Author Topic: Milson's Marauders  (Read 599 times)

Offline Greg C

  • *
  • Posts: 8
Milson's Marauders
« on: May 13, 2021, 03:42:37 PM »
My father, Pte THOMAS CUNNINGHAM 3525726, served in the 2nd Battalion, The Manchester Regiment. I know he served in India and then in Burma. However I have been unable to determine which company he was in.  A relative once showed me a photo of several soldiers, including my father, either in India or Burma with a sign stating "Millsons Mauderers".  Who was Millson?  Was he a platoon officer or a company officer?  If so, then perhaps that will lead me to the company my father was in.  Alternatively any ideas on how to discover the company?   
« Last Edit: May 24, 2021, 04:44:02 PM by Greg C »

Offline mack

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 8,678
Re: Millsons Mauderers
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2021, 05:12:58 PM »
hiya greg
could it be millsons marauders

did you know your dad served in palestine in 1937/38,earned the general service medal with palestine clasp

mack

Offline Greg C

  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: Milson's Marauders
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2021, 08:54:17 AM »
Hi Mack,

Ah yes, that would be it, Millson Marauders.  I have discovered that my father, from Jan 1934, was in Bermuda, Egypt, Cyprus, Egypt again and then in Palestine Jan to Oct 1938.  The medal is interesting, I assume that this must be recorded somewhere.

« Last Edit: May 25, 2021, 09:18:20 AM by Greg C »

Offline rafboy

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,306
Re: Millsons Mauderers
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2021, 10:12:31 AM »
Welcome Greg
His service from Bermuda to Palestine would have been with the 1st Battalion, my father 3525679 Arthur Phillips was in all of those places at the same time.
On their way from the West Indies (The Battalion was spilt between Bermuda and Jamaica) their Troopship stopped at Southampton for 6 hours. Special trains were run from Manchester so that their families could have lunch with them.
See:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeEGhHEoxUg

There are a couple of other youtube videos of the 1st Battalion.

From Palestine the 1st Battalion went to Singapore in 1938. I'm guessing your father could possibly have completed his engagement and re enlisted in the 2nd Battalion.

Cliff
Cliff P Son of 3525679 Sgt Arthur Phillips 1st Bn Manchester Regiment and RAPC

Offline Greg C

  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: Milson's Marauders
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2021, 03:49:27 PM »
Hi Cliff,

Thank you very much for the tip, 1st Battalion fits  This has opened up a whole new line of research for me.  Now a lot of what my father told me is slipping into place.  On leaving Palestine he would have had only 10 months of time left to serve, so I assume that was why he was returned to the UK.

Greg
« Last Edit: May 25, 2021, 09:19:10 AM by Greg C »

Offline charlie

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,596
Re: Millsons Mauderers
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2021, 04:03:41 PM »
Hi Greg, have you applied to the MoD for his service record? If not
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/requests-for-personal-data-and-service-records

Charlie

Offline Greg C

  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: Milson's Marauders
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2021, 05:16:11 PM »
Hi Charlie,

Yes I have applied for the service docs but it could be 8 weeks before they arrive.  I am unsure if any details of which company he was in will be shown.

Greg
« Last Edit: May 25, 2021, 09:19:34 AM by Greg C »

Offline Greg C

  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: Millsons Marauders
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2021, 04:59:48 PM »
Hi Cliff,

I note that the 1st Battalion left Palestine on 25 September 1938 from Haifa in the troopship Dilwara bound for Singapore.  Interestingly my father left on the 14th October to return to the UK.  I read on the Tameside website that Lieutenant Rex King-Clark (later commanding 2nd Battalion) was awarded the Military Cross whilst with the 1st Battalion in Palestine.  So switching battalions may not be unusual.  Perhaps a company was rotated. Possible?

My father almost completed his '7 years with the colours' engagement (which would have ended on 23rd September 1939) but he was comitted to 5 years in reserve after that.  Hence he was retained in the regiment 'for duration of hostilities' from 3rd September 1939.

Love the youtube videos!

Greg

Offline mack

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 8,678
Re: Millsons Mauderers
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2021, 07:09:35 PM »
hiya greg
many of the 1st battalion were sent home from palestine,they were mostly men who had completed or nearly completed their colour service,the rest went to singapore,these men were replaced by soldiers who had enlisted in late 1939 and were sent with the 18th division to singapore to bring the 1st battalion up to strength[about 950-980 all ranks]

mack

Offline Bob.NB

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 352
Re: Millsons Mauderers
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2021, 10:56:53 AM »
Greg,
Don't hold your breath waiting for your father's papers to arrive from the MoD.
I understand that the MoD Army Personnel Centre in Glasgow closed down during the panic and no service papers were sent out.
I received a set of papers last week that I had applied for in March last year!
I guess like everyone else they are overworked and understaffed.
Bob B

Offline Greg C

  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: Milson's Marauders
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2021, 05:31:46 PM »
Hi Bob,

Many thaks for the tip on the delays to service papers.  I expected a delay but not that long.  I will have to put some thought to what other avenues of reseach I can do in the meantime.

Greg C
« Last Edit: May 25, 2021, 09:20:04 AM by Greg C »

Offline themonsstar

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,460
Re: Millsons Mauderers
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2021, 03:24:56 PM »
You could read the Regimental history by Bell, covers the time you're father was with the 1st Bn, then any of the Rex King Clark books, should fill in the gaps of the 2nd Bn.

Offline Greg C

  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: Millsons Marauders
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2021, 09:30:48 AM »
Hi Themonsstar,

I have ordered a copy of Fighting on from Kohina by Rex King-Clark which I expect to receive within the next few days.  Many thanks for the tip. 

I note that in the review for the book it states that not only does it cover the advance from Kohima (A, B & C Coys) but also a record of D Coy up until the battle of Pinwe.  Perhaps there will be clues to which company my father was in somewhere in the book.  Anyway if not, I'm sure it will still be a good read.  Thanks again.

Greg C.

Offline Greg C

  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: Milson's Marauders
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2021, 11:36:07 AM »
Hi Everyone,

I believe I may have solved the mystery and answered my original question.  I now have copies of Rex King-Clark's books. In 'Forward From Kohina' there is a reference to MILSON.  The author writes on page 33; "2 Platoon (Milson) is now in Saye....", on page 40; "Milson comes back to A Coy from Saye tomorrow", on page 41; "Milson came in to see me in evening. Milson has some fine tales to tell about Saye.  I am going to have a talk with 2 Platoon tomorrow". 

In 'The Battle For Kohina' Rex King-Clark on page 33 gives a list of A Coy staff including platoon officers.  For 2 Platoon it shows Lieutenant J B Teale.  However, in 'Forward From Kohina' on page 23 the author writes "31st January Johnny Teale has gone as 2 I/C to 'A'....."

I conclude, therefore, that Lt Teale was promoted to 2 I/C of A Coy leaving a vacancy for platoon officer of 2 Platoon.  Milson (presumably Lt) clearly reports to Rex King-Clarke and is with 2 Platoon which suggests he is the platoon officer.

Hence I conclude from the photo of my father and other soldiers with the sign of 'Milson's Marauders' is that of some of 2 platoon soldiers, part of A Coy, taken sometime after 31st January 1945 in Burma or perhaps later in India on exercise preparing for amphibious landings on Malaya (later cancelled).  Consequently my father would have been at the Battle of Kohina.

Thanks for all the pointers in the right direction, it is very much appreciated.

Greg C