India and Burma Feb 1942 - Sept 1945

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by Anitas, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. Anitas

    Anitas Member

    Hi all, I've received my Grandads service records so that I can learn more about his war service but am struggling to understand which regiments I should be searching. It shows he was posted to 60th (and I think either AA follows or RA) Regt. He has RA on his shirt and his records show he was a GNR so I assume gunner. His records show he was in the same regiment until April 1945 when he was transferred to Lancashire Fusiliers. If I search for Royal Artillery 60th I tend to find information on Lincolnshire Gunners, but he was from Manchester and did his training in Carlisle so I'm not quite understanding why there would be a link to Lincolnshire? Next to disembarkment in India April '42 there's a stamp showing Commanding 180th L.A.A. Battery and another entry again referring to '60'. I've also found a picture of him on the internet with the Lancashire Fusiliers 1/8th Bn Kohima 1944 so I'm very confused. Can anyone offer any help? Many thanks in advance.
     

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  2. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Hi,

    Welcome to the forum.

    Would it be possible to upload the original documents to the forum so members can interpret them? Members past experience shows it is better to have sight of the originals rather than rely on another’s interpretation.

    Steve
     
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  3. Rothy

    Rothy Well-Known Member

    Hi Anitas

    The 60th LAA Regiment, of which the 180th LAA Battery was a part, was disbanded in India on 27th September 1944, according to Joslen's Orders of Battle. However Frederick records the disbandment date as 2nd December 1944. I don't have the records to be absolutely sure about this specific unit, however a number of antiaircraft units were disbanded in order to create reinforcements/replacements for British infantry battalions who were desperately under strength. I'm sure this on this forum will be able to provide more details.

    It was also very common for men from one area of the UK to serve with units from other areas of the UK. Men were posted to where they were needed. I had one uncle who joined up with the Lancashire Fusiliers and when he got to India he was posted to the North Staffordshire Regiment. His brother, who signed up with the South Lancs, was posted to the Middle East as a reinforcement and was posted to a Northamptonshire battalion at Anzio, he served with this battalion for the rest of the war.

    Rothy
     
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  4. Anitas

    Anitas Member

    Thank you both so much for your replies, documents to follow....
     
  5. Anitas

    Anitas Member

  6. Anitas

    Anitas Member

  7. Anitas

    Anitas Member

  8. Rothy

    Rothy Well-Known Member

    Here is a brief transcription of part of the service record, that relating to service in India:

    Gunner/Fusilier William Higginson

    Disembarked, Bombay 13th April 1942
    Posted to 180th Battery, 60th L.A.A. Regiment, R.A. (probably given the officer's stamp)
    Posted to the X List(ii) on admission to hospital 13th May 1943
    Reposted from X List(ii) 19th May 1943
    Posted to X List(ii) on admission to British Military Hospital 20th September 1943
    Posted from X List(ii) to the 60th L.A.A. Regiment, R.A. 11th October 1943
    Posted to the 180th L.A.A. Battery (60th L.A.A. Regt.) “
    Posted to X List(ii), admission to Combined British Military Hospital, Nira (near Poona (Pune) 29th March 1944
    Reposted from X List(ii) –discharged from hospital 14th April 1944
    Attached to 2nd British Infantry Division baggage party 2nd September 1944
    Attached to 1st/8th Lancashire Fusiliers 25th September 1944
    Posted to X List(v) 5th January 1945
    Struck off strength Royal Artillery and transferred to British Infantry, rank Fusilier; 1st/8th Lancs Fusiliers 2nd April 1945
    Proceeded to HBTD Deolali for return to the U.K. under PYTHON scheme 26th September 1945
    Embarked Bombay for U.K. 5th October 1945


    Notes:
    X List(ii) – wounded, other medical, sent back beyond Regimental Aid Post
    X List(v) – attending course for more than 28 days
    HBTD - Homeward Bound Trooping Depot
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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  9. Rothy

    Rothy Well-Known Member

    60th L.A.A. Regiment, R.A. - India

    8th April 1942 Arrived in India and remained in the Bombay area, under command 13th A.A. Brigade
    10th Sept 1942 Under command 3rd Indian A.A. Brigade
    1st January 1943 180th L.A.A. Battery moved to the Arakan
    31st January 1943 Regiment moved to the Arakan
    12th April 1943 Regiment moved to Ahmednagar, India and came under command 2nd British Infantry Division
    180th L.A.A. Battery remained in the Arakan
    28th May 1943 Regiment moved to Nira, near Poona (Pune)
    1st June 1943 180th L.A.A. Battery rejoined the Regiment (at Nira)
    17th July 1943 Regiment moved to Bombay area
    15th October 1943 Regiment under command 1st Royal Marine A.A. Brigade
    7th Nov 1943 Regiment moved to Galunche (Gulunche, Poona)
    20th Nov 1943 Regiment under command 33rd Indian Corps
    21st June 1944 Regiment arrived in Pashan Camp, Poona (Pune) under 9th A.A. Brigade
    7th Sept 1944 Regiment under command of 166 Lines of Communication Sub Area (Poona)
    27th Sept 1944 Regiment disbanded.

    Taken from Joslen's Orders of Battle

    Rothy
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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  10. veronicad

    veronicad Well-Known Member

    60th Royal Artillery ( Converted to Infantry) 1944. Joined 23rd Brigade as Chindits They became 60th and 88th columns. Fighting the Japanese valiantly in Nagaland, India.
    I am not at home at the moment, so the details given are from memory! I have just had laser treatment for an eye condition.Therefore, I have struggled to read your service record.
    Veronica.
     
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  11. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Hi,

    Thanks for posting the original documents.

    I suspect he did his basic training at Durranhill Camp, Carlisle - more likely than Hadrian’s Camp. There are mentions of both on t’internet.

    His searchlight unit was likely deployed at Galgate south of Lancaster to defend the nearby Glasson Dock or even Fleetwood.

    He likely sailed on the Special Convoy WS 16 - see below link

    WS (Winston Specials) Convoys in WW2 - 1942 Sailings

    His record mentions transfer to Lancashire Fusiliers in 1945 but if you post a link to the 1944 LF photo you mention then perhaps an India/Burma expert might be able to interpret it.

    Hopefully he applied for his Medal entitlement post war - probably 39/45 Star, Burma Star, Defence Medal & War Medal - it is usually recorded on the Attestation Paper multiset set of forms. If not NOK can still apply.

    Steve
     
  12. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Some great info there from the two Steves.
     
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  13. Rothy

    Rothy Well-Known Member

    Your granddad was attached to the 1/8 Lancs Fusiliers from 25th September 1944 (see earlier service record transcription post). He was not formally posted to the 1/8th until 2nd April 1945.

    Rothy
     
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  14. Anitas

    Anitas Member

    Thank you to all of you who have taken the time to post all of this information to me. Not only does it give me lots of research leads but also I’m absolutely blown away at the kindness you offer in keeping the stories of these men alive. Thank you all so much! Steve: I don’t believe we have any medals. Before my mum (his daughter) passed away she only spoke of a watch that she had. I think it’s a pocket watch and if I remember correctly it was given to my grandfathers Dad post WW1 potentially for clean up ops in France. I shall research further on this. Again, I can’t thank you all enough!!
     
  15. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Hi,

    Thanks to Rothy for clarifying the attachment to LF Sept 1944.

    Your grandfather was not alone in not applying for his Campaign Medals. A lot of service personnel just wanted to forget about their wartime experiences and others weren’t happy that they were required to apply for their medals - unlike post WW1 where soldiers received their medals automatically (not officers) - and just didn’t bother completing the application available at the local Post Office and returning it.

    Here is the official link to WW2 Campaign Medal application process -

    Medals: campaigns, descriptions and eligibility - GOV.UK

    Steve
     
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  16. Anitas

    Anitas Member

    I will definitely look into the medals, I could imagine he wouldn’t have ordered them himself. Also this is the picture that suggests 1/8th Kohima 1944. It may not upload very well as there’s a lot of people on it....
     

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  17. Anitas

    Anitas Member

    My grandad is three rows up right hand side of pic, 2nd person in.
     
  18. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Or contact:
    Contacting the Medal Office
    The Medal Office address and contact details are below. To apply for medals, you will need to first complete the relevant application form, see Applying for medals.
    Veterans UK
    MOD Medal Office
    Innsworth House
    Imjin Barracks
    Gloucester
    GL3 1HW
    Freephone (UK only): 0808 191 4218
    Telephone (from overseas): +44 125 386 6043
    Email: DBS-Medals@mod.uk

    I have always found them to be extremely helpful
    TD
     
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  19. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Hi,

    Thanks for sharing. I also saw it on LF website. I’m sure you’re aware that your gf wasn’t serving with LF during the Siege of Kohima March/May 1944 but if you are interested in the story of that epic battle I would recommend Feargal Keanes’s (BBC journalist) 2011 book about the siege called The Road of Bones. I’ve just finished reading it.

    Steve
     
  20. Anitas

    Anitas Member

    Hi Steve, I wasn’t really aware but the regiment and timing connected to the photoreally confused me. I’d mainly done research on the R.A. 60th so couldn’t work out how he could be connected to Kohima 1944. But I didn’t really know I was following the R.A. 60th correctly either. The only story I know first hand from my mother is that he was in India and Burma. She may have mentioned Chindits but again I’m not sure. That’s why I ordered the service record. The service record translation given by Rothey has helped a lot.
     
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