News and communications
Blue plaques remember Cockleshell Heroes of WW2Last updated: 24 October 2012 11:37
The daring Cockleshell Heroes mission in World War Two, 70 years ago, has been commemorated by the placing of blue plaques on two houses in Southsea, Portsmouth.
The Heroes – the Royal Marines who mounted a daring canoe raid on enemy ships in 1942 – did their training in Southsea.
Portsmouth City Council, working with the Royal Marines Association (RMA), has made memorial plaques for two houses where the Heroes stayed while preparing for their mission.
The Leader of the council, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, today unveiled a plaque on a house in Spencer Road, Southsea, where officers were housed. The men lived in a house in Worthing Road, which has also received a plaque.
He said: "It's 70 years since the Cockleshell Heroes' incredibly brave and effective commando raid. The people who went on that raid suffered terribly for their bravery.
"This is part of Portsmouth's and Southsea's history, and we felt we should have a blue plaque here, where the officers lived, and on the house where the men stayed. It was the right thing to do.
"I thought it was really important that people knew about their history, especially the next generation."
Ron Locke, chairman of the RMA southern region, attended the event with Royal Marines historian Mark Bentinck.
On the night of 7 December 1942, 10 Royal Marines launched their Cockle Mark 2 canoes from the submarine HMS Tuna to begin an audacious raid on enemy shipping at Bordeaux, known as Operation Frankton. It involved canoeing almost 100 miles up the Gironde estuary under the gaze of the enemy to successfully attack German shipping in Bordeaux harbour, using limpet mines. Only two of the Marines survived the operation.
Lord Mountbatten said: “Of the many brave and dashing raids carried out by men of Combined Operations Command, none was more courageous or imaginative than Operation Frankton.”
On 4 November there will be a major public ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the Cockleshell Heroes' mission. This will see the RMA place a memorial near the Royal Marines Museum, Eastney, Portsmouth, with Lord Ashdown as guest of honour.
Other media informationMedia centre
Our publicationsFlagship magazine
House Talk magazine
Term Times magazine
Something for the weekend? newsletter
MarketingAdvertise with Portsmouth City Council
Advertise in Flagship magazine
Graphic design services
Filming in Portsmouth
Portsmouth: the great waterfront city - branding