1st Gurkha Rifles

Discussion in 'British Indian Army' started by Emanuel1940, May 4, 2013.

  1. Emanuel1940

    Emanuel1940 Member

    Hi all,

    I'm doing some research on a Lt. (later Captain) in the 1st Gurkha Rifles, 20th Indian Division from 26 November 1942 to 24 July 1944. Has a book ever been written about their experiences? The name of the individual in question is Lt. Edwin Page who was a Lt. between 1943-1945. I want to understand exactly what his role was and what action he saw.

    Does anyone know the exact war diary reference covering 1944?

    I know that he was with the 1st Gurkha Rifles during the Japanese offensive on India in 1944. He was later a Liaison Officer to one of the Brigades.

    I'm guessing the official histories will be useful but I was wondering if an older account of the 20th Division in WW2 was ever written, as I always find the early accounts so much more detailed.

    I have attached Eddie's brief record of service.

    Many thanks to anyone who can help with this one.

    Attached Files:

  2. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Hi and welcome to the forum.

    If he was with 1st Gurkha Rifles in 20th Indian Division than he would be a 3rd Battalion of the regiment, 80th Indian Infantry Brigade. Except official history of the regiment there is none other book as far as I know about any battalion of member from this regiment ever written. You can find soome references in other books about battalion operations like "Imphal: A Flower on Lofty Height" and "A Signal Honour". Author of the book "A Signal Honour", Robin Painter served as signal officer in 80th Indian Brigade during the Battle at Imphal.

    There is a short booklet about 20th Indian Division, some 50 pages but I doubt that you'll find too many details.

    Reference for the war diaries of 3rd/1st Gurkha Rifles for 1944 is WO 172/5013

    Good luck with research.

  3. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is a brief summary of the 3rd Battalion 1st Gurkha Rifles' service 1939-45:

    3rd Battalion, 1st King George V’s Own Gurkha Rifles (The Malaun Regiment)

    Jullundur Brigade Area – 1 October 1940 to 1 April 1941
    The battalion was formed at Dharmsala on October 1st, 1940 and remained there organising until January 1941, when it moved to Tanda near Dharmsala.

    Razmak Brigade – 2 April 1941 to March 1942
    It left Tanda on April 1st, 1941 for Razmak, where it arrived on April 2nd by way of Bannu. It served in Razmak on road protection duties until March 1942, when it moved to Bannu.

    Bannu Brigade – March 1942 to May 1942
    It served as a garrison unit at Bannu.

    Razmak Brigade – May 1942 to April 1943
    The battalion returned to Razmak in May 1942 and served there until April 1943.

    Landi Kotal Brigade – April 1943 to July 1943
    It then moved to Landi Kotal and served under the Landi Kotal Brigade until July 1943.

    80th Indian Infantry Brigade – July 1943 to 31 August 1945
    In July 1943, the 3rd Battalion left Landi Kotal and moved to Ranchi to join the 80th Indian Infantry Brigade of the 20th Indian Division. For the next two months, the battalion trained with the brigade at Ranchi. It left for the front on September 17th and 27th, 1943 at Imphal. It marched out of Imphal on October 15th with the brigade for Tamu. It spent the first two and a half months of 1944 in defensive positions at Pyinbon Sakan near Tamu. The brigade moved back to the Sibung area on March 17th and the battalion was in action there on March 22nd. The 80th Brigade moved to the Shenam saddle on April 4th and was in action there for six weeks. It fought at Sita on April 15th, Crete West on April 23rd, Lynch Pimple on May 9th-10th and Scraggy on May 10th-11th. The 37th Indian Brigade relieved the brigade on May 17th-18th and 3rd Battalion moved to Kameny on May 17th.
    The battalion was loaned to 17th Indian Division on Bishenpur Road on May 26th. It formed a defence force with the 1st/4th Gurkha Rifles, the 7th/10th Baluchis, some gunners and the 7th Light Cavalry on Red Hill. It fought there on May 28th and returned to the 80th Brigade camp near Imphal on June 3rd. The brigade was then employed in a thrust up Iril Vally on June 7th. The battalion was located at Molkan from June 10th-23rd and the brigade moved east to cross the Iril near Chawal on June 24th. It advanced toward Shunyphel from July 1st tp 3rd and was at Aishur on July 10th.
    The brigade was moved to Wangjing on July 18th, 1944 to rest and remained there for five months resting and refitting. It left there and spent the last weeks of 1944 at Taukkyan airstrip near Kalemyo. It marched forward on December 30th and reached Kalewa on January 1st-2nd, 1945. It crossed the Chindwin and moved down the river clearing the banks as it went. It reached Zayetka on February 1st and was in action near Nabet. The battalion crossed the Irrawaddy near Mayinma on February 27th and fought in the bridgehead during March. It was at Magyi on March 7th and then at Kanma and Htantha. It fought at Kyaukse from March 15th-23rd. It moved to Paukon on March 30th and rested there until April 12th. It moved with the 80th Brigade from Kyaukse on April 11th in order to clear Magwe by April 19th. The brigade swept up the river to Allanmyo on April 22nd and the battalion was in action in the Zalon area. The battalion remained in Burma until the end of the war and left for Indo-China on September 18th, 1945 with the 80th Brigade.

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  4. Charpoy Chindit

    Charpoy Chindit Junior Member

    We've jumped to a conclusion here. While it is most likely that he was in 3/1 GR, you will need to check the War Diary to make sure.

    The Bn remained in 80 Ind Bde until 06/46, and therefore would also have gone to Celebes after FIC.

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