A little help finding personal memoirs etc please

Discussion in 'British Indian Army' started by Desi Warrior, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. Desi Warrior

    Desi Warrior Junior Member

    Hello, one and all.

    I love the wealth of information on this site! 'Tis a joy to read.

    I'm trying to find out more about WWII Indian soldiers and their contributions to the war efforts.

    I'm hoping someone can help me find memoirs, diaries, letters, audio/film recordings

    from Indian soldiers who fought in WWII in any theatre of battle, but particularly in Italy

    or Europe in general. I know they fought in Burma, the Middle East, North Africa, Italy,

    Greece, and even some in Britain but have not been able to find any personal memoirs,

    diaries, letters, audio/film recordings etc describing their story in their own words. Other than one or two for the pilots who flew in Britain and then Burma. There are plenty of such letters etc for non-Indian soldiers.

    I was wondering if anyone knows of any such items or could point me in the right direction.

    For example, in the Julian Thompson IWM books he has factual descriptions of the conflict when and where etc then various personal accounts are interspersed throughout the description. Something similar to this would be great or as stated above letters, memoirs etc would be great.

    Thanks in advance, hope someone can shine a light.

    It would be much appreciated.

    Thank you very much and keep up the good work.
    Chris C likes this.
  2. idler

    idler GeneralList

    There have been a few by Indian officers - Durrani's The Sixth Column and Singh's Escape from Singapore spring to mind.

    Then there's the Imperial War Museum collection, though the search function doesn't allow you to specify nationality.
  3. Desi Warrior

    Desi Warrior Junior Member

    Ay up, Idler.

    Ta for the info so far, will look into it and see what it leads to.

    I've managed to find some great interviews with some of the Indian Airforce and the odd clips, and snippets from TV programmes but not much else. The IWM has some great collections and I think I'm going to have to arrange a visit or get someone to go for me at some point....

    The Tiger Srtikes, Tiger Triumps etc books are a great account of the Indian divisions in WWII and have some ace individual bravery accounts but again they lack the personal touch. Nothing like hearing it in the words of the soldiers themselves...

    Thanks again.
  4. BrianM59

    BrianM59 Senior Member

    The Indian Army 1939-47 by Alan Jeffreys and Patrick Rose was published July 2012 - bit pricey on Amazon but you might find it cheaper elsewhere? Can't beat the IWM and the Army Museum in Chelsea do have online info on Indian soldiers

    Sepoy | Danger in the Hills | Commando Uncovered | Draw Your Weapons | National Army Museum, London

    was an online exhibition for example.

    The father of a friend of mine, now sadly deceased was a Major with the 10th Baluch Regiment in Burma and had the honour of accompanying Bhandari Ram, one of two VC winners of that regiment on his last visit to Britain. Both men were as unassuming and generous as you could meet and made light of their arduous military service.
  5. Desi Warrior

    Desi Warrior Junior Member

    CHeers, Idler.

    I've ordered those books off ebay - look good. Any other suggestions welcome....

    Thanks again to all who have replied, has been very useful....
  6. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

  7. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member


    Here's the History of 4th Indian Infantry Division in Greece 1944/45 (WO 204/8301).

    Happy Reading


    Attached Files:

    RosyRedd and sol like this.
  8. sol

    sol Very Senior Member


    Here's the History of 4th Indian Infantry Division in Greece 1944/45 (WO 204/8301).

    Happy Reading


    Thanks for that

  9. Shiny 9th

    Shiny 9th Member

    Hi there,Well you have chosen an unusual and interesting topic to research. May I suggest reading some of the books on the SEAC (South East Asia Command) section of the Bibliography on this website. It is on the menu under databases.Still being built up.Also try Jon Latimer's book "Burma". In the diaries I have been editing there is a reference to The Baluch Regiment- an Indian one- taking part in Operation Zipper and there were also sections of Indian soldiers who dealt with the mules used for carrying loads during the advance against the Japanese in Burma. Good luck
  10. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

  11. mcan

    mcan Active Member

  12. Desi Warrior

    Desi Warrior Junior Member


    Thank you all so much for all the kind replies. I've downloaded and started looking at the various recommendations...

    Keep them coming!
  13. Maureene

    Maureene Well-Known Member

    There are two Journals which possibly may contain biographical accounts, but you would need to live somewhere where you have access to a library which holds these Journals, such as the British Library in London. However, both the Journals have searchable online indexes.

    “Durbar” is published by The Indian Military Historical Society, and the Index to the journals is on the bottom of the Home Page. Eventually it is intended the older journals will be available online

    “The USI Journal” is published by the United Service Institution of India http://www.usiofindia.org/Publications/Journal/

  14. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    You will find some help in this MA thesis: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/5632/1/Kavanagh15MA.pdf
    The focus is the 10th Indian Division in Italy, but it has a chapter (No.5) citing censorship reports on what Indian and other soldiers were writing. Interesting to note many soldiers had by 1945 had no home leave for thres and half years.
    Now back to reading more - a quick read.
  15. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    OP has not been on forum since mid 2013
  16. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    OK, but I expect 'Charley' will be interested and others who search on 10th Indian.
    Charley Fortnum likes this.
  17. IKE26

    IKE26 Active Member

    Hi folks

    anyone has this book?

    Approach to Battle: Training the Indian Army During the Second World War by Alan Jeffreys
  18. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    No, but I'd like a copy!

    I have several of his contributions to other books on associated topics.

    And with a title like that, I assume that Tuker features.
  19. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    What I do have on this topic is below. Message me if anything is needed.

    The Indian Army in the Two World Wars,
    Edited by Kaushik Roy
    Screenshot 2020-09-08 at 02.40.22.png Screenshot 2020-09-08 at 02.40.28.png

    Allied Fighting Effectiveness in North Africa and Italy, 1942-1945,
    Edited by Andrew L. Hargreaves Patrick J. Rose Matthew C. Ford

    Screenshot 2020-09-08 at 02.42.44.png

    The Indian Army, 1939–47 - Experience and Development
    Edited by Alan Jeffreys and Patrick Rose

    Screenshot 2020-09-08 at 02.44.45.png
  20. IKE26

    IKE26 Active Member

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