Lt Eric Thomas Humphreys 8/10th Baluch Indian Army

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Old Scaleyback, Apr 27, 2016.

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  1. My Uncle, Lt Eric Humphreys died of wounds as a prisoner of war of the Japanese on 10th April 1943 in Akyab Jail Burma. He was wounded in the Thigh during the breakout from the surrounded Bn position At Apaukwa on the night 8/9th March 1943.
    His emergency Indian army commission on 20th November 1941 was Gazetted in the London Gazette, But his promotion to Lt on 1st October 1942 was not Gazetted although it is recorded in his service record and the Indian Army lists at the British Library. His family were aware that he was mentioned in despatches twice, once at Imphal and again in the Arakan but again these are not recorded in the London Gazette. also I can find no record of his medal entitlement. His service record contains no entries after the battalion entered the theatre of operations and is probably the Depot copy. the Bn HQ copy would have been destroyed along with the War diary and other records prior to the breakout.

    Might the missing gazette entries be in the Dehli gazette?

    What was his medal entitlement and where would that have been recorded?
     
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    For what it is worth there appears to only be one war diary and that only covers one month

    WO 172/1553 10 Indian Infantry 8/10 Baluch Regiment November 1942
     
  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Just for information, in one of the public family trees on Ancestry there is a document that you may like to read:

    View attachment Erics War.pdf

    TD

    edited to add:
    Brief tree details:

    Eric Thomas Humphreys *
    1913–1943
    BIRTH 1 FEB 1913 • Greater London, London, Middlesex, England
    DEATH 10 APR 1943 • Akyab Burma Pow Camp (of wounds)

    Father: Thomas Richard Humphreys (1882-1952)
    Mother: Ellen Esther Mary Green (1880-1919)
     
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  4. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is my summary history of the 8th Battalion, 10th Baluch Regiment:

    8th Battalion 10th Baluch Regiment

    Sind Brigade Area – 1 February 1941 to July 1941
    The battalion was raised at Jutland Lines, Karachi on February 1st, 1941. It moved to Quetta in July 1941.

    23rd Indian Infantry Brigade – July 1941 to June 1942
    On arrival in Quetta, the 8th Battalion joined the 14th Indian Infantry Division. It served under its 23rd Indian Infantry Brigade from July 1941 to June 1942. It moved to Ranchi in early February 1942 and on February 10th, 1942 the division was renamed the 23rd Indian Infantry Division. The 14th Divisional HQ remained for another task and the 23rd Divisional HQ took over the brigade. It moved to Lahardaya on April 1st, 1942 and entrained at Barkakhara on June 6th, 1942. It arrived at Dimapur on June 10th, 1942. It was decided that the brigade was needed in the Feni area of the Arakan. The brigade was transferred to the 14th Indian Infantry Division at Comilla.

    123rd Indian Infantry Brigade – June 1942 to 2 July 1943
    The brigade was renumbered in June 1942 and the battalion arrived at Chittagong on July 10th, 1942 and moved to Janalihat and Doharzi. The brigade now had the 10th Lancashire Fusiliers, the 1/15th Punjab Regiment and the 8/10th Baluch Regiment. On September 21st, the 123rd Indian Brigade was ordered to Cox’s Bazaar and moved there by sea. It concentrated in the Cox’s Bazaar-Ramu area by the third week of October with the battalion at Ramu. There were no operations for the next month and a half after which the brigade began to advance south. By the end of November, the brigade had moved to the Zeganbyin-Goppe Bazaar-Bawli Bazaar area. The brigade then began to advance down the east bank of the Mayu River on December 17th and found Maungdaw and Buthidaung abandoned. It met no resistance until it reached Htizwe.
    On December 21st, the battalion was detached to form Soutcol for operations in the Kaladan Valley. Soutcol also included one company of the Madras Pioneers and one platoon of the the 10th Engineer Battalion and was directly under the command of the 14th Indian Infantry Division. Soutcol advanced from Taung Bazaar and moved to Apaukwa, ten miles south of Kyauktaw and joined with Tripforce, based on the Tripura Rifles. In early January 1943, Soutcol moved forward to Apaukwa and Kanzauk to open the lines of communiations to Htizwe. Tripforce came under command of Soutcol on January 14th. Soutcol took Kyauktaw on January 17th, even though it was reduced to 375 all ranks by sickness. During the first week of February, Soutcol with Tripforce under command still occupied Kanzauk and Apaukwa in the Kaladan Valley. Soutcol came under command of the 123rd Indian Brigade on February 14th and had HQ and two companies of the battalion at Apaukwa, one company at Kyauktaw and one company at Kanzauk. The battalion’s company at Kanzauk was attacked on March 7th and the Japanese occupied the high ground between Apaukwa and Kanzauk. The company at Kyauktaw then moved to Apaukwa. The battalion was unable to retake Kanzauk on March 8th and was ordered to withdraw from the southern Kaladan Valley. The Apaukwa garrison moved to Yo Chaung and then Buthidaung. The Kanzauk garrison moved to Awarama then Htizwe. The battalion then returned to command of the 123rd Indian Infantry Brigade, which was relieved in the Htziwe area at the start of March by the 55th Brigade. The 123rd Brigade then moved to the Buthidaung area. It marched to Maungdaw on March 16th (less the 1/15th Punjabis) and from there it was withdrawn to Ranchi to refit. The battalion was to transfer to the 5th Indian Infantry Division, but the move was cancelled. It remained in the Ranchi area refitting from April to June 1943, awaiting a command.

    Nowshera Brigade – 5 July 1943 to 20 August 1944
    It was then selected for frontier defence and left for Nowshera on July 2nd, 1943, arriving on July 5th, 1943 under the Nowshera Brigade.

    Bannu Brigade – 20 August 1944 to August 1945
    It moved to Bannu on August 20th, 1944 and later moved to Damdil under the brigade on October 27th, 1944.

    Wana Brigade – August 1945 to 31 August 1945
    The 8th Battalion moved to Wana in August 1945.
     
  5. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is my summary history of the 8th Battalion, 10th Baluch Regiment:

    8th Battalion 10th Baluch Regiment

    Sind Brigade Area – 1 February 1941 to July 1941
    The battalion was raised at Jutland Lines, Karachi on February 1st, 1941. It moved to Quetta in July 1941.

    23rd Indian Infantry Brigade – July 1941 to June 1942
    On arrival in Quetta, the 8th Battalion joined the 14th Indian Infantry Division. It served under its 23rd Indian Infantry Brigade from July 1941 to June 1942. It moved to Ranchi in early February 1942 and on February 10th, 1942 the division was renamed the 23rd Indian Infantry Division. The 14th Divisional HQ remained for another task and the 23rd Divisional HQ took over the brigade. It moved to Lahardaya on April 1st, 1942 and entrained at Barkakhara on June 6th, 1942. It arrived at Dimapur on June 10th, 1942. It was decided that the brigade was needed in the Feni area of the Arakan. The brigade was transferred to the 14th Indian Infantry Division at Comilla.

    123rd Indian Infantry Brigade – June 1942 to 2 July 1943
    The brigade was renumbered in June 1942 and the battalion arrived at Chittagong on July 10th, 1942 and moved to Janalihat and Doharzi. The brigade now had the 10th Lancashire Fusiliers, the 1/15th Punjab Regiment and the 8/10th Baluch Regiment. On September 21st, the 123rd Indian Brigade was ordered to Cox’s Bazaar and moved there by sea. It concentrated in the Cox’s Bazaar-Ramu area by the third week of October with the battalion at Ramu. There were no operations for the next month and a half after which the brigade began to advance south. By the end of November, the brigade had moved to the Zeganbyin-Goppe Bazaar-Bawli Bazaar area. The brigade then began to advance down the east bank of the Mayu River on December 17th and found Maungdaw and Buthidaung abandoned. It met no resistance until it reached Htizwe.
    On December 21st, the battalion was detached to form Soutcol for operations in the Kaladan Valley. Soutcol also included one company of the Madras Pioneers and one platoon of the the 10th Engineer Battalion and was directly under the command of the 14th Indian Infantry Division. Soutcol advanced from Taung Bazaar and moved to Apaukwa, ten miles south of Kyauktaw and joined with Tripforce, based on the Tripura Rifles. In early January 1943, Soutcol moved forward to Apaukwa and Kanzauk to open the lines of communiations to Htizwe. Tripforce came under command of Soutcol on January 14th. Soutcol took Kyauktaw on January 17th, even though it was reduced to 375 all ranks by sickness. During the first week of February, Soutcol with Tripforce under command still occupied Kanzauk and Apaukwa in the Kaladan Valley. Soutcol came under command of the 123rd Indian Brigade on February 14th and had HQ and two companies of the battalion at Apaukwa, one company at Kyauktaw and one company at Kanzauk. The battalion’s company at Kanzauk was attacked on March 7th and the Japanese occupied the high ground between Apaukwa and Kanzauk. The company at Kyauktaw then moved to Apaukwa. The battalion was unable to retake Kanzauk on March 8th and was ordered to withdraw from the southern Kaladan Valley. The Apaukwa garrison moved to Yo Chaung and then Buthidaung. The Kanzauk garrison moved to Awarama then Htizwe. The battalion then returned to command of the 123rd Indian Infantry Brigade, which was relieved in the Htziwe area at the start of March by the 55th Brigade. The 123rd Brigade then moved to the Buthidaung area. It marched to Maungdaw on March 16th (less the 1/15th Punjabis) and from there it was withdrawn to Ranchi to refit. The battalion was to transfer to the 5th Indian Infantry Division, but the move was cancelled. It remained in the Ranchi area refitting from April to June 1943, awaiting a command.

    Nowshera Brigade – 5 July 1943 to 20 August 1944
    It was then selected for frontier defence and left for Nowshera on July 2nd, 1943, arriving on July 5th, 1943 under the Nowshera Brigade.

    Bannu Brigade – 20 August 1944 to August 1945
    It moved to Bannu on August 20th, 1944 and later moved to Damdil under the brigade on October 27th, 1944.

    Wana Brigade – August 1945 to 31 August 1945
    The 8th Battalion moved to Wana in August 1945.
     
  6. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Nice bit of sleuthing, Tricky Dicky.
     
  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Thanks, most times when looking there is nothing, sometimes like this one it pays off and you can find something useful. I note that there are quite a few good references at the end of the .pdf file.

    TD
     
  8. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Well done TD. When I first read this post and with the POW connection, I wondered if I might have something to offer. The pdf gave me my answer.

    Royal Signals Sergeant Charles Webster was taken to Rangoon Jail after being held at Akyab, as the story says, he survived the war. Captain (Doctor) Dwgaprard Rao was also a POW in Rangoon and he survived the war too.

    Here is Webster's POW index card. His date of capture was 08/03/1943 at a cove on the Chouteau side of the Kaladan River.

    Webster C. JIC 1. copy.JPG
     
  9. Thanks guys.
    I see you have found my original Research completed 13 years ago, my first attempt at this sort of thing. The 123 brigade diary sums this campaign up, at some point they run out of AF C2118 and continue on sheets of foolscap and when this runs out on rice paper! You have added several details I didn't know.
    Now that I am retired I am considering visiting Eric's Grave and I have renewed my interest in his medal entitlement. There are no updates to his personal file later than at Ranchi, His promotion to Lieutenant was not Gazetted in London although it is confirmed in the Indian Army lists, and his Mentions in despatches are only referred to in correspondence to his father from the WO. His father also corresponded with Sgt Webster who buried him in the Anglian churchyard at Akyab and Col Souter, This correspondence is in the possession of my cousin in Denmark who I haven't met since her wedding when I was 14.

    Any pointers on where I can find out about his medal entitlement?

    Regards Brian
     
  10. Thanks guys.
    I see you have found my original Research completed 13 years ago, my first attempt at this sort of thing. The 123 brigade diary sums this campaign up, at some point they run out of AF C2118 and continue on sheets of foolscap and when this runs out on rice paper! You have added several details I didn't know.
    Now that I am retired I am considering visiting Eric's Grave and I have renewed my interest in his medal entitlement. There are no updates to his personal file later than at Ranchi, His promotion to Lieutenant was not Gazetted in London although it is confirmed in the Indian Army lists, and his Mentions in despatches are only referred to in correspondence to his father from the WO. His father also corresponded with Sgt Webster who buried him in the Anglian churchyard at Akyab and Col Souter, This correspondence is in the possession of my cousin in Denmark who I haven't met since her wedding when I was 14.

    Any pointers on where I can find out about his medal entitlement?

    Regards Brian

    Whoops how do I delete this duplicate post?
     

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