Wife donates war hero’s medal to 45

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45 Commando have been graced with a donation from the wife of a courageous Second World War Royal Marine veteran.

A mounted and framed citation and replica military cross that belonged to Captain Alan Tate MC RM, along with a bronze miniature commando memorial, were donated to the Officers’ Mess last Friday.

Captain Alan Tate MC RM received the Military Cross on January 27, 1945, whilst he was serving with 45 Commando. He was presented the award on his 20th Birthday by Field Marshal Montgomery. His citation reads: “On the night of 27/28 Jan, 45 Cdo carried out a raid on enemy territory which involved crossing the River Maas near Roermond in southern Holland. D Troop carried out this raid and Lt Tate, with nine men of E Troop, was detailed to hold a bridgehead through which D Troop was to withdraw. In the middle of the night twenty enemy attempted to rush the bridgehead position, supported by bazookas. Although Lt Tate’s position was exposed, he held it firmly, killing one officer and eight of the enemy and wounding as many more. His complete coolness and control of the position enabled him to beat off this attack and later to withdraw his sub-section, and the wounded from D Troop, for the loss of one slight casualty.”

Whilst 45 Commando was not based in Condor during the period when Alan served, Mrs Tate is extremely keen to reconnect with her husband’s former Unit, of which he was so immensely proud. Alan died on the September 24, 2012. Lieutenant Colonel DJ Cheesman MBE RM said: “Captain Tate truly performed a brave and heroic act, and it is with great pleasure that the Unit can accept these gifts from his wife, Miriam. They will take pride of place in the Officers’ Mess of 45 Commando Group.”

45 Commando Group held a Unit Memorial Service on March 13 as part of the Afghanistan Service of Commemoration. The memorial service was held in Woodlands Garden, RM Condor, by the serving personnel of 45 Commando Group and was led by the Unit’s Chaplain, Reverend Mark Davidson.