1st Batt. Lancashire Fusiliers 3rd June 1944

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by Pendlelad, May 10, 2015.

  1. Pendlelad

    Pendlelad Member

    Hi there,
    I have been redirected here from rootschat by a very helpful user, and i have been able to look at the war diary for the 3rd of June 1944. It seems like the 1st Battalion leaded by Capt. George Butler were capturing Tapaw ferry near Lakum on the Mogaung river. Mike Calvert was also in charge of some sort of company i'm not sure. The real question i would like to know is exactly where my great grandfather was killed on 3rd June 1944? It seems after listening to the account of a John Thomas Mattinson who was part of the battalion on IWM, the Tapaw ferry capture had very few if not any conflicts with the Japanese troops (the reason they were there was to guide the Chinese troops over the river so that they could capture somewhere else, but they were two days late). Was there any other deaths in this regiment on 3rd of June? and where exactly was Tapaw ferry so i can look on a map somewhere.

    Note- could it be possible that he was injured before this date but died on the 3rd after a seperate conflict earlier on in the campaign? It just says date of death on the CWGC website.

    Regards,
    Pendlelad
     
  2. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    The regimental history by John Hallam only has a brief mention of the action:

    "A detachment of sixty men under Captain G. Butler was sent eastwards to Tapaw ferry, where they remained until the fall of Mogaung on 26 June. On 3 June a Japanese force at Launn attempted to hold up the advance, and there was a sharp encounter in which many Japanese were killed."
     
  3. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Pendlelad,

    Here are five LF's that lost their lives on that day. I notice that the first casualty, George Clay was buried at Chittagong War Cemetery. It would seem to me that he was wounded previously and possibly died in hospital or on the way back from the frontline. This goes some way to answering your question about being wounded before the 3rd June.

    Page 1 of 1


    001

    CLAY

    GH

    4864313

    1ST BN

    03/06/1944

    LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS

    002

    ELLIS

    J

    3451706

    1ST BN

    03/06/1944

    LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS

    003

    SPRY

    CR

    3714255

    1ST BN

    03/06/1944

    LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS

    004

    TATTERSALL

    J

    3657641

    1/8TH BN

    03/06/1944

    LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS

    005

    TAYLOR

    J

    3394273

    1ST BN

    03/06/1944

    LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS
     
  4. Pendlelad

    Pendlelad Member

    Hi Dryan67 and bamboo43,
    Yes it is a shame that the death records do not include how they died like the WW1 ones do (i.e killed in action). I'm really not convinced if he died in hospital or in fighting with four other casualties from the same regiment's battalion. I'm not sure what the concequences was to be buried in which cemetery (i.e why was George Clay buried at Chittagong whilst John Ellis was buried at Taukkyan if they were in the same battalion?

    Pendlelad
     
  5. Charpoy Chindit

    Charpoy Chindit Junior Member

    Bamboo43's explanation seems the most likely. Clay was probably evacuated by air, following disease or wounds, and then died in India, and was buried there. The other three, Ellis, Spry and Taylor, may have been killed and buried locally. After the war Burma burials, those that could still be located, were concentrated at Taukkyan War Cemetery, hundreds of miles away in the opposite direction.
    Tattersall was a member of 1/8 LF, a completely different battalion, and seems to have been lost on that unit's advance along the Kohima-Imphal road.
     
  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Good to see you've made it over - Hopefully the SEAC chaps will be able to help ypu out.
     
  7. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Pendlelad,

    If we take those five casualties and say for the sake of argument that they were all involved with the 1st LF's in the second Chindit expedition in Burma. Then those buried at Taukkyan died in Burma and their bodies were buried near where they perished, but their grave location was recorded and after the war, their remains were exhumed and re-buried at the new cemetery.

    If George Clay was with the 1 LF's in Burma, he was most likely wounded or sick with malaria, dysentery etc. Then flown out by light plane and died in hospital or in a casualty centre in Chittagong.

    The soldier, Joseph Tattersall was from the 1/8th LF's, so he may not have been with the others, as this battalion were in the Kohima/Imphal fighting.. But, putting this to one side, he is remembered upon the Rangoon Memorial, this monument was constructed to commemorate the casualties from the Burma campaign who have no known grave and whose bodies were never recovered after the war.

    I'm going to have a look in my records for some casualty listings for 77th Indian Infantry Brigade, if I find any 1LF's from the time of June I'll post the list on here.
     
  8. Pendlelad

    Pendlelad Member

    Bamboo43 and Charpoy chindit,
    Thanks you two for trying to unravel this mystery of mine. My relative is J. Taylor by the way ir you find any names. I suppose the only way to know is to wait thirty years for the service records to be released. Him and Ellis might have been in the same incident supposinf they were both of the same rank and company.
    Thanks again,
    Pendlelad
     
  9. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Why do you have to wait 30 years ?
     
  10. Maybole1599

    Maybole1599 Member

    I advise you to get hold of The Chindit War by Shelford Bidwell chapter 15 of which describes the capture of Mogaung in great detail. And the book as a whole gives a great account of the Chindit Campaign.

    Cheers
    Tim
     
  11. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Pendlelad,

    Incredibly, Jack is mentioned in the 77th Indian Infantry HQ War Diary. This is very unusual for Other Ranks.

    Noted on the 4th June as having been killed in action: Fus. Taylor 4273. Also shows the men with him including Ellis and Spry although their names are spelled slightly differently.

    See attached scan:

    Really pleased for you.

    Taylor J..jpg P2770540 copy.JPG
     
    sol, Drew5233 and Charpoy Chindit like this.
  12. Charpoy Chindit

    Charpoy Chindit Junior Member

    Very interesting. Is the implication that these casualties occurred on 04/06/44 or was it intended as a consolidated return? It includes a mixture of 03/06/44 and 04/06/44 deaths (according to CWGC), but also includes 3429 (actually 3523539?) Fus Webster as died of illness, but CWGC lists his date of death as 24/05/44.
     
  13. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Charpoy Chindit,

    I think it is a consolidation return, but cannot be certain of that. This is a nightmare diary, hundreds of pages in length and is from what I can gather basically situation reports from the columns of 77IIB back to their rear base HQ. It can get very confused and I despair sometimes entering into it. That is why I was so pleasantly surprised to see Fusilier Taylor present in such a straightforward way.

    There is an entry for early on the 3rd June where some LF companies are deployed around the area suggested by Pendlelad and suffer 3 casualties and one wounded. Could be the engagement where J. Taylor is killed?

    I'll knock up a map for Pendlelad and post everything later.
     
  14. Pendlelad

    Pendlelad Member

    Bamboo43,
    WOW, really glad i posted on here now. It says that he died of wounds on 4th June, maybe that indicates he WAS injured somewhere near the Tapaw ferry location on the 3rd. News must have travelled fast for them to Note him and others down in the diary.
    Charpoy chindit,
    Yes that is interesting, maybe there was a delay in correspondance with the other regiments which caused a mixture of results, i dont know.
    Maybole1599,
    Yes i do need to get hold of some detailed information about the events which took place there, i will try and get hold of it.

    Thanks a lot all of you for your help.

    Pendlelad
     
  15. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Pendlelad,

    I think the crooked nature of the typing is misleading. I think Jack is the last of the men killed in action, then a new heading Died of wounds with Fusilier Price being the man in question.

    What do others think?
     
  16. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Pendlelad,

    Have you read 'Prisoners of Hope' by Mike Calvert? This is the definitive book for learning about 77th Indian Infantry Brigade and their time in Burma during 1944. 1st LF's were Chindit Columns numbers 20 and 50 on the operation. Calvert was the commanding officer of the whole Brigade.

    I have concocted a map of sorts showing all the villages and locations mentioned by you and those mentioned in the 77 HQ diary.

    It is a bit rough, but I hope it will be of use.

    Steve

    Mogaung locale.jpg
     
  17. Pendlelad

    Pendlelad Member

    Steve,
    Ah yes, i was wondering where Tapaw ferry was as i could'nt find it on any maps online. It does seem as though the shape of the river could have posed a threat to forces located at that point, because they were in a vulnerable position backed up and surrounded by either sides of the river during the descent south to Tapaw. Can i just ask then, was Capt. Butler in charge of the 1st battalion and below calvert in the ranks or was he just commanding a certain amount (mentioned 60 men above)
    Pendlelad
     
  18. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Pendlelad,

    Brigadier Calvert was top dog and in charge of the whole of the 77th Brigade, this comprised of:

    3/6 Gurkha Rifles-Columns 36 and 63
    1st King's Liverpool-Columns 81 and 82
    1st Lancashire Fusiliers-Columns 20 and 50
    1st South Staffordshire's-Columns 38 and 80
    3/9 Gurkha Rifles-Columns 57 and 93

    Some units left the brigade during the operation and by Mogaung there were not very many fit men left for fighting purposes.

    Major Shuttleworth led LF Column 20 alongside Major David Monteith.
    Lieutenant-Colonel Hugh Christie led LF Column 50, which was deemed the senior LF Column.

    Captain Butler was in charge of a Commando platoon, I believe with Column 20 and was quite a way down in the pecking order. Please see the attached list of LF officers that were present as of 01/01/1944.

    We have another member on the forum who has 1 LF connections, I am hoping they can add more for you soon. I have researched the first Chindit operation in 1943 quite extensively, but am a little out of my depth with 1944.

    Hope this helps;

    Steve

    1LF officers.JPG
     
  19. Pendlelad

    Pendlelad Member

    Cheers Steve. You know your stuff don't you? I will wait for future developments and see if anyone else pops up with more info.
    Thanks again, Pendlelad
     
  20. Charpoy Chindit

    Charpoy Chindit Junior Member

    Capt Butler was a company commander in 1 LF at the time of his MC action at Tapaw. As Bamboo43 has said, he previously commanded the Commando Pl of 20 Column.
    By this stage I think they had abandoned the column organization and were operating as a battalion again.
     

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