Family Soldiers [1/4th Essex & 25 Field Regiment R.A.]

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Charley Fortnum, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. Michael Bully

    Michael Bully Member

    Thanks Charley, and oops ! got the title wrong, should of course be 'Desert Rats and Other Verses' by F.S. Tucker.
    Yes, it is showing in the British Library catalogue. I think that all books and magazine publishers are meant to send five copies to the British Library, but rules all seems quite obsolete in the world of the Web.
    Thank you for your offer of photographing text but will consult the book next time I am at the British Library.
    Regards

     
  2. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member Patron

    James.

    I was so frustrated by the book that I did not finish it.

    I tracked down the author but he was not very forthcoming about correcting the myriad of mistakes in his book - and from there, to significantly improve his publication.

    Hey ho.

    Regards

    Frank

    PS. I have some Castle photos for you. Will send tomorrow night.
     
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  3. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles & Yellow Cockerels Patron

    Photos: brilliant--thank you.

    Have you come up with any other clues about his father's unit?
     
  4. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles & Yellow Cockerels Patron

    Interesting snapshot here for 54-bty, 25 Fd Regt while attached to 26 Field Regt in Malaya from 1st Oct '50.

    From 5th Nov until 7th Dec '50 both 'C' & 'D' troops (serving as infantry) were assigned the task of patrolling the railway between Tampin and Gemas.

    [​IMG]

    Presumably this was the direct cause:

    In spite of intense bandit activity against the Malayan Railways more goods and passengers were carried in 1950 than in the previous year.

    Since the emergency started in Malaya, in June, 1948, there have been 700 incidents on the railways, ranging from derailments to shooting up trains and burning down stations. The majority of these incidents (565 of them) have occurred within the past eighteen months
    Malayan Railways, in order to keep traffic moving, has reduced the speed of trains, cut out the night services as much as possible and increased the number of day trains to the maximum

    The worst railway disaster this year occurred on the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore line, when the Day Mail train was derailed near Gemas, in Johore. Here can be seen some of the seven coaches which left the track, during this fourth derailment in 24 hours.

    MAIL TRAIN DERAILED BY MALAYAN TERRORISTS - The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) - 8 Oct 1951

    [​IMG]

    IWM- K12991: Some of the seven coaches of the day mail train that was derailed near Gemas in Johore.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2017
  5. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles & Yellow Cockerels Patron

    Back to 1944, Frank de Planta has just supplied some contemporary photographs showing the terrain from 'the Castle' / Rocca Ianula at Cassino:

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  6. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles & Yellow Cockerels Patron

    As background for my research into 25 Field Regt, I'm very slowly piecing together the situation in Hong Kong & Malaya c.1947-52. Quite apart from the considerable number of printed texts that cover post-war geopolitical analysis, the following Cabinet Memoranda & Reports are available from the National Archives free of charge:

    Format: Date / Title / Author / Reference
    [28/6/47] Arthur Creech Jones - Arthur Creech Jones [CAB 129/19/37] - Political Background
    [1/7/48] The Situation in Malaya - Arthur Creech Jones [CAB 129/28/21] - Good Introduction to the Emergency.
    [19/7/48] The Situation in Malaya - Arthur Creech Jones [CAB 129/28/40] - Detailing steps taken since previous paper above
    [5/3/49] The Situation in Malaya and Hong Kong - Arthur Creech Jones [CAB 129/33/12] - Interesting but padded with blank sheets!
    [3/5/49] The Defence of Hong Kong - Clement R Attlee [CAB 129/34/30] - Very important but illegible in places.
    [23/5/49] Hong Kong - Arthur Creech Jones [CAB 129/35/10] - Refers to Clem Attlee paper above.
    [24/5/49] The Defence of Hong Kong - A V Alexander [CAB 129/35/8] - Chiefs of Staff Views on Reinforcements.
    [24/5/49] Hong Kong - Clement R Attlee [CAB 129/35/9] - Concerning reinforcements and Commonwealth perspectives.
    [17/6/49] Hong Kong - Attitude of other Commonwealth Countries - Philip Noel-Baker [CAB 129/35/26] - Self-explanatory.
    [17/6/49] Visit to Hong Kong 6th June to 9th June, 1949 - A V Alexander [CAB 129/35/24] - In light of swift advance of Communist Chinese
    [18/6/49] Hong Kong - Points Raised by the United States Government - Arthur Creech Jones [CAB 129/35/25]
    [19/8/49] Hong Kong - Ernest Bevin, Arthur Creech Jones [CAB 129/36/27] - Hard to read but legible.
    [11/10/49] Hong Kong - Addison [CAB 129/37/2] - Other Commonwealth Views on the colony.
    [13/6/50] Preliminary Report on Visit to Malaya and Singapore - James Griffiths [CAB 129/40/25] - Brief.
    [16/6/50] Statement to the House of Commons on Visit to Malaya - James Griffiths [CAB 129/40/29] - Rhetoric based on Report Above.
    [19/11/51] Hong Kong - Oliver Lyttelton [CAB 129/48/25] - Compilation of Official Statements re: relationship with China.
    [20/11/51] The Situation in Malaya - Oliver Lyttelton [CAB 129/48/26] - Appendix includes list of forces in the theatre and costs.
    [21/12/51] Report of the Malayan Emergency - Oliver Lyttelton [CAB 129/48/59] - 60-odd valuable pages and very comprehensive.

    Authors: (Well, their departments probably wrote them..)
    Arthur Creech Jones - Wikipedia - [Lab] Secretary of State for the Colonies 1945-50.
    Oliver Lyttelton, 1st Viscount Chandos - Wikipedia - [Con] Secretary of State for the Colonies 1951-54.
    Jim Griffiths - Wikipedia - [Lab] [=James] Secretary of States for the Colonies 1950-51.
    A. V. Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Hillsborough - Wikipedia - [Lab] Minister of Defence from late 1946-50.
    Philip Noel-Baker - Wikipedia - [Lab] Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations 1947-50.

    All files may be located using the search parameters here:
    The National Archives | Search results:Malaya - and changing keyword and date range, but if you're feeling lazy and any of these are of interest, just message me your email address and I will send the documents direct. Registration and login are required to download from the National Archives.

    No doubt there is plenty more available, most notably minutes of cabinet discussions and conclusions, but they are harder to identify without checking each and every reference. I may get around to them in the future.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2017
  7. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles & Yellow Cockerels Patron

    I've now received this book and while it has more material than I hoped (a nineteen page chapter), in terms of depth there's less than I hoped. He arrived with 5th Indian Infantry Brigade HQ on the eve of Third Battle of Cassino and was thrown into the deep end of battlefield medical treatment with a significant bump.

    By chance, Woods went on to serve the church in Singapore in the early 50s, so there is also some general material about the Malayan Emergency at the time my other grandfather was in the theatre.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
  8. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles & Yellow Cockerels Patron

    A great little find here for seven of your English pounds. A seemingly rare survival (no others on sale online--it's a bit fragile) from Singapore at the close of 1951--the perfect perspective for 25 Field Regt's time in the theatre:

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    What I'm now on the lookout for is a map of plantations in Malaya for the period.
    Does anybody know of a publication on such things?
     
  9. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    Nice find!
    [He hissed through gritted teeth...]
    ;)

    I will seek some advice about plantations. I suspect there isn't a single map as, scale issues aside, they were private companies.
     
  10. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles & Yellow Cockerels Patron

    This looks the most promising for plantations:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/RGA-History-Plantation-Industry-Peninsula/dp/983560004X

    But notice the price.

    I'm specifically trying to locate the GANGEE ESTATE and the KAY ESTATE, presumably near Tampin in Negeri Sebilan.

    I have already scanned that Emergency booklet.
    PM me an email address and you're welcome to have a copy.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
  11. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles & Yellow Cockerels Patron

    Here's a unique scenario:

    [​IMG]

    From: The Green Howards In Malaya by Major J. B. Oldfield.
     
  12. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles & Yellow Cockerels Patron

    And on the subject of the Green Howards in Malaya, the IWM have uploaded three excellent interviews with soldiers of that regiment:

    Harry Crossley: British NCO served with Mortar Platoon, Support Coy, 1st Bn Green Howards in Malaya, 1951-1952
    Crossley, Harry (Oral history) (18340) - interesting man - listening now.

    D'Arcy John Desmond Mander: British officer served with 2nd Bn Green Howards in India during Partition, 1947; commanded 1st Bn Green Howards in Malaya, 1950-1952
    Mander, D'Arcy John Desmond (Oral history) (12401)

    Derek Warren Watkins: British private served with 1st Bn York And Lancaster Regt in Germany, 1947-1948; served with 1st Bn Green Howards in Malaya, 1949-1951
    Watkins, Derek Warren (Oral history) (18217)



     
  13. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles & Yellow Cockerels Patron

    Essex Regiment plaque from Castle Hill at Cassino--courtesy of Stuart Avery of this parish.

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  14. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles & Yellow Cockerels Patron

    Found this wry caricature of British soldiers in Hong Kong in the 50s.

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    by Frank Finch, November 1953.

    And some great propaganda from the same year:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
  15. Richard Lewis

    Richard Lewis Member


    Hello Charley,

    Best I can come up with are Gan Kee and Kayu Estates. About 3 miles from each other and 10-15 miles east of Tampin.

    upload_2017-6-18_16-44-53.jpeg

    From Malaya, 1:63,360, GSGS4203, Sheet 3G6, K. Pilah, 1945 at the National Library of Australia.

    Regards,

    Richard.
     
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  16. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles & Yellow Cockerels Patron

    Excellent work, Richard--you're putting me to shame with your ability to turn up the right map for the right ocassion. I'm likely receiving another batch of documentation, but I'm looking for more information about a firefight at one of these estates. Now I have the locations, I've a much better chance of finding out what kind of estates they were: the assumption is often rubber, but palm is another option.

    I'm actually due in Malaysia in October, but nowhere near Tampin. How do you think the hotel concierge would respond to being asked to source maps from 1950-51?
     
  17. Richard Lewis

    Richard Lewis Member

    Hello Charley,

    "What kind of estate was it?" Here's another map, this time from the National Archives of Singapore.

    Singapore [Land Utilization]

    Looks like they are rubber, but there is a small strip of a coconut and oil palm plantation in the area.

    Hope this helps.

    Richard.
     
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  18. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles & Yellow Cockerels Patron

    Really helpful--thank you.
     

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