Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by High Wood, May 7, 2015.
A few more photographs from the album.
2126138 L/Cpl Sydney George Sevier, 62nd (C.W.) Coy, R.E. India Command.
I am now thinking that this Staff Sergeant was serving with the King's African Rifles and is wearing an East Africa shoulder title rather than an East Lancs shoulder title.
A few further points.
62 CW Coy disbanded in 1943 and it never went to Burma.
Post 2 photo 1 does indeed show a 33 Corps badge.
I thought that we had already established that they are engineer Sjts, not S-Sjts.
The E Lan R (the proper abbreviation, not “East Lancs”) and KAR were infantry regiments, and so can be discounted.
“East Africa” is possible for a Sjt in the EAE, in which case it may be a course photo, rather than unit photo. This may explain the wide variety of uniforms.
Photo 2 looks more like a unit photo
He is not wearing an Italy Star, so I would forget about that.
I believe that service with the BEF would be covered by the 39-45 Star, so it’s a pity that neither of the men you identify was called Joe.
Photo 4 makes it clear that Sevier was then serving with a Mechanical Equipment Company. Presumably this was 58 ME Coy, which was formed by the amalgamation of 58 Fd Coy and 62 Fd Sqn in 1944. 62 Fd Sqn had been formed by redesignation of 62 CW Coy in 1943.
58 ME Coy was indeed in Rangoon in late 1945.
Thank you again for setting me right on various points.
I appreciate that 62nd (C.W.) Coy, R.E. didn't go into Burma under that title but many of its personnel would have with the 58th Field Coy as you have pointed out.
We had established that the Sergeants in the unit photo were Engineer Sergeants rather than Staff Sergeants but I was confused about the Sergeant with the East Africa shoulder titles. Thank you for suggesting the East African Engineers as this was not a unit that I was aware of.
In post 20 I was trying to eliminate all possible R.E. M.M. holders from the list as in the Sherlock Holmes saying, when you have eliminated the impossible from the equation whatever is left, however improbable, must be the truth. Regardless of the name Joe, which may or may not be a nickname, for a W.O. to have the M.M. he could have won it at any of the ranks that he held, so looking at L/Sgts first seemed to make sense. I have no way of knowing A, how many of the R.E. M.M. holders of all ranks ended up in Burma and B, how many ended up as Warrant Officers.
A point about the lack of the Italy Star ribbon that occurs to me is that it's absence may not necessarily mean that it was not an entitlement. I am not sure how medal distribution to serving soldiers was done but possibly the appropriate ribbon was sent to those soldiers in the appropriate theatre, I am not sure that sending Italy Star ribbons to Rangoon would have been a priority in 1945.
We know that the 58th M.E. Coy cannot have been in Rangoon before the 5th May 1945 but I do not know how long they were there for but there is a copy of the Rangoon Liberator dated 11th July 1945 in the album.
Given that the photograph album belonged to Sydney Sevier, it is a reasonable inference that Joe was someone known to him rather than a complete stranger. I am determined to work out who he is and I am grateful for your continued input.
More Rangoon photographs.
It is now five months since my last post on this thread but at last I have been able to add some new information as I have acquired a copy of, 'The Six-Two Company Magazine. This appears to have been produced by former members of the 62nd C.W. Company as a one off upon their return to the United kingdom.
The magazine was edited by Harry H Simmons, of Whitstable, Kent and has this dedication: These few tales of other days we dedicate to the memory of those members of the 62nd C.W. Company R.E., and 62nd Field Company, R.E., who helped make up the story these tales tell, but whose absence when we were homeward bound, saddened the joy of our returning: Doug Praill, Joe Maddocks. Bob Henderson, Matt Rawes, Our thoughts go also to those in 58 Coy., 67 Coy., and 1st C.W. Group, R.E., who accompanied us overseas, but who did not come back home. We lived together, and their comradeship cheered us at times when we most needed it; for these chaps were our pals.
The men mentioned above were:
1503756 Dvr Douglas Prail. 62nd C.W. Company, KiA 23rd September 1943, age 24. Husband of Ada Prail, of Ashington, Northumberland. Buried in the Kirkee War Cemetery, India.
1899811 Dvr Joseph Maddocks. 62nd Field Squadron, KiA 28th May 1943, age 32. Son of John and Sarah Ann Maddocks, of Birkenhead; husband of Dorothy Maddocks, of Rock Ferry, Birkenhead. Buried in the Ranchi War Cemetery, India.
1503303 L/Cpl George Robert Henderson. 62nd Field Company, KiA 15th August 1943, age 24. Son of William and Maud Henderson, of Ushaw Moor, Co Durham. Commemorated on the Rangoon Memorial.
1893637 Dvr Matthew Rawes. 58th Field Company. KiA 7th April 1944, age 30. Son of Christopher and Elizabeth Rawes; husband of Mabel Rawes, of Silloth, Cumberland. Buried in the Imphal War Cemetery, India.
I really like seeing such personal photos...thank you for putting them up. Also all the detective work seems to be paying off!
Thank you. I am gradually finding more pieces of the Jigsaw puzzle. Matthew Rawes' signature is on Cpl Sevier's K.13 newsletter. I have also managed to find a second K.13 newsletter that also has signatures. I have managed to work out who some of the signatories were.
Here is the second signed copy of the K.13 newsletter.
Third and fourth pages.
Nice to see this thread updated HW.
The Sixty Two Company magazine has a pictorial section with some interesting pictures and captions of their time in India and Burma.
The photograph at the lower right of the first page is also in Sevier's photograph album. See post 11.
I particularly like this photograph.
58 Fld Coy RE were originally a chemical warfare company.
Matthew Rawes was killed during the defence of Lion Box in early April 44 when 14 others from 58 Coy were killed. There were also 22 wounded.
thank you for the update. I had started working on a casualty list for 7th April and had found about nine other 58 Coy casualties so far, all in the Imphal War Cemetery. I am unaware of the incident in the Lion Box that resulted in so many casualties for the 58th Coy, It appears to have been their worst day during the campaign. Do you have any further details please?
Separate names with a comma.