1st Bn The King's Regiment, (Liverpool), Chindits.

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by High Wood, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Does anyone know if a complete list of those men of the 1st battalion, The King's (Liverpool) Regiment who served with columns 81 and 82 exists? I am trying to ascertain if a particular soldier who served with the battalion between 14th September 1943 and 19th December 1945 was a Chindit.

    Thank you.
    salandjeb likes this.
  2. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi HW,

    Not that I am aware of. I do not possess the 1st King's War diaries, but I have seen various other files from TNA concerning their fortunes. I have come across MIA lists in the WO361 series and I think the diary for 1945 has listings for the award of the Defence Medal, these might be of use although they are not complete.

    Hebridean Chindit may know more.
  3. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Many thanks B43, I will have to find out the hard way. The man in question was originally with the KORR from 16th April 1942 until 13th September 43 and transferred to the King's (Liverpool) Regt in time for Operation Thursday. I have some strong circumstantial evidence that suggests that he might have been a Chindit.

    After the 13th King's returned from Operation Longcloth I understand that as a unit they spent the rest of the war in India. It is possible that this man was a 13th battalion reinforcement but I think that the 1st battalion was a much more likely option. We will see.

  4. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Simon,

    There were certainly soldiers from the KORR drafted into the 13 KLR before Operation Longcloth. I know this because I am writing about one such soldier right now, in preparation to adding his story to my website pages.

    The 13 KLR returned from Burma and spent the next two years at the Napier Barracks in Karachi. Several drafts of the battalion were sent over to 1 KLR to bolster numbers, mostly after Operation Thursday had ended. The two battalions officially amalgamated on the 28th November 1945, shortly before most of the men began the repatriation process.

    I think you are correct in suspecting your man more likely a 1 King rather than a 13th King. A large proportion of the 1 KLR became the 15th (King's) Parachute Battalion in late April 1945, with some others (I was once told by a veteran at one of the Old Comrades dinners) moving over to the Royal Engineers.

    Could be a tricky one to clarify.
    Rothy likes this.
  5. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Thank you again for sharing your knowledge. My chap transferred to the Royal Engineers on the 20th December 1945 so it strengthens the likelihood that he was a 1st battalion man.
  6. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review... Patron

    As per B43 above... I have the list of officers, and the scant list of folks that are in the MIA list, and on very rare occasions, names crop up in stories and text, but of the men that went in just over 71 years ago, there is no master list, and regardless of the occasional (tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek) jibes or goading from my illustrious comrade, Mr B 43, I'm not about to start creating one... o_O :biggrin:
  7. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    So you keep saying HC……………so you keep saying!
    Hebridean Chindit likes this.
  8. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    The strong circumstantial evidence arrived in the post this morning in the form of a Soldier's Release Book, a National Registration Identity Card, a Record of Service card and an orange coloured silk map of Northern and Central Burma with the soldier's number on the edge written in indelible ink.

    The Identity card issued in 1949 gives a south London address and a second initial that has led me to discover that he was born in London in February 1923 and died in Camden in 1991 aged 68.

    The Soldier's Release Book issued on 26th November 1946 describes only his military service with the Home Postal Centre, Royal Engineers.

    It is the Record of Service card that seems to be the clue to service with the Chindits and although it doesn't mention which battalion of either the KORR or the KLR served in I am pretty confident that it was the 2nd KORR and the 1st Kings (Liverpool) Regiment.

    Creating a list of known 1st King's known to have taken part in Operation Thursday sounds like a challenge. Who knows I may give it a go by starting a spread sheet.

    Attached Files:

    CL1 likes this.
  9. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Simon,

    That sounds like a nice little find. I have always wanted one of the Chindit silk escape maps, but I'm awaiting one with Chindit1 credentials. Let me know if you ever do take up the challenge of a 1 KLR Nominal Roll, I would be happy to assist with some names.


  10. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review... Patron

    You can have what I know with my pleasure...
  11. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Steve, HC,

    I will give it a go but I suspect that it might be a long term project. I will create a spread sheet and start with known 1st King's casualties from the CWGC. I once did something similar with the 9th (Service) Battalion East Surrey Regiment's original members. It was relatively easy to get a basic list going as a huge percentage of them were killed or wounded at the battle of Loos in September 1915. I also had the advantage of access to their medal roll index cards which gave their overseas date and of the medal rolls that confirmed the battalion. This will be a lot harder because, as you know, the same information for Second World War soldiers is not in the public domain and, even if they stick to the same 75 year disclosure rule will not be until 2020.

    I would welcome your help with anything that you can give me regarding wounded and sick men mentioned in the war diaries.

    I would especially welcome any information regarding Patrick Francis McQuade.

  12. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    As a basic and not very scientific exercise I have compiled a short list of ex King's Own who transferred to the King's Regiment (Liverpool) and who are known to have served in Burma. I appreciate that there were probably several drafts of men from the former to the latter and that many might have been voluntarily drafted but in numerical sequence four out of the thirteen were 13th battalion casualties and of the remaining eight were 1st battalion and one (non casualty) as yet unknown.

    3712133 13th Btn
    3712316 1st
    3713904 1st
    3713983 13th
    3716946 1st
    3718524 13th
    3718771 13th
    3718886 1st
    3718905 1st
    3718984 1st
    3719001 ?
    3719027 1st
    3719165 1st
  13. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Simon,

    Let me know if/when you begin and I will send some names over. I fully intend to produce a website in honour of the 1 KLR at some point in the future. It will not be as intensive a site as my Longcloth one, more like an extended Roll of Honour. I have never got started with it, purely because the Chindit 1 website has been much more work (successful?) than I ever expected.


  14. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    I have spent a very informative morning compiling a list of casualties for the 1st battalion king's Regiment (Liverpool) who died as Chindits during or after Operation Thursday. There is obviously a lot more to do but the CWGC website has provided the following information:

    A total of 163 and possibly 164* men of the battalion died during and after Operation Thursday. 137 of these during the operation in Burma, 11 in India after being evacuated and 4 as prisoners of war in Burma; the last man died as late as 30th March 1945 as a PoW.

    15 men were killed in Glider 20B before reaching Broadway. 7 men were killed on the 5th March during the glider landings and a further 9 on the 6th March. The battalion's worst day for fatal casualties was 25th May 1944 when 27 were killed during the evacuation of the Blackpool stronghold. 18 men died on the 20th May and 13 on the 28th March..

    There were 4 men from the Irish Republic and I man from Australia amongst the battalion's overall fatal casualties.

    I now have to transcribe my notes onto a spread sheet before I look at figures for the wounded. I am also sure that further research may reveal other fatal casualties.

    * 1 casualty 14410620 Pte Mervyn Gladstone Williams, KIA 18th March has no battalion listed on his CWGC entry.
    kizzi likes this.
  15. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review... Patron

    Simon... send me a pm with an email link and I'll dropbox my 1st KLR files in for you... only the Nov/Dec 1944 diaries and the MIA list, and some minor other notes I'm afraid...

    Braver man than me... my work has spiraled into a flat-spin some time back... :biggrin:

  16. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member


    much appreciated, I will send you my email address. As I don't get down to Kew much these days now that we have moved from Surrey to Shropshire compiling a database will keep me occupied.

  17. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Not that brave HC, a nice containable quest for Simon. :biggrin:
  18. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member


    I know how enjoyable compiling these lists can be, I have done something similar for Longcloth participants and helpers.

    A few additions to get you going:

    Attached, the 1 KLR who became official POW's and ultimately held at Rangoon Jail. You will have already picked up the casualties from this list. Most, if not all of these men were captured when their gliders failed to make Broadway on the 5th March 1944. I say official POW's, because I know that the Japanese took prisoners at places such as Blackpool, but sadly, felt that they could not hold on the these men in the fighting zone and so disposed of them.

    Also attached are nominal rolls from the three gliders containing 1 KLR that failed to reach Broadway, showing some of the men later to be found at Rangoon. These lists come from WO361/444, a file that Ken can send over in it's entirety.

    As you progress, keep me updated and I will seek out other avenues to explore; books etc.

    Over the years on the forum, several 1 KLR families have popped in and out, so a search might be in order to find these.

    Attached Files:

  19. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member


    superb stuff which should keep me busy for a while, thank you for attaching the files.. It would be good to know if there is an official record of the number of 1/KLR soldiers who boarded gliders at Lalaghat so that I have a figure to work towards.

  20. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    That is a difficult question and to my knowledge no such list survives. As most of the 1 KLR flew in to Broadway on the 5th March by glider and there were a suggested 52 craft, mostly double towed that night by Dakota, we could come up with an estimate based on these figures. Obviously, not every single person aboard each glider would have been a Kingsman.

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