APO 1810 - Please identify location

Discussion in 'General' started by Dave T, Jul 28, 2015.

  1. Dave T

    Dave T Junior Member

    I'm researching letters home from Northampton Post Office staff in the services.
    One letter from a Lance Corporal in the 2nd Battn Northamptonshire Regiment indicates that it was sent from APO 1810. I believe that in May / June 1942, the Battn went from Madagascar to PAI Force via an overland journey through India, and that the address may relate to one of the Indian ports.
    Is there a list of the APO numbers anywhere? I'd love to know where he wrote from if anyone could help.
    This snippet may offer other clues:
    L.CPL. DICKY DEACON (APO 1810) Have been ashore at a modern City out East where Black Out doesn't exist, and oranges and coconuts grow by the side of the road. Buses, Cinemas and Canteens are tree for the troops, and the meals are wonderful. Fruit is very cheap - grapes 6d a bunch. They still have Rickshaws drawn by natives in War paint, a1though the main transport is streamlined Cars. Several languages are spoken but the Europeans and a lot of the natives speak English.
  2. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I don't have any knowledge of the POs, but 2nd Northamptons called at Freetown and Durban prior to Madagascar and afterwards sailed direct to Bombay Harbour, where the battalion history does state :" A welcome break occurred here, because it was possible to send the E.F.M. cables and also airgraphs. Generally the battalion had received and written very little mail since leaving England in March. During the few hours' shore leave, some visited the Gateway of India whilst others preferred to try India's beer".

    Another account refers to the ship reaching Bombay on 21st June but not docking until the 25th so there may have been various groups going ashore and perhaps not even knowing that they would be disembarking.

    The MT though went to Karachi.

    A 'Google' indicates that 'EFM' indicated 'Expeditionary Force Message'
  3. Dave T

    Dave T Junior Member

    Many thanks for this speedy response and helpful information to put me on the right track.
    I believe the "city out east" was misleading, and since the letter was published in Northampton in June 1942, it must have been sent prior to the arrival in Bombay, and so prior to the invasion of Madagascar and thus refer to the stop at Durban. Websites covering wartime Durban seem to tally with the description, with the natives in war dress pulling rickshaws, facilities free to service personnel etc. There was a black-out in Durban but it wasn't imposed until 27th June 1942.
    I was unaware of the Madagascar Operation "Ironclad" before reading the "Northampton News" letters. Another from L/Cpl Deacon follows:

    L/CPL. DlCKY DEACON (India) Two months editions of the N.H. News have reached me together for which very many thanks. You will have heard that TOD and I were in the Madagascar show so that's another place to add to the list where the Northampton Boys are doing their bit. During the operations one of our Officers and a few men were out on patrol and came across an enemy Pill box. Crouching on all fours the Officer crept up a ditch watching the Pill box and - when about l5 yards away he was amazed to find a machine gun pointing directly at him. On capturing the Pill box he asked the man with the gun why he hadn’t opened fire and was flabbergasted when he got the reply "I hadn't received orders to open fire, so I waited". (I wish they were all as easy as that). We now get shows by a mobile Cinema which are very good although the films are not the very latest, still they make a nice change. One of our chaps who comes from Maidford made a record for Broadcasting - I don‘t know whether you heard it? In the native bazaars it’s possible to buy anything from a packet of pins to a motor car - that is if you've got the money. I‘m sorry to hear about the Postmaster’s son and F.D.R. Robinson, and hope to get better news before long; Best Wishes to all. (You’ll be a proper old sweat when you get back).

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