Eastern Army Military Band - Band Boy

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by dryan67, May 9, 2021.

  1. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    I came across the following entries in the war diary for the 1st Battalion The North Staffordshire Regiment in Burma 1943. It is interesting to note that the entry states that this is the first time that a band played at the front line. It is also noted that it was the first time that three Band Boys visited the front line.

    What was a Band Boy? Is this a rank or indication of age?

    26/5/43 - Mrawgyaung - Bawli Bazaar area machine gunned by 4 enemy planes at 1050 hours. Lt. Richardson and 26 BORs left at 1600 hours on patrol to Faqira Bazar due back at 1800 hours 5.6.43. Regimental Band arrived.

    27/5/43 - Mrawgyaung - Lt. Nye and a patrol arrived back at 0100 hours. Three men suffering with malaria and one dysentery. Only Japs seen were 1 officer and 4 Ors in distance - no contact could be made. Band played at ā€˜Dā€™ Company.

    28/5/43 - Mrawgyaung - Band played twice - once in Carriers lines and once in Brigade HQ. Very successful. This is the first time that three Band Boys have visited the front line.

    This is the first time that a band has played to the troops in the front line of Burma. 1st Battalion The North Staffordshire Regiment (Eastern Army Military Band):

    Sgt. D. Arthur

    Bdm. Blake D.

    Bdm. Brett N.P.

    Bdm. Brown T.

    L/Cpl. Brookes R.F.

    Boy Clifton G.A.

    Boy Cocker L.A.

    L/Cpl. Downing J.W.

    Bdm. Gasson B.

    Bdm. Grant M.

    L/Cpl. Harris J.

    Bdm. Holden H.

    L/Cpl. Jallard H.

    L/Cpl. Lee A.

    Boy Lee K.N.

    B/M Lee L.W.

    Bdm. Morgan P.E.

    L/Cpl. Pritchard N.

    Bdm. Quartermain F.A.

    Bdm. Seragy K.

    Bdm. Wheeldon T.G,

    Bdm. Wills T.W.
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  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

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  3. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    I wonder how someone so young could be in the front lines in 1943. I noticed that one of the Boys above is listed with two others with the same surname. Relatives?
    Last edited: May 22, 2021
  4. Maureene

    Maureene Well-Known Member

    Pre-war Boy was a rank, and I assume the same situation applied during WW2. A Boy joined at age 14. I don't know about Band members, but others became privates or gunners after they had turned 18.

    A book available online is Pick Up Your Parrots and Monkeys: The Life of a Boy Soldier in India by William Pennington 2004, first published 2003. Archive.org Books to Borrow/ Lending Library. He commenced his Army career at age 14 in 1934 as a Boy Trumpeter in the Royal Artillery, then was posted to India at age 15. Later he was was awarded the Military Cross as a Forward Observation Officer in Burma.

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  5. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Thanks for that information, Maureen.

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