Bryan Samain, a long-time Halesworth resident and wartime veteran has died at the age of 99.

Bryan was a wartime Commando intelligence officer who later became a leading industrial publicist for major British companies.

Born in Chelmsford in 1925, he was educated at the Royal Masonic School. 

Bryan in his uniformBryan in his uniform (Image: Supplied)
He trained as a journalist on the Daily Sketch and Sunday Graphic and later wrote for the Sydney Daily Mirror until volunteering for military service. 

In 1943, he joined the Royal Marines, serving with 45 Royal Marine Commando in Normandy and later in Holland and Germany, principally as an intelligence officer.

He was temporarily posted to 46 Royal Marine Commando to support the strategic crossing of the Rhine on the 23rd March 1945 and took part in the first wave of the Brigade’s assault landing.

He later rejoined 45 for the forced crossing of the Elbe shortly before the German surrender on the 8th May 1945.

He also served with the unit in Hong Kong in 1946, helping to restore law and order in the territory following the Japanese occupation.

Bryan was a D-Day veteranBryan was a D-Day veteran (Image: Supplied)
Following the war, he resumed his journalistic career in London before moving into PR, specialising in industrial publicity.

He worked for Richard Thomas & Baldwins, Cementation and Costain.

In 1960 he was appointed head of PR for Ford Motor Co. UK. Then, in 1970 he joined EMI to set up a worldwide corporate PR department. 

His military past, however, never entirely deserted him. 

At the age of 22 he wrote Commando Men, a popular history of RM Commando’s operations in NW Europe in 1944-1945, which was re-published several times in his lifetime.

In December 2015, he was appointed a Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur as a veteran of the battle of Normandy in June-August 1944.

Bryan married Helen, a wartime WRENS officer in 1948, she died in 2016. They are survived by their two sons, Paul and Peter. 

Bryan Samain died on 24th June 2024.

* Obituary by Katy Riley, Bryan's granddaughter