Divisional Battle School at Chingleput September 1942

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by Murdo Duncan, Oct 13, 2020.

  1. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    My father on his tape tells the following; The procedure of course was to call for volunteer officers to staff it, the madder the better, and one of our chaps Dick, Christian name Dick, quite a good friend of mine, and ideally suited for the job, joined the staff.Well, I went there twice and the first time, all officers I said, but the first exercise I was appointed as a section commander and had to attack a rather tricky little hill along a valley. And as we approached it, I saw Dick who, as a member of staff, therefore an umpire, I saw Dick ahead of me so I said to the chaps “Right come on boys” and started to move forward and suddenly was a tremendous BANG and Dick fell. I went up and knelt down beside him and he was covered in blood, and his eyes, I don’t know what way his eyes were, but he was dead. I looked up and another staff officer said “Leave him. Get the Hell out of here” and so off I went with my men and eventually captured the hill. Well that certainly upset me. And that evening after washing and changing I went to the Mess tent. I’d had, admittedly, a drink or two to steady myself, went late into the Mess tent and there were only two empty seats. I took one and I knew who the other one was for. Started to eat the first course and then I felt that empty chair being pulled out and somebody sitting in it. And when I turned round it was this rascal Dick! It was all part of the set-up. At the crucial moment he had burst a French letter of goat’s blood and splattered it all over him. Realism they called it."
    I wonder who Dick was and presumably from the Welch Regiment?
     
  2. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    And the last one ;Well the next day, we were all taken up to a hillside overlooking across a valley to another hill. We were closely grouped and the Chief Instructor wielding a stick put us in the picture. There was going to be firing, shell bursts, rifle machine-gun fire, and every man again across the valley, tiggers would appear and we’d have to take particular note of them. So, the proceedings started and I could hear bullets whizzing past and, of course, you will know that if you can hear a bullet it has gone past you. And suddenly one officer’s haversack fell off, or half fell off his shoulder, and that was because a bullet had cut through the brass D of his haversack. And immediately another officer put his hand to his head and he had been nicked as neat as you like, like a razor blade, a long red thin line just above his ear on his skull and at that, the Chief Instructor said “Gentlemen, I think that we had better lie down”. And we did. The next day, I was on the opposite side of that valley; another batch of VIPs came to observe, and I heard all about from one of them, a fellow officer from the same regiment. They had been put in the picture. They knew what to expect and suddenly, a wee figure rose out of the ground and started to zig-zag up the hill as hard as it could go and at the top, it dived into cover. Well that wee figure was actually me! I had been nominated as platoon runner for the day and I was with the platoon commander, the platoon Sergeant Major, in a trench when that poor Sergeant-Major copped it. A bullet, through from one shoulder to the other, it must have been through his spine and he died instantaneously and the platoon commander sent me, the runner, up the hill to raise the flag for cease-firing. But that is typical of battle schools. Instructors, sergeants and sergeant-majors, good shots admittedly but too liable to take a chance when officers were on the receiving end, giving them the fright of their lives. Another casualty like that, although it didn’t involve me at all, and that battle school closed down."
     
  3. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    I can only find two Welch Regiment casualties commemorated in India for 1942 and neither was a C.S.M. There may well be more.

    PRIVATE FREDERICK JOHN DAVIES
    Service Number: 3959466
    Regiment & Unit/Ship
    Welch Regiment

    2nd Bn.

    Date of Death
    Died 23 March 1942

    Age 24 years old

    Buried or commemorated at
    MADRAS WAR CEMETERY, CHENNAI

    1. B. 10.

    India

    PRIVATE ALFRED DUKE
    Service Number: 6006161
    Regiment & Unit/Ship
    Welch Regiment

    2nd Bn.

    Date of Death
    Died 04 July 1942

    Age 34 years old

    Buried or commemorated at
    MADRAS (ST. MARY'S) CEMETERY, CHENNAI

    Plot 19. Grave 44.

    India
     
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  4. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    There are a total of 21 members of the 2nd battalion Welch Regiment soldiers commemorated in India.
    Jack STAPLETON Captain Service Number: 250678
    2nd Bn.
    Welch Regiment
    United Kingdom
    Died 07 December 1943

    MADRAS WAR CEMETERY, CHENNAI
    1. J. 4.
    India


    BERTRAM OSBORNE BROWN Private Service Number: 6283438
    2nd Bn.
    Welch Regiment
    United Kingdom
    Died 26 September 1943
    27 years old
    MADRAS WAR CEMETERY, CHENNAI
    7. B. 6.
    India


    FREDERICK JOHN DAVIES Private Service Number: 3959466
    2nd Bn.
    Welch Regiment

    Died 23 March 1942
    24 years old
    MADRAS WAR CEMETERY, CHENNAI
    1. B. 10.
    India


    PATRICK KINSELLA Private Service Number: 3971629
    2nd Bn.
    Welch Regiment
    Died 23 July 1943
    28 years old
    MADRAS WAR CEMETERY, CHENNAI
    1. C. 8.
    India


    JAMES ALEXANDER WILLIAMS Captain Service Number: 137369
    2nd Bn.
    Welch Regiment
    Died 21 October 1943
    23 years old
    MADRAS WAR CEMETERY, CHENNAI
    1. B. 2.
    India


    NORMAN BRISTER private
    Service Number: 5629099
    2nd Bn.
    Welch Regiment
    United Kingdom
    Died 03 January 1945
    34 years old
    IMPHAL WAR CEMETERY
    6. K. 18.
    India


    DAVID GEORGE BUSHELL
    Private
    Service Number: 3909305
    2nd Bn.
    Welch Regiment
    United Kingdom
    Died 16 December 1944
    25 years old
    IMPHAL WAR CEMETERY
    6. L. 9.
    India


    LESLIE JOHN HANMER
    Private
    Service Number: 5961122
    2nd Bn.
    Welch Regiment
    United Kingdom
    Died 24 January 1945
    22 years old
    IMPHAL WAR CEMETERY
    5. B. 5.
    India


    ROBERT FRANCIS HENNAH
    Private
    Service Number: 14670636
    2nd Bn.
    Welch Regiment
    United Kingdom
    Died 04 January 1945
    19 years old
    IMPHAL WAR CEMETERY
    6. K. 2.
    India


    DAVID ALBERT GEORGE JAMES
    Private
    Service Number: 3963923
    2nd Bn.
    Welch Regiment
    United Kingdom
    Died 17 June 1944
    25 years old
    KIRKEE WAR CEMETERY
    13. B. 8.
    India


    HORACE EDWARD DAVIS
    Private
    Service Number: 3975884
    2nd Bn.
    Welch Regiment
    United Kingdom
    Died 26 April 1941
    25 years old
    KIRKEE WAR CEMETERY
    7. B. 5.
    India


    STANLEY CHARLES MORGAN
    Private
    Service Number: 3957164
    2nd Bn.
    Welch Regiment
    United Kingdom
    Died 15 February 1940
    28 years old
    KIRKEE WAR CEMETERY
    8. K. 4.
    India


    SIDNEY HENRY OLIVER
    Private
    Service Number: 3959544
    2nd Bn.
    Welch Regiment
    United Kingdom
    Died 29 February 1940
    21 years old
    KIRKEE WAR CEMETERY
    8. K. 5.
    India


    BENJAMIN PADFIELD
    Private
    Service Number: 3915218
    1st Bn.
    Welch Regiment
    United Kingdom
    Died 20 April 1944
    33 years old
    KIRKEE WAR CEMETERY
    10. J. 6.
    India


    VERNON JOHN THOMAS
    Private
    Service Number: 3965721
    2nd Bn.
    Welch Regiment
    United Kingdom
    Died 14 November 1943
    24 years old
    KIRKEE WAR CEMETERY
    13. C. 11.
    India


    DAVID JOHN THOMAS
    Private
    Service Number: 3949895
    2nd Bn.
    Welch Regiment
    United Kingdom
    Died 11 September 1940
    47 years old
    KIRKEE WAR CEMETERY
    9. AA. 15.
    India


    FREDERICK JAMES TARR
    Serjeant
    Service Number: 3955085
    2nd Bn.
    Welch Regiment
    United Kingdom
    Died 09 January 1941
    32 years old
    KIRKEE WAR CEMETERY
    2. B. 10.
    India


    REES OWEN THOMAS
    Private
    Service Number: 3971772
    2nd Bn.
    Welch Regiment
    United Kingdom
    Died 30 April 1941
    28 years old
    KIRKEE WAR CEMETERY
    2. B. 12.
    India


    REGINALD WILLIAM SIBLEY
    Private
    Service Number: 5627777
    2nd Bn.
    Welch Regiment
    United Kingdom
    Died 10 June 1945
    31 years old
    CALCUTTA (BHOWANIPORE) CEMETERY, KOLKATA
    Plot L. Grave 38.
    India


    GEORGE RONALD ANDREWS
    Private
    Service Number: 3959581
    2nd Bn.
    Welch Regiment
    United Kingdom
    Died 16 August 1941
    23 years old
    CALCUTTA (BHOWANIPORE) CEMETERY, KOLKATA
    Plot H. Grave 5.
    India


    ALFRED DUKE
    Private
    Service Number: 6006161
    2nd Bn.
    Welch Regiment
    United Kingdom
    Died 04 July 1942
    34 years old
    MADRAS (ST. MARY'S) CEMETERY, CHENNAI
    Plot 19. Grave 44.
    India
     
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  5. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    Hello High Wood and in my father's tape, he doesn't say that the RSM was from The Welch Regiment and I assumed he was one of the instructors. Officers going there came from all over India and I suppose the staff at the battle school did so to. Any way, sad to see so many men killed and presumably from malaria or accidents of some kind.
     
  6. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    I am confused because your transcript states: "Well that wee figure was actually me! I had been nominated as platoon runner for the day and I was with the platoon commander, the platoon Sergeant Major, in a trench when that poor Sergeant-Major copped it".

    If it was a battalion training exercise I would expect the platoon to be a 2nd battalion Welch Regiment one. If, on the other hand, it was an officer's training course, it would be a platoon for the duration of the exercise only.

    I will see if I can find a C.S.M. from another unit who died in September 1942. However, if your father, as an officer, was nominated for "Platoon Runner" for the day, equally another officer could have been nominated "Platoon Sergeant Major" for the exercise, so it might not have been his actual rank.
     
  7. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    Hello and definitely an officer's training course. He went there twice and said that officers came from all over India. Again as I said, I assume that the CO and CSM were instructors but admittedly he doesn't say so and the CO could well have been another on the same course. He said there had been two fatal accidents then the school was closed for good.
     
  8. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Here is the only C.Q.M.S. who was Accidentally killed and buried in Madras in 1942. Note the date is October not September.

    COMPANY QUARTERMASTER SERJEANTDAVID McINTOSH
    Service Number: 2567338
    Regiment & Unit/Ship
    Royal Corps of Signals

    Date of Death
    Died 21 October 1942

    Age 29 years old

    Buried or commemorated at
    MADRAS WAR CEMETERY, CHENNAI

    5. E. 16.

    India

    [​IMG]
    • Country of ServiceUnited Kingdom
    • Additional InfoSon of David McIntosh, M.M., and Helen McWilliams McIntosh, of Glasgow.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2020
  9. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Here he is in the casualty list. He may or may not be the right man.
    Mackintosh.png
     
  10. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

  11. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

  12. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

  13. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

  14. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    Dear oh dear!!!! I don't suppose it would be written anywhere CQSM how he died? Could well be the poor chap and my father was 79 when he recored the two tapes and mentioned that his memory could play him fault and that he hadn't done any research beforehand.
     
  15. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

  16. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    There were six soldiers who "Died as the result of an accident" in September 1942 and who are buried in the Madras area. As these are the nearest Common Wealth Grave Cemeteries to the Chingleput training area. All these men are described as having died as a result of an accident. I was hoping to find the subtly different, "Accidentally Killed" against one of their names, but given the circumstances, it may have have described as it was in order to protect the feelings of the relatives.

    None of these men may be the right man, and the only way to be certain is to look at the War Diary of each individual soldier to see if it records the circumstances of his death.
     
  17. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    No, no, we'll stop there but you may well have found the poor chap. I'm sure that my father curtailed his stories as he had already taped 160 minutes then scrubbed it all and started again perhaps realising that he went too much into detail and could never finish within the 3 hours he decided on. It is my fault that I waited 23 years to listen to them and should have spent lots of time with him listening to all of his stories but wasn't the case and I was rarely home after I was say 22/23.
     
  18. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    My father has written in some notes: "But in Southern India it was still, say, September 1942 and Dagger Division(???) were set up at Chingleput. The procedure of course was to call for volunteer officers to staff it, the madder the better, and one of our chaps Dick, Christian name Dick, quite a good friend of mine, and ideally suited for the job, joined the staff."
    I put the question marks and I hear Dagger but not sure. And his fellow officer at 2 Welch Regiment volunteered to be an instructor at the Division Battle School. Wonder who he was?
     
  19. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

  20. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Well-Known Member

    Lovely and always spot on!!! Many thanks indeed.
     

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