Indian & Cypriot Muleteers with the BEF

Discussion in '1940' started by Owen, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. Bernard85

    Bernard85 WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    good day owen,15-05-2012, muleteers with the b.e.f.i agree with you-i.e that wanker bernard manning.he is a racist hiding behind his right to free speach does not grant you a licence to insult people(of coulor.race or religion)more so when you are privilage to appear on national the way.was he at dunkirk?great message have a good day bernard85
    11th Armoured likes this.
  2. as6670

    as6670 New Member

    Hi all,

    I am new here.

    This topic is of interest to me as my Grandfather was in the Cyprus Regiment transporting ammo, food, water and other essential supplies to the allies in Monte Cassio using mules. From what i have been told by my grandfather he was lucky to come back home alive. The Regiment was founded on 12 April 1940. It included Infantry, Mechanical, Transport, and Pack Transport Companies. Cypriot mule drivers were the first colonial troops sent to the western front. They served in France, Ethiopia and Italy carrying equipment to areas inaccessible to vehicles.

    Now I have been told quite a few tales by my Grandfather and his experiences but some were really terrifying just thinking about them. If I remember right these trips were made on a nightly basis and were about 12 to 14 miles there and back. The paths were covered by the Germans from high vantage points who would shoot at the mules and muleteers along with shelling of the paths. My Grandfather also mentioned that he had experienced straifing runs from planes on quite a few occassions. On one straifing run he was forced to push the mule over the cliff to survive the straifing. There were land mines that were undetectable by metal detectors as these were made in wooden boxes. Once the supplies were dropped off the journey back started with an injured soldier being taken back to base.

    As a Greek Cypriot I am proud of my Grandfathers contribution to the war effort as i am sure many others are.. :)

    I am one of the few who can see my Grandfather in a Pathe newsreel..and have to admit it brings a tear to my eye seeing him when he was young. He was 27 years old when he volunteered and never showed once ounce of regret for doing so... :)

    Here is the video..My Grandfather can be seen marching and near the end sitting on the ground singing. He looks up at the camera at 51 seconds..he is on the bottom left hand corner.
    Drew5233, 11th Armoured and Owen like this.
  3. as6670

    as6670 New Member

  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Hi-There's no nominal rolls like that on here to do with this unit. Have you uploaded the correct one though? The heading on the top of the page says WW1 Medal Index.
  5. as6670

    as6670 New Member


    That is definately WW2 one...My Grandfather is listed on page 59 and he was in WW2.. ;)
  6. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    AS, you're quite right to be proud of your Grandfather's work with the mules. It was a hazardous business and no vehicle in the mountainous parts of Italy could get where the animals did. Without their nightly trips to the front line carrying supplies and ammuntion, the infantry's achievements would not have been possible. They were highly respected.

    My paternal grandfather worked with mules in Egypt during WW1 and according to his discharge papers, the most important thing to the army was that he cared for animal well.
  7. chrisgrove

    chrisgrove Senior Member

    Just been reading about 4 and 5 Indian Divisions in Eritrea and Ethiopia. They could have done with some mules at Keren and other mountainous battle sites. I wonder which genius sent RIASC mules to France where there was no need for them!

  8. anon

    anon New Member

    Thanks for this! Although it is actually about the Macedonian Mule Corps WWI, I didn't know that such a list did exist. My late paternal grandfather is muleteer No 9540 in this list. He had a bullet wound through his left palm and a few medals.
  9. idler

    idler GeneralList

    From the Indian Official History Technical Services and IEME:

    Force K-6 IAOC History.jpg
    Owen likes this.
  10. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    This thread is also the answer to the racist rallying cry of "comedian" Bernard Manning on the Mrs Merton Show to the effect that there were "no Paki(stani)s" at Dunkirk. There has been a BBC documentary on this topic also destemined to lay this particular lie..

    2 min 10 sec into this
  11. JCB

    JCB Senior Member

    Wonder if these guys were from Muleteers . I am guessing they are mules as my equine knowledge is as good as my armour :)


    Attached Files:

  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    There's wasn't any Pakistani's at Dunkirk. Pakistan wasn't founded until 1947/48. They were all Indians in 1940, that said plenty of them were Muslims.
  13. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    An interesting snippet that I hadn't previously come across :-



    Good to see that there were regular shipments of rice and spices from India; They wouldn't have to these days.
  14. LondonNik

    LondonNik Senior Member

    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017
  15. Skip

    Skip Senior Member

    Hello All,

    I don't suppose, when looking through records of the Cypriot Pack Transport Company, that anyone has come across an officer called Chris BAILEY? I am researching him and would appreciate any steers as to what he was doing with the company between arriving in France late January/early Feb 1940 and the day he was evacuated (from where?) on 1st June.

    I'm not sure whether his name can be spotted at the bottom of one of Drew's photos attached above ...

    All the best

  16. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    How many pages in the whole file? A rough guess to the nearest 100 will give me an idea on how long it will take to copy it.

    Cheers for the heads up
  17. Rumdoodle

    Rumdoodle Member

    Thanks to everyone for your contributions here- really useful! I'm doing some research into K6, and there's a lot of stuff I didn't know on this thread
  18. LondonNik

    LondonNik Senior Member

    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017
  19. Rumdoodle

    Rumdoodle Member

    Hi Drew - have you got a reference for that snippet, perchance?
  20. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    This was a

    That was a piece I wanted Chann 5 to put in their documentary on Paddy Ashdown's father. Two years have gone by and I have committed the cardinal sin of not typing the resource. I suspect its one of my books rather than a war diary :unsure:

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