1st Bn, Northamptonshire Regiment - GJA Lantaff

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by AndreaN, Jan 25, 2017.

  1. Craig Ball

    Craig Ball Member

    Hey all. lionboxer

    What an inspiring read. Albeit this thread now catching dust, I was looking to draw some attention from those here who supported Andrea as I find myself in a similar position with expanding on the background of my Great Uncles service with 1st Battalion Northamptonshire Reg. I've raised a new sub thread under the title:-

    '5890004 Sgt. James Frederick SMITH, 1st Bn Northamptonshire Reg'

    I'm in motion with obtaining his service records but what I do know is that he was drafted overseas in 43 and took part in all battalion engagements including Kyaukchaw, withdrawal from Moreh (where he won his Military Medal & please see my thread for citation and LG details), the siege of Imphal (Bishenpur & Silchar Track) until he was wounded on the 05/01/1945. Which is only a few days before Andrea's Grandfather in this thread was killed. Would anyone here have access to the casualty lists for the Battalion?

    I'm also certain that My Great Uncle features on several occasions in Terence Molloys 'Silchar Track'. To confirm this; I would be keen to trawl through the Battalions War Diary.

    Rich Payne do you have access to the The History of the Northamptonshire Regiment : 1934 - 1948 - W.J. Jervois? I was wondering if i could understand where and the what Battalion was doing on the date of 05/01/1945 when James Smith was wounded.

    All support is much appreciated :)

  2. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Craig, they were commencing the attack on Budalin at that time. I have some scanner difficulties at the moment, and apparently I'm not the best photographer either. I hope that these are clear enough. If you need better copies, I'll try again.



    ...and his M.M. mention in the appendix :)

  3. Craig Ball

    Craig Ball Member

    Rich Payne this is truly invaluable. Thank you... If it is true in regards to the references made of my Uncle in Terence Molloys Silchar Track. He was in either 2 Coy or 3 Coy. 2 Coy being noted here as taking Hwelde early morning of the 5th. So it feasible that he may have been one of the 3 wounded with 2coy that early morning in the advance on Hwelde and one of the 24x in the battalion that day.

    Thanks for taking the time to take these photos...

    How thorough are the accounts of the Silchar Track in The History of the Northamptonshire Regiment : 1934 - 1948 - W.J. Jervois?

    Just wondering if there is an account or mention of him on the withdrawal of Moreh 31st March - 2nd April 1944, the 5th May 1944 and 29th May? I've tried getting my hands on the book but its near impossible.

    Craig :)
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2022
  4. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Craig, it's difficult for me to comment on the thoroughness of this part of Jervois as it's not a campaign that I know anything about...my family interest is in the 2nd Battalion...I've skimmed through quickly and not seen the dates that you refer to but I'll see about copying the chapter for you tomorrow.

    I hadn't realised that the book had become impossible....it came up quite regularly a few years ago, I have the impression that the whole 'collectables' market has become unpredictable with the virus situation.
  5. Craig Ball

    Craig Ball Member

    Rich Payne

    Thanks; no haste.. I really do appreciate the support. I've been keeping my eye out for the History of the Northamptonshire Reg 1934-1948 that is a reasonable price... So we shall see.
  6. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Well-Known Member

    Only recently picked up on this particular thread re the Northants.
    Whilst I have been able to help others with their Service Records I have struggled with two of my own belonging to relatives who fought in Burma, one in the 1 Northants.

    The Northants Record shows him in 5th Btn in the BEF Missing then repatriated after Dunkirk.
    He was posted to RA at one time with 2nd Searchlight, posted to 2 ITC then posted to 1st Northants. I find myself confused as to exactly what happened as only tonight I noticed an arrow and pencil note saying "8 months" between 18.10 43 and 17.6.44
    My main difficulty is transcribing the handwriting and a lack of knowledge of the campaign. Can anyone help with these records.
    See attached.

    Attached Files:

  7. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member Patron

    Uncle Target, he certainly spent a lot of time in and out of hospital for whatever reasons. I can help with his location on 31 Jan 45 when he was posted to 20 Rft Camp. This was at the Maynamati Ridge not far from Comilla in present day Bangladesh where several other Rft Camps were located. 20 Rft Camp was the Divisional Rft Camp of 20 Indian Division. My father was an instructor/permanent staff for two years with them.
    Uncle Target and 4jonboy like this.
  8. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Well-Known Member

    Lionboxer thanks for your prompt reply.
    Yes he certainly spent time in hospitals. We have no indications that he was wounded. He was badly shaken up at Dunkirk being blown off a hospital ship and wound up naked in the water being picked up by a French Trawler. Don't know what he was doing on the Hospital ship. He had very little to say about his experiences.
    He was later recorded AWOL but apparently received a medal for saving a girl from drowning in a river.
    When he came home from Burma he was in a very fragile mental state and wouldn't go out without his sister holding his hand for quite some time. As a lad I met several men who went through this after the War. Usually on a Friday night when the pubs closed and I was walking home with friends in uniform from Army Cadets.
    He mentioned how good the Gurkhas were and that he had met West African soldiers.
    I found the BBC Peoples War article very interesting but typical of soldiers personal memoirs it gives no dates.
    I will give some time to studying the 8 months gap when I get the chance. Any suggestions on books titles?
    Never know on the forum someone might come up with War Diary entries during that period.
    His service record isn't far off the one in the opening of the thread apart from the hospital admissions.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2022
  9. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Well-Known Member

    Re the record sheets. After looking at the original copies from my relatives, notes on the Right hand side and the arrow/ note 8 months was by myself when I first tried to track his movements a few years ago.. This thread re awakened my interest as its early postings are close to their narrative.
  10. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Well-Known Member

    I have taken a look for Terence Molloys Silchar Track but its damn expensive for the moment at upwards of £50 Its that or medication for my ageing Husky.
    She wins hands down!
  11. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Well-Known Member

    Ordered Terence Molloys Silchar Track.
    We might not pass this way again.
    I think my Husky approves.
    More importantly my wife does as well!

    Now off for a slow walk, as usual.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2022
  12. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Well-Known Member

    Slowly but surely I am working my way through my uncle Swansea Bill's Records and will soon be helped by my cousin, his niece, who is also in contact with his daughter.
    Regarding 2 ITC this appears on sheet 1 bottom of the page (# 26). It is not listed as Percy Bowpitt infers in Horncastle unless it moved, as it is clearly in the Norwich area near where the 1st Northants were based.
    Swansea Bill met his wife to-be there (she is from Norwich) and after the war returned to marry her in Swansea. It is easy to be mistaken sixty years after the event.
    So many men that I have researched gave their stories in the Peoples War Project "lost in the mists of time" or the transcriber mis understood their words due to their dialect.
    The there are other clues in this thread which are gradually emerging and The Silchar Track has been dispatched.
    Peoples war may contain factual errors in time and place but the emotions recalled, by far outweigh them in humour and other human values.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2022
  13. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member Patron

    You are correct that 2 ITC was at Norwich. My father was posted there in 1946 as an instructor after his repatriation from India and spending time at various POW camps around the country. I think 2 ITC was based at Britannia Barracks, the Depot of the Royal Norfolk Regiment or possibly just down the road from there at the old Cavalry Barracks. He also married a Norwich girl in 1940 upon his first return from India after serving there with the Norfolks since 1929.
  14. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Well-Known Member

    Having received The Silchar Track (an excellent book for my purposes) I have compared dates from passages against Swansea Bills Service Record #26 and to my satisfaction placed Bill in the Carrier Platoon. Further reading will take me to within three days of his admission to Hospital on 17.6.44 but thats for future reading.
    I am therefore asking if anyone on the forum might have copies of the War Diary of 1st Northants between April 1943 and July 1944 which include monthly returns for Jun/July 1944.
    In case his name should appear in "Those reqiured to return to the Regiment". As there are a umber of surviving relatives involved I would prefer to use a personal message re full name rank and number.
    I might also be interested in obtaining a copy of the WD if it is likely to be affordable.

Share This Page