Hospital Units in India January 1945

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by Skoyen89, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    I have been looking for a list of hospital units (numbered Indian/British/Combined Base General Hospitals etc) in India in 1944 and 1945 and whilst reading 'World War II Medical Services: India' by BL Raina I came across the attached chart which sets them out for many of the locations.

    Base Hospitals in India Jan 1945.jpg In addition to these there were a number of Station Hospitals to provide hospital services for troops stationed at the local cantonment. It seems that the Base Hospitals and Convalescent Hospitals listed were the main treatment locations for troops evacuated from Imphal, Arakan. Kohima and Burma with major injuries. Whilst the Indian troops were treated at all of the centres listed it is interesting to see that British troops were mainly treated at Karachi, Ranchi, Poona, Secunderabad and Bangalore.
  2. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Brilliant find Skoyen89. I know that Secunderabad Cantonment was given over to become a convalescent hospital for retuning troops from Burma and POW's from Rangoon in mid-1945. A few of the men captured on Chindit 1 ended up there after liberation and initial hospitalisation at Calcutta. There was a nice story from one soldier, Pte. Leon Frank, who was astonished to be sold cigarettes at his hospital bed by his former Indian servant from the 13th King's time at Secunderabad in April 1942.
    Rothy, Skoyen89 and Tricky Dicky like this.
  3. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    Any mention of hospital/convalescent Depot at Bangalore? My father met a lot of his pals who were captured at Singapore there.
  4. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    Hi Lionboxer. Not that I've seen so far. The book in itself is not that interesting and is taken up with explaining the lineage of the IAMC and internal administrative matters rather than detail on the hospitals and their work which is what I hoped to find. I will bear you in mind as I read it though.
    Tricky Dicky and dbf like this.
  5. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    Found some more info on the locations of Hospitals in India (rather than hospitals in ALFSEA which covered hospital centres in Imphal, Comilla etc). This is contained in a report on Hospital Utilization in India from the second half of 1944. The report is the sole content in WO203/595 at Kew. P1013086 Map of Hospitals in India ca 1944 June - Dec.jpg
    Mary K. Jones and bamboo43 like this.
  6. AngelaCashmore

    AngelaCashmore New Member

    Hi there,
    I'm new on here & have been searching for years to find out more about these Hospitals where Chindits went after coming out of Burma., so it is wonderful to find this site & thread. My late father always said he went to hospital in Poona after being rescued from the jungle by American soldiers. He didn't remember how long he was there for but on coming out, he then went into the Paras.
    Does anyone know if these hospital records have survived & if so, where are they held?? Are they open accessible ? I have his service records but would love to find a hospital record of these wonderful men. Thanks in anticipation
  7. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron


    Welcome aboard. Hospital records for individuals do not appear to have been retained as official records and the MoD to my knowledge are very likely to not disclose any confidential medical information - even when the person is deceased.

    Secondly, I somehow doubt the sheer logistical burden of a having a proper central filing system precluded establishing such a system, let alone returning such paper records back to the UK from India post-WW2 or before Partition (August 1947).

    Individual Service Records do show time spent in hospital and their exit.

    This thread may help explain: 93 Indian General Hospital

    Have you checked the main thread (to me) on the Chindits? The Chindit Society The author I expect will know more.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2022
  8. GeorgyB

    GeorgyB Active Member

    I've recently obtained a book which was an interesting read for those interested in the British Army hospitals in India (as I was as I know my father spent a fair bit of time in and out of hospitals during his war service).

    The Maturing Sun, An Army Nurse in India, 1942-45.

    Angela Bolton joined the QAIMNS and was posted to India in early 1942, working at various military hospitals and on river steamers in Bengal and Assam. Evocative of the life out there in the hospitals, and the movement of casualties, if light on military detail as such.


    IMG_4084.JPEG IMG_4087.JPEG
    PackRat, davidbfpo and bamboo43 like this.
  9. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Never considered what happened to the (three?) Nationalist Chinese division's wounded in their intervention in northern Burma in 1942, so a glimpse into what happened thanks to GeorgyB.
    GeorgyB likes this.
  10. GeorgyB

    GeorgyB Active Member

    Thanks David, yes the book is well worth a read for interesting snippets of information like the above. On the river steamers in particular, as well as the British and Indian casualties, they carried West African, American, French Foreign Legion and towards the end Japanese too.

    There are some mentions of the Chindits specifically too.


    PackRat likes this.
  11. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron


    Another odd snippet there: the French Foreign Legion using Burmese river steamers. I can only think of two possibilities: Legion escaping the Japanese attack on Vichy French forces in Laos, less likely Vietnam, in March 1945 or returning Legion to the region after VJ-Day, probably in early 1946. Both seem unlikely, then that is what can happen.
  12. GeorgyB

    GeorgyB Active Member

    Ah sorry, I misled you there, I've just checked and the Foreign Legion weren't on the steamers but as you say it was in June 1945 at CMH Dibrugarh - they having escaped the Japanese from "French Indo-China" and possibly been airlifted out from Yunan Province to Assam, according to Angela's book (which is based on her contemporaneous diaries).
    davidbfpo likes this.
  13. Shiny 9th

    Shiny 9th Member

    The diaries below give a good account of how two soldiers, both suffering from hepatitis, were moved around from Assam to other parts of India, on a wide variety of transport before eventually returning to the front line.

Share This Page