Cambridgeshire Regiment

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by Sgt Pilot Bernard Henson RAFVR, May 3, 2004.

  1. I am seeking any awards to men who served with the 1st & 2nd Bns; Cambridgeshire Regiment{TA & Previously 1/1st Bn;TF[1908~20}OR with any unit,if the Medals carry Numbers in the Range:5931001~5942000;I am especially keen on Pacific Star Groups That have the Efficiency Medal{Territorial} to Camb.R.;Efficiency {T}Groups to Any Unit within that # range;Single Efficiencies to Camb.R;Or that carry Numbers between 5931001 & 5924000,but named to any Unit.WW1 Trios,Pairs,Single Medals to Camb.R; I am Also interested in Medals awarded to Men who lived in Rettendon;Essex & The Wisbech/March/Chatteris/Whittlesey area of Cambridgeshire from Any period.Thank You :)
  2. themonsstar

    themonsstar Junior Member

    Hi All
    Can any one tell about the Regt.

    How many Batt.
    How many MC won
    Any Books i can read ref the Batts in WW2.

    Cheers Roy
  3. Cpl Rootes

    Cpl Rootes Senior Member

    Does anyone know anything about the Cambridgeshire Regiment? I went to a memorial service about the Schwarben Redoubt by 1/1st Cambridgeshires and wanted to find out more about them.

    All i know about them in WW2 is that both Battalions were captured at Singapore. Could anyone add anything?


  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  5. lancesergeant

    lancesergeant Senior Member

    The Royal Anglian Regiment museum in the Land Warfare part of IWM Duxford, has a section set aside for the Cambridgeshire Regiment. This from it's formation to being absorbed into the Anglians. It's downstairs near to the entrance.
  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Article on 2nd Bn here.
    COFEPOW - The Armed Forces - The 2nd Battalion - Cambs Regiment

    Great war info here.
    The Cambridgeshire Regiment in 1914-1918

    From BBC People's War website
    BBC - WW2 People's War - The Cambridgeshire Regt. (REPLACED BY FOREWORD)
    also appears here. Sergeant Len Baynes
    Stories contributed by Len (Snowie) Baynes
    an account of his wartime experiences with the Cambridgeshire Regiment, his capture in Singapore, and the four years he spent as a prisoner of the Japanese

    WW1 History to try and find.
    CAMBRIDGESHIRES 1914 to 1919
  7. Cpl Rootes

    Cpl Rootes Senior Member

    thanks a lot guys. :D
  8. lancesergeant

    lancesergeant Senior Member

    There are a couple of books concerning the Cambridgeshire Regiment on ebay at the minute. This one is more in line of what your after concerning 1st Cambridge the other concerns Malaya.

  9. lancesergeant

    lancesergeant Senior Member

    There's a book on ebay mentioning the Cambridgeshire Regiment and the fall of Singapore. I've posted the site address on the forum. Might be of some use. Regards.
  10. The Cambridgeshire Regiment was after the end of the Great War returned to a solitary Battalion,the 1st,{being no Regular Battalion,it was the Territorial Army Bn,in 1938 they were expanded the 1st Battalion being recruited in the City of Cambridge & Ely areas & the 2nd from the Villages & Towns of the Isle of Ely area,ie March,Chatteris,Wisbech,Whittlesea,etc,in 1939~40 they were employed on Coast defence in Norfolk,near Brancaster Sands & were to be deployed in the Africa Campaign & indeed were heading there in 1941/2 when the Troopships were diverted to defend the Island & Port of Singapore.At the fall of Singapore both Battalions were surrendered to the Japanese & became "Guests" of Hirohito;suffering the degradation & inhumanity of their Captors for the next 3 & a half years,suffering huge losses due to their inhumane treatment,As with the slaughter of the Pals Battalions of 1914~18 on the altar of the Somme,the resultant death toll in the Far East was similarly felt by the local populace of the Fen Towns & Cambridgeshire County due to the loss of so many of their young men.There are a number of excellent Books on the Cambs Regts role in WW2,including "A Line of Lost Lives" by J Cosford,a veteran of the Cambs,"With the Cambridgeshires @ Singapore" by William Taylor,former CSM of the 2nd Battalion & post WW2 ACF; & "Battalion @ War";the story of the 1st Battalion,by "Pony" Moore another NCO,PoW.
  11. Hello Roy.

    Pre 1938 1 Battalion,expanded in 1938/9 to two Battalions:~
    Cambridge & Ely= 1st Bn.
    Isle of Ely{Fens}= 2nd Bn;
    Not many Gallantry Awards @ all for 1939~45,1 x DCM,2 x MM,a Handful of MCs{not sure but under ten I think}& various other awards DSO,OBE; etc;
    Their Capture in 1942 precluded many awards,though I belive a few post 1945/6 awards of BEMs & MiDs were granted to PoWs to recognise their efforts whilst in captivity.
    Many books exist covering the Regiments role in WW2:~
    A Line Of Lost Lives by J.S.Cosford a Veteran PoW
    With The Cambridgeshires At Singapore by William Taylor of March Cambridgeshire,a Former Sergeant PoW.
    Battalion At War {1st Bn} by Cyril "Pony" Moore a former Suffolk Regular who served with the 1st Cambridgeshire Regt in WW2 as Sergeant,also a PoW.
    & If your interest extends to the Home Guard,an excellent History of the county's Home Guard Units,who wore the Cambridgeshire Regiment Badge,is:~
    They Also Served,published in 1944,tells the story of each detachment of the County HG/LDV,a fine and scarce contemporary HG Unit History.
  12. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  13. worrals

    worrals Junior Member

    There is a very interesting book about the Cambridgeshires in WW1 called The Cambridgeshires 1914-1919 by Brigadier-General E Riddell and Colonel M.C CLayton. I got my copy from Naval & Military Press, Military History, WWI & World War II Books
    Two of my gt grandfathers served in the Cambs Reg in WW1 and my gt grandfathers brother as well.
  14. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Here you have more about 2nd Cambridgeshire Regiment in Singapore.
  15. idler

    idler GeneralList

    They were the TA offshoot of the Suffolk Regiment, so they are also covered in the WW2 Suffolk Regt history. NMP also have the Cambridgeshires' WW1 history.

    1st Cambridgeshires has its own WW2 history: Battalion at War: Singapore 1942 by Michael Moore. There is also a personal account from 2nd Cambridgeshires: With the Cambridgeshires at Singapore by William Taylor.
  16. Toby123

    Toby123 Researching FEPOW, 2nd Cambridgeshire Regiment

    My father was a Corporal in the 2nd Cambs. He was a POW in Singapore and Thailand. What's your interest?

    Best wishes,

  17. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Hi Toby,

    The original poster hasn’t signed into the forum since 2011 so likely won’t see your message.

    You could try and send him a personal message - just click on his avatar and you should see a message “start a conversation” - click on it and a “message” box will open for you to write and “send” your message. He will get the message as long as he still uses the email he used to register on the forum.

    Good Luck.

    Toby123 likes this.
  18. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Soldier's son 'surprise' at WW2 hidden drums story
    Ernest "Ernie" Morgan, pictured in 1939, volunteered with the territorial Cambridgeshire Regiment from the mid-1920s

    The son of a World War Two soldier has spoken of his surprise at learning how his father hid his regiment's drums during the 1942 fall of Singapore.
    Ernest Morgan rarely talked about his wartime experiences, which included years of starvation and forced labour as a Japanese prisoner of war (PoW).
    The Cambridgeshire Regiment drums he hid were rediscovered by chance in 1946 and repatriated for a reunion parade.
    Paul Morgan said the story came as a "complete surprise" to him.

    image.jpeg The drums were repatriated to Britain in 1946 and paraded through Cambridge - silent to mark the regiment's losses

    Quartermaster Sgt Morgan, 32, arrived in Singapore with the Second Battalion on 29 January 1942 during heavy fighting with the Japanese.

    The former Cambridge shop worker was tasked with hiding the regiment's 22 drums and other kit, alongside Sgt Ron Kitson and about 20 soldiers.

    They were rapidly called away to join the resistance to the Japanese invasion at Adam Park.

    image.png Two of the drums, which date back to about 1910, are kept at Ely Museum and the other three at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford

    Historian Felix Jackson, co-founder of the Cambridgeshire Regiment Research Trust, said: "A myth has grown up that the Cambridgeshires stepped off the boat and were captured.

    "Many people are unaware how fiercely they fought against battle-hardened soldiers to defend the island before it fell on 15 February."

    Sgt Morgan was captured at Adam Park and spent years brutalised and starved, used as slave labour to help build the Burma Railway.

    "He once told us he suffered from every tropical disease - including malaria and beri-beri - plus dysentery, ulcers and cholera," his son said.

    "Every morning the Japanese would do exercises and chant, which he described as their morning hymn of hate."

    The Cambridgeshire Regiment was about 1,900 strong when it reached Singapore.
    By 1945, 784 officers and men had died fighting or while prisoners.
    One of those killed was a cousin of Mary Taylor, from Dullingham, Cambridgeshire.
    She arrived in Singapore with the Red Cross in the war's aftermath - and came across five of the drums hidden at the Goodwood Park Hotel.
    Mr Jackson said she instantly recognised they belonged to the Cambridgeshires and helped arrange their repatriation.

    image.png Cambridge newspapers reported the finding and repatriation of the drums in 1946

    The drums were paraded silently through Cambridge to mark the regiment's losses in 1946.

    Mr Morgan, who learned of the story from reading regimental histories, said: "I find it amazing my father never talked about this story - but maybe it was for him just a detail.

    "He survived, had two more children and died in 1987.

    "And while he rarely talked about the war, he also never showed any animosity to the Japanese."

    Felix Jackson said the rediscovery was seen as a really significant moment for the regiment, after "ghastly suffering" at the hands of the Japanese

Share This Page