James Knud Annandale-Steiner and a Japanese flag

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by charlesa, Mar 30, 2020.

  1. charlesa

    charlesa Junior Member

    Good morning all,
    this is my first post on here so apologies for any ineptitude.

    My father, James Knud Annandale-Steiner fought in the Burma campaign but, like so many others, declined to talk about it. He spent most of the war with 4th Battalion South Lancashire Regiment but was posted to the 2nd Battalion Borders Regiment in April 1944.
    Trying to decipher his Army Form B ( P/85015) he embarked for India on 12/12/43 with the South Lancs, disembarking on 15/01/44.
    I have done some research re the 2nd Borders and it looks as if they were heavily involved around Imphal.
    We have one letter from him to his parents that gives very little information dated 3rd June '44.
    One thing it does say is:
    " Incidentally ,Dad, the Jap is not as good a shot as you think- sniping good but otherwise no. He often misses at point blank range.".

    One thing he did bring back was the Japanese flag, attached, that was surrendered to him along with 2 Japanese swords that have sadly disappeared. I was wondering whether there might be any Japanese speakers/readers on this forum who might be able to help decipher.
    Incidentally he ended the war as a major so I am assuming that the flag surrendering was very late on.

    Many thanks in advance for any help/comments.


    Attached Files:

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  2. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    Welcome. That's a great looking flag. It's in the best condition of any that I've seen.
    JimHerriot likes this.
  3. charlesa

    charlesa Junior Member

    Thank you Dave, it's just been sitting in a draw, unlike the 2 swords that were surrendered with it. They were ruined by being used as play weapons by my 3 brothers and I !
    JimHerriot likes this.
  4. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    There is a book "The Little Men" by K W Cooper about his time as a Platoon then Company Commander in Burma with 2 Border, it may be worth looking out for to get an idea of the Battalions fight - there isn't an index so I cant check for your father
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  5. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    Sounds like my childhood too.
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  6. charlesa

    charlesa Junior Member

    Thank you Sir, I shall try and locate a copy
    JimHerriot likes this.
  7. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

  8. charlesa

    charlesa Junior Member

    Thank you gents, ordered.
    Another quick question if I may. In his letter heading to his parents he writes:
    2 Border, 3 E.A. Command.
    Please could you tell what the E.A. Command means; Eastern Area ?

    Many thanks

    JITTER PARTY Well-Known Member

    More likely to be '2 Border, S.E.A. Command' = South East Asia Command.
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  10. charlesa

    charlesa Junior Member

    Ok thanks JP.
    Fyi my nephew has had a go at translating the flag:

    He thinks that the left hand says:
    Presented to Major Steiner (my father was JK Annandale-Steiner but often abbreviated to JKA Steiner ( father Danish; mother British)).
    and that the 3 names on the right are those of the surrendering Japanese officers:

    Left: MAKIKAWA Katsuhiko

    Middle: YANAGISAWA Shuzo

    Right: Unsure

    Best wishes and open to other translations,

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  11. Deacs

    Deacs Well i am from Cumbria.

    Some pages from the book Tried And Valiant: The Story of the Border Regiment1702 - 1959

    Regarding the 2nd Borders in Burma Hope this is of interest. Mike
    thumbnail_20200330_183821.jpg thumbnail_20200330_183830.jpg thumbnail_20200330_183853.jpg 20200330_183955.jpg thumbnail_20200330_184006.jpg thumbnail_20200330_184017.jpg
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  12. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Charles, I am enjoying this thread very much. I think it might be a good idea if you, or one of the Mods on the forum, add your father's name to the title. This will allow everyone to come back to it more easily should more information come to light.

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  13. charlesa

    charlesa Junior Member

    Thank you SO much DEACS and Steve, yes please , if the mods are able to do it ( as I'm inept !):
    James Knud Annandale-Steiner.
    I have been asked on the Introductory forum to upload his war record which I will try and do asap.

    Best wishes and thanks
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  14. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Thanks Owen for editing the title of this thread.
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  15. Rothy

    Rothy Well-Known Member

    A Japanese friend of a friend has also arrived at the same translation or interpretation.

    The flag was given as a "gift" to Major Steiner by three Japanese officers. One of these appears to have been a colonel.

    There is the possibility that the senior Japanese officer may have had something to do with a "2nd Division" according to Japanese records - I think. Unfortunately I'm not in direct contact with the Japanese translator so I'm unsure which Japanese records they have looked at.

    Last edited: Apr 6, 2020
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  16. Rothy

    Rothy Well-Known Member

    I see from the Indian Official History that the Japanese 2nd Division formed part of the occupation forces in French Indo-China. Major Steiner and the 2nd Border Regiment had a connection with the 20th Indian Infantry Division which was sent to Indo-China in September 1945. Could this be where Major Steiner was "presented" with the "gift" of the flag?

    Many 'ifs' to be resolved here..... fingers crossed.

  17. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Until early 1946 Anglo Indian and Japanese forces appear to have co-operated against the Viet Minh .

    Although hostilities officially ended on 15 Aug 1945 Major General Douglas Gracey and his Anglo-Indian Force didn't arrive until 5 Sept. Saigon was occupied by armed Vietnamese. Gracey's initial reaction was to increase his available manpower by arming French PoWs and handing control of Saigon back to them. French Indo-China had fallen into Vichy French administration,it wasn't until after Germany's surrender that Japan declared it an independent nation.

    It was the Anglo-Indian Forces that drove the Viet-Minh from Saigon but the city was effectively surrounded. Gracey realised that Japanese repatriation would have to wait until the Vietnamese country side was under control and did not disarm Japanese Forces in the country. Instead he allowed them to operate against the Viet-Minh. Throughout October 1945 the Viet-Minh launched attacks against Saigon all of which were repulsed by Indian and Japanese Forces.
    It was not until January 1946 that the French were present in sufficient numbers to allow Gracey to hand over Vietnam to its former colonial rulers. The last British forces, the 2/8 Punjab, left in May of 1946.

    See also
    Peter M. Dunn, The First Vietnam War
    Rajendra Singh, Official History of the Indian armed Forces in the Second World War: Post-War occupation Forces

    JITTER PARTY Well-Known Member

    You would have to check the WD for the exact dates of movements, but 2 Border was transferred to 2 Brit Div and that division was sent to Malaya in late 45. That seems to be the most likely place to acquire a Japanese flag and it may be a reference to the British 2 Div, rather than the Japanese.
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  19. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    Thanks for the effort in posting all those pages. Really good read,
    JimHerriot likes this.
  20. charlesa

    charlesa Junior Member

    Thank you everyone, this is amazing. I will attempt to get my father's War Record on here today.
    JimHerriot likes this.

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