130079 Major Harry Crispin SMITH, MiD, 4th Bn. Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by dbf, Aug 25, 2021.

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    Personal Number: 130079
    Rank: Major
    Name: Harry Crispin SMITH, MiD
    Unit: Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment

    London Gazette : 24 May 1940
    The undermentioned Cadets, from 166th, 167th, 168th and 170th Officer Cadet Training Units, to be 2nd Lts. Except as otherwise stated. 18th May 1940:—
    Harry Crispin SMITH (130079).

    London Gazette : 9 May 1946
    The KING has been graciously pleased to approve that the following be Mentioned in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Burma—
    Maj. (temp.) H. C. SMITH (130079).

    London Gazette : 12 March 1985
    Russell School Contgt.
    Lt H C SMITH (130079) relinquishes his commn, 15th Jul 1975 and is restored to the hon rank of Maj (Belated entry)
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2021
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    Smith, Harry Crispin (Oral history)
    Object description:
    • British officer served with 4th Bn Royal West Kent Regt in North Africa and Burma, 1942-1945
    Content description:
    • REEL 1 Background in GB, 1913-1939: family and education. Reaction to declaration of Second World War, 3/9/1939. Recollections of period with 4th Bn Royal West Kents in GB, 1939-1942: joining regiment, 11/1939; commissioning into regiment, spring 1940; joining 4th Bn at Retford, summer 1940; coastal defence duties at Dungeness, 1940-1941; move to Deal area, 1941; flame throwing device at Deal; attitude towards divisional commander General Bernard Montgomery; role within unit; move to Tadworth; inspection by King George the Sixth, 1942. Voyage from GB to Egypt aboard Laconia, 5/1942-7/1942: conditions on board; seasickness amongst troops; composition of convoy; social activities organised; threat of Japanese submarines in Mozambique Channel, 6/1942; arrival in Egypt, 7/1942.
    • REEL 2 Continues: Recollections of operations with 4th Bn Royal West Kents, 44th Div in North Africa, 1942: reaction to General Montgomery's arrival to head 8th Army; fortification of Alam Nayel, summer 1942; construction of defences; coping with flies; initial German attack at Alam Halfa; unit's night attack at Alam Halfa, 3/9/1942; wounding at Alam Halfa, 3/9/1942; medical attention for wounds; interrupting of A Coy's improvised cricket match by German air attack; arrival of new equipment, autumn 1942; diversionary role of unit at El Alamein, 24/10/1942.
    • REEL 3 Continues: medical problems, 11/1942. Period with 4th Bn Royal West Kents in Iraq, 1942-1943: transfer of unit to 5th Indian Div, late 1942; move to Iraq; danger of theft of rifles in Baghdad; embarkation aboard Empire Trooper, Basra, 4/1943. Period in India, 6/1943-1/1944: arrival in India, ca 6/1943; start of monsoon conditions at Ranchi. Recollections of operations with 4th Bn Royal West Kents in Arakan, Burma, 1944: move to forward areas; Arakan terrain; start of operations, 1/1944; shell burst which killed NCOs; action at Razabil; advance towards The Tunnels, Mayu Range; friendly fire incident during B Coy's advance on Japanese positions at The Tunnels; Japanese practice in cremating right hand of their dead; decision to move back to Assam. Flight from Arakan to Dimapur.
    • REEL 4 Continues: Recollections of operations with 4th Bn Royal West Kents during siege of Kohima, 4/1944: move to Kohima and return to Dimapur; immediate return to Kohima as Japanese advanced; start of siege; his post on Garrison Hill; strength of unit; pattern of fighting during siege; water supply; Japanese attempts to persuade Indian troops to defect; lifting of siege by 2nd Div; wounding in head by mortar bomb, 19/4/1944; evacuation and medical treatment received for wound. Recollections of operations as commanding officer B Coy, 4th Bn Royal West Kents in Burma, 1944: re-joining unit at Dimapur; conditions in advance into Burma; sight of Japanese wounded who had been despatched by their comrades.
    • REEL 5 Continues: story of snake in wireless set, ca 5/1944; capture of sick Japanese POW; pursuit of Japanese on Tiddim Road; loss of NCOs in close action with Japanese troops; dealing with Japanese road block and destruction of Japanese force; attempt of Japanese NCO to kill unit stretcher bearers; incidents of tick typhus; role of unit's animal transport section; surrender of Japanese soldier; Indian soldier who survived descent from aircraft on crate of bully beef; descent from Chin Hill into Kabaw Valley; evacuation from Kabaw Valley to Imphal, 1944. Recollections of operations as second in command of 4th Bn Royal West Kents in Burma, 1945: push into central Burmese plains; wounding of commanding officer and becoming second in command; use of air support; condition of Meiktila on capture; snake infestation of ruined buildings in Meiktila.
    • REEL 6 Continues: capture of Japanese POW; advance to Pegu; cutting off of Japanese Divs from Arakan, north of Pegu; casualties in action against Japanese marines in Pegu Yomas area, 1945. Attitude to having served with 4th Bn Royal West Kents in Second World War. Contact with Indian National Army personnel near Toungoo, 1945
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2021

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