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Plaque unveiling in Weymouth commemorates the unit behind daring raid in Dieppe

On Friday 19th August, a plaque will be unveiled commemorating 80 years to the day since No 4 (Army) Commando unit carried out a daring raid in Dieppe. The unit was formed in Weymouth in July 1940.

This Friday, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset Angus Campbell and the Mayor of Weymouth Cllr Ann Weaving will be joined by Weymouth resident and naval historian Alvin Hopper, and Weymouth Town Council’s Armed Forces Covenant Champion Cllr Christine James to unveil a memorial plaque. This will take place at the memorial flower bed, next to the Cenotaph on Weymouth’s Promenade. Members of the public are welcome to attend the short ceremony.

Representatives from veterans’ associations, and councillors from Weymouth Town Council will also attend, along with family members of Arthur Robinson, a survivor of No 4 (Army) Commando unit who still lives in Weymouth, aged 98.

On 19th August 1942, the men of No 4 (Army) Commando unit carried out their daring raid in Dieppe, which helped pave the way for the success of the D-Day landings. The unit carried out vital training at the Defence Training Estate at Worbarrow, Lulworth to prepare for the splinter operation code-named Operation Cauldron. Two commemorative plaques – one in Worbarrow, one in Weymouth – have been commissioned to honour their bravery.

Former Chairman of the Weymouth and Portland Residents Association, Alvin Hopper, is the inspiration behind the Commando plaques, which he says ‘will serve as an important reminder of the coastline’s history as well as acknowledge the vital role played by No 4 (Army) Commando’. 

Tim and Carolyn Robinson, Arthur Robinson’s son and daughter-in-law live in Osmington and are due to attend the ceremony along with other members of their family.

Commenting on what it would mean to Arthur to have the unit recognised in this way, Carolyn said: “It would mean everything to Arthur, and for the comrades that were left behind; whose faces still haunt him. Having this recognition for the Commandos means so much and it’s an honour that No 4 unit are commemorated in the town because they were from Weymouth. They were just boys! He would be very proud.”

Cllr Ann Weaving said: “It’s an honour to learn that Number 4 (Army) Commando unit was formed in Weymouth in July 1940. After exercising around the Weymouth area, they went on to do more intense training in Scotland before returning to Dorset to prepare for the Dieppe raid. So, it’s fitting that we have a duplicate memorial in Weymouth to help more people remember the elite crew who took part in this operation.

“And on behalf of Weymouth Town Council, I would like to pay tribute to Alvin Hopper and colleagues in the army for bringing this important piece of history to life again.”

Weymouth Town Council is inviting people to join the short ceremony at 6.30pm on Friday 19th August

Pictured is Arthur Robinson, 98, from No 4 Commando unit. Photo courtesy of Arthur’s family.

Alvin Hopper pictured, Weymouth resident and inspiration behind the Commando plaques. Pictured at the site of the commemorative plaque recently installed at Worbarrow, Lulworth

Photo courtesy of the MoD, crown copyright.