Point 551 Gurkhas/Raj-Rifs?

Discussion in 'British Indian Army' started by Davies, Dec 2, 2020.

  1. Davies

    Davies Junior Member

    Hi, hoping you can help before I commit the cardinal sin of getting this wrong.
    .
    I have the account of Captain Richard Wallace, 30 Mountain Regt Indian Artillery, describing the capture of Point 551 during the Arakan Campaign.
    Here is the extract I am querying:

    'I went up to the OP on Goggles, met the Gurkha company commander there and settled down to await developments. The plan was, briefly, that the Gurkhas and Rajputana Rifles should creep around the back of the hill and capture it from the rear. The great danger lay in their being cut off.
    That night there was a tense silence until about 2am when, with the most blood-curling yells, the Raj-Rifs went in with the bayonet. It was impossible to make out what was happening from our point of vantage, but next morning found the whole feature captured with the exception of Wembley and the ridge leading up to Goggles.'

    Were the Rajput Rifles at 551 (read it was 2/7th Rajput Regiment?)?
    Are the Gurkhas he mentions the 8th Gorkha Rifles?
    Is Cpt Wallace getting his regiments/rifles mixed up?

    Thanks in advance for any help!
     
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Rajput Regiment - Wikipedia
    The 2nd battalion was also in the Arakan area and a number of actions were fought by it. The capture of Point 551, also called Rajput Hill was the most important. The Japanese holding this feature had turned back repeated attacks by other battalions but the Rajputs carried the day winning an Indian Order of Merit, five Military Crosses and two Military Medals for this action.


    8th Gorkha Rifles - Wikipedia
    The regiment's World War II battle honours include:
    Iraq 1941, North Africa 1940–43, Gothic Line, Coriano, Sant' Angelo, Gaiana Crossing, Point 551, Italy 1942–44; Tamu Road, Bishenpur, Kanglato-ngbi, Mandalay, Myinmu Bridgehead, Singhu, Shan-datgyi, Sittang, Imphal, Burma 1942–45

    I would guess this Point 551 would be in Italy but it could also be one and the same because from above if they were in Italy 1942 - 44, not sure how they could also be in Burma 1942 - 45 ?? - confused

    TD
     
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  3. chrisgrove

    chrisgrove Senior Member

    The award of a Campaign Star or Battle Honour does not require that you, or a unit of the regiment, were there for the entire period shown in the medal or honour description, merely that you (or..) were there for a qualifying period during that time. Many recipients of the 39-45 War Medal were not even in the Forces for much of the war!
     
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  4. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    Battle honour Italy 1942–44 was for 2nd Battalion:
    In January 1943 the 2nd Battalion was attached to the 3rd Indian Motor Brigade which had just returned from the Western Desert after having been almost destroyed at the Battle of Gazala. At the end of the month the brigade was renamed as the 43rd Indian Infantry Brigade (Lorried). The brigade and its Gurkha battalions were sent to Italy in mid 1944 as an Independent brigade.
    WW2 8th Gurkha Rifles Regiment Cap Badge

    Point 551 was in Burma were the Regiment fought
     
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  5. JITTER PARTY

    JITTER PARTY Well-Known Member

    Yes, it was 2/7 Rajput and 1/8 GR at Point 551.
    Maybe he was confused by 2/13 FF Rif also being in the brigade at the time and so promoted the Rajputs to a rifle regiment.
    There was no battalion of 6 Raj Rif in the Arakan at that time. 6/6 Raj Rif were there in 1945 and 8/6 Raj Rif had been there in 1943.
     
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  6. Davies

    Davies Junior Member

    Thanks for all your replies!
     
  7. Davies

    Davies Junior Member

    Ah, now that does clarify things & seems the likely scenario. Thank you.
     
  8. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is the account of the Battle of Point 551 from the 8th Gurkha Rifles regimental history:
    Gurkha01.png
     
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  9. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is an account of the Battle of Point 551 from the 7th Rajput Regiment regimental history:
    Rajput01.jpg Rajput02.jpg Rajput03.jpg Rajput04.jpg
     
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  10. Davies

    Davies Junior Member

    That is so useful. I can't thank you enough. It certainly helps verify the rest of Captain Ian (I mistakenly called him Richard in my first post) Wallace's account, especially his praise of the actions of the Gurkhas on the ridge from Wembley to Goggles: 'The Gurkhas lined up and ran along the crest of the hill.... Caution was thrown to the winds and every vantage point was crammed with troops yelling and shouting and throwing their caps into the air exactly as if one was watching a football match. This was the most exhilarating moment of the war that I ever experienced.'
     
  11. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Subs. Maj. (T/Lt-Col) Arthur de Burgh-Morris
    1st Battalion, 8th Gurkha Rifles
    Recommendation for DSO

    Arthur de Burgh-Morris, 8 GR.png
     
  12. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Rfn (P/L/NK) Jangbahadur Rana
    1st Battalion, 8th Gurkha Rifles
    Recommendation for MM

    Jangbahadur Rana, 8 GR.png
     
  13. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Rfn (P/L/NK) Punja Gurung
    1st Battalion, 8th Gurkha Rifles
    Recommendation for MM

    Punja Gurung, 8 GR.png Punja Gurung 2, 8 GR.png
     
  14. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    W/S Naik Dalbahadur Gurung
    1st Battalion, 8th Gurkha Rifles
    Recommendation for IDSM

    Dalbahadur Gurung, 8 GR.png Dalbahadur Gurung 2, 8 GR.png
     
  15. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    W/S/Lieut T/Capt Alan St John Gordon
    2nd Battalion, 7th Rajput Regiment
    Recommendation for MC

    Alan St John Gordon, 7 Rajput.png
     
  16. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    W/S/Jemadar Balwant Singh
    2nd Battalion, 7th Rajput Regiment
    Recommendation for MC

    Balwant Singh, 7 Rajput.png
     
  17. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Jemadar Bharat Singh
    2nd Battalion, 7th Rajput Regiment
    Recommendation for MC

    Bharat Singh, 7 Rajput.png
     
  18. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Sepoy (U/P/L/Nk) Mohd Din
    2nd Battalion, 7th Rajput Regiment
    Recommendation for MM

    Mohd Din, 7 Rajput.png
     
  19. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Sepoy (U/P/L/Nk) Pahlad Singh
    2nd Battalion, 7th Rajput Regiment
    Recommendation for MM

    Pahlad Singh, 7 Rajput.png
     
  20. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    These are immediate rewards including an award for CO of the 1/8th GR, de Burgh-Morris as it is mentioned in official history that his DSO is also for action on Point 551. There could be more awarded later but none of them is mentioned in the above pages. So if anyone knows some additional names I can post recommendations for their awards too.
     
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