Brigadier John Frederick Durnford-Slater, DSO and bar (1909 – 5 February 1972) was a British Army officer who was credited with establishing the first Army commando unit during the Second World War.An officer in the Royal Artillery who eventually rose to the rank of brigadier, he was responsible for developing many of aspects of the commando concept. Commanding No. 3 Commando he participated in raids on Guernsey, the Lofoten Islands, Vaagso, Dieppe and Sicily. In Italy he commanded the 2nd Commando Brigade that undertook the capture of Termoli, before serving as deputy commander of the Special Service Group, a divisional level headquarters unit that planned and administered all commando operations during Operation Overlord and the advance into Germany.Early life
Durnford-Slater was born in 1909 to Leonard Slater and his wife Constance (née Pridham) and grew up in Instow, in the north of Devon. His family had a strong military tradition, his own father had been a regular of
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