Help me trace a chindit

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Brownhound, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. scousePete

    scousePete Junior Member

    hi bamboo- thanks for the info and the image. You are correct, he was originally in the Loyals before transferring over to Recce. I plan on applying for his service records and contacting the museum in fulwood to see if they have any further info on him
    bamboo43 likes this.
  2. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    No worries, wish I had more for you. I'll keep an eye out as I go about my more general research.
  3. Alex Hanham

    Alex Hanham New Member

    Hello, I'm looking for information about my grandfather Percy Ambrose (3602769), who served with 45th Recce in Burma. My uncle has a map of Burma on an orange silk scarf, my Grandad was 90 when he passed away in 2005 and never talked of his time in Burma, I learnt the little information I know from my nana, Florence Angela Ambrose (maiden: Garfoot). As a younger lad I was always interested but never dug deeper, now I'm 25, I want to learn more about what he did and went through as I'm aware the Chindits are a relatively unknown regiment in many WW2 books and articles.
    I do know he was just over 7 stone at he end of the campaign and was in hospital for 6 months before coming back to the uk. I also remember a story about his CO being shot and killed as he stood talking to him and my grandad led other personnel out of the jungle through Japanese lines back to allied held positions. Was just wondering if there were any photos or records of him. My cousin James Ambrose has his war medals if that would be any help. Thank you
  4. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    I can't find anything about your grandfather in any records I possess Alex, but that is fairly normal when looking into lower ranked soldiers who survive their time in Burma. Percy's Army number comes from the allocation given to the Border Regiment in WW2, so it is likely that he began his service with this regiment.

    Most of what I can tell you is already on this thread. 45 Recce were given over to 16th Brigade for the second Chindit expedition in 1944 and formed columns nos. 45 & 54 on Operation Thursday acting as infantry soldiers.

    Book wise, you should try and read, Wild Green Earth, by the 16 Brigade commander, Brigadier Bernard Fergusson. Another book, To Be a Chindit, by Philip Sharpe is also a very good read as an overview for 45 Recce in Burma. These two books will give you as close an understanding of what Percy went through in Burma than any others. A book that covers the whole of the Chindit story very well and includes many personal accounts by actual Chindits is, War in the Wilderness, by Tony Redding.

    One of our forum members, Recce_Mitch has placed the 45 Recce war diaries up on here. The 1944 diary begins on this page:

    I hope this will assist you in some way going forward with your research. If you have a photograph of Percy that you are willing to share on the forum, we would all be interested to see one.

    Best wishes

    Last edited: Dec 13, 2021
    4jonboy and Tony56 like this.
  5. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Alex, our advice is always to get hold of his official service records, they are only available here:
    Requests for personal data and service records: a detailed guide - GOV.UK (

    As he enlisted in the Border Regiment you will need to find out when he transferred, and also if there were other units in between. That service number does not appear in the army casualty lists as being missing, wounded or POW.
    4jonboy and CL1 like this.
  6. scousePete

    scousePete Junior Member

    Hi Alex,

    Thanks for sharing some of the informatin about your grandad, it's shocking to think that he was 7 stone when he came out of Burma.
    I can highly recommend 'To be a chindit' by Phil Sharpe, he was an NCO with the regiment and it's a great account of 45 Recce's journey over to India via South Africa and their subsequent role as part of 16 Brigade and the long yomp into Burma. Like you, I'm trying to find out more about my grandad's time in 45 Recce, I'm just waiting for his service records. Unfortunately, like many others, he remains in Burma, he was KIA during the battle on 18/4/44 (I think when the 2 columns were 'loaned' to Mike Calvert's 77 Brigade). If you have any photos or further info about your grandad's time with 45 recce, that would really be interesting.

    bamboo43 likes this.

Share This Page