1st Somerset Light Infantry

Discussion in 'British Indian Army' started by Pete Thomas, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Member

    Hi, does anyone know what brigade and division the 1st Somersets were serving with in January 1944? I found conflicting info on the internet stating they were either part of the 114th Brigade, 3rd Indian Infantry Brigade or the Frontier Reserve Brigade.

    Also does anyone know where the battalion was on 26th/27th January 1944 and what they were doing?

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Cheers
    Pete
     
  2. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Generally here is where the battalion was located and the command it served under:


    114th Indian Infantry Brigade – 28 November 1942 to 10 April 1944
    The battalion moved to the Attock-Campbellpore area and came under the 114th Indian Infantry Brigade on November 28th, 1942. The division moved to Chindwara on January 16th, 1943 for training and the battalion moved to Derla, south of Calcutta on May 24th, 1943. It left the Calcutta area on June 8th, 1943 and landed at Chittagong in the Arakan on June 16th, 1943. It fought in the Arakan through April 1944, leaving for Bawli Bazar on April 6th and moving to Peshawar on April 10th.

    Specifically, the battalion was fighting an action on Pyinshe Kala Ridge where the battalion incurred total casualties of 6 officers and 64 other ranks (wounded, killed and missing). During the night of January 26th/27th the enemy harassed the unit's position with fire and attempted to infiltrate from the sides and rear. 'D' Company was hit badly the next day.
     
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  3. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Member

    Dryan67, thank you very much.I don't suppose you know which division they were with?

    Cheers
    Pete
     
  4. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Sorry to jump in,

    7th Indian Infantry Div (until Apr 1944) included 114th Indian Infantry Brigade, which comprised:
    1st Bn. Somerset Light Infantry
    4th Bn. 14th Punjab Regiment
    4th Bn. 5th Royal Gurkha Rifles (Frontier Force)
     
  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Someone might be able to get you the war dairy from Kew.

    WO 172/4916
    1 Somerset Light Infantry (Prince Albert's)
    Covering dates 1944 Jan.- Apr.
     
  6. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Member

    Thanks Richard and Owen
     
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Pete, if you can't get to Kew just click the red link below and drop me a private message.

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  8. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    On that date, 1 SLI was north of Kalapazin River in Arakan. I sent you a PM with more details about battalion action on 26th/27th January 1944.
     
  9. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Member

    Pete, if you can't get to Kew just click the red link below and drop me a private message.

    Cheers
    Andy

    PM sent, thanks Andy
     
  10. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Member

    On that date, 1 SLI was north of Kalapazin River in Arakan. I sent you a PM with more details about battalion action on 26th/27th January 1944.

    Perfect, thanks Enes (PM sent)
     
  11. martinroe22

    martinroe22 Junior Member

    sorry to be a pain but could someone please email the info ref the Action in Burma please
    regards martin
     
  12. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    sorry to be a pain but could someone please email the info ref the Action in Burma please
    regards martin

    Hi Martin and welcome. Are you also looking for info about battalion's action on 26th/27th January 1944?
     
  13. martinroe22

    martinroe22 Junior Member

    Hi Sol
    sorry to take so long to reply i have just received a small amount of information on the day today basis of the losses and battle plan for that period for the 1st Battalion SLI i was wondering if there is anything more that is available. Sgt webberley who served with the regiment for the whole of the war has recently passed away and the family would like to find out more about the regiment and its history . I have 3 photo albums of their time on the NWF which i am converting for the family to CD and I`m sure the family will donate copies to who ever would like them
     
  14. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Martin, there are some 36 pages about 1st SLI time in Arakan in the Official History. Is there anything specific you are looking for?
     
  15. martinroe22

    martinroe22 Junior Member

    Hi Sol yes there is the reason im looking is for a family relative who served and survived the whole of the duration in Burma with the !st Battalion Sgt Webberley AE
    the Information i have is from the second and final push in early 1944 i`m looking for info of what happened to the regt when they first entered Burma which was around Nov 1942 to around the same time in 1943

    Also anyone else reading this i have 3 Photo albums from the units time on the NWF in india and one is mainly of guys from C company if anyone would like a copy of the information i have just drop me a line i think by the end of all the scanning i will have at least 600 images of which a good 30 or so will be of the history and casualties of 1944 push
     
  16. martinroe22

    martinroe22 Junior Member

    i would assume these are the survivors after April 1944
     

    Attached Files:

    sol likes this.
  17. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    i`m looking for info of what happened to the regt when they first entered Burma which was around Nov 1942 to around the same time in 1943

    Martin, On 10th September 1942, 1st SLI moved from the Gardai, on North West Frontier to Delhi to be re-equipped and trained for jungle warfare. Because on internal situation they stayed in the city until 1st November when reorganisation had been completed and the Battalion was ready to join the 7th Indian Division.

    In the middle of November the Battalion moved to the Attock-Campbellpore area and joined 114th Indian Infantry Brigade of 7th Indian Division and where they were supposed to be training for jungle warfare. The area was largely tree-less and actual training was for North West Frontier. At the end of the year the Battalion was in camp near Nowshera.

    On 16th January 1943, 7th Indian Division moved to the Chindwara area of the Central Provinces, where the terrain was more suitable. During May 1943, the division moved in Calcutta area. 114th Brigade, with the 1st Battalion, moved on 29th May to the neighbourghood of Deula, south of Calcutta, the Battalion being located, in a defence role, near Diamond Harbour, at the mouth of the R. Hugli.

    During June and July the division concentrated in the Chittagong area. Advanced parties from the Battalion left by rail on 8th June, reaching Chittagong on 10th June. The main body sailed on H.T. "Melchior" on 13th June, arriving on 16th June, followed by transport.

    On 7th July a composite company from the Battalion was sent to Cox's Bazar. The remainder of the Battalion left Chittagong on 28th August and marched south, in seven stages, the 82 miles to Tumbru. It reached Bawli Bazar on 3rd September and took over detachments at Waybin on 6th September. During September, patrols from the Battalion operated in Waybin area and had several encounters with Japanese patrols.

    On 25th September 114th Brigade was relieved by 89th Brigade in the Bawli area and moved round, over the Goppe Pass, into the Kalapazin valley, directed on Taung Bazar. On 30th September, 1st SLI left Waybin and moved over Goppe Pass. In Kalapazin Valley, the Battalion was based in Goppe Bazar.

    Between 14th and 20th October, B and C companies, moved to Pringkhaung and by 1st November the Battalion was concentrated near Linabi, to the south-west of Taung Bazar. On 11th November, 1st SLI relieved 4/5th Royal Gurkha Rifles, with A and B companies forward, overlooking enemy positions south of the Ngakyedauk Chaung. From this position they started the offensive operation under temporally command of 33rd Indian Brigade, crossing the chaung on the night 30th November/1st December.
     
  18. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    i would assume these are the survivors after April 1944

    Nice photo, thanks for sharing.
     
  19. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Martin,

    I saw you conversation with sol and wondered if you had come across any of these names from within your research. These are men from the battalion who became POW to the Japanese and as such are part of my Rangoon Jail project. The date next to their name is their date of capture:

    Pte. Thomas Blake (27/01/1944)
    Pte. David Thomas Bull (27/01/1944)
    Pte. William Henry Davis (25/03/1944)
    Pte. James Fox (18/01/1944)
    Pte. Leonard Francis Lacey (date unknown)
    Pte. George Edward Rostron (27/09/1943)
    Pte. James Stidolph (27/01/1944)

    I have the Japanese index cards for all but Lacey, if you would like copies of these to supplement your records then don't hesitate to ask me for them.

    Best wishes

    Steve
     
  20. martinroe22

    martinroe22 Junior Member

    thats great sol thank you so much for that ill add that in would you like a copy of all the pictures i have of the regiment in india
     

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