Looking for information on 70th IGH (C)

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by the_guvnor, Aug 3, 2016.

  1. the_guvnor

    the_guvnor New Member


    I've noticed a couple of threads here relating to Indian General Hospitals so I hope this is the right forum.

    My mother worked in 70th IGH (brackets C) in 1944 and I have a picture of her group in Kalsi in India.

    I know that IGH stands for Indian General Hospital but I don't know what the 'C' means and I'd be grateful if someone could enlighten me.

    I also found a site (http://www.cbi-theater.com/hospitals/_cbi_hospitals.html) which lists the locations of this and other Hospitals. It gives the locations of 70th Field Hospital in 1944 as Ledo - Chengtu - Kunming - Calcutta.

    This prompts a couple more questions:

    Was it common for hospitals to change designation from 'Field Hospital' to 'General Hospital'? In other words is 70th Field Hospital likely to be the same unit as 70th IGH?
    I haven't been able to find any reference to either in searching The National Archives 'Discovery'.

    The Ledo to Kunming road was built in 1943/44 as a major supply route into China. Maybe the field hospital was intended for the American soldiers and locals engaged in building the road (apparently 1100 Americans died during the construction). Can anyone confirm that assumption ?

    Kalsi, where my mother's picture was taken, is a long way from either the Ledo Road or Calcutta/Kolkatta, so maybe it was, in fact, a different unit. If anyone has any information on 70th IGH C I would be very grateful if you could share it.

    Many thanks


    Edit: the posting process is converting 'brackets C brackets' to a copyright symbol so I've changed the text. Sorry to edit within seconds of posting!
  2. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    The website that you have posted a link is for American hospitals in the China India Burma theatre. These were completely different to the British Indian Hospitals.

    Indian General Hospitals tended to be used for Indian troops whereas Field hospitals would treat both British and Indian troops and sometimes Japanese wounded in the front line.

    In the case of the 70th Indian General Hospital (C), the C probably stands for Calcutta.
  3. Charpoy Chindit

    Charpoy Chindit Junior Member

    C stands for Combined; that is catering for both Indian troops and British troops. There were IGH (BT) and IGH (IT) too.
    Commonwealth forces did not have Field Hospitals at all (exceptions on a postcard). 70 Field Hospital was an American unit, as you suspected from its locations.
  4. the_guvnor

    the_guvnor New Member

    Thank you High Wood and Charpoy Chindit

    I appreciate your replies which have been very helpful.

    The web site I included is indeed for American units so not really relevant.

    Thanks again

  5. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    I have some copies of pages from Kew (unfortunately not very good quality at all) that show the hospitals around April 1944 on a map but 70th IGH does not show on them. They cover Dacca east so it includes Imphal etc.

    For info only there was a 44th IGH in Ledo at that time - British and not American.
  6. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    Hi Dave

    First there is no 70th Indian General Hospital in the list of war diaries held at Kew (WO177 - it should be the next after WO177/2237). This is not conclusive because occasionally units' diaries went missing but...

    The best source on the hospitals I have found is by FAE Crew 'The Official Medical History of the Second World War: The Army Medical Services Vol V'. I have a copy of the chapters on India and Burma and I cannot find mention of it in the lists of hospitals.....

    Have you got any documentation that conclusively shows she served at 70th IGH? Have you thought about applying for her Personnel records from the MOD?

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