Chindit Reunion

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by eddie chandler, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. eddie chandler

    eddie chandler Senior Member

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    wtid45, spider and ramacal like this.
  2. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    Great story, didn't take the camera did you ?
     
  3. eddie chandler

    eddie chandler Senior Member

    Took a couple but need to sticth them together to get them all in. Steve may have others
     
  4. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    Good man, look forward to seeing them.
     
  5. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    It was my pleasure to be in your company Ed and in the midst of all those great men. I think there were about 26 actual Chindits at the reunion, sadly for me only one who served on operation Longcloth, Bill Smyly, but what value he was, having served in the same column as my Grandad and the same brigade as Eddie's Great grandfather.

    I have a couple of photos, which I will add to the thread later tonight with any luck. To my great shame I did not take a photo of Eddie wearing his Great Grandad's medal entitlement, which was undoubtedly the talk of the veterans, as it was the highest gallantry award in the room!

    On Sunday my Burma veteran weekend continued when I sat down to dinner with Captain Gerald Fitzpatrick of the KOYLI. Gerald had suffered terribly during the retreat from Burma in 1942 and is the author of the book 'No Maymyo, No Mandalay'. I have helped him in regard to his research into the fate of the battalion he commanded in 1942, most prominently with those who became POW.

    More later.....
     
  6. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Here are a few photos of the Chindit evening and my meet with Gerald Fitzpatrick.

    Bill Smyly was Bernard Fergusson's Animal Transport officer both in 1943 and 1944. Fergusson wanted him so much on the second operation that he had him flown in specially to join 16th Brigade, who had otherwise marched into to Burma the long route that year.

    He (Smyly) was a young British Gurkha officer who absolutely adored his mules, in 1943 he had attempted to disperse via China (almost the same route that my Grandad took) and was very fortunate (his words) to make it out alive.

    Gerald Fitzpatrick arrived in Rangoon almost exactly the same time as the Japanese were moving across from the Siam borders. He had no real time to settle in with his new battalion of Kings Own Yorkshire's before he was fighting a continuous regard battle all the way to the Sittang Bridge.

    Once again a man who knows just how lucky he was to survive that experience, he was an absolute joy to talk to, but mainly to listen. A no nonsense Yorkshireman (of Irish decent originally) he speaks with a very honest and candid attitude and told it how he saw it. Some wonderful anecdotes, including beating Mike Calvert in a swimming race across a nearly frozen river early in WW2.

    Both men are in their 90's and both are a sharp as a razor and witty with it.

    What a weekend!:)

    Photos are:

    Chindit group at COCA reunion on Saturday.

    Bill Smyly and a very handsome man indeed.:D

    Captain Gerald Fitzpatrick presents a signed copy of his book to another very handsome man indeed.:D
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    Sounds like you both had a good weekend...!

    Well done
     
  8. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Sounds like you both had a good weekend...!

    Well done

    Thanks Ken, it was a fantastic evening.:)
     
  9. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    Thanks Ken, it was a fantastic evening.:)

    Thanks Steve for posting the photos (how about a digital recorder) and to both yourself and Eddie for attending, it would have made the veterans proud to know they are still recognised.

    Again, well done those men.
     
  10. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Thanks Steve for posting the photos (how about a digital recorder) and to both yourself and Eddie for attending, it would have made the veterans proud to know they are still recognised.

    Again, well done those men.

    When I was in Burma with a few of the vets I did use a recorder and have some Chindit based conversations which I may well use on my website (pending). To be honest the reunion dinner is a very difficult venue for sound recording as most people are there to enjoy themselves and the noise level is high.

    Also, and it will be interesting to see if Eddie found this too, you get so carried away with the flow of the evening, you often forget to photograph and do all the things you plan. The other guests and vets wanted to know why we were there, mainly because we were probably the youngest men in the room. So in effect we were often interviewed by them!:)
     
  11. eddie chandler

    eddie chandler Senior Member

  12. eddie chandler

    eddie chandler Senior Member

    Photograph of Vets at Reunion Dinner 2011 Walsall

    Eddie Chandler
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    Neatly edited...
     
  14. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Well done Eddie, nicely done mate.:)
     
  15. andy007

    andy007 Senior Member

    Great shot Eddie, sounds like the reunion was one of those once in a life-time opportunities :)
     
  16. eddie chandler

    eddie chandler Senior Member

    My first attempt at anything like that on Photoshop, so my apologies for any major glitches in the editing!

    :D
     
  17. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    Thanks fella's for the photos.
     
  18. mattgibbs

    mattgibbs Senior Member

    Great Stuff, its nice to know that these chaps still get together albeit infrequently. I had no luck in contacting them through the Burma Star Assoc for whatever reason, but I am glad you certainly had a fruitful evening. My great uncle died while trying to get back to allied territory with Calvert on 2nd Chindit Op. He was Yorks and Lancs, Pte Summersgill. I have only 1 photo of him, probably taken in India during leave from training. Funnily enough when being dragged out from browsing a bookshop with famiy I saw the No Maymyo book so I might well go back and get it :)
    regards
    Matt
     
  19. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    to another very handsome man indeed.:D
    Im still looking cant see the fella :lol: but seriously well done to you for all your stirling work and great to see you had such a good time and a book to boot as well;)
     
  20. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    My first attempt at anything like that on Photoshop, so my apologies for any major glitches in the editing!

    :D
    Its a great pic Eddie, and seems to me that the night gave you a chance in part to complete some of the journey you have been on.......... nice to see you back on here posting dont be a stranger mate:D
     

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