L/Bombardier Ian Churchill, 159 Para Light Regt. RA

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Jeremy Churchill, May 23, 2009.

  1. Jeremy Churchill

    Jeremy Churchill Junior Member

    Hi there,

    I'm looking for any information anyone might have that would help me find out more about my father's war service in the Indian Army.

    Number 15001843. Lance-Bombardier (in November 1945) Edward Ian Churchill. Born Chindwaara, Central Provinces, May 17th 1923.

    As far as I know, he was assigned to (or whatever the expression was, in those days) the Simla Rifles, Auxiliary Force India on 4th June 1941, straight from school.
    1st May 1943 - transferred to the Nagpur Rifles, Auxiliary Force India.
    26th January 1944 - transferred to the Sherwood Foresters (presumably the 12th Battalion - a Jungle Training Unit?).
    5th November 1944 - transferred to Royal Artillery, where he stayed until demobbed in England 25/12/1947 (and yes, I have got that date right!).

    We only have two units for him, during his time in the Royal Artillery:

    554 Battery, 159 Para Light Regiment Royal Artillery. According to RA 1939-45 159 Fld Rgt, this was formed in December 1944 from 159 Field Regiment, RA which was itself formed at Quetta on April 17th 1941 (British Units 1946-48). This was part of the 44th (Indian) Airborne Division.

    This makes sense as he used to tell us that he started training on 25-pdrs and was then switched to US 75 mm pack howitzers towed by jeeps and he did parachute-jump training in Dakotas (he was very proud of being awarded a red beret) and glider training. He always said that the battery was being trained for the invasion of Japan until Hiroshima and Nagasaki . . .

    The other unit was the 17th Training Regiment, but this may have been just an administrative thing, while he was waiting for demob.

    Nothing appears on any of the National Archives websites, etc. Does anyone have any ideas on researching Indian Army units and servicemen?. Any info, sources, books, etc would be much appreciated.

    Regards

    Jeremy Churchill
     
  2. op-ack

    op-ack Senior Member

    Try the RA Museum in Woolwich, if they can't help, the Librarian is very knowledgable and should be able to point you in the right direction.
    Phil
     
  3. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Hi Jeremy, welcome to the forum.

    I expect the RA Museum would have an archivist who might be willing to help.

    Firepower
    The Royal Artillery Museum
    Royal Arsenal
    Woolwich
    London
    SE18 6ST
    UK
    Tel: 020 8855 7755
    Fax: 020 8855 7100
    General Enquiries: info@firepower.org.uk
    Research Enquiries: research@firepower.org.uk
    Donations of Memorabilia: marcs@firepower.org.uk
     
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

  5. bclausen

    bclausen Junior Member

    Hi there,

    I'm looking for any information anyone might have that would help me find out more about my father's war service in the Indian Army.

    Number 15001843. Lance-Bombardier (in November 1945) Edward Ian Churchill. Born Chindwaara, Central Provinces, May 17th 1923.

    As far as I know, he was assigned to (or whatever the expression was, in those days) the Simla Rifles, Auxiliary Force India on 4th June 1941, straight from school.
    1st May 1943 - transferred to the Nagpur Rifles, Auxiliary Force India.
    26th January 1944 - transferred to the Sherwood Foresters (presumably the 12th Battalion - a Jungle Training Unit?).
    5th November 1944 - transferred to Royal Artillery, where he stayed until demobbed in England 25/12/1947 (and yes, I have got that date right!).

    We only have two units for him, during his time in the Royal Artillery:

    554 Battery, 159 Para Light Regiment Royal Artillery. According to RA 1939-45 159 Fld Rgt, this was formed in December 1944 from 159 Field Regiment, RA which was itself formed at Quetta on April 17th 1941 (British Units 1946-48). This was part of the 44th (Indian) Airborne Division.

    This makes sense as he used to tell us that he started training on 25-pdrs and was then switched to US 75 mm pack howitzers towed by jeeps and he did parachute-jump training in Dakotas (he was very proud of being awarded a red beret) and glider training. He always said that the battery was being trained for the invasion of Japan until Hiroshima and Nagasaki . . .

    The other unit was the 17th Training Regiment, but this may have been just an administrative thing, while he was waiting for demob.

    Nothing appears on any of the National Archives websites, etc. Does anyone have any ideas on researching Indian Army units and servicemen?. Any info, sources, books, etc would be much appreciated.

    Regards

    Jeremy Churchill

    Jeremy,

    I know this is a old post. But if you should return, try this:
    159th Parachute Light Regiment RA | ParaData

    I have a friend who served with 159th Parachute Light Regiment and eventually 87th Airborne Field Regiment.
    I'm quite sure he also served in 554th Battery.

    If you like, I can ask him if he remember your father?

    Did your father go to Palestine with the regiment? I could not find him on the medal roll for the General Service Medal 1918-62 with Palestine 1945-48 clasp. That does not mean that he didn't qualify for the medal though - the roll is by no means complete.

    Kind regards,

    Bjoern Klausen
    Denmark
     
  6. Gil

    Gil Member

    My Brother William ( Billy) McCurdie in Karachi with
    159 Para Light Regt. RA 2nd Indian Airborne Division.
    upload_2018-5-2_9-36-15.png
     
    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  7. Gil

    Gil Member

    Karachi_India_1945_Billy_McCurdie_2nd_from_left_fromt_row.png
     
    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  8. Gil

    Gil Member

    Have a look and see if you can recognise your Dad in these Jeremy.
     

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