Decrypting a letter home....

Discussion in 'General' started by efiste2, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. efiste2

    efiste2 Member

    Apologies if this is in the worng Section, We came across this letter in my Grandads personal stuff, it looks to be a letter home from his brother who was already overseas.....The handwriting is very difficult to read, but im hoping this letter could open a whole new chapter in our family history.

    Firstly can any of you learned folks identify what his location and regiment was, attached is what is written at the top of the letter.

    Attached Files:

  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    SEAC = South East Asia Command

    HY AA Regt = Heavy Anti-aircraft regiment.

    19th Battery

    looks like 7th but cant work out the word after the 7th.

    this doesnt have them in SEAC.

    oops didnt scroll along & see IA.
    not royal artillery but Indian.

    7th (Rajput) H.A.A. Regt. Royal Indian Artillery
  3. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    19th Battery
    7th Rajput Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment
    Indian Artillery
    South-East Asia Command

    Owen likes this.
  4. idler

    idler GeneralList

    7th Rajput HyAA Regt, Indian Artillery?

    No mention of them in Palit's History of the Regiment of Artillery, Indian Army. There is a very brief survey of the [British] indian Artillery, but the book is predominantly a post-independence history.
  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  6. efiste2

    efiste2 Member

    Thats brilliant chaps, Thanks. this taken from Wikipedia sort of tallys in with what liitle is known,

    "The 5th Battalion was in the Battle of Hong Kong. The action against the invading Japanese was short and swift with heavy casualties to the regiment. The regiment along with the British garrison was forced to surrender and the men became POWs and had to undergo great hardships. 130 men of the 5th Rajput were either beaten or starved to death or just died because lack of medical care. The Japanese wanted Captain M.A. Ansari of 5th Rajput to renounce his allegiance to the British, but he refused. For five months he was subjected to brutal beatings and treatment, as a result of which he could not walk. He was then sent to live with the other ranks instead of the officers. Captain Ansari remained true to the regiment and organised a system for helping escapees. He was again put in jail and tortured but refused to be broken. In the end the Japanese executed him. Captain M.A. Ansari was awarded the George Cross for his heroism."

    Where would I officially be able to find what Battallion he was in,
  7. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Nooooooo, that's a totally different regiment.
    You're looking at an infantry regiment.

    The address is for an artillery regiment.
  8. efiste2

    efiste2 Member

    Its a good job you guys know your stuff, id be on a wild goose chase, without you chaps. Cheers.

    So i should be researching the "Royal Artillery. 7th (Rajput) H.A.A. Regt., Royal Indian Artillery"
  9. Mike Barber

    Mike Barber New Member

    I've just found this thread through doing a search. I've been reading some letters from my - late - father to my aunt (his sister) between March '42 and November '43 They're all sent from 19 Bty, 7th Rajput HAA Rgt India Command (some of the letters also say 'Army Base PO'). My dad was a Sergeant and I recall him telling me he had his own punkah wallah (I think that's what the 'fan people' are called), but know very little else about him at that time other than the fact that he had dysentery and was sent to the Tropical Diseases Hospital in Liverpool, where he met my mum (who was a nurse). So I exist with thanks to dysentery! Does anyone know anything else about 19 Bty7th Rajput HAA Rgt?
  10. RobG64

    RobG64 Well-Known Member

    Mike, I came across your post whilst looking for other info, hope you are still on. As most people on here will agree, there is very little information about Indian Artillery out there. I have been gathering what I can find. Here's what I have on 7th (Rajput) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment I.A. although it is subject to confirmation/amendments etc:

    Regiment raised on 1 February 1942 by the reconstitution of 7th Battalion 7th Rajput Regiment (an infantry battalion)
    R.H.Q. with 18th, 19th and 20th Heavy AA Batteries IA

    Under command 1st Indian AA Brigade (Calcutta area) from May 1942, although non-operational as it trained and awaited equipment. Regiment under command 13th British AA Brigade, RA (Chittagong area) from October 1943
    19th Battery detached to 9th British AA Brigade, RA/3rd Indian AA Brigade (Assam and Digboi area) from February to June 1944
    19th Battery detached to XXXIII Indian Corps from February to April 1945
    Regiment moved to Dohazari in March 1945 where it was joined by 19th Battery

  11. Mike Barber

    Mike Barber New Member

    I had no notification of your post Rob and found this again by chance! Thanks for the info (as you say, there doesn't seem to be much around!). I've posted a scanned group photo including my dad whilst he was in India. The Dad, fourth from left,  in India 1942 to 1943.jpg photo has no information, but would have been taken some time between June 1942 and November 1943. My dad is fourth from the left (the short one!)
    4jonboy likes this.
  12. Mike Barber

    Mike Barber New Member

    Here's another photo of my dad, taken in India on 6th June 1942. His address at the time was 19 Bty 7th Rajput HAA Rgt, India Command (some correspondance also says 'Army Base PO'.
    In addition to the date, my dad has written 'with my valve data book'

    Attached Files:

  13. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    These look to be the war diaries for the unit:

    WO 172/2440, Heavy Anti-Aircraft Batteries: 19 Heavy Anti-Aircraft (HAA) Battery (1943 Jan.,- Apr., July - Dec.)
    WO 172/4800, Heavy Anti-Aircraft Batteries: 19 Battery (1944 Jan.- Dec.)
    WO 172/7553, Heavy Anti-Aircraft Batteries: 19 Battery (1945 Jan., Feb.)

    Available at the National Archives.

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