1st Battalion Beds and Herts

Discussion in 'User Introductions' started by R Green, Jul 25, 2019.

  1. R Green

    R Green New Member

    Hi I have just joined to learn more about my dads experiences in WW2.
    He was in the 1st Battalion Beds and Herts serving in the Middle East and Burma.
    Robert Green
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Robert

    If you havent already then its best to start off with his service records, and they can only be obtained from the MOD - forms can be found here - Request records of deceased service personnel there are web sites that sound as if they have them but they dont

    If you already have them, then start a new thread where all the details for him will be in one place, if you do have them start it now and upload his records. Members will help out and try to answer your questions, but remember part of the fun bit is doing the research

  3. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Welcome to the forum.

    You will find a number of topics on that Battalion - including

    Beds and Herts

    Forum member Alex1975uk has a particular interest in the Regiment.

    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  4. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is a summary of service of the 1st Battalion Beds and Herts:

    1st Battalion, The Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment

    18th Infantry Brigade – 3 September 1939 to 26 November 1939
    The battalion served under the 18th Infantry Brigade at Abbassia Barracks, Cairo. It had a detachment at El Nil Barracks, Cairo and also provided a guard for the Middle East Reserve Ammunition Depot in the Tura Caves.

    14th Infantry Brigade – 27 November 1939 to 6 January 1940
    It moved to Tulkarm, Palestine on November 26th and joined the 14th Infantry Brigade there the following day. During the winter of 1939-40 it concentrated for training at Nathanya, 20 miles from Tel Aviv. It remained there until January 6th, 1940.

    HQ British Forces, Palestine and Transjordan – 6 January 1940 to May 1940
    The battalion moved to Nablus on January 6th with a detachment of two companies at Tulkarm. A two company mobile column was despatched to Haifa for about ten days.

    HQ Jerusalem Area – May 1940 to March 1941
    In May 1940, the battalion moved to Allenby Barracks, Jerusalem and replaced the 2nd Black Watch, which moved to Somaliland. The battalion also had detachments at Hebron, Allar, and north of Jerusalem. The battalion established a company training area on the coast ten miles south of Jaffa for ten-day training sessions by companies. At the end of 1940 a detachment was sent to MS 39 on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem road to guard Italian POWs. The battalion also did at camp on the Dead Sea to train for the desert. In March 1941 the battalion was ordered by Jerusalem Area HQ to equip on a war scale and be prepared to move. It struck its camp at Jericho and closed Allenby Barracks. It left Jerusalem for Lydda and entrained for a transit camp at Alexandria.

    GHQ Middle East Force – March 1941 to 14 June 1941
    The battalion was code-named ‘Baldock Force’ and sailed for Athens where it got orders to move to Lemnos and Lesbos. The move to Lesbos was cancelled and the whole battalion landed at Lemnos, which it occupied from April 4th to 12th, 1941.

    HQ British Troops in Egypt – 12 April 1941 to 14 June 1941
    It was evacuated to Alexandria on April 12th and moved into Mustapha Barracks. The battalion provided AA teams for merchant ships. About 200 men went on these duties and only about one-third of these rejoined the battalion. The battalion left Alexandria in May 1941 for Quassassin.

    14th Infantry Brigade – 14 June 1941 to 28 October 1944
    It rejoined the 14th Infantry Brigade on June 14th, 1941 at Quassassin, Egypt replacing the 1st Welch Regiment, which took losses in Crete. The battalion left Egypt for Syria on July 7th, 1941 and took up positions in a line astride the road from Damascus to Beirut at Dimas by July 10th. It served in Syria until the end of the campaign and then remained there on occupation duties in the area of Zahle Ryak aerodrome and to north to Baalbeck and Djebel Mazar.

    The battalion left Syria with the brigade on October 10th, 1941 and was dispatched with the brigade to Tobruk. It moved by road to Haifa, by rail to Alexandria transit camp and arrived in Tobruk on the night of 21st/22nd of October. It served in the defence of Tobruk and the subsequent battle until it moved back into the Tobruk perimeter in early December 1941 and then before Christmas to Sidi Rezegh aerodrome. Two days later it moved back to Egypt and was at Quassassin Camp on January 1st, 1942. It did security duties in Cairo from the camp until February 2nd, 1942, when the battalion entrained for Djebel Mazar, Syria, where it arrived on February 4th. It returned to Egypt on February 24th, 1942 and was back at Quassassin on February 26th. The battalion embarked at Suez for the Far East on March 1st.

    The battalion disembarked at Bombay, India on March 13th and on March 14th it moved into barracks at Ahmednagar. Six weeks later the division moved to Ranchi. In August 1942 it was sent on internal security duties in the Patna-Sassaram area on the route from Bombay to Calcutta. At the start of 1943 it sent one platoon on attachment to a Gurkha battalion in the Fort White area of the Burma-Assam border for a two-month period. The brigade was ordered to Cox’s Bazaar in the Arakan to defend this area and the brigade was located there from May 9th to July 1st, 1943. It then withdrew back to Deola, India between Calcutta and Diamond Harbour. It was sent to Bangalore, South India in August 1943 and reorganized as Long Range Penetration Troops on September 7th, 1943. It was formed into the 16th and 61st Columns and remained in this role until October 1944. The division first trained at a centre 200 miles northwest of Bangalore and then moved to a new training centre 100 miles south of Jhansi.

    The battalion entrained at Lalitput on March 18th, 1944 and moved to a forward airfield in Assam on March 25th. The 16th Column landed at ‘Aberdeen’ on March 31st and was followed by the 61st Column on April 1st. These columns served under the brigade on a LRP role in Burma until August 20th, 1944, when the battalion returned with the brigade to India.

    It first moved to Myitkyina and then by jeep train and plane to Tinsukia, Assam and finally by train to Bangalore. It left the the 14th Brigade in Bangalore on October 28th, 1944

    16th Infantry Brigade – 29 October 1944 to 31 August 1945
    The battalion joined the 16th Infantry Brigade on October 29th, 1944 at Dehra Dun and remained with it for the rest of the war.
  5. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Welcome Robert,

    Looking forward to hearing more about your father.
  6. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the nod!
  7. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    Hi Rob.
    My grandad was also in the Beds and Herts from 1933-1944. I’ve done a lot of research and happy to share. As others have already said, getting your chaps service record is a must.
    Speak soon.
  8. R Green

    R Green New Member

    Thanks Tricky Dicky for pointing me in the right direction. I will apply for them but first I need to get a copy of his death certificate. So I will be off line for a while.
  9. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    Don’t think you need a death certificate to obtain the records??

  10. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    You dont need a death cert if he died in service, you would need to copy the CWGC certificate. If he didnt die in service you will need to copy of his death certificate - it all revolves around the data protection act etc etc

    Robert - if you post his details - assuming he died out of service - we can usually find the details you needto apply for them they usually take about a week once you have the details

  11. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    Came back to this thread to see if this chap had any update.

Share This Page