4/15 Punjab Regiment 1944 and 1945

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by Skoyen89, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    Does anyone have copies of the War Diary for 4th Battalion of 15th Punjab Regiment for 1944 and 1945?

    I am trying to find out more about George William Shepherd who was a Temp Capt/Major with this Battalion from 1943 to 1945. Only knowing he was in the 15th Punjab Regiment I ploughed thropugh a number of Battalions' War Diaries quickly and eventually I found reference to him in the 1943 War Diary of 4/15th last week when in Kew but did not have time to go on to look at the 1944 and 1945 War Diaries. Having recently moved to deepest West Wales it will be a month or two until I will next be near Kew.
  2. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is a summary of the 4th Battalion, 15th Punjab Regiment's service. You might try reading from some more public sources during your stint in Wales:

    4th Battalion 15th Punjab Regiment

    Landi Kotal Brigade – 3 September 1939 to March 1941

    The battalion was located under command of the Landi Kotal Brigade at the start of the war at Shagai with one company at Ali Masjid. The battalion left the Landi Kotal Brigade in March 1941.

    Peshawar Brigade – March 1941 to March 1942

    It then moved to Peshawar and joined the Peshawar Brigade. It remained with this brigade until March 1942.

    33rd Indian Infantry Brigade – April 1942 to 30 May 1944

    It joined the 33rd Indian Infantry Brigade in April 1942 at Shinkiari in the Hazara foothills near Abbottabad to replace the 4/5th Gurkha Rifles. The brigade moved to Waziristan for operations in the Datta Khel area against the local tribesmen and was established at Lwangi Narai. The brigade moved to Bannu on August 18th, 1942 at the end of the campaign and then returned to Shinkiari camp. At the end of 1942, the brigade was involved in exercises on the Indus River and Peshawar plain from October to December 1942. The brigade moved to Chindwara in January 1943 for jungle training and then to the Ranchi area in June 1943 for further training.

    The brigade left the Ranchi area in early September 1943 and embarked at Madras for Chittagong. On arrival in Chittagong, the brigade advanced south to Taung Bazaar in the Arakan and, by the end of October 1943, it was located at the Arakan front. The brigade concentrated in the Linbabi area in November and was disposed in the line from the Kalapanzin River at Maungyithaung in the Letwedet area. The battalion captured Point 121 in mid-January 1944. The brigade then withdrew into a box northwest of Buthidaung on February 6th in reaction to the Japanese offensive. It was then involved in the Battle of the Boxes followed by the capture of Buthidaung on March 6th-7th, 1944. On April 4th, the brigade began to leave the Arakan front at Sinzweya for Assam.

    The brigade emplaned on April 15th-16th and arrived at Gologhar in Imphal. The brigade then moved to Kohima on April 29th and operated in the Kohima-Gunspur area at Jat Hill and Treasury Hill. The battalion took losses in the attack on Point 5120 in the Naga Village from May 30th-31st. The 114th Indian Infantry Brigade then relieved the 33rd Brigade on June 1st.

    14th Army – 30 May 1944 to late August 1944

    On May 30th, the 1st Burma Regiment relieved the battalion in the 33rd Brigade and the 4/15th Punjabis moved to the rear at Imphal to rest and refit.

    33rd Indian Infantry Brigade – Late August 1944 to 31 August 1945

    It rejoined the division and brigade in late August 1944 and replaced the 1st Queen’s Regiment, which left on September 6th in the Kohima area. The division then rested and refitted in the Kohima area until January 4th, 1945, when it returned to the front. It moved to Kangaw by January 22nd and the brigade crossed the Irrawaddy on February 13th/14th. An advance followed this to Myingyan by the brigade on February 28th. The brigade was established in front of Myingyan by May 5th and attacked it on March 17th-23rd. It then attacked Point 1788 at Taungtha on 28 March. It moved to Nyaugu for rest on 6 April but was then involved in the battle of Kyaukpadawk from April 8th-11th. The brigade fought in the Yenangyauk oilfields from April 20th-22nd after which it moved to Magwe for a week’s rest. On May 19th, it was ordered south to the Kama area and was in action there from May 20th-30th. It then moved to Paukkaung to destroy enemy forces located there. By the start of June 1945, the brigade deployed in the Prome area for mopping up operations. In early July 1945, the brigade took over the Waw-Sittang Bend area and remained there for the rest of the war. It left Burma on October 10th-23rd, 1945 for Siam.
    Murdo Duncan likes this.
  3. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    Thanks Dryan67. I am reading up from some books I have - a quick Google search did not reveal a lot. As he was an officer the joy of the War Diary is that he gets mentioned and it is possible to also see when he left the unit as well from the strength reports of officers.
  4. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    Looking though Shepherd's Officers Record Book It shows that he was in the UK in the ranks and then went to the Indian Military Academy from May to Sept 1942 as an Officer Cadet and after this he was Commissioned. It looks like the IMA was at Dehra Dun. Is there any way of telling which of the four courses for British Officer Cadets he was on? There is a good reference to the courses here: History of the Indian Military Academy

    His personal number was EC6918 and he was granted an Emergency Commission. I am having trouble finding him in the London Gazette. Would Indian Army Commissions such as his, and subsequent promotions, be recorded in the LG or are they to be found elsewhere?

    It is interesting that in the Officer Lists in the 1943 War Diary all the British Officers seem to be Temporary Captains and there is a mix of Lieutenants who are Indian in the Officer Lists. However in the text of the War Diary there are also Subedars and Jemedars which are clearly 'local' ranks. How would these various ranks have been distributed in the Battalion?
  5. David Hutchinson

    David Hutchinson New Member

    I am David Hutchinson, aged 74, son of Thomas John Hutchinson who was an officer in the 4/15th Punjab Regiment from about 1936 to 1945. I was born in 1943 in the Cantonment in Peshawar. My father was in Burma, and when I was was born he was in the battle of Donbaik - I was known in the Regiment as "Donbaik David". They crossed the Irawaddy and my father ended the War in Bangkok and we have a Japanese sword from the surrender. My godfather ? , was in the same regiment, and was killed after my birth by a mortar shell.In Peshawar the Colonel was Bill Bellers. He had to have slit trenches dug, in case the German Air Force at Stalingrad, reached Peshawar to bomb it. Stories from my mother, who worked at the Lady Reading Memorial Hospital, and was awarded the KIH honour. We left in 1947 via Ballard Peer for England.
    Owen likes this.
  6. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    Hi David I managed to copy the War Diary for 1944 and looked through that for 1945 in my last trip to Kew a month ago. I can't see mention of Thomas John Hutchinson in the lists of officers submitted each week - are you sure it was the 4th/15th Punjab Regt? Could he have been with the 'B' Echelon at their base in the north-west?
  7. David Hutchinson

    David Hutchinson New Member

    Tricky. My father was posted to the 4/15 Punjab Regiment around 1934, and married in 1937 . The barracks were in Peshawar. The Brigadier was Bill Bellers. Indian officers were Ayub Khan ( later President of Pakistan) and the closest, Jik Rudra. The First War VC in the regiment was Ishar Singh, VC. I was born in 1943 in Peshawar, during the battle of Donbaik, and my father saw me when he came back on leave from the front. My father was in Burma ( what dates?) and reached Bangkok for the Jap surrender. I have the cap badge, the photos, and the regimental Christmas cards for after Partition. Wally Hammond, my godfather, was killed by a mortar. My father left the Indian Army in 1945 and was transferred to the British Army- Royal Artillery
  8. idler

    idler GeneralList

    If this is your godfather, the artillery connection predates your father's transfer to the British Army:


    The implication is they were both serving with 6 Medium Regiment, Royal Artillery.

    I would recommend requesting a copy of your father's service records from the MoD in the hope that his Indian service has been included. That should confirm who he was with and when.
  9. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Hello David,

    I found on Ancestry.com, what looks like you, your mother and your younger brother coming back to the UK aboard the SS. Scythia in June 1947. Scythia 061947.jpg
  10. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    The John Walter Hammond that Idler found was killed in the Arakan and buried at Aykab cemetery initially. The 6th Medium Regiment were involved in the fighting - as were the 4/15 Punjab Regt. However he had recently been promoted from Sergeant on 17th Oct 1943 to 2nd Lt.

    In the London Gazette one can find a TJ Hutchinson, becoming a Lt in 1934 in the Indian Army. In 1947 he is still in the Indian Army and promoted to Major. He has a number 37456 and later is in the Royal Artillery as a Lt CoL. He is placed on retired pay in 1956 with the honorary rank of Colonel and he comes off the Retired List in 1963 when he has an OBE. Could this be your father David?
    CL1 likes this.
  11. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Indian Army List from 1939 shows Lt. TJ Hutchinson as a company officer of 4/15th Punjab Regiment but with 10th Battalion (Training) of the regiment. List for 1941 and 1942 show that at that time he was a Brigade Major but don't give more details than that. I can look in list for 1940 and 1943 tomorrow as I have them on the other PC.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
    CL1 likes this.
  12. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    According the Indian Army List for 1940, Hutchinson was Adjutant of 10(Training)/15th Punjab Regiment. 1943 list unfortunately just list him as regimental officer without any notes about his current deployment. Sorry don't have lists for 1944 and 1945.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
  13. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    The 10th Battalion of any Indian Army regiment was the training battalion, which later became the regimental training centre. Here is the information on the 10th Battalion, 15th Punjab Regiment:

    10th (Training) Battalion 15th Punjab Regiment

    The battalion had four companies for training, each associated with a regular battalion at Ambala. In February 1943, it became the 15th Punjab Regimental Centre and remained at Ambala.
    Rothy and sol like this.
  14. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Yes you are right. I automatically put TA instead of training battalion.
  15. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    Hi Sol Does it have a number for Hutchinson and is it the same individual I found in the LG?
  16. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Unfortunately no, it doesn't give his number but considering that he was a pre-war Indian Army officer his number should start with IA. He probably changes his number if he joined the British Army after 1947. He was commissioned in the Indian Army on 14th March 1933 (Correction).
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
  17. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    1944 list gives him as a Substantive Captain from 30.1.40 in 15th Punjab Regt and as a Temporary Major. His service for promotion is from 31.1.32. It doesn't say which Battalion or role.
  18. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

  19. Maureene

    Maureene Well-Known Member

    Hutchinson TJ is listed under Captains, 15th Punjab Regiment, as W. S. Maj. & Ty. Lt.-Col. He also has (S.C.) after his name, perhaps someone will know what that means.
    page 1622, catalogued as The Indian Army List for April 1 Part 2- 1946. Archive.org.
    The Indian Army List For April I Part 2 - 1946

    Online Indian Army Lists are linked from the FIBIS Fibiwiki page Indian Army List online
    Indian Army List online - FIBIwiki

  20. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    Hi again. The War Diary of 4/15th Punjab Regt for 18 Dec 1944 has a Major Hutchinson 7/15 (I presume this means 7th Bn/15th Punjab Regt?) posted to the Battalion. At the time it was at Kohima and had been withdrawn after the fighting on Church Knoll at the end of May.

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