3rd Madras Regiment

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by GeorgyB, Aug 6, 2021.

  1. GeorgyB

    GeorgyB Active Member

    Long-term lurker here. I've found a lot of very useful information and links on this site which has helped me a great deal with researching my father's time in the Indian Army.

    I have applied for his service record but have yet to receive it. He served in the 4th Battalion of the 3rd Madras Regiment in Burma as part of the 20th Indian Division between Dec 1943 and Sept 1944.

    I wondered if anyone had ever seen a copy of this book The story of the 4th Bn. the Madras Regiment in the Burma Campaign, 1943-'45 ?

    Annoyingly I have my dad's receipt for buying it back in 1946, but not the actual book.
  2. Shiny 9th

    Shiny 9th Member

    Have you tried searching on the internet for it? Abebooks are one useful second hand seller. Best to use the UK site.
  3. GeorgyB

    GeorgyB Active Member

    Yes, I've searched on Abebooks a few times in the past months but it hasn't come up as yet. There's a site called Stone & Stone that says there's a Military Bookshop in Kent that might have it but it doesn't come up in a search of their website.
    I was hoping someone on here might have come across while researching.

    I ought to change the title of this thread to Madras Regiment but I'm not sure as a newbie I can do that.
  4. idler

    idler GeneralList

  5. GeorgyB

    GeorgyB Active Member

    Thank you very much Idler, I haven't come across that site before. And interestingly it has the authors of the book which I don't think I've seen listed before, just the publisher.

    Attached is the receipt for my dad's purchase of it. Wish we still had it!

    Attached Files:

  6. idler

    idler GeneralList

    It's a lovely detail, but we all wish we had the book!

    It makes you wonder how big the print run would have been. It probably didn't make three figures with only around 15 officers in the battalion at a time. It was probably down to how generous they could be with presentation copies.
    GeorgyB likes this.
  7. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Have you looked at the thread on the 20th Division? It is active currently: 20th Division 1945

    I have read a book @ The British Library, London on the division and Gracey, hence this passage:
    The footnotes are:

    [7] A 1945 divisional list is on: 20th Infantry Division (India) - Wikipedia

    [8] See for details: King's Collections : Archive Catalogues : GRACEY, Gen Sir Douglas David (1894-1964)
  8. GeorgyB

    GeorgyB Active Member

    Yes, thank you David. I've found out a fair few bits and pieces online. I'm particularly looking at 1944 as my father left Burma on sick leave in Aug 1944. This bit from Gracey's archives is particularly relevant for me I think. I've seen Shark Hill mentioned before in connected with 4/3 Madras but not Laiching Hill.

    "1944 Mar 30

    Typescript report of Viceroy's Commissioned officers and Non-Commissioned Officers of the 4 Bn, 3 Madras Regt on their defence from Japanese attack on Allied positions at Shark and Laiching Hill, Burma, 22 Mar 1944. 3pp."

    There is a short account of that time in the Madras Regiment history:

    And this extract, though I can't remember where it came from right now, I think from the London Gazette:


    JITTER PARTY Well-Known Member

    I do in fact have a copy of this book and it is a splendid thing. It is the only copy that I have ever seen in 30+ years of collecting. As Idler predicted, mine is actually a presentation copy to one of the company commanders, and has been dated by him 'January 1947' which fits nicely with your father's invoice. I've had a quick browse and I can't see that your father is mentioned in the text.
    Send me a conversation/message with your email address and we'll see what we can do about getting you a readable copy of the relevant portions.
  10. GeorgyB

    GeorgyB Active Member

    Wow, thank you so much. I will message you.
  11. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    I don’t know how far you’ve progressed with your research of your father service but there a couple of snippets I have that might help.
    He joined the battalion at Moreh as a 2nd Lieutenant sometime in February 1944 possibly from 20 Divisions Reinforcement Camp near Keithelmanbi just north of Imphal which held their reinforcements until required. He was lucky not to have been caught up in the action at Lion Box in early April as several other officers from 4/3 Madras were.
    Sometime in March/April he was sent on a course as a Lieutenant but by May was back again as an acting Captain. By June he was Temporary Captain but no further mention thereafter.
    GeorgyB likes this.
  12. GeorgyB

    GeorgyB Active Member

    Thank you Lionboxer, that is really helpful. Is that from the War Diary?

    So far I know he enlisted in Oct 1942 in Lahore to the 2nd Bn, Suffolk Regiment and then was commissioned 18/4/43 into the Madras Regiment and undertook further training at Vellore and Bangalore. The date I have for when he was 'abroad' with the 4/3 'Expeditionary Force' is 2/12/43 so that would fit in with what you say accounting for travel and initially being at the Camp.

    He did an Outboard Motor Course so that may have been the course at that time. He's listed in the book (above) as one of the 2nd Lieuts but no further details, but hopefully his service record when I get it might say what Company he was in. He was sick with dysentery quite a lot I believe. From his Army Book I know he went to the 17th British General Hospital in Dacca in Aug 1944, then was sent to Mussoorie on sick leave, and then ended up in the Combined Military Hospital, Multan in Sep 1944.
  13. GeorgyB

    GeorgyB Active Member

    I've received my dad's service history from the British Library digitisation service. Although it doesn't add much to what I already knew (as I have his army book) there are still some nice little details like him passing tests in Urdu, lists of countries he said he knew well, and those he was familiar with, medical forms etc.

    Not much more information on locations so I thought I'd post some photos in case anyone else comes across this site looking for the Madras Regiment (1942 - 1946).

    There are a couple of faces that I'd love to identify who appear here and in the regimental photos.

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  14. GeorgyB

    GeorgyB Active Member

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  15. GeorgyB

    GeorgyB Active Member

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  16. GeorgyB

    GeorgyB Active Member

    This photo intrigues me. A hospital? Post-war? Any clues?

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  17. GeorgyB

    GeorgyB Active Member

    There are a whole set of photos taking around this swimming pool. This is the clearest which might indicate the location, a camp with the mountains behind.
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  18. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    The photo in Post 14 has thirty officers, twenty-one are Europeans and two are Sikhs. The photo in Post 15 has thirty officers, with only six Europeans - none of whom can readily be seen in the previous photo.

    The composition suggests the first photo was taken early in WW2 and the second as the army officer corps became Indian later in the war or after VJ-Day, even as independence approached in 1947.

    The group photo in Post 16 is all white, with several civilians - between three and eight. Plus three women and a small child. The British Indian Army to my limited knowledge did not issue or wear baseball caps, as the man in the second row, second right does. The background suggests this is a grassed area, with a wall on the top left and a hedge to the right. Could this be a visit to a plantation venue or a farm?
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    JITTER PARTY Well-Known Member

    Photo 14 seems to show Officer Cadets; note the white bands around most caps and the variety of cap badges. No real indication of date since uniforms did not change that much.
    Photo 15 contains many men with formation badges; a better quality scan might help to pin it down.
    GeorgyB likes this.

    JITTER PARTY Well-Known Member

    Just noticed the same, or very similar, formation badges in photo 13.
    Also one of the portraits shows a 1939-45 Star and Burma Star.
    GeorgyB likes this.

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