Photos of Royal Engineers 864 Mechanical Equipment Company in India/Burma

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by RE864CoyPaul, Apr 7, 2017.

  1. RE864CoyPaul

    RE864CoyPaul Active Member

    My dad managed to scan the originals and I've cropped them and labelled them with any handwritten notes that my grandad, Bert Kadwill, put on the back.
    Pic labels are standardised as follows: date_inscription. Some don't have dates but i assume these were all 42-43ish
    There's a few names of other men from 864 on some so I'll check my records and see if i can trace their relatives (long shot but you never know).
    Hope you enjoy them
    864 ME Coy group India 42_Im right in the middle darling_dot on the left of my head.jpg India 42_864 ME Coy I'm on the right darling, dot on the let of my head

    Oct 42_ Bananas as a snack_Bill and I.jpg Bananas as a snack, Bill and I

    Burma Front Express _ Scammell Pioneer 6 wheeler used to pull Dozers.jpg Burma Front Express (Scammell Pioneer 6 wheelerused to pull dozers)

    864 ME Coy 1 with Bert on right_Tommy Paston and myself.jpg Tommy Paston and myself (Bert Kadwill)

    Oct 42_Wash and brush up.jpg Wash and brush up

    Oct 42_Officers mess staff_Bill and I.jpg Officers mess staff, Bill and I (Assuming Bill was a Batman too)

    Oct 42_Percy myself 40 winks.jpg Percy and myself, 40 winks

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    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
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  2. RE864CoyPaul

    RE864CoyPaul Active Member

    Apologies if some are duplicated, the website is being a nightmare and it's tough uploading them!

    14 Oct 42_Bill myself Cory Den.jpg Bill, myself, Cory(? couldnt decipher my grandads writing!) and Den

    2 ORs and truck.jpg No caption on photo...

    1 Oct 42_3 Berts Ernie and Percy.jpg 3 Berts, Ernie and Percy

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    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
  3. RE864CoyPaul

    RE864CoyPaul Active Member

    Calcutta July 1943_ come along there smile.jpg Calcutta July 43_Come along there, smile!

    Calcutta 43_ Dear old pals jolly old pals.jpg Calcutta 43_Jolly old pals (Captain Revell and Driver Kadwill)

    Oct 42_ all dressed up and ready for home.jpg October 42_All dressed up and ready for home (My grandad didnt go home until he disembarked Bombay on 20/11/45)

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    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
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  4. RE864CoyPaul

    RE864CoyPaul Active Member

    Nov 42_Tom Paston took this one while on a 3000 mile convoy.jpg Nov 42_Tom Paston took this one while on a 3000 mile convoy_Im standing on the extreme right dishing out half a loaf between two_ not forgetting the bully beef

    Captain Revell and D8 Dozer in training England_My boss and a 35 ton tractor.jpg My boss (Captain Revell) and a 35 ton tractor (Caterpillar D8) which our lads are working on_notice all the leavers which have to be used. (Taken whilst training in England before leaving for Burma)
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  5. RE864CoyPaul

    RE864CoyPaul Active Member

    Oct 42 Bert and Tom_Still with bananas.jpg Oct 42_Bert and Tom still with bananas

    Captain Revell OC 36 Section 864 ME Coy RE and Driver Kadwill_The boss Capt Revell MC RE.jpg The boss Captain Revell (OC Section 36 864ME Coy RE)

    2 July 1942.jpg 2 July 42 a couple of weeks before shipping out to India
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  6. RE864CoyPaul

    RE864CoyPaul Active Member

    My grandad through the war...
    2 Bert at Hatfield 31 May 1940.jpg 31/5/40 in Hatfield (aged 20)

    17 Nov 1941_ from your loving brother Bert.jpg 17/11/41 (aged 21....22 on 12/12/41)

    Calcutta Oct 42_ hello sweet.jpg October '42 (aged 22)

    Calcutta July 1943_ come along there smile.jpg July '43 (aged 23)

    March 1945 India.jpg March '45 (aged 25)

    He was 10 stone 10lb when he left for Burma, and 8 stone when he returned.
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  7. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Superb photographs, thank you for posting them.
  8. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Paston seems to have been 2076988 Dvr T W Paston who was reported wounded on the 7th April 1944. There are several other 864 M E Coy names on the list. GBM_WO417_074_0312.jpg
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  9. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member Patron

    This forum never ceases to amaze me. Without this resource where would our research be?

    I have been interested in 864 Coy for many years due my research about the battle at Lion Box in which they were involved. To see the faces of some of the men I've written and read about is truly brilliant. It's now my turn to reciprocate with the information I have but first I'm waiting to hear from Paul so that I can tell him first. It is something pretty special...

  10. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member


    I am more than happy to look for other 864 names in the casualty lists but it probably won't be today as I have a list of DIY repair jobs that SWMBO has given me.

  11. RE864CoyPaul

    RE864CoyPaul Active Member

    Fantastic information everyone, i cant express how grateful my dad and I are!
    Lionboxer - I've seen your teaser on Facebook and just replied!

    Spoke to my dad about Tommy paston just now and I'm hearing new information i never knew - he and my grandad were best mates in the 864 and even met after the war. My dad met Mr Paston when he was 9 (1962) - Tommy paston had a small ironmongery shop in Norwich and my grandad (who lived in Birchanger - near stansted airport), nan and my dad were in Norwich for something and popped into see Tommy. According to my dad it was like two brothers meeting up for the first time in years! And it's good to hear that although Tommy was wounded on 7/4/44 he clearly made it through the war and built a good life after.
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  12. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member Patron

    High Wood, many thanks for the offer but I have all the casualties names unless you can come up with the Indian Casualty Lists!
  13. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Sadly I cannot but, even if I could, I have got to get some garden chores done as my other half is getting the garden ready for the Clun open gardens in May. Gardening isn't my thing as very little about it relates to the Burma campaign. I did offer to build a full size pagoda complete with temple bells at the bottom of the garden but the offer was refused. There is just no pleasing some people.
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  14. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member Patron

    Paul I have in my possession the personal memoirs of Sgt John (Burma Jack) Welsh who was in 36 Section 864 Mech Equip Coy RE from its raising to it's disbandment.
    He was a great friend of mine who helped with my research about Lion Box but sadly died a few years back but not before writing his memoirs and letting me have it. There are some great yarns he tells of everyday life in Burma and the army in general. He knew your granddad who is mentioned a couple of times though the spelling of his name is wrong. Not bad for a man in his eighties recalling names and incidents from sixty years previous. It's all there exactly as your grandfather would have experienced it too. Jack also had a good relationship with Captain Revell and writes of him a lot including drinking rum together and when he shot a buffalo so they could have steak for a change!
    As I live near Norwich we must have a meet up.

    Chris aka Lionboxer
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  15. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    I'm looking to plant more bamboo this year, but got to watch out for it invading the neighbours garden. ;)
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  16. RE864CoyPaul

    RE864CoyPaul Active Member

    My word Chris, that is mind boggling news! To be able to read his memoirs, find out more about my grandad and 36 section, would be astounding.
    That definitely sounds like Captain Revell too, as of the very few stories i ever got out of my grandad, most of them involved Revell and some madcap actions!
    A meetup would be fantastic! My dad's out all day but as soon as i can get a hold of him, I'll speak to him and we can figure out where and when. I'm even hoping maybe we can have a big family trip/long weekend up to Norwich (we've done so before) and include a get together with you whilst we're all there. I'll bring the original photos up so you can look properly for Burma Jack, as well as any other info that may be of use.
    My grandad never really talked of the war, but i have a handful of stories from him and i know my younger brother did a school project on him and his war, so I'm hoping to pick my brother's brains (and hunt for the project in my parents loft) as well as see if my dad has any other memories too.
    Just got your photos on Facebook. Surreal and humbling to see fresh photos of places and times that I've only ever read about. Thank you!
  17. RE864CoyPaul

    RE864CoyPaul Active Member

    Oh, and don't worry about my surname being misspelled - part of being a Kadwill is getting used to that and spelling it for people about a dozen times a day lol (the original spelling is Cadwell but someone a few hundred years back either decided to change it, or just couldn't spell lol so we're the only ones with it spelt with a K and an I instead of a C and an E.)
  18. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member Patron

    That's great Paul.
    Jacks mentions that he thought Capt Revell may have had links to motor racing in civvie street and writes of when he turned over a jeep that they were in.
    There are plenty of names that Jack recalls including the 2 I /C Lt "Slim" Somerville. Wouldn't it be great if we could find the families of these men and share our information?!

    Lion boxer
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  19. RE864CoyPaul

    RE864CoyPaul Active Member

    Ah great, my dad's a lifelong motor racing fanatic so I'll get him to have a look through all his books etc. He's actually at brands hatch today, do I'm still waiting to catch up with him about meeting up with you soon! He's got a busier social life than me! Lol

    Do you know what Revells first name is? All i know is it begins with M. My grandad only refers to him as the Boss or Major Revell...I didn't come across any information regarding Revell being promoted but my grandad always referred to him as Major Revell.

    It certainly would be fantastic to contact other families! I wonder how we could go about it? I have a list of some of the 864 members in '42 i believe, but no information regarding locations. If we had locations, we could hunt for them that way, especially if they have unusual surnames, and i could Google search/Facebook search and go from there. I guess i could start with Tommy Paston in Norwich? Not sure if that's a common Norfolk surname, but it's certainly not common in Essex.
    I did find a ladies blog that contained pics of the 864 and her dad's experience and i contacted her. She was keen to swap stories and pics but the email address she gave was defunct and after replying to her blog again, she never replied. That was about 2-3 weeks ago.

    Alongside loving the idea of sharing our information with other families of the 864, I'm also starting to ruminate on doing something for Kanglatongbi too. I have a biggish idea for next year, but also wanting to do something this year too, so I'm still thinking of ideas for that.
    And of course, visiting Imphal and Manipur in general, is top of my bucket list. That'll be a long term objective though as my kids are currently utilising the majority of my spare cash lol
  20. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member Patron

    Looks like M C Revell on the photo but no idea about the name, or where to look.
    The only time I've had success with finding families is when a man was killed and had next of kin details that could be followed up such as Reg Corbyn. I might be able to do something with Tom Paston though. Who was the lady you tried to contact?

    Keep your powder dry regarding visiting Kanglatongbi. We are all going out there again in two years time for the 75th commemorations. We are planning an even bigger event than the 70th which was truly an amazing time.
    The photo is of our group of sons and grandsons of veterans of Kanglatongbi taken there on the anniversary. It's not the Tommy Cooper appreciation society but the hats are traditional Kiki tribal presentations. We were all given medallions commemorating this by the Indian Armys top Ordnance general specially flown in from Delhi. See my avatar. I was invited to give an address to the large gathering there.


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