2 Suffolks Burma

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

  1. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    The follow-up story is:
    "Two days later when I was walking around visiting my day sentries one of them pointed out a large black pye-dog, three hundred, three fifty yards away. Now, they were an absolute pest because night movement was almost impossible without one of them barking and others took it up across the countryside. So we had no compunction at all shooting them if and when we got the chance. That dog was a perfect target and I had a good rifle which I had zeroed carefully. I took the average, I thought it was past three hundred, took the average distance of three or four chaps around me and made it three hundred, took careful aim and hit the bank on which that dog was standing, hit it right below its tummy. It gave one yelp and set off across the fields to the nearest village and I fired four more shots at it and missed every time! Five minutes later the phone went and it was the Punjabi battalion and they said “Please, very much firing. What is the trouble?” - after their display of a couple of nights before!"
     
  2. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    And just one more for today but more or less at the same time:
    All our units were carrying out lots of patrols, day and night, trying to determine the exact positions of the enemy, trying to estimate their strength and I will very shortly try to describe a couple of patrols I was on and which I will never forget for very good reasons. Meanwhile the high hiedyins decided to launch the grandest offensive on the last day of December 1943 and again my lot were lucky because it was the Royal West Kent’s brigade with Raspits(??) who were sent to clear a Hill 124. Hill 124, rising only to that height above the paddy fields. Imagine that! A hill only one hundred and twenty foot high and yet it held up that advance for eight days."
    I may be hard of hearing and wrote Raspits but no ideas who or what they could be! Can anyone help please?
     
  3. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    Raspits...Rajputs, the Rajput Regiment.
     
  4. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    :D Many thanks Lionboxer!!!! Never thought!
     
  5. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    My father goes on to say: "And that small hill held out for so long because of excellent Jap positioning and heavy fire and an incredible bunker system; timber and earth, and so effective our side thought they were made of concrete. I watched dive-bombers and tanks failing to clear them and then the Jap readiness to bring down artillery and mortar fire on their own positions if our troops and infantry got too close. Of course the Japs would have fired a very light signal then dived underground and our chaps would be caught out in the open."
     
  6. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    Can anyone identify this hill in the Arakan in 2 Suffolks War Dairies and would be early 1944: "My company was ordered to attack a particular hill over 700 foot high. It was to be an evening attack so the company moved forward by platoons the afternoon, hid up, and our own group climbed to a higher well wooded mound, lay down, and listening to the company commander’s plan and orders. “We must get up that hill. We must get up that hill”. Suddenly there was a distant “poop” and the company commander yelled “Get down!” We were flat on our bellies of course, and a couple of seconds later there was a tremendous bang to our right, and the company commander yelled “Back to your platoons and get the Hell out of here!”
     
  7. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    Hi Tony and I haven't been looking at my emails but have you had a chance to send anything through to me and especially about other patrols he was on? There should be an "incident" where he came across a guerrilla patrol private who had ben killed and still had his Bren Gun. My father thought that one or other may have been booby-trapped and reported it as soon as he reached the bataillon but only after a night wait as his own forces were throwing grenades down at two silhouettes climbing up the slope (father and his batman)!
     
  8. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    Hi and would anyone have a more detailed map of where 2 Suffolks were in the Arakan? I have this one and certainly taken from a book.... Many thanks in advance, Murdo
     

    Attached Files:

  9. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    Sounds as though it could be the attack on “Bamboo” hill feature near Maungdaw.
     
  10. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    Many thanks again Lionboxer and I think there is an article about "Bamboo" somewhere......He hasn't written any dates at all but apart from his last four weeks up to 15th of April 1944, he was in the Arakan and had joined 2 Suffolk around October 1943. He must have switched companies as he was initially with B Company but you have all said with D Company when he was injured. Between Cot '43 and April '44 do you happen to have the names of the various company COs please or how could I find out?
     
  11. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    Me again, do you have any War Diaries regarding Bamboo because my father describes an incident there when he discovered a dead British soldier at the top with his Bren Gun slung over his shoulder but everyone had to retreat. He reported it to the CO (not his company CO) and a couple of days later was sent out on more patrols with only one other man, his batman.
     
  12. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Can you be a little more specific as I have several maps of the Maungdaw area and may have one that shows "Bamboo Hill"? It is unlikely to be marked Bamboo Hill on the map though.
     
  13. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    Hi Lionboxer and can you please have a look at this and which is what I think is written although one or two words I couldn't make out at all....0630 hrs A and D Coys commenced moving around Westerly edge of feature Pt. 4057 towards RING. Tac HQ opened up in B Coy area approx. 0700 hrs. 0704 hrs R.A. reported A and D Coys on RING feature 4x 1741. 0709 hrs message went to tanks to switch their fire to 6% left. 0728 message received from D Coy – Established on feature 409735. 0733 hrs R.A. reported D Coy on feature 409732 preparing to make a final assault on PIMPLE. 0744 fire P1. D Coy opened up – nothing seen of flanking P1. 0750 hrs small Jap L.M.G. burst answered by ours. 0805 hrs D Coy report N.T.R. and N.E.S. 0808 hrs A Coy on RING passed a message to D Coy that they had seen 1 Jap enter a bunker on the SADDLE below PIMPLE. D Coy 8” Mortar O.P. reported D Coy on PIMPLE 0828 hrs. 0831 hrs O.P. reported D Coy moving down western flank of PIMPLE with fixed bayonets. 0835 hrs D Coy reported throwing grenades from PIMPLE. 0845 hrs bunker containing an enemy L.M.G. reported on NORTH face of PIMPLE. 0846 hrs heavy A.I. fire heard due WEST over IMPHAL AERODROME area – and sound of air combat over same area. 0849 hrs D Coy occupied enemy trenches on PIMPLE and reported that they were being fired at by Jap 75 m/m gun from NORTH. 6 Zero fighters escorting 6 Jap bombers flew over head in an Easterly direction. 0852 hrs Major LEACH to report that he had established 3 Pls on PIMPLE and 1 Pl on feature 492738, and reported that Jap was in bunkers on NORTH face of PIMPLE approx. 30 yds from crest. DR5X Art, shelled to area 560748. S/Lt. GILBERT’S Pl attempted right flanking on to bunkers supported by slow 8” Mortar fire from B Coy area 0907 hrs to 0920 hrs sporadic L.M.G. firing reported. 0925 hrs Capt. FORREST reported enemy seen evacuating to P.O.W. ground in N.E. direction. 0926 hrs D Coy report 1 Jap definitely killed whilst escaping, by L.M.G. fire. 0928 hrs A Coy drew enemy fire from bunkers and returned their fire. A Coy report 1 enemy discharger firing on their area causing 8 causalities. 1009 hrs 18 Vengeance Dive-bombers bombed Northern and NUNSHIGUN features. S of own bodies seen lying WEST of PIMPLE. 1025 hrs 1 of D Coy wounded. 1037 hrs Major LEACH reported to Tac HQ that several casualties had been sustained by S/Lt. GILBERT’S right flanking Pl including S/Lt. GILBERT, he was being evacuated to the B.A.F. 1108 hrs Hurri-bombers bombed feature SAUSAGE. D Coy preparing to assault Jap bunkers. 1418 hrs Capt. FORREST reported that the assault had failed and that the leading 3 men had been killed, together with 2 wounded and 2 missing - and that they encountered 50 yd range accurate L.M.G. enemy fire from bunkers – he estimated as many as 3 L.M.Gs. 1432 hrs xxxx Officer ordered Capt. FORREST to pass message to Major LEACH to withdraw D Coy so that 1Pl reinforced RING with xx Coy and the remainder with C.O. D Coy on PIMPLE. Total casualties for the day for D Coy and A Coy 2 officers wounded i.e., S/Lt. GILBERT and Lt. DUNCAN, 9 O.R. wounded, 5 O.R. killed i.e. 5807888 Pte. Defne A, 1455245 Pte Mott C, 5393983 Pte. Sardimo A, 14583498 Pte. Bennet D, 14595719 Pte. Tod D; Missing 3 Ors. 1950 hrs heavy L.M.G. firing and grenade explosions heard from area RING, which was reported by A, as a listening post from A laying a booby trap and were heard by a Jap patrol of approx. 8 men – the Japs chased our patrol as far as A Coy’s defences, where they were met by our own L.M.G. fire. Arty D.F. was brought down. Later in the evening slithering noises as though bodies were being dragged away, were heard. 2 wounded in A Coy – enemy causalities not known. Approx 2200 hrs a suspected Jap position situated on SOUTH end of SAUGAGE feature were seen to throw grenades down the Western slopes of the feature – much shouting was also heard.
     
  14. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    Hi again Raj and I am afraid that I cannot be of any help because my father's tape end when he tells us about how he was wounded and I think you told me that he was taken to an Indian Field Hospital. However, from what you say, the bodies of our soldiers were often buried where they lay and not brought back anywhere. It sounds as though you are doing some marvellous work for those families trying to find their loved ones and I am just so grateful that my father survived it all.
     
  15. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    Hi High Wood and let me read the passage again to see if I can be more precise but I doubt it as his tape was running out and he must have cut things out or decided not to go into more detail. However I would be delighted to see anything you have which you consider may be of interest to me. Great help!
     
  16. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    Hi and which airfield did the Suffolks fly from in the Arakan up to Imphal? My father said that they had a 70 or 80 miles journey by truck....do you know which unit relieved them in the Arakan at that time March 1944?
     
  17. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    My father says in a tape that when they flew from somewhere in the Arakan up to Imphal and then a 80 miles or so north to Kohima where "we occupied the xx Hospital".... what was the name of the hospital and perhaps his departure airfield in te Arakan?
    Less than a week later they were put back on trucks and taken to Imphal and he said "we were lucky once again because only hours afterwards, the Japs cut that road".....
     
  18. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member


    Murdo,

    my question was directed at Lionboxer, I was hoping that he could give me map reference for Bamboo Hill.

    Simon.
     
  19. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

  20. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Murdo,

    there are a series of 1:25,000 scale maps of the Maungdaw area that show much greater detail than the map that you mention. Unfortunately, as Bamboo Hill was an unofficial name, it will not be shown on the map under that heading. I need either the map reference or, at the very least, the height.

    Simon
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020

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