Thomas Hetherington Henfrey MC

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by bamboo43, Nov 6, 2020.

  1. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi All,

    Trying to find out where and with whom the above served in Burma. He is gazetted as Mentioned for service in Burma whilst with the General List AFC Section (?). I am aware and have all his other promotions/medal awards/citations etc. but was wondering what his role was in Burma, or possibly India.

    He has loose connections to Wingate and was award his MC (Ethiopia) whilst with the King's African Rifles, according to the London Gazette.

    Any help much appreciated.

    JITTER PARTY Well-Known Member

    He was Brigade Major of 111 Indian Brigade in May 1944. I believe that he is mentioned in 'The Road Past Mandalay'.
    It is actually General List, Infantry (ACF Section), not AFC. ACF stands for African Colonial Forces, so KAR seems right.
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  3. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    That is great info, thank you. I did look through a few books to see if he was mentioned in the index, but to no avail.
  4. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

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  5. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Thanks David, some nice additional info there. I have been contacted by the family and they are looking to confirm his Chindit credentials, which I now can. He went on to work as a District Commissioner in Kenya in the mid to late 1950s.
  6. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Changing my search terms I found this:
    From his old school magazine: http://cranleigh-ww1.daisy.websds.n..._017_012.pdf&origFilename=CSM1941_017_012.pdf

    They have reprinted a newspaper article from the 'East African Standard' (Kenya) that explains his role as "Somali Joe", it is not dated:
    There is a short note from the 'Daily Sketch' on May 14th, 1941:
    The schooner Lindi:
    Link: :: Ship Forum :: Any details on auxiliary schooner "Lindi" in East Africa in the 1930s and 1940s?

    The ship's role in the invasion of Vichy French Madagascar is in: 'Churchill's Secret Invasion: Britain s First Large Scale Combined Offensive 1942' by John Grehan.

    I wonder if his old school in Surrey, has other mentions of him in their magazine? See: Home - Cranleigh School

    On a very quick look I found this from a WW1 edition:
    Link: http://cranleigh-ww1.daisy.websds.n...=CSDoc000008.pdf&origFilename=CSDoc000008.pdf

    There are several Indian Army cavalry units called King George's Own (K.G.O.), so I cannot identify which unit he served in - there are others whose expertise is far better than mine. I would assume it was a short time, may be without active service, although Indian cavalry remained in France till the end of WW1.

    Might his old school have his record card or an obituary?
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2020
  7. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Thanks David, I am going to use all of this to write up a chronological narrative for the family. I started with almost nothing fro them, but with yours and Jitter Party's help, I've got quite a bit to tell them.
  8. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    The Indian Army List January 1919 — Volume 1, Volume 1, pg.366 shows him as 'Unattached' Second Lieutenant on 21st August 1918.

    The London Gazette 4th May 1923 notes his retirement as a Lieutenant as of 29th January 1923. See:

    There is an inaccessible web link reference to: T. H. Henfrey, 'The menace to the elephant in Tanganyika Territory', JSPFE, VII (1927). A journal with the grand name: Journal of the Society for the Preservation of the (Wild) Fauna of the Empire.

    There is a reference to 'Henfrey Scouts':
    Link: HyperWar: East African and Abyssinian Campaigns [Chapter 20]

    The August 1992 Royal Engineers Journal has an article 'The End of Mussolini's East African Empire' which refers to the post-surrender of the Italian's main force, which left forty thousand who needed coercing:

    A Captain Henfrey was serving in June 1945 and involved in a skirmish with Somalis, during an anti-locust campaign:
    Footnote 38 refers to: PRO, ALC, ref. no. MG-264/3104, 13 June 1945.

    The London Gazette, 27th May 1949, lists a number of Ethiopian medals awarded and it has this entry:

    The Kenyan Official Gazette 27th November 1951 refers to him receiving a Land Grant of 254 acres for 999 years 'adjoining Elburgon T(own)'. From: https://cfa-opengazettes-ke.s3.amaz...860128&Signature=9O4XESZRgBFpSbNbo3uKtsOr6lY=

    The same publication on 23rd January 1962 refers to Mrs T.H. Henfrey 'to be members of the Nakuru District Licensing Board'. From:

    His name appears in other Kenyan Official Gazette till 18th June 1963.

    He appears in a much later 2011 document on the civil claims made against the British government for mistreatment and more in the Mau Mau Emergency:
    Footnote 18 is: AA 45/26/3/2A Vol. I: Letter from Col. T.H. Henfrey to Minister for African Affairs, 11/8/54
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  9. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Some very useful information there David, many thanks again.
  10. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

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  11. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    The book 'The King's African Rifles - Volume 2' by Lieutenant-Colonel H. Moyse-Bartlett refers to Henfrey being with the 1/3 KAR; though his initials are given as G.H.

    Not everyone liked Henfrey's Scouts and in 'King's African Rifles: A History' by Malcolm Page they are described (pg.98) as:
    I have been unable to identify a link to Saudi Arabia, presumably pre-WW2. Nor his time with the Khyber Scouts, presumably between 1918-1923.
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  12. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review... Patron

    Bit late to the party, again, me Ol' China... :D

    Masters' TRPM has been OCR'd some years back for my notes so did a quick look for Henfrey...
    But did come up with a "Baron" Henfry ... so not sure if this is the same man... these are the only times he is directly referenced by "name"...

    Page 224...
    By now I had another Brigade Major, “Baron” Henfry, late of the Indian Cavalry, retired to Kenya, returned to battle. Geoffrey Birt, whom I urgently needed as an engineer officer, had returned to his own job. At this moment he was at the far end of the strip with a squad of sappers, waiting to unload explosives and other engineer stores from the planes. He went to examine the third plane, the one that had lost its undercarriage.

    Page 225/6...
    The next morning the Japanese began harassing fire with I05-mm. guns from up the valley, the guns they had ranged in the previous afternoon. I had a lump of homogenized ham and egg half-way to my mouth when I heard the distant boom boom in the north. I dived, map in one hand and egg in the other, for the slit trench behind me. Baron Henfry was as quick; Pat Boyle (the new Intelligence officer) a shade slower. The shells whistled with a sudden rising shriek and burst ten feet away, one behind and one in front of the trench.
    I returned to my study of the map, and my breakfast. The Baron said, “I think Pat’s been hit, sir.” (The Baron, a wise, amusing and extraordinarily brave man, was some fifteen years older than I and so always very punctilious to pay me all the due forms of respect.) I looked down and saw that Pat, crouched in the bottom of the trench between the Baron and me, seemed to be unconscious. Actually, a shell splinter had creased his skull, temporarily paralysing him but not depriving him of his senses. He has recorded as the most pungent memory of his life those moments when he lay in the bottom of the trench, with more shells bursting far and near, unable to speak or move, and hearing the Baron’s remark and my reply, “Oh. Is he dead?” And then the Baron – “I think so.”
    Until then Pat had been pretty sure he was alive, but now he had doubts. It wasn’t until the Baron’s saturnine face approached his that he managed to roll his eyes. Even now, he says, he can feel the welling up of joy as he heard the Baron’s surprised, “No, he’s alive.”

    Page 227...
    We buried our dead, treated our wounded. Shelling continued. Baron Henfry chose the heaviest shelling to stroll around, thumb-stick in hand, talking to the soldiers.

    And that's shallots...
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  13. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Thanks HC. I knew you would come to the party. I did find these quotes in my edition of the book, although our page numbers are slightly different. Having the actual quotes is extremely useful however.

    Cheers now.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2020
  14. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review... Patron

    Paperback Corgi edition, me Ol' China, published 1973... Dad's own copy... one of the few books on the subject he owned... another one was Prisoner's of Hope...
    I do own a proof copy of Masters' book I picked up about 5 years back or so... can't remember which version off the top of my head though... :bandit:
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