Capt Boyd Thomson RA, 99th Field Regt at Kohima

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by Skoyen89, Nov 1, 2021.

  1. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    On a newspaper search came across the attached clip of a missing RA Officer at Kohima.

    A bit of research and the story of his death became clear. It will be interesting to see what the War Diaries add. The role of 143rd Special Service Company as scouts was new to me.

    BOYD-THOMSON Richard Glencairn

    Captain; Service Number: 79156

    Royal Artillery; 99 (The Royal Bucks.Yeomanry) Field Regt

    Died 03 May 1944
    Commemorated on the Rangoon Memorial Face 3

    Age 27 years old; born in 1917. Son of Glencairn and Doris Marie Boyd-Thomson, of Soulbury, Buckinghamshire.

    99th Field Regiment (Royal Buckinghamshire Yeomanry) was part of the Divisional Artillery of 2nd Division. It was based at Aylesbury and was made up of 393rd battery with eight 3.7 inch howitzers, and 394th and 472th Batteries, each with eight towed 25 pdrs.


    On 28th April 1944 143rd SS (Commando) Company with Captain Boyd-Thomson of 99th Field Regiment as FOO moved onto the ‘Pimple’ feature at Kohima. He was joined by Capt Beamish of the same Regiment on 29th. Sadly on 3rd May, Boyd Thomson was out with a patrol of 143rd Company and was never seen again.

    Based on Edwards:

    At 07.00 hours on 3rd April Brigadier Goschen, in command of 4th Infantry Brigade which was engaged in the ‘Right Hook’ to bypass Aradura Spur and attack GPT ridge, personally took out a 143 Special Services Company reconnaissance patrol to try and determine exactly where they were and to plan more precisely the assault the next day onto GPT Ridge. With him went a number of senior officers, and company commanders of the Norfolks who would lead the attack the next day.

    The patrol worked its way north-east to obtain some idea of the country across which the next day’s assault was to be made. Unfortunately, visibility through the jungle was rarely more than five yards and the chance of recognising and landmark, or even the start line, was not promising. After much scrambling and crawling, they reached a small clearing that allowed a view of part of Jail Hill and from where they could see the corrugated iron roof of a building which was thought might be the bottom end of GPT Ridge. They took a compass bearing.

    Captain John Howard (the Intelligence Officer of 4 Brigade) ‘while we were there I lent my binoculars to one of the gunnery officers who was with us and he still had them when we started our return. About half way back as we were climbing towards the concentration area there was a burst of small-arms fire behind us and we hurriedly dived to the ground among the bushes and undergrowth. Some Japanese had bumped the rear of our party. The fight only lasted a few minutes. Our only casualty was the gunner officer who had borrowed my binoculars. He became separated from us and was never seen again’

    That gunner officer was Capt Boyd Thomson. The Casualty List No. 1454 (wef 24 May 1944) reported him as ‘Missing’ but without a date. That date was confirmed as 3 May 1944 subsequently and in 1946 he was declared ' Presumed Killed'.

    Bucks Herald 14 July 1944:

    ‘Captain Richard Glencairn Boyd Thomson RA, only son of Mr and Mrs Boyd Thomson of Soulbury is missing in Burma. Capt Boyd Thomson is aged 27 and was educated at Wellington College. He was with the firm of John Dickinson, Hemel Hempstead before being called up and had served previously with the Bucks Yeomanry. He saw service in France in the early part of the war.’

    He was also a member of the Whaddon Chase.

    Boyd Thomson Bucks Herald 14 July 1944.JPG
    PackRat likes this.

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