Photocopying SOE Personnel Files

Discussion in 'SOE & OSS' started by Simon_Fielding, Dec 20, 2019.

  1. Simon_Fielding

    Simon_Fielding Withnail67

    I'd like to get hold of one of these - The NA says it has been open since 2009 - how big are they? Are they likely to have redactions? Can anyone recommend a 'copier' as my Parkinson's disease is heading in the opposite direction to Kew!

    Catalogue description
    Reginald Middleton INGLETON - born c.1919, died 07.07.1945
    Ordering and viewing options

    Reference: HS 9/776/4
    Reginald Middleton INGLETON - born c.1919, died 07.07.1945

    Date: 1939-1946
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description
    Access conditions: Closed Until 2009
    Record opening date: 01 March 2009
  2. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    I have several of these personnel files, the smallest is just 8 pages, the largest 72 pages. Forum members Drew 5233 and both offer a very competitive copying service at Kew.
  3. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    Do you know, was Riginald killed by the enemy? And if yes, where?

  4. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Dear Stefan, please see information in link;

    SOE Ingleton, Reginald Middleton

    Kind regards, always,

  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

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  6. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Thanks Owen! Very much appreciated (operator error on my part I guess).

    Kind regards, always,

  7. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Hello again Stefan, apologies for this later response.

    I knew I'd read Major Ingleton's name before but initially I couldn't remember where. After an hours digging I found the source of that which was (is!) in my memory.

    Please see attachment, extract from "Unearthing Churchill's Secret Army - The Official List of SOE Casualties and Their Stories" by John Grehan & Martin Mace (Chapter 5 "Not Forgotten - A list of agents died on active service who are not recorded as SOE casualties in the records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission", Pages 248 and 249)

    Like much we discuss on here, the details given of Operation Rimau make for sobering reading.

    And, if you search "Operation Rimau" on WW2 talk you will find interesting threads aplenty`.

    Kind regards, always,


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 21, 2019
  8. Simon_Fielding

    Simon_Fielding Withnail67

    Perhaps I should contextualise! My wife teaches at Rendcomb College here in Cirencester - a lady with a long-standing interest and enthusiasm for the Rimau story contacted the school and was directed to the school librarian who is a pal of mine and tuned in to all things military. She is keen on an image of RMI, and I just thought it might be on his file. The school have an excellent Roll of Honour for WW2 with some moving stories.

    Major Reginald Middleton INGLETON, Royal Marines (May 1930 to July 1936) Reginald Ingleton, son of William and Alice Ingleton, entered Rendcomb College in 1930 from Aldersbrook School. He matriculated in 1935 and left to become an articled pupil in his grandfather’s firm of architects in 1936, after a school career in which he was noted for his prowess at games, particularly hockey, and prophetically, for his skill as a canoeist on "the lake in the park". He joined the Royal Marines in 1940 and served initially in the R. M., Armoured Support Regiment. Later he specialised as a swimmer-canoeist with an Assault Force known as Detachment 385 before being sent to serve as SEAC’s observer in the rank of Major, with Col., Ivan Lyon’s SOE Force 136, which organised clandestine resistance against the Japanese. Major "Otto" Ingleton, a big man weighing 108kg, took part in Operation "Rimau", or "Tiger", which followed a highly successful Operation "Jaywick", in which a commando force made a difficult and protracted journey, by sea, in a native fishing boat, and blew up shipping in Singapore harbour. Operation Rimau did not succeed in its objectives. A task force set out from Freemantle on September 11th 1944 onboard the submarine "Porpoise" and established a secret base on the island of Pulo Merepas, off Singapore. Members of the force succeeded in capturing a trading prahu to convey 15 submersible canoes into Singapore harbour. Still, it was intercepted by a patrol boat, and it had to be abandoned and sunk. The raiders split up and fled, but were hunted down until all of them were killed or captured. Ten men, including Major Ingleton, were incarcerated in Outram Road gaol in Singapore for nine months, interrogated by the Kempei Tai, and put on trial. Subsequently, all of them were executed by decapitation at Bukit Tirnah, off Reformatory road, on July 7th 1945 and their graves may be found in the Kranji War Cemetery in Singapore. Unusually for enemies of the state who were executed by the Japanese, their graves were recorded and marked, and this distinction may be attributed to the Japanese Court’s verdict, given, allegedly, according to the doctrine of "Yu-shi", namely, .."send them to the glory of death to glorify the last of the heroes...Let us not disgrace their spirit by supposing that they may want to be alive. Sending them to death is the only way to send them to eternal glory. Let us do this". There are discrepancies between the official account, which suggests that the mission was partially successful, and a detailed post-war investigation conducted by Major Tom Hall, which is highly critical of the organisation. Major Hall’s appraisal was published in "The Heroes of Rimau; unravelling the mysteries of one of World War II’s most daring raids", by Lynette Silver, (Leo Cooper 1991), ISBN 0 08552 334 6. Another book, "The Heroes", by Ronald McKie, (Angus Robertson 1960), takes a more conciliatory view. Whatever the truth may be, it does not alter the fact that brave men were executed, yet, for thinly disguised political reasons, the instigators of this war crime, particularly the C. in C., General Itagaki 1 , were not brought to account. One of those brave men, who, by his captors’ admission, showed great courage throughout, even to the moment of execution on 7th July 1945, was Reginald Ingleton. The Japanese interpreter at the trial, Furuta, has stated that Ingleton asked to shake the hands of his fellow captives before he died and that he thanked Furuta for his courtesy and kindness throughout their captivity. Furuta described Ingleton as "a huge genial man", and as "a mountain of a man, calm, quiet and imperturbable, seated on the floor (of his cell), with his back against a wall and with a book propped on his knees". In captivity, he had shown a penchant for the works of P. G. Wodehouse and William Shakespeare. Reginald Ingleton was survived by his mother, wife and baby daughter. He is buried in the Kranji War cemetery. 1 General Seishiro Itagaki was tried for war crimes and executed December 1948, link.
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  9. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Thanks for elaborating gentlemen. It is possible that there might be a war crimes trial file at Kew in regards to this case and Seishiro's conduct and involvement.
  10. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

  11. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    Search for "Rimau" at Australian National Archives returns several downloadable files and photographs. These include war crimes investigation files. However, I cannot find a war crimes court file relating to the suspect named above or "Rimau" in UK or Australian archives
  12. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Seasons Greetings John,

    It could be that this is our man:

    Gen Seeshino Itagaki: M12 biographical notes | The National Archives
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  13. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    Well done, Steve, and Happy Christmas to you.

    I like the randomness of the files order in WO208. A bit like loading toys on to Father Christmas's sleigh from the grotto warehouse: a train set from here, a doll's pram from the next rack, a box of chocolates, etc. Look at the neighbours to file WO 208/4597 and you get a challenge for any speed of light St. Nicholas: Italy, Germany, Greece, Japan, and Syria.

    WO 208/4591 1945 Aug Gen K Wolff: statement on German reprisals in Italy

    WO 208/4592 1945 Aug - 1947 Feb Partisan activities in Italy: statements by German officers on reprisals by German forces
    WO 208/4593 1946 Oct 1947 Jan Lt Gen K Dittman: reports on his activities as a broadcaster

WO 208/4594 1946 Nov - Dec Gen H Keller: reports on his activities as defence counsel for Gen Von Mackensen

    WO 208/4595 1939 July - Dec Defence of Greece: Anglo-Turkish conversations and exchange of information

WO 208/4596 1939 Sept 1940 May Defence of Greece: Turko-Greek co-operation on military situation

    WO 208/4597 1936-1941 Gen Seeshino Itagaki: M12 biographical notes

    WO 208/4598 1938-1944 Gen Hideki Tojo: M12 biographical notes

    WO 208/4599 1941 Oct - Nov Zaidan - Meshed supply route

WO 208/4600 1938 Sept - 1941 Oct Military reports on Syrian Army
  14. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    I've not dipped into WO208 very much over the years, but as you say the sequencing of the files is interesting to say the least.
  15. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    For Simon, and all who have contributed to this thread, following attachments for information, courtesy of National Archives of Australia.

    All items are in the public domain and available via the NAA website.

    Due to my personal knowledge (and lack of same) and interest in SOE casualties I could not grasp why the execution of brave men of Operation Rimau had never resulted in a War Crimes trial, and how such was not determined to be a War Crime. So, in connection with same, items attached below (which are just a few pages of the over 700 available from and as a result of the thorough investigation carried out immediately post war).

    They are not easy reading, the letter from Cyril Chambers, Minister for the (Australian) Army, to the mother of one of the brave men executed, John Thomas Hardy, is particularly difficult for me.

    In conclusion, I have attached a photograph of participants on route to the prior Operation Jaywick, by way of illustrating the lengths, knowing full well the risks, that these supremely courageous men were prepared to go to in carrying out their missions.

    With the deepest reverence and kind regards, always,


    Attached Files:

  16. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    Thanks for the information. Just wanted to make sure, it is not the unknown SOE agent which was possibly shot by the GESTAPO near my town.
  17. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Dear Stefan,

    Please start a thread regarding this, even if you have next to no details the good folks on here may have something to add.

    Kind regards, always,

  18. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    Dear Jim,
    ok, let's have a re-start.
    The village next to my home town called Ummendorf had a Dornier assembly plant during WW2.
    The son of an already old chap and a amember of the local home guard told me the following story:
    One morning sometimes between 1940 and 1944 he wnt to the wooden case with there weapons.
    Surprise, surprise a man stared at him talking English only.
    The chap took him to the police station and this is the last time he has seen him.
    There are no local documents and records of a foreigner being killed during these years.
    So, I assumed he could have been an agent. Non-German speaking, may be not English or American.

    I was in touch with Steven Kippax and a WW2talk member, but so far no idea who this man was.
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  19. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

    Have you tried searching under “Z Force”? Discovery brings up nine files at TNA that may be relevant and a couple at IWM.

    Also, Z Force
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2019
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  20. Simon_Fielding

    Simon_Fielding Withnail67

    There seem to be a few articles on Ingleton and Op Rimau in the Royal Marines' Historical Society Journal:

    Vol XX No 2 Winter 1995 1. The loss of HMS Dorsetshire - Easter Day 1942 Geoffrey Kitchen 2. The Siege of Eshowe, 1879 - Part 2 Arthur Cude 3. In search of Major Ingleton - RM Detachment 385 in Ceylon Jon Moffatt 4. Some Marine Duels by Colonel C Field reprinted from The Globe & Laurel 5. The Official Cocktail Party - Poem Rosemary Sidwell 6. Old Comrades -Poem by Captain J S Hicks RM reprinted from Punch - 3 Sep 1941

    SP 18 Behind Japanese Lines (the untold story of Royal Marines Detachment 385) Captain Derek Oakley MBE RM
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