Just found out grandfather was in the Chindits

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by Lookingforgrandad, May 14, 2022 at 8:41 AM.

  1. Hi,

    Found this site after trying to discover more about the Chindits, after recently being told my grandfather served in Burma. I know very little about him, as, although he survived, he didn't return home to his family after the war.

    I have been trawling the internet over the past week and came across a group photo that showed a man that might be him, but there was no identifying information.

    Can anyone point me in the right direction to where I can find out more about him?

    Much appreciated

  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Welcome to the forum

    Firstly you need to apply for his service records there is a long wait at the moment .

    You require £30 date of birth and his death certificate which you can apply for here General Register Office - Online Ordering Service - Login about £10

    Link here to apply for records
    Get a copy of military service records

    If you shared his name perhaps other forum members would be able to assist.
    Also any other info that suggests he is linked to the Chindits
    I have contacted the member who runs the website below
    A members website here for your info Chindit Chasing, Operation Longcloth 1943

    4jonboy, Rothy and Wobbler like this.
  3. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Perhaps you could tell us his name?
  4. Wobbler

    Wobbler Patron Patron

    Welcome aboard Linda.
  5. Thankyou very much for your replies.

    His name was Thomas Ringland and he served with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, but there is some uncertainty as to which battalion. I grew up hearing that he'd deserted his family after the war, but it's only in recent years that I've tried to find out more about him. I've recently connected with a cousin, through Ancestry DNA, who was told that he served with the Chindits.

    I have his birth and death certificates and will apply for his war records from the link kindly provided by CL1

    Many thanks for your help
    4jonboy and Chris C like this.
  6. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Hi Linda,

    Clive alerted me to your post today. I have had a look through my listings for Chindit soldiers in 1943 & 1944 and unfortunately Thomas is not on any of these. However, they are by no means extensive, so there is still a possibility he served with the Chindits as the family suggest. His service records are definitely the way forward right now.

    Good luck going forward.

    4jonboy, Wobbler and CL1 like this.
  7. Hi Steve,

    Thanks so much for taking the time to look through your list. It's a shame he's not on there, but I suppose I shouldn't expect to find him immediately, with so little information to go on. I will definitely apply for his war records though.

  8. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    1st Bn Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers served in Burma.

    What makes your cousin think he was a Chindit ?
  9. She met a man (many years ago), who said he knew him and that he served in/or was a Chindits. My father also remembers a poem he used to recite about Burma

    'These are the men that shed their blood, upon the filty Burma mud
    On the Arakan front and the Imphal plain.......... etc.

    ...so two fairly tenuous links to indicate he might've served there

    JITTER PARTY Well-Known Member

    Are you aware that serving in Burma and being a Chindit are not the same thing? For example; the 1 Inniskilling Fusilers, mentioned above, served in Burma but they weren't Chindits.
    Rather than guess apply for his service records as advised above.
  11. No I didn't know that, as I'm only going on what my cousin told me that she was told.

    I've already stated that I'll be applying for his records
  12. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member Patron

    Another popular misconception is that “served in Burma” is not the same as “served in the Burma Campaign”! Large numbers of troops never set foot in Burma and never left India, my father being one, but still served and fought very hard during the Burma Campaign.
    To be fair, thirty years ago I never knew there was a difference.
    timuk likes this.
  13. Wobbler

    Wobbler Patron Patron

    Be prepared for a “bit” of a wait, Linda. This thread here is well worth reading, but I’m sure the wait will be well worth it. You never know, though, you might get lucky: ;)

    Service Records application - MOD response timescale

    There’s two or three family records I’m after myself but I’ve yet to put in for - if I’d done it when I first thought about it two years ago I’d probably have them by now, d’oh (maybe…)

    Oh, if you send a cheque, I’d suggest leaving it undated so it doesn’t expire while your application is in the queue.

    One other thing you might also like to do is enquire about his medal entitlement. The Medal Office, in my experience, is super efficient and it doesn’t cost you anything. They should be able to tell you whether the medals were actually issued to your grandfather too. I say this only because, if they were not, then you may be able to claim them now or, if you wanted to, obtain replacements for a display perhaps :))

    You can contact them here (info courtesy of the late and much missed Tricky Dicky):

    Contact the MOD Medal Office:

    You can contact the Medal Office in writing or via email.

    MOD Medal Office
    Room G36
    Innsworth House
    Imjin Barracks
    GL3 1HW

    Telephone enquiries are handled by the Joint Personnel Administration Centre (JPAC).

    Freephone (UK only): 0800 085 3600
    Telephone (from overseas): +44 141 224 3600

    Here are the forms:

    Ministry of Defence medal form

    In the “I wish to apply for” box, I typed “Full Entitlement Only”.

    Best of luck.
    timuk, CL1, Tony56 and 1 other person like this.

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