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Lancashire Miner in the Chindit Operation

by sue robinson - WW2 Site Helper

Contributed by 
sue robinson - WW2 Site Helper
People in story: 
Sgt Bll Clift
Location of story: 
Burma
Background to story: 
Army
Article ID: 
A1996680
Contributed on: 
09 November 2003

My uncle Bill was a miner from Atherton Lancashire who joined up as a regular in 1938, he was sent to Malaya and then up to Singapore, he fought for a couple of years and was taken prisoner but escaped after being tortured. When Major Wingate formed the famous Chindits Bill was there he went in with the first chindit operation in 1943, when it was over they walked out over 1,000 miles and very few survived. He then went in on Operation Thursday with Major Calvert 77th brigade, they went from India to Burma in gliders many were killed. Bill then marched for 5 days to a place known as Henu "Pagoda Hill" this is where he won the Military Medal for attacking a Japanese gun post. This brave band of brothers fought at "White City" for many weeks, the Japanese bodies piled up around them. They fought on through the jungle and eventually 4 months later captured Mogaung. Major Calvert was awarded the DSO with bar, Bill became a sargeant. They came out of Burma looking like walking skeletons. Uncle Bill didnt return to UK until 1946. Many men didnt get special awards, mentions or fancy titles but each and every one was a hero, the conditions were appalling they suffered from every tropical disease going and many died. However they are remembered with reunions and get togethers on a regular basis. My wonderful gentle uncle Bill died 20 years ago, but I remember him every day and thank god it wasnt me out there. Thank you Bill sleep well we are all so proud of you.

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These messages were added to this story by site members between June 2003 and January 2006. It is no longer possible to leave messages here. Find out more about the site contributors.

Message 1 - Chindit's daughter

Posted on: 09 November 2003 by Cyndimac

Hi I read with great interest your story.
My father who is still alive age 83 was a Chindit in the 42nd colum in Burma, he was in the Royal Engineers.
When he returned home he wieghed just seven stone and he still has terrible nightmares.
My father may well have been acquainted with your uncle I will take your story for him to read next week
Cynthia

Message 1 - uncle tommy

Posted on: 14 May 2004 by barrysmart

I was captivated by your story. My uncle Tommy fought in Burma. He always says he was part of the "forgotten army". I think he was in the Lancashire Fusiliers and fought alongside Indian troops against the Japanese. He was best man at my grandads wedding. He turned up on leave wearing his jungle hat and those great big shorts they used to issue. We still have a wedding photo somewhere. He is very skinny in the photo. Mind you he's still skinny now but he's still probably got more hair than me. Like you I am very proud to have met Tommy let alone be related to him. They are all real hero's and we must never forget.

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