renamed 42 Commando. The 1st Battalion was first formed in 1760, and in the following year took part in the capture of Belle Isle. The laurel wreath borne on the Colours and devices of the Royal Marines is believed to have been adopted in honour of the distinguished service of the Corps during this operation. The Battalion served in the American War of Independence in 1775, in the Crimea in 1850, in China in 1857 and in Egypt in 1882. During the First World War it took part in the landings at Gallipoli and in the campaigns in France and Flanders. At the beginning of the Second World War the Royal Marines Brigade, of which the 1st Battalion was a part, was of one of the few fully manned and armed brigades capable of withstanding a German invasion. The battalion which formed at Bisley in January 1940, was manned by men from the Chatham Division Royal Marines and it was at this time that the distinctive white lanyard, originally worn by men of that Division, was first adopted. After taking part in the abortive Dakar expedition, Operation Menace, the Battalion returned to its defensive role in England, before being re-organised as a Commando. One of the company officers during this period was the writer Evelyn Waugh.




Royal Marines host Norwegian Royalty
Royal Marines host Norwegian Royalty
21 March 2014

His Majesty King Harald of Norway has visited Royal Marines...

Royal Marines practice winter survival skills in Norway
17 February 2014

Hundreds of Royal Marines have been learning to survive in...

Royal Marine scoops Royal Naval squash title
06 January 2014

Plymouth Royal Marine Ryan McKechnie has won the Royal Navy’s...

Royal Marines Philippines disaster relief
Royal Marines Philippines disaster relief
04 December 2013

Royal Marines from the South West are helping the people...

Current Jobs

Royal Marines Officer

It takes a special state of mind to be a Royal Marines officer. Because you will lead your men during vital missions – in all weather, all circumstances and across every terrain. You’ll need to excel in leadership, planning, tactics and...
More info

Royal Marines Commando

When you join the Royal Marine Commandos you join the Royal Navy’s elite amphibious (landing from the sea) force. Nothing stands in our way. Because our training allows us to operate in some of the most extreme environments. Most Royal Marines...
More info

Royal Marines Reserve

As a Royal Marines Reservist, you'll be one of about 600 people who combine their civilian day jobs with serving part-time as fully-trained Commandos.  Most have no previous military experience.  What we have in common is that we're all volunteers.  Like the...
More info