1st Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment April 1944

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by VicInIbstock, Jul 27, 2016.

  1. VicInIbstock

    VicInIbstock Member

    George Woodiwiss is listed on the Rangoon Memorial. The CWGC have him serving with the 1st Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment, dying on the 24th April 1943.

    I can't find much about the West Yorkshire Regiment and wondered if anyone out there knew whereabouts they were on that given date.
     
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  3. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    Now isn't this SO WIERD! Yesterday morning at the time this was posted I was going over further research about my pet project about the battle at Lion Box and was reading about Woodwiss and two other West Yorks who were killed there at KANGLATONGBI during the ongoing operations to retake the area.
    I will get back when I've had another read through the records.
    Lionboxer
     
  4. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    The war diary of 1WY states that on the 8th April the battalion took over from the 2nd battalion WY (first time the two bns had met since 1894) at Sengmai on the main Imphal to Kohima road just south of Kanglatongbi where Lion Box had been. After the evacuation of the ordnance depot there it was the job of 1WY to stop any further southward movement by the Japs.
    Patrolling was carried out around the area until 23rd April when a larger recce was carried out to clear the roadblock at Kanglatongbi with the support of the tanks of 3rd Carabiniers and 10th Gurkhas. The block was cleared by the Engineers but the force was ordered to retire after receiving casualties of eight wounded and one missing.
    Next day (24th) was a re-run of the previous but also with an advance to Ekban-Ekwan but the tanks were unable to cross the swollen river. Casualties were one killed and one wounded. Further patrolling in the area from 26th to 30th April and the diary states that for the month of April the casualties were thirteen wounded, two killed (one on 26th) and one missing. I have found photos taken of these actions enabling me to locate exactly the locations.
    Checking the CWGC database shows four killed for April :- Bell 24th Imphal Cemetery, Halpern 12th Rangoon Mem, Smith 26th Rangoon Mem and Woodiwiss 24th Rangoon Mem. This conflicts with the war diary not only with numbers but also dates. If we rule out Halpern who died on the 12th and Bell who died on 24th and is located in Imphal cemetery (ie. not missing), and given that the missing man from the 23rd was later presumed dead on the 24th, could this mean it was Woodiwiss because Smith was killed on the 26th as per the diary? Confused? So am I!! And to make things even more thought provoking I have come across an un-identified British soldier in Imphal Cemetery who was recovered from a burial near Ekban Ekwan in May 1945. Could this be either Smith or Woodiwiss or even Halpern?
    Lion boxer
     
  5. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    Can someone in authority move this topic to the Burma/India theatre forum where I think it would be more appropriate please?
    Lionboxer
     
  6. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    Many thanks!!
     
  7. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    This is the bridge and Jap roadblock being cleared by Engineers and West Yorks. image.jpeg image.jpeg
     
    High Wood and ozzy16 like this.
  8. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    Seventy years later at the same location with my friend Rajeshwor.
    Lionboxer image.jpeg
     
  9. VicInIbstock

    VicInIbstock Member

    Many thanks for the additional detail Lionboxer, it is very much appreciated.
     
  10. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    Glad to have helped. Do you have any further info?
    Lionboxer
     
  11. Chris Bent

    Chris Bent Member

    I am researching the war details of John Sixsmith, Ist West Yorkshire and believe that he was one of the 8 men wounded at this roadblock on the 23 April, 1944. He survived the war and I am sharing with his son and grandson who knew nothing of this. Can anyone direct me to the war diaries. The Kew site is closed at the moment and I wondered if they were anywhere online. Any other information would be much appreciated.
     
  12. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    He was indeed one of those wounded. I have the diary and will post later.
    Lionboxer
     
  13. AliceDrummond

    AliceDrummond New Member

    I am looking for any information on my grandad who was
    Lieut H.M. Shaw 318286
    1st Bn. West Yorks.
    If anyone can help please
     
  14. Chris Bent

    Chris Bent Member

    Are you are still able to send me the diary or perhaps just the entry for 23rd April 1944? Many thanks. Chris.
     
  15. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    Chris, sorry for the delay. Another job that nearly didn’t get done! Sad to say the diary entry is very short on detail.
    Lionboxer
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Chris Bent

    Chris Bent Member

    Thanks for this. I will pass on to his son who will be very emotional, despite as you say, the lack of detail. How did you know that John Sixsmith was one of the wounded?
     
  17. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    From official casualty lists.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Chris Bent

    Chris Bent Member

    Really appreciate you sharing this.
     
  19. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    This is the actual roadblock that the 1st West Yorks, Carbs, Gurkhas and Engineers were tasked with clearing. An official photo from the IWM database, it was only captioned as being on the Imphal Dimapur road and until we (Imphal Campaign Foundation) we’re able to confirm its precise location was completely unknown. It shows Engineer officers checking for booby traps while the remainder of the force attempted to secure the area under strong Japanese opposition. Out of sight behind the trees to the left stands the Kanglatongbi Dak Bungalow which was the battle HQ of Lion Box and where two weeks earlier was the scene of very heavy fighting before the Box was evacuated with help from 2nd West Yorks.
    Lionboxer
     

    Attached Files:

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