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History of the Burma Star Association

THE ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENT

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For some useful Royal West Kent Regiment links, please
CLICK HERE

Read about the RWKs at Kohima - Click Here for an extract from 'Ball of Fire - Kohima'

Click Here for Lee Sapsford's photographs of the RWKs

Click on photo for larger view

RWK training photograph

Troop photo


 
'L' Company 8th Btn RWK

Can you help with a search for old comrades of

THOMAS WALTER
Pow from Kent
Remember Thomas?  If you do, could you please CLICK HERE as you may be able to help his family
CPL GEORGE CHERRY Grandson Lee is seeking information on George who was in D Company 4th Btn.  If you can help, please click here
ARTHUR WILLIAM HEAD
(Batman to Tom Koath)
Does anyone remember anything about Arthur.  His daughter is trying to obtain some history of her father whilst he was in the Army. Please Click Here for more
GEORGE WILLIAM EDMONDS George sadly passed away in 2000 but his grand-daughter would love to hear from anyone who knew George. Click Here for more
RICHARD THOMAS FOLGATE Seeking information about Richard and the Regiment.  Please Click Here if you can help.
CSM BILL (Dennis) WYKES Bill would like to talk to his old comrades from the Tennis Court days. Please Click Here for more
RSM GEORGE 'GEORDIE' LYNAS Family seeking information. Please CLICK HERE if you can help
SGT RONALD STEWART Seeking information on Sgt Stewart.  Please CLICK HERE for further details
Lt. Victor King MC Seeking information on Lt/Capt King.  If you can help, please CLICK HERE
Richard "Dick" Ted CHAMBERS Private 14614481

If you can help, can you please click here

Private GEORGE BURTON 5829964 George fought at the Tennis court in Kohima - were you there with him.  If so, could you please CLICK HERE
 

The Royal West Kent Regiment - a brief history by Colin Chambers whose late Grandfather was with the Royal West Kents in Burma:

The 4th battalion Royal West Kent Regiment in Burma was part of the 161st Indian Infantry Brigade of the 2nd British
Division (the crossed keys emblem). They seemed to be involved mainly in the Arakan (the Southeast of Burma) then
won first prize in the division raffle of two weeks at club med Kohima (well I haven't been able to confirm the raffle bit yet
but to Kohima they did go). Comprising 18 officers and 426 men they were a vital part of the Kohima garrison which
was comprised mostly of under trained and under experienced units.

Kohima, directly after the RWKs arrived, came under siege by the Japanese 15th and 31st Divisions and remained cut
off for 14 days from 5th April 1944 to 19th April 1944. During this time a great deal of very nasty close quarters fighting
took place (including the battle of the tennis court). At the end of 14 days of continuous fighting with little food, water,
sleep, etc. they were in bad shape but victorious. RWK casualties were 199 wounded with 61 dead. Lance corporal
John Harmen was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his single handed charge into a Japanese bunker
killing all 5 Japanese soldiers who had had his company pinned down.

I do believe a sergeant King was present at Kohima but I don't have a christian name. If he was your King then he would
have been to hell and back.

Now at Kohima there is a memorial to those that lost their lives with the following epitaph:

WHEN YOU GO HOME,
TELL THEM OF US AND SAY,
FOR YOUR TOMORROW,
WE GAVE OUR TODAY.

On March 20 1945 British troops did liberate Mandalay. So he may also have been here, although I don't know if any
RWKs where at Mandalay.

If you can get hold of them the following books may be of some help:

"FROM KENT TO KOHIMA"; E,B,S Clark and A, T Tillot; 1951; Gale and Polden

"THE QUEEN'S OWN ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENT 1920-1950"; H,D Chaplin; 1954; Michael Joseph

The Regimental Museum is at:-

The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regimental Museum
Maidstone Museum and Art Gallery
St Faith's Street
Maidstone
Kent

 

 

 

Some useful links

http://www.digiserve.com/peter/rwk/

http://www.ean.co.uk/Data/Bygones/History/Article
/WW2/html/body_stand_at_kohima.htm

http://british-forces.com/world_war2/Campaigns/BurmaVictory.html

MAPS OF BURMA
................

Read about
THE KOHIMA EPITAPH
Click Here
 

Diary 1941-46

Battle Memories

 

Examples of WWII Japanese
propaganda 
Click Here
 

Read about the
Thanbyuzayat War cemetery
Click Here

A Nurses Story Click here