Sherwood Foresters Burma WW2

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by Topfmine, Dec 14, 2019.

  1. Topfmine

    Topfmine Active Member

    My mums brother was a bit of a dark horse in the family and it was said he went out to Malaya before the war to work on the plantations. He was that a dark horse that he had fathers knocking on my grans door about is womanising, i assume, so he was a bit of a character but i never met him as he moved to Australia and died years ago.
    When war called he joined up and served with the Sherwood foresters training troops for jungle warfare. I have a photo of him leaning by some railings near a river with a Reising submachine gun, quite a nice pose. I have the pre formed letters he sent home to my gran to say he was alright and how were things back home, mentioning the Japs were not that far away.
    Sounds he was very active to what every he got up-to, been meaning to look him up to see his story.
    Anyone know about the Sherwood Foresters in Burma and jungle warfare training.
  2. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Two battalions of the Sherwood Foresters served in India-Burma, the 12th and 13th Battalions. Here is a brief summary of their histories. Both served in a training role. If you send away for his records, you can be certain of his service. It will match one of these battalions.

    12th Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment)

    No. 4 Infantry Training Group – 4 July 1940 to 12 October 1940
    The battalion was formed on July 4th, 1940.

    204th Independent Infantry Brigade (Home) – 12 October 1940 to 31 August 1942
    It served under the brigade in the United Kingdom. The brigade dropped “(Home)” from its title on November 25th, 1941 and was redesigned as the 185th Infantry Brigade on September 1st, dropping its battalions and taking over regular infantry battaions.

    WO Control – 1 September 1942 to 25 November 1942
    The 12th Battalion embarked at Liverpool in October 1942 for India.

    Delhi Independent Brigade Area – 25 November 1942 to November 1943
    The battalion arrived at Bombay on November 25th, 1942. It moved to Delhi for internal security duties. It went to Delwari Camp, Bhopal in November 1943 to learn jungle warfare.

    52nd British Infantry Brigade – 1 January 1944 to 31 August 1945
    It served as a jungle-warfare training unit.

    13th Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment)

    No. 7 Infantry Training Group – 4 July 1940 to 10 October 1940
    The battalion was raised at Norwich on July 4th, 1940. It moved to Scotland a few days after it was formed.

    207th Independent Infantry Brigade (Home) – 10 October 1940 to 22 July 1941
    In November 1940, it moved to East Anglia at Southend, Epping and Colchester.
    The battalion remained in East Anglia from July to December 1941.

    136th Infantry Brigade – 12 December 1941 to 10 February 1942
    The battalion remained in East Anglia under the brigade.

    WO Control – 11 February 1942 to 29 July 1942
    The battalion then embarked for India on May 31st, 1942 and arrived at Bombay on July 29th, 1942.

    267th Indian Armoured Brigade – 30 July 1942 to April 1943
    The regiment arrived in India on July 29th, 1942 as the 13th Sherwood Foresters and moved to Rawalpindi on arrival, where it converted to 163rd Armoured Regiment, RAC on July 30th.

    255th Indian Armoured Brigade – April 1943 to September 1943
    The regiment served with the brigade in Secunderabad equipped with Grant/Lee medium tanks.

    GHQ Troops, India – September 1943 to 31 November 1943
    The battalion left the brigade in September 1943 on being replaced by regular Indian Cavalry and being reduced to cadre by the tranfer of troops to the Special Force.

    67th Indian Training Brigade – 1 December 1943 to 1 May 1945
    The battalion was reconverted to 13th Battalion from the 163rd Armoured Regiment, RAC on December 1st, 1943 and joined the 67th Indian Training Brigade.

    Delhi District – 1 May 1945 to 31 August 1945
    The battalion remained in the district as GHQ Troops India from 1 May to 31 August 1945.
    Rothy and Topfmine like this.
  3. Topfmine

    Topfmine Active Member

    I had a look at his letters again and noted the following address he was at. Sherwood Foresters A Coy, 6 section 27 reinforcement camp. S.E.A.B ( not sure if the last letter is a B or what) F.P.O 141 ( i assume field post office number not sure where this was).
    The next address was No 2 Coy, No 2 wing, BBRC British Base Reinforcement Camp Indian command. This was around 3/44 to early 2/45
    He was then moved to the 2nd West Yorks 6 coy S.E.A ? 4/45. Not sure what he was upto.
  4. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY


    James Henry SMITH (217774).

    Lieut James Henry Smith (unknown-1944) - Find A...

    Lieutenant James Henry Smith | War Casualty Details | CWGC

    Service Number: 217774
    Regiment : Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment)
    Date of Death : Died 02 March 1944
    Age 35 years old
    Buried or commemorated at TAUKKYAN WAR CEMETERY 3. D. 10. Myanmar
    Country of Service : United Kingdom
    Additional Info : Son of George Henry and Elizabeth Catherine Smith: husband of Lilian Smith, of South Wigston, Leicestershire.

    ---- x ---- x ----

    There was a 2nd Lieutenant J.H. Smith...

    Who was mentioned only once in the 24th Lancers War Diary...

    20/11/41 29 Armd Bde, Tank v Tank point to point won by 24th Lancers.
    2/Lieuts. J.H. Smith and R.H. Dunford joined the Regiment.

    And who does not appear to be referenced in "None Had Lances" - the Regimental History of the 24th Lancers.

    One possible candidate, perhaps is the above that was soon after (December 1941) referenced with the Sherwood Foresters. Hard to gauge however how likely this "match" is, as with a surname like Smith, and only the initials J.H. etc. It would be a "stretch".
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2022

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