Is this a WWII Indian Army Uniform?

Discussion in 'British Indian Army' started by Gina in Canada, Aug 6, 2022.

  1. Gina in Canada

    Gina in Canada New Member


    JITTER PARTY Well-Known Member

    No, not necessarily. He is a Colonel, is wearing a tropical uniform and could belong to any Commonwealth army.

    Why do you ask?
  3. Gina in Canada

    Gina in Canada New Member

    Brilliant, thank you for that - it is a beginning!! He is Edward Duncan-Smith b.1904. I recently applied for his service records from the MOD (Records of Deceased Personnel) and they have no record of him. They suggested the British Library Asia Pacific Collection. He was in the Salvation Army in India and Ceylon and married 1928 at Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, three children born in India early 30s. I am trying to find out what he did during the war! He is not in the FindMyPast India Army records! Any suggestions would be very welcome.
  4. Simon165

    Simon165 Member

    The only Duncan-Smith i can find in the Indian Army List has his first name starting with a D and is a 2nd Lt in the 14th Punjab Regiment
  5. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Try the resources on: Home - Families in British India Society

    My usual place to check has no entry for that name: British Army Officers 1939-1945 -- D

    It is possible his commissioned photo is not for the regular Indian Army, as there were territorial or workplace formations for civil emergencies - which might not appear on the Indian Army List. From memory some of these units were no government funded. Secondly, there was reference here ages ago to volunteers commissioned in Burma who were so exhausted, if not broken, after the retreat they left service.

    is there such an organization as the Salvation Army India? If they exist a "long shot" I fear.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2022

    JITTER PARTY Well-Known Member

    The BL is probably worth checking, but an Indian Army full Colonel should not be this difficult to find. As Simon says, the 04/45 IAL contains only D Duncan-Smith who was British Service Attached 14 Punjab Regiment, and who was serving as a Major in 2/1 Punjab in Java 01/46. That is a long way from a Colonel.

    Double-barrelled names can be tricky; the alternative ED Smith might be worth looking at, although there will be several of them.

    It might be worth considering other Commonwealth Armies.

    Does the above photograph actually have any information on it - name, dates, etc. - just in case you have conflated two different men.

    Is that the full scan; even sight of his medal ribbons might help.

    Good luck.

    JITTER PARTY Well-Known Member

    You are grasping at straws.
    He is wearing a standard Colonel/Brigadier’s SD Cap and badge, and that fits rather nicely with the rank on his epaulette.
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  8. Temujin

    Temujin Member

    From what I can figure out he was a Scientist, and he may have bee a Col in the British Army working in that function. Data I could find, but nothing yet on an military service or a link to Military service (except a family tree that states he joined the British Army but no documentation to back that up. I think his specialty was Electronics or Radio/Communications




    Last edited: Aug 7, 2022
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  9. Gina in Canada

    Gina in Canada New Member

    Thank you all. Yes, this is the full picture, no words on the back. And you have found those records which I also found: probate is real, I have his death cert which records him as Professor of Electrical Engineering, United Nations Retired (doesn't mention war record) 159 Milton Road. so your conclusion that he is a scientist is spot on.
  10. Shiny 9th

    Shiny 9th Member

    Am sure I have read of Salvation Army presence in India during the war, from memory running refreshment facilities for troops . It is quite possible they had a presence there, at least until Independence.
  11. GeorgyB

    GeorgyB Active Member

  12. GeorgyB

    GeorgyB Active Member

    January 1939 Portsmouth Evening News:
    "Mr. E. Duncan Smith to be temporary assistant II, Scientific and Technical Pools (for duty in H.M. Signal School, Portsmouth)"

    Last edited: Aug 14, 2022
  13. GeorgyB

    GeorgyB Active Member

    And in 1954 (after "some six years at the Admiralty Signal Research Establishment")

  14. GeorgyB

    GeorgyB Active Member

    You can find him in the Navy Lists too.

    Last edited: Aug 14, 2022

    JITTER PARTY Well-Known Member

    This now looks more likely.
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  16. GeorgyB

    GeorgyB Active Member

    Yes, when he was in India in the 1930s he seems to have been the Wireless Consultant to the government of India, and was involved in the setting up of the Indian State Broadcasting Service. But was back in England by the outbreak of the war.

  17. Gina in Canada

    Gina in Canada New Member

    You are all being so helpful, it is really exciting reading the documents you have found, especially knowing how difficult it is to find them with double barrelled names. Thank you all so much.

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