2nd KOSB at Imphal

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by lionboxer, Jan 1, 2016.

  1. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    At the moment we, the Imphal Campaign Foundation are conducting another battlefield exploration in response to a family request about the whereabouts of Ewart Holmes who was killed with 2KOSB taking the Kanglatongbi Ridge 15th to 20th May 1944.
    I have been researching this particular action for sometime previous to this request so have a fair knowledge about it but would like a help with one or two points please. Is there anyone on the forum who had family in the regiment? Would like to know which company Lt GHJ Watkins was with? Depending on which company, we can then find exactly where Ewart was killed.
    Does anyone know if the locations of battlefield burials forms sent to the graves recovery units are extant anywhere? We have found the locations of some of the burial positions from CWGC concentration records but these are only for those recovered and not for those still unrecovered.
    Any help with the above will be greatly appreciated.
    Lionboxer image.jpg
  2. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    The Kanglatongbi Ridge with Piquet Hill on the left leading down to Point 3813 in the distance. image.jpeg
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

  4. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    Drew5233 the missing men file doesn't help, Bamboo has already supplied this. The war diaries and regtl history haven't revealed what coy Watkins was in but I'm awaiting a reply from the museum regarding this.
    There are thirteen men still up on the Ridge somewhere as the graves recovery units couldn't find them. They recovered four in December 44 and five in March 45.
    Drew5233 likes this.
  5. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Yes, the MIA file is very disappointing in regards to May 1944.
  6. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    Perhaps the reason that the MIA files have no mention is that they were not missing! It was known they were dead and buried on the Ridge (mentioned in the war diary on 20th May when the Japs had withdrawn) but by the time the GRU's got around to looking for them several months later when the fighting had moved on the jungle had obliterated all trace. The GRU's found and recovered nine remains in two separate locations near to where the attack on the Piquet Hill feature took place. Those killed on the attack near the Point 3813 feature have not been recovered. These two features are about a thousand yards apart so it's safe to assume they were not all buried together with those who were recovered. They are still there where the KOSB's buried them but no trace as yet of any map reference numbers they would have used to inform the GRU's where to look.

    So far discoveries on the ground at the PH area have revealed more bunkers or earthworks than had been thought according to reports of the time. Also barbed wire fragments have been recovered, again something else that earlier recon failed to spot.
    This is the fuse portion of a British shell the ICF team recovered.
  7. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    Hi Lionboxer

    Have you thought of asking the CWGC to see if they hold any further details?

    All the best!
  8. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    Yes have asked CWGC. Basically if there is no concentration report then the bodies have not been moved from their original burial, in this case on the ridge. They hold no other documentation so where the casualty lists went too I have no idea. Most probably destroyed after the war.
  9. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    Can anyone identify this? Possibly a base of a shell?
    It was found at today's exploration. image.jpeg image.jpeg
  10. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    It looks like the metal plate of a shrapnel shell. It sits above the exploder charge in the shell and forces the shrapnel balls out when the fuze fires the charge. Having said that though, I seem to remember that the shrapnel shell 'pushers' that I found on the Western Front many years ago had a central hole where a brass tube went through so that the fuse could detonate the charge in the base of the shell.
  11. 3mileSnipper

    3mileSnipper Member

    I have a document written by a cousin who was in the 2KOSBs during this period, it appears to have been a presentation or training thing he wrote
    not sure. It covers the period Aug 1943 -1945. It is now written in Lotus WordPro, but I am unable to copy & paste the text into the reply,
    How do I do this.
  12. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    Don't ask me how to do it, I'm a techno duffer!! Can you send it to me as a PM please?
  13. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    Members of the Imphal Campaign Foundation pay their respects to the KOSB fallen at the Kanglatongbi Ridge on the 72nd anniversary of the battle and Ewarts death yesterday.

  14. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

  15. JAKERR

    JAKERR Member

    Hello: I am new to this forum

    I am interested in any information about a relation of mine called Captain Charles James Lennox Russell KOSB, he won an MC here on the 15th May 1944 at a place called point 3813, Kaglatongbi Ridge

    Tragically, he was to be killed in an action after the crossing of the Irrawaddy river on the 24th Feb 1945 aged 24 commanding B company as a young major. I am in possession of his medals.
  16. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    You may already have it but just in case.
    Recommendation for Award for Russell, Charles James Lennox Rank: Second... | The National Archives
  17. JAKERR

    JAKERR Member

    yes I have just got that - just wondered if anybody can give me any more information .
  18. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    have you got the battalion war diaries?
  19. JAKERR

    JAKERR Member

    no are they available on line
  20. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    no - but couple of chaps on here can copy them for you at a reasonable fee.

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