Burmastar recipients - Hampshire regiment

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Monkeychunki, Feb 27, 2013.

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  1. Hi my grandfather served in the 12th Nigerian regiment in Burma and im struggling to find detailed information on his regiment during the campaign. Ive been on the burmastar website but with no luck, just wondering if there is a list of Burmastar recipients or if anyone knows where i can obtain more detailed info then i'd get from service records. He was part of the Hampshire regiment and was posted to West Afria in April 39 then onto India in Sept 1943 returning home in 1945.

    many thanks
  2. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

  3. Men were seconded from a variety of British, Canadian and Free Polish regiments to serve in the the Royal West African Frontier Force (RWAFF), of which the Nigeria Regiment was a part. They tended to remain administratively attached to their parent regiment, hence why war graves and the like tend to show their original capbadge and not the RWAFF. This is undoubtedly why he is listed as part of both the Royal Hampshires and the Nigeria Regt. I was talking to a lady recently who had the same problem, as he father was part of the 53rd Recce Regiment (which was in Normandy), but was simultaneously part of the 81st (West African) Recce Regiment in Burma and she just couldn't get her head around it.

    12th Nigeria Regt were part of 3rd West African Brigade (consisting mainly of three battalions of the Nigeria Regiment), 81st (West African) Infantry Division. Upon arrival in India they were seconded to Wingate's 3rd Indian Division (aka 'Special Force' or the 'Chindits'), as mentioned by oldbaldy above, though they remained administratively a part of 81st WA Division, even though they never fought with them.

    Probably the best published account of their war in Burma is Hamilton's 'War Bush: 81st (West African) Division At War', which devotes a whole chapter to 3rd WA Brigade's part in Operation 'Thursday'.

  4. See Orbat below:

    3rd West African “THUNDER” Brigade (Brig. A.H. Gillmore (sacked), Brig. Abdy HG Ricketts)
    6th Bn, Nigeria Regiment (Lt-Col Gordon Upjohn)
    —- 66 Column
    —- 39 Column
    7th Bn, Nigeria Regiment (Lt-Col. Charles Vaughn)
    —- 29 Column (Maj. Charles Carfrae)
    —- 35 Column (Battalion CO)
    12th Bn, Nigeria Regiment (Lt-Col. Hughes)
    —- 12 Column
    —- 43 Column
    HQ, 7th West African Field Coy – 10 Column
    3rd West African Field Ambulance
  5. This is really useful, thanks for the information. Excuse my naivety but would he definately have fought with the chindits or did any of the reserve regiments stay in india. I also understand that the seconded regiments have very little documented information around personnel within the columns which is a shame. I'll definately take a look at the book. Thanks
  6. My Grandfather was a W02 (CSM) with the Lancashire Fusiliers and was killed at Moguang on 18 June 1944, we cannot find out which company he served with and the LF association and regimental histories do not have an ORBAT from the campaign. So sadly your quest for more info on your relation in that theatre may also prove fruitless.

    War in the Wilderness is another good read, if badly laid out, no idea why they went with 2 columns per page. And this is a useful website often overlooked:

    The Chindits – In 1944 | chindits
  7. Every Chindit battalion had a rear party commanded by an admin officer that remeined in India and supervised resupply.
  8. Goatman

    Goatman LE Book Reviewer

    Might also be worth pinging a line ( though you probably have already done so) to the archivist at the Royal Hampshire Regimental Museum which is in Winchester:

    Royal Hampshire Regiment Museum

    try this : museum@serleshouse.co.uk

    They would be very interested in any of your grandfather's Service photographs, letters or diaries from his time with the Regiment.


    Don Cabra