Burma WW2 - Dr Harry Walker RAMC

Discussion in 'RAMC' started by kmvenables, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. kmvenables

    kmvenables Dr Harry Walker

    Hello - I am new to this site and am looking for information about my father - Harry Walker. He passed his Finals in July 1942, and joined the RAMC in March 1943, posted to 190 Field Ambulance in April 1943, to India in October 1943. He was at 21 British Hospital (Jhansi and Dinapore) from December 1943, then to 5 Indian Mobile Surgical Unit in May 1944. I don't know how long he was in this unit, possibly for the rest of his time, as he is described as serving 2 months in Malaya and 5 months in Java, which ffffits with % Indian's history. He returned to the UK in March 1946 and was released from the Army in July 1947. He then practised as an anaesthetist in Yorkshire before dying young in 1959.

    I have found some of the relevant Commanders' War Diaries in the National Archives, but there are a lot of gaps. I guess this is because his Mobile Surgical Unit might have been too small for its own war diary? Any thoughts on the units I have mentioned and on sources of expert advice on searching for documents? I will also post in the Burma Forum.

    I will be away for a short while and hope to find a few hints and tips when I get back - thanks in advance for any thoughts - Kate
     
  2. kmvenables

    kmvenables Dr Harry Walker

    Hello - I am new to this site and am looking for information about my father - Harry Walker. He passed his Finals in July 1942, and joined the RAMC in March 1943, posted to 190 Field Ambulance in April 1943, to India in October 1943. He was at 21 British Hospital (Jhansi and Dinapore) from December 1943, then to 5 Indian Mobile Surgical Unit in May 1944. I don't know how long he was in this unit, possibly for the rest of his time, as he is described as serving 2 months in Malaya and 5 months in Java, which ffffits with % Indian's history. He returned to the UK in March 1946 and was released from the Army in July 1947. He then practised as an anaesthetist in Yorkshire before dying young in 1959.

    I have found some of the relevant Commanders' War Diaries in the National Archives, but there are a lot of gaps. I guess this is because his Mobile Surgical Unit might have been too small for its own war diary? Any thoughts on the units I have mentioned and on sources of expert advice on searching for documents? I will also post in the RAMC Forum.

    I will be away for a short while and hope to find a few hints and tips when I get back - thanks in advance for any thoughts - Kate
     
  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Do you have a copy of:
    5 Mobile S.U. | The National Archives
    Reference: WO 177/2329
    Description:
    5 Mobile S.U.
    Date: 1942 Aug., Oct.- 1944 Aug.
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description
    Access conditions: Closed For 50 years

    A web site you may find useful for initial details - Hospitals WW2 - Scarlet Finders

    E.g
    21 British General Hospital
    Camiers 9/1/40 to 25/5/40 then to UK Leeds; Leeds 25/5/40 to 19/7/40 then to Hellingly; Hellingly 19/7/40 to 13/9/41 and then to Bridge of Earn; Bridge of Earn 13/9/41 to 6/42 then overseas; Secunderabad 8/42 to 11/42 then to Trimulgherry; Trimulgherry 11/42 to 11/43 then to Jhansi; Jhansi 11/43 to 4/44 then to Dinapore; Dinapore 4/44 to 1/45 then to Calcutta; Calcutta 1/45 to 1/46 then to Madras; Madras 1/46 to 3/46 (no further War Diary).

    Which to me means that there should be War Diaries until 1946

    I would also suggest, if you have not already done so - obtain a copy of his service records which will provide you with his 'official' record that you can follow - link - Request records of deceased service personnel

    TD
     
    timuk likes this.
  4. kmvenables

    kmvenables Dr Harry Walker

    Thanks! I have his narrative service record ande have read the War Diaries available for 5 Mobile SU and 21 British General Hospital , but they stop before the end of his service according to the narrative service record provided. So there are gaps that I want to fill.
     
  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Can you explain what you mean by a narrative service record - the link I gave you will provide his official service record, I can only assume the former is what you have been told the latter is fact for his complete service

    TD
     
  6. Rothy

    Rothy Well-Known Member

    5 (Indian) Mobile Surgical Unit was in:

    - the Pegu-Waw area on 17th May 1945
    - Rangoon/Rangoon area, with the 5th Indian Infantry Division on 6th July 1945 and 17th August 1945,

    according to the Army Medical Services, Volume V, by F.A.E. Crew.

    Rothy
     
    Moriarty24 and bamboo43 like this.
  7. kmvenables

    kmvenables Dr Harry Walker

    I mean that the letter the MoD sends to enquirers. The letter provides the dates he was attached to the 5 (Indian) MSU but the War Diary stops before the end of that period and I am assuming that the diary continued as part of the War Diary of a larger unit. The letter does not provide information about which larger units 5 MSU was attached to - in one article I have read that MSUs were attached to Casualty Clearing Stations. I would like to read his actual service record but the MoD has not rep[lied to a letter requesting this - Kate
     
  8. kmvenables

    kmvenables Dr Harry Walker

    Dear Rothy - thank you. One of my next steps is to look at this volume - Kate
     
    Rothy likes this.
  9. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    Did you just write a letter or actually download and fill in the correct application form for his records?
     
    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  10. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    As lionboxer has asked - you need to fill in the forms downloadable from the link I gave in post 3, they wont send them to you if you only send a letter

    TD
     
  11. kmvenables

    kmvenables Dr Harry Walker

    Yes - I did fill in the correct form - this was many years ago and they sent me a narrative letter outlining his service record. I would like to look at his full service documents and I wrote a letter asking for that, with no reply.
     
  12. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Kate

    It would seem that the MOD records have changed their policy, and will supply full records but only when the correct forms have been completed - it is a Ministry after all - they will not just send records if you ask them in a letter.

    Looking through the media section of the site there are several service records to view and if you can compare what you received "many years ago" with what the images refelect then you will possibly see the difference between then & now

    Harry Salt Service Records | WW2Talk
    Harry Salt Service Records 020 | WW2Talk
    Harry Salt Service Records | WW2Talk
    Harry Salt Service Records | WW2Talk
    Harry Salt Service Records | WW2Talk

    Unfortunately there is no real short cut to obtaining his records

    TD
     

Share This Page