On 14 June 1943, the 14th Indian Division was converted to a Training Division. It was stationed at Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh, where the terrain and vegetation matched the conditions likely to be encountered in Burma, but the comparatively mild climate allowed training throughout the year. The division was commanded by Major General Alfred Curtis. Although its purpose was to supply jungle-trained reinforcements to Fourteenth Army which controlled operations on India's eastern frontier and in Burma, it reported directly to GHQ India under General Claude Auchinleck.
Recruits who had already received basic training in regimental depots were posted to units in 14th Division, to undertake jungle training and live-firing exercises. On completion of this advanced training, they were then assigned to divisional replacement camps, ready to report to their units when required.
This is a theatre produced paper Christmas Card, wishing "A Merry Christmas and a Jappy (sic) New Year to All Ranks". Dated21 December 1943 and signed by Maj Gen Alfred Curtis, Comd. 14 Ind Div and with some pencil initials presumably from some of the "All Ranks". On the other side, once folded, it shows it was addressed to W.H.B. Mirrless (MGRA) and J.W. English (RRACC). Folded, as intended, a few small stains otherwise in very good condition.
Maj.-Gen. William Henry Buchanan Mirrlees was born in 1892. He was the son of William Julius Mirrlees and Emily Lina Moncrieff. He married Iris Irma Leveson-Gower, daughter of Sir George Granville Leveson-Gower and Hon. Adelaide Violet Cicely Monson, on 5 January 1922. He and Iris Irma Leveson-Gower were divorced in 1928. He married Frances Warrington Peyrigné Lalanne, daughter of Frank Dale Lalanne, on 17 August 1931. He died on 22 October 1964. He was decorated with the award of the Companion, Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O.) He was invested as a Companion, Order of the Bath (C.B.) He gained the rank of Major-General in the service of the Royal Artillery. He was decorated with the award of the Military Cross (M.C.)(https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Mirrlees-1)
1953 Coronation of QE2: Stanley Gibbons Red Commemorative Album with Full Set of 106 Stamps. Some small marks and blemishes to covers. Contents all in very good condition with no obvious blemishes. Samples of stamps/pages shown in photos.
A scarce reminder of trouble times in China in the late 1920s and early 1930s. A 39 page pocket sized booklet in blue car covers. Some damage to corners and a bit grubby but contents clean and tight. Staples rusted as usual. Alphabetically organised to avoid the need for a contents list or index. A fascinating insight into the life of the regular soldier in far flung China - Fur caps will be worn in Winter months, all brothels are 'out of bounds', etc.
Annotated to front "W. Richardson A &SH".
The 2nd Battalion remained at home until 1927 when they went to Jamaica for two years followed by four years in Hong Kong and China. They then moved to India in 1933 where they remained until just before the outbreak of war when they sailed for Malaya.
China Command was a pre-war independent command, responsible for the British possessions of Hong Kong and Kowloon, and the British concessions in the Chinese cities of Shanghai and Tientsin.
It would be nigh impossible today to put together a collection as comprehensive as this. I will let the photos speak for themselves. Those on the squared grid card are glued down. The others are loose mounted in a stamp retaining strip. There is a small strip of regimental ribbon included, probably taken from a Xmas card and a Players cigarette card. 29 items in total. Some wear to crests as would be expected with their age.
A wonderful item in great condition for age, from 'Billy' - one formation sign has a small annotated cross next to it, presumably Billy was identifying to the recipient his unit. Minor corner wear, otherwise in very good condition. It lists the Division's battles since the commencement of the war (being read by an irate German General), and finishes with offering Compliments of the 'Seizing'. The card is professionally produced, made in Manchester and printed by George Falkner & Sons of 170 Deansgate. But the best of all is the divisional formation signs, printed in colour. I will leave somebody else to the joy of putting the correct unit to the correct sign!
Interestingly those on the card bear little if any resemblance to the colour breakdown of signs published in the divisional history in 1926 (The Eighth Division in the War 1914-1918), reproduced in the Formation Sign 233 p10 January 2009 (I will provide a scan of this with the card).
Very scarce document in black frame and behind glass. I have not taken it out so I do not know if it is cut down, glued in or loose. Of great interest to anybody who owns his medals or the Northumberland Fusilier collector. Frame is Circa 34.5cm tall and 21.5cm wide).
Will post to a UK address only on account of the glass frame.
His Obituary and portrait photograph appeared in the 1937 St George's gazette (a photocopy of this will be provided). He died 15th August 1937 at Harrogate. Served with the 2nd NF in Boer War and after - joining the 1st Battalion in India in 1908. He commanded a company of the 2nd Battalion in the First War, with whom he was severely wounded in the Hozenzollern Redoubt in 1915. He was mentioned in despatches, and as well as receiving the DSO, was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour. He retired shortly after the war ended. An important piece of ephemera to a long serving Northumberland Fusilier Officer.
His MIC (copy to be provided), confirms 1914-15 trio entitement with emblems, entering France on 18th January 1915. His last appointment was to No 5 Cadet Wing RAF as a Lieutenant Colonel.
Not in the greatest condition with a small section torn out on the left side, it has been heavily folded at some time and the royal crest has darkened with nicotine or heat damage (from a fireplace?). It is a tad grubby, Still it is to an MM winner on the most infamous of days, the 1st July 1916. So if you have his medals this is certainly for you! Somebody has added his key details on the reverse in pencil. Other sources confirm as follows:
'The Durham Light Infantry and the Somme 1916' by John Bilcliffe
Part 3, 15th Battalion DLI, Robson, John William, 22147, MM (footnote 233 - for action on 1 July and Shelter Wood ( "Durham Forces in the Field" p48). Died of wounds 21 September 1916. (Copy of Part 3 extract to be provided).
Part 4, 15th Battalion, Battle of Flers-Courcelette, 10th September 1916, Died of Wounds: Robson, 22147, Lance Corporal John William, MM. (Copy of Part 4 extract to be provided).
MIC for WW1 medals confirms 1914-15 Trio, entering France on 11th September 1915, and his MM plus annotated as 'dead'. His MIC for his Military Medal as London Gazette 23 August 1916 (copy provided of LG entry and both of his MIC cards).
CWGC website confirms Lance Corporal J.W. Robson MM, was 15th (Service) Battalion DLI, and died 21st September 1916 aged 28 . He was from Shotton Colliery and Trimdon Grange, County Durham. He was most likely a miner and married to Isabella (Copy of CWGC certificate to be provided).
In good condition with message in pen from Fred to his mother. The card was produced by 2nd TAF Welfare. Some light staining and marks but in generally good condition.
2TAF was formed on 1 June 1943 as HQ Tactical Air Force from Army Co-operation Command, in connection with preparations then in train to invade Europe a year later. It took units from both Fighter Command and Bomber Command in order to form a force capable of supporting the 21st Army Group in the field.
The 2nd TAF, equipped with rocket- and bomb-carrying Typhoons, Tempests, Spitfires, Mosquitos, Mustangs and medium bombers, flew ground attack and tank-busting missions in support of Montgomery's 21st Army Group as it advanced through Normandy from D-Day and on into north-west Europe in 1944-45, as evidenced by the journey of liberation depicted in this Christmas card.
Three original documents relating to the same man, his skippers' certificate dated 1898, a competency certificate dated 1912 and his warrant as a temporary Skipper in the RNR dated 16th April 1915.
Accompanying the above is a copy of his 2 page wartime service record which confirms the trawlers and base ships which he served on plus other personal details. Born in Hull in 1867. His medals will be out there somewhere!
Condition as per photo. RB cigarettes.
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