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Thread: Corporal Albert French,Burma

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Thanked 3 Times in 2 Posts

    Default Re: Corporal Albert French,Burma

    After further enquiries I have obtained the following information.

    Within the records of 4 WOU is a 16 page (at least, I don’t have it all, only that relating to Corporal French) appendix titled

    “ History of The Withdrawal In The Face Of The Enemy Of The Advanced Observer Posts”

    It describes in some detail including diagrams the withdrawal and routes taken by AOP no’s 212 to 215 north
    and 210,211 west.

    The 4 missing airmen were from post 211 at Kyauktaw., each post had 9 or 10 airmen.

    From that record:

    “17:00 hours 7th March Corporal French and a couple of Sepoys had been out to investigate the movements of enemy some distance away, in which the party shot a Japanese troop…The Corporal I/C Post…told to bring his men to Apaukwa..
    The men proceeded by Sampan….A day of waiting at Apaukwa….at 1900 hours the column of troops after shooting some 400 mules started to march in the direction of Kangauk. The armed men in the rear. muleteers unarmed in the centre….immediately before them more armed men.
    After about an hour the muleteers took fright and rushed back upon the rear…great confusion in the semi darkness.
    On reassembly it was observed that Corporal French I/C Post and Sergeant Webster ( R.Sigs) and one other signalman were missing.

    As a result of this disturbance the head of the column had outstripped the rear. At about 2100 hours the party in the rear was challenged from ahead and fired upon without time for a reply.
    A.C.Ord was shot in the shoulder…A.C Clarke, subsequently missing, had been wounded in both ankles. Clarke in great pain was carried by his companions in pairs and then by muleteers.

    A.C Doherty and A.C.Walker struck off during the fracas….eventually made their separate ways to Buthidaung.

    Having reformed the body moved forward once more…at about 0530 hours 9th March an enemy machine gun and mortar held up the column once more….Personnel were handed grenades and told to lob them over towards the machine gun and rush past the side track in which it was concealed.. Two airmen AC’s Dalton and Reynolds were last seen crouching behind Capt. Marshal ready for their turn to rush by.
    A.C.Clarke was last seen being cared for by medical personnel who were part of the column.

    The reformed party proceeded and arrived at Buthidaung without further incident”

    There are statements in the appendices from survivors which detail of their own experiences, in particular that of A.C.2 Plowman of 211,which is 3 pages long.

    I would like to thank all who have contributed, in particular Don Clark, whose post set me on the right path.

  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Eric2480 For This Useful Post:

    Don Clark (3rd August 2021),Jagan (17th May 2021)

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