The Corps of Drums 1st Battalion Middlesex Regiment, Hong Kong 1940

Discussion in 'War Against Japan' started by High Wood, Oct 20, 2017.

  1. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    I have recently acquired this rather poignant photograph of the Corps of Drums, 1st Battalion Middlesex Regiment, which was taken at the Nanking Barracks, Shamshuipo, Hong Kong in 1940. Every man in this photograph was either killed in action or a prisoner of war by the 25th December 1941. Several of the men who went into captivity were later lost on the Lisbon Maru in October 1942.

    I have managed to identify most of the men in the photograph but there are several possible candidates for both Pte Hall and L/Cpl Wilson.. Drums 001.JPG
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  2. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    The Corps of Drums. 1st Battalion The Middlesex Regiment (DCO). Nanking Barracks. Shamshuipo. Hong Kong. 1940

    Back row L-R

    Dmr Ken Douglas Gage. PoW 25/12/1941

    Pte E.Charles Bellchambers. 6204475. PoW 22/12/1941

    Pte Hall

    Pte Reginald Ernest Hall. 620766. PoW 25/12/41 KiA 1-2/10/42 Lisbon Maru age 28

    Pte Walter John Hall. 6204496. PoW 25/12/41 KiA 1-2/10/1942 Lisbon Maru age 20

    Dmr John Klimcke. 6700248. PoW 25/12/1941

    Pte Henry S Winsborough. 6204477. PoW 25/12/1941

    Dmr Dennis Richard John Minchin. 6202985. KiA 8-25/12/1941 age 20

    Dmr George John Phillip Endersby. 6202137. KiA 19/12/1942 age 21

    Pte Leonard. Either

    Pte Albert Edwin Leonard. 6213528. PoW 25/12/1941 and died 10/09/1942 or
    Pte Eric G Leonard. 6198972. PoW 25/12/1941 and survived the sinking of the Lisbon Maru.

    Dmr James Harrington. 6204495. PoW 25/12/1941

    Dmr George Edward Chacksfield. B: 1915. D: 1993 age 78

    Pte Albert Arthur Groves. 6201420 KiA 23/12/1941 age 30

    Middle row.

    Pte Ivan Harold Abercrombie. 3570505. PoW 25/12/1941

    Dmr William Gordon Dewberry. 4975085. PoW 25/12/1941. Lisbon Maru

    Pte Albert W Fielding. 6202173. PoW 22/12/1941

    Dmr Charles W Tully. 6201562. PoW 25/12/1941

    Dmr Albert Flood. 6203571. PoW 25/12/1941. Lisbon Maru

    L/Cpl C G Webber.

    Dmr Sidney Arthur Merton. 6201765. KiA 19/12/1941 age 25

    Dmr Herbert Revell. 6203208. PoW 25/12/1941

    Dmr Lawrence Samuel Onslow. 6202381. KiA 24/12/1941 age 21

    Dmr Arthur Walter Grossmith. 6202946. KiA 19/12/1941 age 20

    Pte Eric Lane. 6203928. KiA 25/12/1941 age 23

    Front row

    Dmr Ernest Klintworth. 6199290. KiA 19/12/1941 age 26

    Dmr Herbert E Rowe. 6203541. PoW 25/12/1941

    Pte Patrick J Cosgrove. PoW 25/12/1941

    L/Cpl Harold Alfred George Pelham. 6201290. KiA 1-2/10/1942. Lisbon Maru

    Dm Major Holford. Sgt Charles Holford. 6199886. PoW 25/12/1941

    Capt/Adjt Walter Harold Powlesland Chattey. 36440. B: 12/08/07 D: 1977

    Cpl Sidney William Staley. PoW 25/12/1941

    L/Cpl James Arthur Parsons. 6201218. KiA 19/12/1941 age 23

    L/Cpl Roy Leslie Harold Rooker. 6202947. KiA 1-2/10/1942. Lisbon Maru

    L/Cpl Wilson: either

    Cpl James Henry Wilson. 6201217. KiA 24/12/1941 age 26

    L/Cpl John Edward Wilson. 6203271. PoW 25/12/1941

    Pte Eric Kenneth Wilson. 6202952. PoW 25/12/1941. Lisbon Maru

    Bdsm Donald George Wilson. 6201222.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2017
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  3. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    Drum Major is a post and not a rank. It is possible that Drum Major Holford was indeed Sgt Holford.

  4. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Drums 010.JPG Drums 011.JPG

    Thank you for clarifying that for me. I will amend the post.

    The top picture shows Drum Major Sgt Charles Holdford and Captain Walter Harold Powelsland Chattey who was seconded to the Aden Protectorate Levies between 1936 and 1939.
    The lower picture shows L/Cpl Roy Leslie Harold Rooker who was killed on the Lisbon Maru and L/Cpl Wilson.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
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  5. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Have you tried Tony Banham in Hong Kong?
  6. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    I have emailed him and offered him a copy of the photograph for his website. Several of the names on the photograph do not appear in his list of 1st battalion Middlesex soldiers.
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  7. Woodcarver9

    Woodcarver9 Member

    In a post war addition to his diary Arthur Alsey Sgt. In the Royal Scotts, describes Sgt. Holford;
    ‘Drummy’ Holford ‘Drum Major of the Middx Fifes and drums’, quite a character, always cheerful and ready for a joke. A real Londoner with a Corblimey accent.
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  8. Woodcarver9

    Woodcarver9 Member

    Ive seen the name Drummy Holford a few times, he was a Kobe House POW. His name was officially spelt Holdford, if he’s one of the ones you can’t find on the Hong Kong War diary
  9. yellowhammer

    yellowhammer New Member

  10. yellowhammer

    yellowhammer New Member

    I have a Winsborough No.440 of the Middlesex Regiment on a list of soldiers of various Regiments made by my uncle Percy Chittenden while at Kobe, Japan. My uncle survived the Lisbon Maru.
  11. yellowhammer

    yellowhammer New Member

    This is the list of soldiers with Regiments ( front and back ) made by my uncle Percy Chittenden at Kobe and also a photo of him " Writing Home " on the USS Joseph Dickman on his way home via America and Canada.

    Attached Files:

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  12. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    thank you for posting the photograph and documents.

  13. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Does anyone know what happened to the drums? Were they taken by the Japanese as trophies or were they hidden and later recovered?
  14. Woodcarver9

    Woodcarver9 Member

    I’ve just read about this on the Hong Kong War diary site. Great research fella.

  15. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Well done HW for getting this research onto Tony's website. Might well open some doors for you.
  16. Woodcarver9

    Woodcarver9 Member

    I’m with Roger Mansell, share what you’ve got and put it out there. Be a gentleman and open a door for someone else.
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  17. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Totally agree there Steve. Roger (God Bless him), gave me a huge amount of help when I first began researching the POW's of Rangoon Jail.
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  18. yellowhammer

    yellowhammer New Member

    Percy Chittenden 1st Middlesex Regiment. My Uncles last entries in his Hong Kong diary and later letter to his mother saying that he had been wounded. He survived the Lisbon Maru and ended up in Kobe, Japan.

    Attached Files:

  19. Joe dewberry

    Joe dewberry Member

    Hello I'm new to this I was just wondering if any one can point me in the right direction to look up info on my grandad dewberry he is in the photo at the top and I know he was a pow but nothing else really cheers joe
  20. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Hi Joe,

    There will be POW related documents for your grandfather on line. From the information on this thread, William was captured at the surrender of Hong Kong, then he was aboard the Lisbon Maru when it was torpedoed by the American vessel USS Grouper on 1st October 1942. He survived this ordeal and was taken to Japan.

    According to the one document I have (see attached), he was liberated on the 2nd September 1945 at Osaka. Other forum members will definitely know more.

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