2 Suffolks Burma

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by Shanghai Jim, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    Hi Tony and many thanks - got it. No I haven't got his records although they may be in a box in my brother's garage but he refuses to open it! I didn't realise that it took so long though. I will need to order through our daughter in London (we live in Marrakech) but I wonder if I could exceptionally request an electronic copy. I am sure that everything will be recored there (I hope so anyway) but out of interest his number was 117688.
     
  2. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    "I wonder if I could exceptionally request an electronic copy. I am sure that everything will be recorded there (I hope so anyway)"

    Can only speculate, but in view of the fact that they can't take electronic or plastic payment I would make a guess! No reason why you shouldn't apply as you are next of kin, so you could fill out the paperwork, send them to your daughter for her to include a UK cheque (great idea) and post on. In view of the extended delay I believe that some have had trouble with the cheque going out of date and have suggested they should be undated.
     
  3. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    Dear oh dear and I don't think she has had a checkbook for a few years now! Thanks for your warning anyway!
     
  4. imphalcampaign

    imphalcampaign Active Member

    Hi Duncan,
    Last week i was there on that ridge where Lt Duncan fought and got wounded. I was thinking if he was with A Coy. If so, they attack Pimple from the east. Or he join the attack from ring and was at the left flank. The fight to take pimple left many casualty for the Suffolks. 5 ORs were killed that day with 2/Lt Gilbert and Lt Duncan wounded. Some 24 soldiers from 2nd Suffolks gave their life in the battle for Pimple from 13th to 18th April 1944. I am looking for remains of a soldier who was buried on the ridge on 18th April, 1944 ( with request from family). I would also like to know any additional information( if exist), Lt Duncan shared regarding the burial of the soldiers on 18th April.
    NB:- I shall upload few pictures of the location.


    Thanks
    Raj.
     
    lionboxer and Tony56 like this.
  5. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    Hi Raj and I must listen again to my father's tape and find out which company he was in. He didn't mention Pimple by name but a four figure number reference. They were digging in when a mortar hit a tree just above him and he received a piece of shrapnel in his left leg. Had it happened a few seconds beforehand, he had been facing the other way and would have received it in his ribs! He said many times on the two tapes (90 minutes each) that he was very, very lucky all the time!
    Were are you based Raj?
     
  6. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    Hi Raj and just heard again what my father said about this.....it was the only time he came face to face with the enemy (about ten yards separated them) and he and his men took out four or five Japanese. He siad it took place near hill 4057 and was later told to take up a new position on a rounded mole covered with trees and dig in. Then their position was hit by a mortar. Did the War Diary mention he was inured on Pimple? He never mentioned any names but perhaps it was the end of his second tape and had to cut out a few details.
     
  7. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    Hi Murdo

    Coming late to this. I did some of the research for this with Raj (who is on the ground in Imphal) and Lionboxer. Happy to help in any way I can. I have the War Diaries etc and the Suffolk's book. I have also 'written up' an account of the action. Pt 4057 is the first large hill from the road (labelled Pimple) in the photo Lionboxer put in the other post on this subject. It was taken and held by 2 Suffolks. On the north side of it is/was a small hillock called 'Pimple' which the Suffolks did not have sufficient strength to hold and which was taken by the Japanese. The Suffolks than tried to remove them and that fighting was the subject of much of the research to try and find the grave of Pte Tod and others who were not recovered after the war.

    If you start up a Conversation and include an email address I will send stuff over to you.
     
  8. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    Hi Skoyen and amazing stuff - what great work you guys are doing and enlightening us all. My email ady is mcpduncan@yahoo.fr would be great to hear from you and anything is useful although my father was evacuated a few days after the 15th April and returned somewhere to India.
     
  9. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    Hi Murdo

    I have gone through the accounts of the action on 15th April in the War Diary. Unfortunately there is no mention of him in the various accounts, except for the mention that he was wounded in the War Diary. He is mentioned in the War Diaries in previous days as leading patrols and it says that when wounded he was admitted to 45 Indian Field Ambulance with two other officers. There is nothing in the Suffolk Regiment history book or in the 'Missing Personnel' file at Kew.

    That said I believe he was on Pimple when wounded and he was most probably in 'D' Company. The reasons are:
    1. All the fatal casualties on that day were from 'D' Company
    2. The recollection of his describes Pimple and the fact that they were digging in when he was wounded fits with the fact it was 'D' Company as they dug in on the top of Pimple early in the engagement.

    I will email you the relevant documents.

    Tony
     
  10. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

  11. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    Brilliant and many thanks for everything Tony. There is an incident when he was out on patrol earlier and shall let you know when I find more info. am extremely grateful.
     
  12. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    Hi Tony and I have looked again at the various maps my father copied for me from somewhere (the title on the photo is Burma: The Longest War and may be by General Evans) it shows about half way up on te right-hand side where Hill 4057 was with the 2 Suffolk. He tells me of the incident where he came face to face with a Japanese patrol "near Hill 4057" and he was ordered to take over a completely new position on a rounded mole etc. All of this was near the end of his 180 minutes and may have cut short his stories but, for me, Pimple was Kohima and for the 2 Suffolks, my father was wounded in the Battle of Imphal. Admittedly I am a beginner here and I have learned a lot already from all of you; plus I have never been to the battlefields, but I have some doubts all the same. You had posted two War Diary entries for which I am extremely grateful, where I can make out my father's name and I can see Pimple too but further up and perhaps you would be kind enough to post the previous page, also of the 15th April and I shall try and type it all out again as best I can. He doesn't say when exactly he joined the Suffolks, but when he did he joined B Company but they were in the Arakan then....
     
  13. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    Sorry - it was Lionboxer who posted them and I can see the first lines of the 15th April 1944........
     
  14. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    I forgot to attach this
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    ...or perhaps there are two Pimples because there is one at Kohima or are they the same????
     

    Attached Files:

  16. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    Murdo you are confusing yourself!
    Your father was wounded somewhere on the hill feature named Pimple with 2nd Suffolk’s near Kameng, north east of Imphal as stated in the war diaries. There are references to several different hill features named “Pimple” throughout the Campaign with another being at Kohima. The Suffolk’s didn’t fight at Kohima though I believe they were there for a short period before the Japanese attack.
    Lionboxer
     
  17. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    Many thanks Lionboxer but just thought it strange that they would name two hills with the same name. When the Suffolks arrived from the Arakan, they were sent to Kohima and his company were lodged in Indian Nurses' quarters (infested with rats) but a week later, they went down to road to Imphal. I sit corrected.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2020
    lionboxer likes this.
  18. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    Hi
    Lionboxer is right - he was wounded on Pimple which is a small hill on the North side of Pt 4057. Hills were named by the troops and there is some duplication, especially with descriptive names like 'Pimple'. There was another one in the Arakan as well as the one in Kohima! We are very clear on this one as it is described well in the various accounts by the Suffolks and we have plotted it on wartime maps from the grid references in the War Diary.
     
  19. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    Many thanks again Skoyen and of course I didn't realise that and only saw the map he left of both places but with only one Pimple! He has one or two stories of that period but too long to add as a posting. Can you suggest where I can? Many thanks to all!!!! I have learnt a lot!
     
  20. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    Hi and just listening to my father's tape again and when he joined the Suffolks in August or September 1943 and joined them in the Arakan. He says:
    "I joined B Company of the Suffolks and the O.C. was so typically English that he used to call his Platoon Commanders to his headquarters by means of a hunting horn. We are spread out admittedly over an area of about 300 yards square but that was typical of him. My platoon to start with were on a neat little hill only about thirty feet high but with some trees reaching to a greater height. A good position but painfully obvious because it was sticking up among the paddy fields. One night, a party of Japanese came up the river, the Naf River, and they fired a shot or two here and a few more there. We heard it of course and we stood to with every man at his emergency post and an arrangement which we did automatically at dawn and dusk every day these being the most dangerous times although Japanese attacks came in with wild shouting and shrieking at any hour of the night. Well, we stood to and almost immediately stood down because a Punjabi battalion behind us fired and we afterwards heard it reputedly fired thirteen hundred rounds of 303 and eighty mortar bombs and all we could do was to cower in our trenches."
    I, wonder if anyone can tell me the name of his CO and if the incident is in the War Dairies?
     

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