Was my Dad a Chindit? A plea for help.

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by Ian Balcombe, Aug 22, 2016.

  1. Ian Balcombe

    Ian Balcombe Junior Member

    I've spent a few years trying to research my Dad's war records and continually end up being frustrated. I'm hoping that the experienced members of this site will see the information staring them in the face, but I can't find the answers to my questions. I've contacted the IWM, the Intelligence Corps museum and spoken with very helpful people at the museum of the Lancashire Fusiliers. I've even read "A Very Ordinary Intelligence" !

    I know from his records that Dad served in China pre-WW2 as a member of the Lancashire Fusiliers. However, it appears that he was in 8Bn and it seems that only 1Bn was in China during the late-1930's. He went from China to India and was transferred to Intelligence Corps, Field Security Sections in May 1943. I haven't been able to track down the location of the FSS War Diaries for the Sections in which he served, or even establish if they exist. I can see he spent a few weeks on a Chemical Warfare "Gas" course at Pachmari. I know that he was awarded The Burma Star. I've read many of the major books on the war in Burma and on the Chindits and am aware that units could end up anywhere during service in Burma.

    What I can't work out is did he remain in 8Bn Lancashire Fusiliers throughout the war? Would his FSS have been attached to the Lancashire Fusiliers? Was he a Chindit or would he have had a "desk job"?

    I hope that I'm not in breach of the site etiquette, but I've attached scans of my Dad's Service Record. They aren't in chronological order I'm afraid and I suspect that the last file is significant.

    I'd be very grateful if anyone would take the time to look at them and could give me some information, hopefully answering some of my questions.

    Many Thanks,
    Ian Balcombe
     

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  2. RCG

    RCG Senior Member, Deceased


    No, he was never in 8 Bn. First he was at Lancashire Fusiliers Depot, then posted to 1st Bn.
    What you think is an 8 is a D.

    22/7/45 he was Temporary attached to 305 field Security Section Intel Corps.
    It would not be attached to anything. What work it was doing at the time, may never be known.

    As he was first posted to the Intel Corps (India) 1/11/42 and nothing else is recorded apart from the Chemical warfare school in 1942 until, he was compulsory transferred to Intelligence corps. 6/10/44. It will be very hard to find where he was and what he was doing, but whatever ever it was, he was good at it for them to keep him in the IC.
     
    CL1 likes this.
  3. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Ian,

    I cannot see anything on your father's record that suggests he took part on either Chindit expedition. As an aside, what did you think of the book A Very Ordinary Intelligence? I read this a few years ago and found it to be quite interesting, although a bit slow in places.

    Best wishes

    Steve
     
  4. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Hi,

    Just to clarify that he did enlist into 8th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers (TA) in Salford in January 1934. You have attached one page of the usual 4 page attestation document - if you haven't got the other 3 you may want to ask MOD.

    In addition there is reference to his TA service on his Regular Army attestation form from June 1934. He retained the same Army number for his TA & Regular Service.

    There is usually a Medal Office stamp on the papers provided by MOD showing the full medal entitlement and whether they were issued. I can't see it, unless you have more papers you haven't uploaded, so it may be worth making an enquiry to the Army Medal Office to claim his medals.

    GoodLuck

    Steve Y
     
  5. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    One sheet references the 39-45 star but concur with me ol' Bamboo as I can't see a sniff of anything Chindit I'm afraid...
     
  6. Ian Balcombe

    Ian Balcombe Junior Member

    Many thanks to you all for taking the time to reply. Because the 1st Bn L.F. took part in the second Chindit operation, and as my Dad had been awarded the Burma Star, I've wrongly assumed that he would have participated. I've read that FSS were attached to elements of this operation and again assumed that once transferred from L.F. to IC he would still have remained with the L.F. I've found it impossible to make progress with the activities of 558 and 562 FSS, but as you will know, other Sections were involved with Chindit operations. As an aside, anecdotal family tales claim that whilst out on patrol he was captured by the Japanese, along with an officer. Dad managed to escape whilst in transit and return back to our lines after some time alone in the jungle.

    I think I might try and concentrate on chasing up the FSS side of things but appreciate this might well be difficult.

    Once again, thanks for your information!
    Ian
     
  7. Ian Balcombe

    Ian Balcombe Junior Member

    Hi Steve,

    I really enjoyed reading it, although as you rightly point out, it was hard going in places. I enjoyed the insights into the minutiae of life and couldn't help but notice how the author is often preoccupied with his status relative to those around him - not necessarily in a snobby way. I also got the feeling that he really came to life and enjoyed investigating the theft of a few bottles of whisky, or scams with railway tickets and blackmarket goats.

    Kind regards
    Ian
     
  8. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Ian,

    Thanks for getting back and good luck going forward with your research.

    Steve
     
  9. zahonado

    zahonado Well-Known Member

    There is nothing to suggest he wasn't in the 1st Bat Lancashire fusiliers either, Steve. For example my father's records do not show that he was . The date of transfer in October 1944 fits with what happened when men recovered. If this man was still fit and had shown certain qualities, surely the IC would snap him up. In any case the LFs role was changed in early 1945. I see he had a spell in the Indian army before the war so would have had more knowledge of conditions etc than the newly recruited guys... But I think you have read more records than me, Steve!
     
  10. zahonado

    zahonado Well-Known Member

    I will have a look at my stuff again.if he was a sgt then he may be on a list...
     
  11. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Hi,

    Just had another look at your attachments.

    Just wondering if you are missing one or more B103's from 1939 to 1943?

    Your first one I can see (ib2) is from 1943.

    Perhaps MOD have ommitted to send all his B103 papers?

    Unless you have not attached everything you received?

    Steve Y
     
  12. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi zahonado,

    You're a right, there is never anything straightforward about Chindit participation and as you rightly say, Sgt. Glover's credentials would have been much sort after. I was simply going by the information shown on the papers Ian put up for us to view.
     
  13. Ian Balcombe

    Ian Balcombe Junior Member

    Hi Steve,
    Thanks for your interest. I didn't post all of the MOD forms as several were related to Dad's service after 1945 as a Reservist. I think that the 1934-43 B103 to which you refer was uploaded as ib3.

    I'm sorry to put you on the spot, but I'd like to try and pick your brain on a couple of points:

    ib2 has a stamp in the middle of it saying he "Ceased to be administered by O2E ALFSEA". The second entry on the same form also refers to O2E/7. I presume ALFSEA is Allied Land Forces South East Asia, but have you any idea what O2E or O2E/7 are referring to?

    Have you any idea why he would be "Compulsorily Transfered" in either 7/11/44 (left hand column entry) or 6/10/44 (right hand column entry), when he was clearly serving with the Intelligence Corps 18 months earlier according to the first entry on the form. Also the fourth entry "Special PTO ????? posted IC(I) 1/11/42" presumably indicates a date two years earlier than the complusory transfer?
    D
    Finally, halfway down ib13 in the left hand column, it says "GHQ(I) 2Ech" or is that last bit 26 ch? Either way, is that where he was transferred to, or who he was transferred by? (If you know what I mean?)

    Sorry to be pre-occupied with such detail but I'm just looking for possible routes of enquiry to follow up.
    If you ever visit Orkney I'll buy you a few shots of the local whiskies!

    All the best,
    Ian
     
  14. Ian Balcombe

    Ian Balcombe Junior Member

    I'm very grateful for your time and effort. Most kind.
    Consider the invitation for drinks in Orkney sent!

    Kind regards,
    Ian
     
  15. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    General Head Quarters (Intelligence) 2nd Echelon, at a guess...
    Last time I was up in Orkney (working in Kirkwall and Skaill House for a couple of days) I did pop into one of the distilleries and brought a rather nice dram home... totally wasted on Steve... :D
     
  16. Ian Balcombe

    Ian Balcombe Junior Member

    Are you associated with Historic Scotland? Both distilleries produce excellent malts!!!! Our brewery isn't bad either ;-)
     
  17. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    Nope, just their security and fire systems... and a keen interest in Malt... taking a "cask-strength" (ROAR Spirit:D) Tomatin to the 230 reunion later this year...:cheers:
     
  18. FSO

    FSO Member


    Ian,

    the FSS stuff - provided you know which Section, by number, should be be relatively straightforward. Joyce, the Snr Archivist, at the Intelligence Corps Museum is very helpful. A former Corps FS man - Fred Judge - produced an encylopaedic FSS study some years ago, from 1st hand accounts; it has names, locations, operations etc.

    I thoroughly recommend getting in touch

    M
     

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