51st Field Regiment/ 51& 69 Chindit Columns book

Discussion in 'Books, Films, TV, Radio' started by AB64, Feb 4, 2020.

  1. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

  2. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Looks like a good little book on an unusual change of role for a RA unit.
     
  3. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Ordered a copy today, I'll let you know when I receive it and give it a read. Thanks again for the heads up Alistair.
     
  4. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Out of interest were the 51st only 51 column and 69 from a different RA unit? I cant see a clear breakdown (not that I've looked too hard) - just in case my title is a bit dodgy
     
  5. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    To be totally honest, I don't know. I doubt that there were no 51st men in column 69, as this never happened throughout Chindit 2 units. Men went where they were required. I can say that from reading the 51/69 war diary, the two columns were often pitted against each other in recreational activities like football and officers seem to be in two distinct groups, so perhaps they were in reality two separate units joined for the purpose.
     
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  6. JITTER PARTY

    JITTER PARTY Well-Known Member

    69 LAA-ATK Regt (formerly 69 ATK Regt) was combined with 51 Fd Regt to form 51/69 Regt RA for Chindit purposes.
     
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  7. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    That's great info, thanks for adding to this thread.
     
  8. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Just to illustrate how fluid personnel attachment was for Operation Thursday and with Jitter Party's jogging of my poor memory. Attached is an officer's return for the 7th Leicester's who made up one quarter of the 14th British Infantry (Chindit) Brigade in 1944. You will see officer attachments from both the RA units mentioned:

    7 Leics. 2.jpg
     
  9. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    This was a good and informative read. Styled not unlike the Osprey titles, but with more first-hand accounts from veterans. 51 had a busy war, Tobruk (x2), Ceylon and Burma as infantry.
     
  10. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Just looking through some old photos I have and found this one that I believe is 370 Battery of 51st Field Regiment - I wonder how many of these lads were still with the Battery when they became Chindits

    370 bty 51 field regt.jpg
     
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  11. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    The book has been very useful for me as a reference tool. Three families with 51/69 RA connections have come my way since reading it.
     
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  12. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Even though I started the thread I hadn't actually ordered a copy until a couple of hours ago, finding the photo made me think I should probably get it ordered. Glad to hear its been useful and I'm looking forward to reading it
     
  13. RobertBerry99

    RobertBerry99 Member

    Found the website via a search or 51/69 RA. My dad was enlisted in October 1941 and following initial training at Catterick he was posted to 69 Anti-Tank Regiment RA. He then moved to Colchester before going to Greenock in Scotland and joining that huge convoy in March 1942, heading for Bombay. Part of that convoy split and went off to North Africa. His brother-in-law was in the same convoy in tanks heading for North Africa.

    My dad was posted to 51/69 RA in August 1943, then posted to Essex Regiment 1st Battalion as a Chindit. When the Chindits were disbanded he was attached to 77 Indian Paratroop Brigade. Finally embarked Bombay in October 1945 for Southampton.

    While serving his roles were:-
    Gunner
    Dispatch Rider
    Signaller
    Chindit
    Paratrooper

    Thanks AB64, I've just ordered a copy of the book from Waterstones
     
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  14. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Great that you found this thread. Many of the surviving Chindits from the 1944 campaign went on to become Paratroopers. They were gearing up for an airborne invasion of Malaya, but of course the Atom bombs made these plans redundant. If you have a photograph of your father that you are willing to share, we would very much like to see it.
     
  15. RobertBerry99

    RobertBerry99 Member

    Got a few photos of my dad. So here they are Fred Berry - Catterick Army Base 1941.jpg
    Fred Berry - Catterick Army Base 1941.jpg

    On the Catterick photo he is back row, 3rd in from the left
     

    Attached Files:

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  16. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Great to see these photos Robert, many thanks for posting them.
     
  17. RobertBerry99

    RobertBerry99 Member

    Can anyone help with War Diaries, in respect of chosing the correct one:-

    My dad served with 16th Brigade under Brigadier Bernard Fergusson in 51/69 RA Regiment from 25-Oct-1943 through 11-May-1944 with the Second Chindit Force. But I'm damned if I can find any references in the WO 172 section

    I've managed to find the other War Diaries when he was with 69 Anti-Tank RA, and 1 Essex. But not the one above.

    Many thanks in anticipation
     
  18. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    I have this diary, happy to share with you. I'll send you a pm via the forum and we can work out how I get it over to you.
     
  19. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Hopefully, the diary should be with you now Robert.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  20. RobertBerry99

    RobertBerry99 Member

    Hi Steve. Regret that I have not received anything other than your post on the forum, and the conversation. I've checked my Junk mail too. Nothing in there

    Regards
    Robert
     

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