Meanwhile, 7th Battalion concentrated on securing,the
Kyunsalai Pass, and as the Monsoon Season took hold, had a
miserable time, taking 10 days to cover 35 miles, but secured
a notable success on May 22nd, when an ambush, led by Major
Lockett, claimed 50 lives.
The Brigade then moved towards Mokso Sakkan,
and as James Wileman records, "
"from then onwards the combination
of of weather, terrain and increasing sickness provided
the most difficult going of the whole terrain"
In August the decimated columns finally flew
out of Burma from Myitkyina, landing in Assam
Harold recovered, and was deemed fit to rejoin the fray, he
continually refused to be posted to the nearest regiment as
was the custom, insisting that he was "Special Forces"
and would only go back to the Leicesters, who by now (Aug.
/Sept. 1944) had been flown out of Burma.
due to the high number of casualties sustained by both the
7th Battalion and the 2nd battalion, the decision was made
to disband the 7th Battalion, and those deemed fit for further
active service would be posted to the 2nd Battalion, officially
the 7th Battalion ceased to exist at Bangalore, India on 31st
December 1944, an occasion marked by a somewhat epic party
joined the 2nd Battalion Harold resumed his civilian occupation
as a clerk, and ran a company office, being promoted to Lance
Battalion were being trained for deployment in Malaysia, a
deployment that was unnecessary due to the Japanese surrender
on 2nd September 1945.
This is an actual size Christmas
message sent to Harold by his colleagues at Holwell Works
Iron Foundry, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, Christmas 1944.
These messages were photographed and transferred to microfilm
to save weight before being flown to India.
To view a larger image click