Help Required - Finding Records of a Family Member (Chindits, Burma)

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by Jacob Fenton, Dec 28, 2019.

  1. Jacob Fenton

    Jacob Fenton 22 y.o posh-ish Brit from Hertfordshire, England.

    Evening all.

    A common request, I'm sure, but I've finally allowed my stubbornness to subside.
    Since April 2019, after my late-grandfather's passing, I have been looking into my family tree. I inheirted the medals of both my direct family and branches, which covered both WW1 and WW2.

    I showed my step-grandfather the medals and the work I have done and he began to talk about his father.
    His father, Christopher Bysouth, served with the Chindits in Burma. He only knows so much, as his father did not talk about the war too much, but he did know enough for me to have some form of foundation.

    Christopher Bysouth was a part of Operation Longcloth. He was knocked unconscious and was sent to a hospital to recover. Once he was sent back to the 'front lines', he was told that his regiment/division/group was off in the forest and could not regroup with them.
    That is as much as he knows, which I can imagine doesn't give too much to go from, but I would appreciate any assistance possible.
  2. veronicad

    veronicad Well-Known Member

    Hi, Bamboo (Steve) is your man. Look up all the research he has written by going to Operation Longcloth 1943. You will note, just how many hours this man must have given to his wonderful Longcloth site.(Pleased I'm not his wife!) He will also give you help here, without a doubt.
    Jacob Fenton likes this.
  3. Jacob Fenton

    Jacob Fenton 22 y.o posh-ish Brit from Hertfordshire, England.

    I appreciate the response Veronica. What would be the best way to get in contact with Steve?
    I assume it'll be via Private Message/Conversation but I can't seem to find his account

    EDIT: Found him :)
  4. veronicad

    veronicad Well-Known Member

    Well done.Steve will be along soon. He will pick up this thread. Would think he does not suffer from insomnia like myself.
    Also, Jacob you really need to apply to Glasgow for Christopher's service records. Cost is £ 30.00. His records will give you so much information. You really can't do without these records if you really want to move forward with your research.
    Jacob Fenton and amberdog45 like this.
  5. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    Definitely get the service record first.

    Hopefully somebody with a Find My Past account can look at the Casualty Army Lists. I think there are two entries, one in 1943 (probably from the incident you described) and one from 1946, probably noting his release.

    Best of luck with your research.
    Jacob Fenton likes this.
  6. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

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  7. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Jacob. Great to hear about your step grandfather. I am currently up at my dad’s house and away from my research files. Christopher's name is new to me which is exciting in itself.
    Do you know which regiment he was with, most of the soldiers for Operation Longcloth were with the King’s Liverpool.

    You can read more about the build up, training and first expedition on my website. The link is highlighted in blue below this post. The other members have given the best advice in sending off for Christopher’s Army records. These will help you follow the right pathway to his service.

    If you have any questions, please just ask. I will be back home in the New Year and see if their is mention of him in any of the papers I have.

    Jacob Fenton and Tricky Dicky like this.
  8. Jacob Fenton

    Jacob Fenton 22 y.o posh-ish Brit from Hertfordshire, England.

    Hi Veronica,

    I appreciate the information. Thankfully my Step-Grandfather is staying down for a few more days so I'll be able to get this printed, signed and sent off when I'm at work tomorrow.
    This opens a number of avenues for me, as I can delve into ancestors I know only a fraction about. Albert Presland being one of them.
    Died on the 12 March 1915, 23 Y.O. The only battle that was ongoing at the time that would correlate with his death would be Neuve Chapelle.
    He served with the Bedfordshire Regiment, 2nd Battalion under Captain Charles Calveley Foss.

    Anyways, I digress once again.
  9. Jacob Fenton

    Jacob Fenton 22 y.o posh-ish Brit from Hertfordshire, England.

    Hi Steve,

    Thank you for the link! I should have a moment within the next few days to get this filled out and sent off.
    I think I'll be able to get a few Non-Next of Kin done as well, for other ancestors who fought in WW1 and WW2.
    Many Thanks,
  10. Jacob Fenton

    Jacob Fenton 22 y.o posh-ish Brit from Hertfordshire, England.

    Hi Steve,

    Unfortunately, all the information I provided in the Original Post is all my Step-Grandfather could muster.
    When it comes down to Records and Ancestry, it doesn't help when they name their son after the father.
    Step-Grandfather: Christopher Bysouth
    His father: Christopher Bysouth (the one this thread is about)
    His father: Christopher John Bysouth (Servced in the Navy WW1)
  11. Jacob Fenton

    Jacob Fenton 22 y.o posh-ish Brit from Hertfordshire, England.

    Hi Amber,

    I've come to realise that I'm a little fish in a big pond when it comes down to this field... But since my Grandfather's passing back in March, the want and need to find out about my ancestry has skyrocketed and I've found out so much more than I though possible.
  12. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Jacob. So many of the veterans from the Burma campaign never spoke about their experiences. It sounds as though Christopher received his injury during training and did not get back in time to rejoin the Brigade before they left for Burma.

    Does the family possess a photograph of Christopher from any era?
    Jacob Fenton likes this.
  13. Jacob Fenton

    Jacob Fenton 22 y.o posh-ish Brit from Hertfordshire, England.

    Hi Steve. I was inclined to believe the same thing, as per my step-grandfather's description of events.
    "He was knocked unconscious and was sent back to a military hospital. By the time he was released, he was advised that they have all trudged off into the jungle. He was annoy to put it kindly."

    Unfortunately, no surviving photographs of his father remain. "One of my greatest regrets" he has stated many times. Through a distant relative on his Grandmother's side, we have photographs of this Grandfather in his Navy Dress-uniform but that's it.
    The most I could do is supply a photograph of his Grandfather in the hopes that they look similiar, though that beggers more work for you than needed.
  14. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Hello Jacob you dont need to be next of kin to apply for service records

    Apply for the records of someone who's deceased
    You can apply for a copy of someone else’s service records if any of the following apply:

    • you’re their immediate next of kin, for example their spouse or parent
    • you’ve got consent from their immediate next of kin
    • you have a general research interest - you’ll only have access to limited information, unless they died more than 25 years ago
    Jacob Fenton likes this.
  15. Jacob Fenton

    Jacob Fenton 22 y.o posh-ish Brit from Hertfordshire, England.

    Huh...right you are.
    Oh, I'm going to have a field day with this I can tell.
    Many thanks!
    CL1 likes this.
  16. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Checked Findmy past I cannot find any entries for a Christopher Bysouth ?

    There`s 11 mentions for `Bysouth` in `WW2` these refer to six `other` Bysouth`s ;-

    4926000 Pte A , R Bysouth 1st South Staffordshire Regiment wounded 6th April 1943

    Alfred Walter Bysouth Civilian War Dead Killed 10 Sep 1941

    1385599 Sgt Dennis Norman Bysouth R.A.F.V.R Killed 10 Apr 1943

    1867078 Sgt Raymond Walter Bysouth R.A.F.V.R Killed 30 Aug 1944

    T/66354 Royston James Bysouth R.A.S.C Died (Home) 1940

    T/273245 V. J Bysouth R.A.S.C Captured Far East/Malaya

    Jacob Fenton likes this.
  17. Jacob Fenton

    Jacob Fenton 22 y.o posh-ish Brit from Hertfordshire, England.

    How odd...
    I cannot thank you enough for looking though, Kyle.
    I'll keep digging as my step-grandfather originally thought his name was John Bysouth, but it is odd to not be 100% what your father's name was.
    And he wasn't an absentee father either, being there in his life from the age of 4 (impregnanted his wife Catherine Sinclair and then went off to Burma).

    Many Thanks,
  18. wibs12

    wibs12 Well-Known Member

    Same here...... drawn a blank re WW2 specific stuff across FMP, Ancestry, Fold 3 and BNA..... there's a chunk of naval info on great-grandad from WW1 but not for subject of OP search...... will keep plugging away.

    Can you point us to where you think these records on FMP are, if I've missed them will happily go back and look again...

    Jacob - what about giving us a few additional details that may help..... even best guesstimates may help.... things like both when and where he was born / died, places he lived (even counties if you don't know towns), other family members

    Jacob Fenton likes this.
  19. wibs12

    wibs12 Well-Known Member

    If the guy you are searching for (your great grandfather) was definitely married to Catherine Sinclair, then his name was Christopher John Bysouth.......
    Screenshot 2019-12-29 at 12.51.41.png
    CL1 and Jacob Fenton like this.
  20. Jacob Fenton

    Jacob Fenton 22 y.o posh-ish Brit from Hertfordshire, England.

    That is certainly the fella', buried at Baldock Cemetery.

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