Beds & Herts Regt, Burma Campaign - June 1944

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by Tonym, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. Tonym

    Tonym WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    The husband of one of my lady casualties died on 16 June 1944, he is buried in Taukkyan War Cemetery Myanmar (Burma) suggesting that he was a casualty of the Burma Campaign.

    He was 6025880, Private Ernest Leslie Flitney, 1st Btn. Beds. & Herts. Regiment. Would anybody have any info on him or what action his Battalion would have been involved in?

    Grateful for any details.

  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    1 Beds & Herts in 14 Bde. Chindit columns 16 & 61 according to this website.
    Says they had a lot of disease.
    Have a read here.
    Burma & The Chindits
  3. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    CWGC :: Casualty Details

    The 1st Battalion was stationed in the Middle East, moving to India in 1942 and subsequently serving as "Chindits" in the Burma Campaign of 1944.
  4. Tonym

    Tonym WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Thanks Owen & spider

    Good account of the Chindit campaign. So Flitney was a casualty of either battle or disease but whatever an uncomfortable situation.

    Regarding Wingate's comment about Headquarters 'Bloodsuckers' nothing seems to change does it?

  5. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Hi Tony,

    Had to wait till I got home to reply to your post as all my best books are here. Columns 16 and 61 were used in the second wave of Chindit units in 1944, these columns were deployed as 'floater' columns which patrolled the jungles outside of the famous Chindit strongholds, like White City, Blackpool and others.

    General Slim almost kept back 14th Brigade in India, they would have been used there as 'floater' columns and disrupted the Japanese advance on Imphal and Kohima.

    The Beds and Herts were used in this manner for the majority of April and May, hitting the enemy forces from the rear and then melting away again into the scrub. Their biggest single action was in support of Mike Calvert's stronghold at Mawlu (White City), where they attacked the Japanese advance on the Chindit base.

    Judging by Ernest's date of death, I would hazard a guess that he probably perished through exhaustion or disease. This is based on the fact that columns 16 and 61 were involved in many miles of marching and counter marching during their time in Burma and not too much combat against the Japanese.

    Also they came under Stilwell's control toward the end of the campaign and he notoriously abused the Chindit columns in his attempt to clear Myitkhina and Mogaung. Finally, the fact that Ernest has an actual grave at Taukkyan also points to him dying amongst his battalion comrades in a rear area, rather than in combat, where he would almost certainly have had no known grave.

    Hope this is helpful?

    spider likes this.
  6. Tonym

    Tonym WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    Most helpful indeed and I can accept your 'guess' regarding his cause of death. I can imagine that they were all well exhausted at the end of the campaign.

    I now have to find out his wife's cause of death, she is a non-com WAAF with no date of death and is referred to on his CWGC Certificate as his wife suggesting that she was alive when his details were recorded.

    Thanks again, my regards,

  7. spider

    spider Very Senior Member


    Good account of the Beds and Herts/14 Bgde
  8. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron


    Good account of the Beds and Herts/14 Bgde

    Thank you spider.

  9. Our bill

    Our bill Well-Known Member

    My god I cannot believe that the Chindits were not given a medal of their own for what they went through to carry on and achieve what they did half starved and ill through various diseases no wonder my dad never talked about it . I used to get riled as they were the forgotten army but maybe that's how it suited the powers that be as they must have felt no shame pushing these men to the point of death and near death through starvation . I have come to wonder how many wars would actually take place if the powers that said yes to war actually went to war. . From this link I have spent 2 days reading and have followed the journey of these men and I am ashamed that more support was not given to them . I would like to point out how upset I am being the daughter of a Chindits and only just learning not of the horrors of war but the horrors of their lifestyles they had to endure
    bamboo43 likes this.
  10. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Your father and these men experienced some horrific moments during their travels Elsie. It is so very common to learn that they never spoke about those days when they returned home to their families.
  11. Our bill

    Our bill Well-Known Member

    You know this sounds awful but I wondered why dad looked like he did in that photo I put on here ,I found that photo tucked away after he died now I know. When they found Belsen people were shocked and still are and yet these lads were malnourished and starved by their own by not getting the support they needed As a daughter of one of them men only just finding out what they went through nearly 70 years after the event i cannot believe how angry hurt and upset l am to be learning what my dad and all of them went through .
  12. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review... Patron

    ... and that is only what you have presently found ...
  13. Our bill

    Our bill Well-Known Member

    I have always felt proud of our army chaps passed and present but now I feel humble as well . My own son at 17 joined the paras and experienced Iraq , Northern Ireland Macedonia Kosovo and Sierra Leonne (another jungle war you don't here much of) My point is I doubt if any other chaps will ever go though what the chaps in Burma went through
  14. Andalusia

    Andalusia New Member

    Hello Tony
    I am afraid that you have the wrong Doris Flitney. The Doris M Flitney on the Lemsford War Memorial is Doris Maud Flitney the younger sister of Ernest Leslie Flitney. She was born in Lemford on the 21st October 1913, died on the 12th October 1946 and was buried inj the same grave as her parents in St. John's church, Lemsford graveyard. She never married. During the WW2 she served in the Waaf as a cook at what is now RAF Brampton which, I understand, was a US airforce base at that time.

    Ernest Leslie Flitney married Doris Dye on the 8th April 1939 at St.John's church, Lemsford. They had a son. Leslie, as he was known, was born in Lemsford on the 8th April 1912 and died in Burma on the 12th June 1944. He was a Private in the 1st Btn Beds and Herts.

    I have been researching the names on the Lemsford War Memorial and would be very grateful for any information about both Doris Maud and Ernest Leslie Flitney. I would be happy to share my findings of course.

  15. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    The casualty list has the term: Died rather than Killed in action or died of wounds so I think sickness and exhaustion is the likely cause.

    Attached Files:

  16. Andalusia

    Andalusia New Member

    Thank you for this information. I misread the file and will now amend my notes. Pity he could not have lasted a month or so more and then he would have been shipped out and hopefully made a recovery and a family tragedy would have been averted.
  17. CharlotteHaymes

    CharlotteHaymes New Member

    Hi. I am trying to find some more information on a relative Arthur Harold Haymes who was a Chindit in WW2. He was in the beds and herts regiment (communications)
    Any information appreciated.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
    Alex1975uk likes this.
  18. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    Any more info at all?

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