1st Bn XX Lancashire Fusiliers


Dehra Dun



1st Bn Chindits 77 Brigade
Just after their extraction after the battle of Mogaung, many looking emaciated and many not on the pic dead or in hospital"

Click on photo to see it super size
This was taken only a couple of weeks after they were evacuated after Mogaung, so shows some of these officers are extremely thin still. My father Ray Cooper is back row 4th from the left. 5th from right back row " Lt J A Dixon"6th from right " Lt Basil H Green"
Mike Calvert in the middle.

Lord Wavell inspecting LFs Lucknow 1946
Fifth man from camera front rank is Ron Shakespeare.
click on photo to enlarge it

The photo collection of Albert Mottershead
Sent in byWayne Mottershead I’m the son of Albert Mottershead he served in the 1st Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers in Lucknow India between 1946 / 1947 he was in C Coy. He is 84 his eyes are not to good he tells me about his time in the Fusiliers all the time I served with the Grenadier Guards (poor lad Ed)
for 22 years so there is a lot of banter

The photo collection of 2Lt Lew Lovelady 1946
in a slide show presentation

HQ Coy click on photo to see large version

B Coy Orbat click to enlargeat

2yrs with 1st Battalion The Lancashire Fusiliers

Cpl F Whittaker "B" Company Clerk (1945-1947)

May I say at the outset that I was not a career soldier and until being drafted to the Army after RAF Aircrew awaiting training, I had not heard of the Lancashire Fusiliers.
After initial training I ended up at 6ITC Berwick on Tweed and Alnwick where the three regiments represented there were The West Yorkshire Regiment, The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and the Lancashire Fusiliers. As a born and bred Lancashire man, (Chorley, Lancs) my destination was the LFs. My age determined my destination after training, which meant that having turned 19, five days before 1st Sept., it was to be the Far East, with the designated unit the 1st Battalion The Lancashire Fusiliers.
By this time the war was over so there were no great worries as to where we went, so we sailed to India on the MV Georgic on 5th Sept 1945,arriving in India at about the 18th. After about ten days in the transit camp at Kalyan, we entrained for Lucknow and the 1st Battalion. Lucknow of course being one of the battle honours dating from the Indian Mutiny (Or uprising as they liked to call it) 1857
We were met at the railway station by transport and the RSM who soon made it known who was in charge. Little did I realise that that was probably the last time we would call him the RSM, but Kitna to all and sundry. For any one not having served in India, the urdu for asking the price of anything was "Kitna pice", so it was not a big leap to the nick name Kitna Price.
We duly arrived at our barracks which was the old stables of a cavalry regiment in Dilkusha gardens which were not very promising. The floors were very uneven and there were no fitted punkhas. The gardens bit was the name of the area, not the position of our billet. Later in 1945 we were moved to much more comfortable quarters which had been the original 131 Indian Hospital. These quarters were much better and consisted of a block for each company. The layout was typical of a hospital with what would have been a ward at each side of a communal area and two offices in the middle. I would estimate that each block would hold 80 men. The beds were also of hospital type made from webbing rather than seagrass. The buildings were all raised from the ground and had verandas, so it was a good protection from some of the nasties such as snakes
We were split into various companies and my home for the next 2yrs. was "B" Company. The company commander at the time was Major Porter. I had been made a draft conducting L/Cpl and I was allowed to keep the rank. Very shortly afterwards I was offered the position as company clerk which was a position I cherished for the rest of my service.
As the war had ended, the battalion became an independent battalion with nothing very onerous in the way of duties which consisted mainly of field training, route marches and the inevitable drill parades generally conducted by Kitna himself. There was the battalion drill parade on Wednesdays and the COs or adjutants drill parade on Saturday. Often in between there were individual company drill parades also conducted by Kitna. These were something to be feared as because of the smaller numbers you could get individual attention which was not a nice experience.
Kitna had a fearsome reputation, but I found that if you kept your nose clean there was nothing to fear He was a man with a sense of humour and I always thought that you could detect a slight smile at some of his comments which he found a joke. During one of the company drill parades, Kitna was again prowling close to the front rank when, pointing with his cane almost up the nose of a fusilier, he said "What's your name boy?" He answered "Price Sir" He took a few moments to digest this and then moved to another fusilier who was also Price. He took a few moments to think about this and said "Are you a company of Prices There is only one Price in this army dismiss. So, short drill parade.
Apart from the usual drill parades, the subaltern, officers received their own drill parade to bring them up to scratch. At one time my office was situated near what was called the drill shed, but I think it was originally a mess hall which was really only protection from the sun. Kitna always carried a heavy cane which he positioned close to the nose of an offender when he was berating him, in this case a very junior officer. His retort was, " You're a funny little man aren't you---- ------------SIR"
The outstanding event of 1945 was the visit and inspection by the Viceroy of India Field Marshal Wavell. Drill preparations for this were very intense right up to the day. When the battalion was lined up, the bearers (servants) were marched round to dust off boots. The inspection and march past went off without incident. The viceroy stayed at the governor's residence and a guard was mounted composed of NCOs only.
As a matter of interest the following is a copy of "B" Company distribution which I have filched from the photo album of 2nd Lt Lovelady and dated Jan 1946. I actually typed this roll call and I retype it for clarity if anyone is interested. It was typed on a very old Royal typewriter in dire need of a new ribbon, and we never had white paper but something closely resembling brown paper.

"B" Company Distribution (About Jan, 1946)

Coy. Commander,
Capt Waltho
Lt Williams
C.S.M. Toft
Sgt Wilkinson
Coy. Clerk
L/Cpl Whittaker
Fus Henzell
Store man
Fus McGovern
Arms Kote Orderly
Fus Scarborough
Cpl. Dubber
Fus Naylor
Regimentally Employed
Fus Ames
No. 5 Platoon
2Lt Lovelady
L/Sgt Sparrow
Batman Fus. Knight

4 Section
Cpl Donley
Fus Nickisson

5 Section
Cpl Bradbury
Fus Stribley

6 Section
L/Cpl Wall
L/Cpl McGowan
Fus Stone

No. 6 Platoon
Lt Wightman
Sgt Sanderson
Batman Fus Horswill

7 Section
Cpl Shaw
Fus Shakespeare

8 Section
Cpl Culleton
Fus Kean

9 Section
L/Cpl Ball
Fus Ashurst



When comparing this roll with my photo of "B" Company in August 1946, it will be seen that Demob had created a big gap in the numbers. A lot of this was due to the fact that it was not known what might happen with independence looming in 1947.
Things became so bad that we had a new draft about May 1947. This was not a good time to start in India as this draft had been flown out straight into the approaching hot weather.
Late in 1945 a battalion athletics team was formed. I was in the team and could manage a mile in 4.50, but we had no proper training, so when it came to competitive matches against other units, we did not fare well, particularly the RAF units in Cawnpore who had a much bigger squad and obviously better practice and training facilities, so it seemed to die a death. My other venture into running was as part of our team whilst in Mirzapur, running a cross country against an Indian regiment, the Lingayats. This was not the cross country as we know it. It was over a very rough course of about five miles over hills which were mainly sharp rocks. Needless to say we did not fare well and our feet told the story.
Also in late 1945, a band was form under the leadership of Sgt. Bob Bentham who hailed from the village of Copull, not far from where I was brought up. Being a mining area there was of course a big brass band presence. The band initially was just fifes and drums and they made a good show of it. I don't remember it developing into anything much bigger after the arrival of a peace time bandmaster by the name of Bandmaster Elliot, but it was certainly used in Church parades etc.
There was not a lot to do in Lucknow, and occasionally swimming parties were held. I put my name down for one of these and assembled at the guard room as required for the transport to take us to the venue. We arrived at the United services club where the parties had been held before, but the caretaker knew nothing about us, be we could have a swim anyway. The following morning I was summoned to Kitna's office not knowing what it was about. He had assumed that as I was the senior rank I had been in charge, but he accepted that I had no movement order and that I expected that the driver would know the venue. He said "Brigadier Stables wife was not pleased with me". Two weeks later, a notice appeared on Bn orders stating that a further swimming party was to be held and "Cpl Whittaker will be in charge of the party. He issued personal instructions to me and said, "You WILL enjoy yourselves won't you? Give me your report at nine a.m. tomorrow.
A further ceremonial parade was held on the 2nd July 1946 for the visit of field Marshal Auchinlech. For some reason this was held on Lucknow polo ground rather than on our grounds. This might have been a joint parade but I don't remember, but there was nothing like the ceremony that there was for Wavell.
A victory parade was also held at the polo ground which was supposed to be a silent drill parade but it was of course ordered by Kitna . I thought that Kitna was behind but someone else has posted that he was in the ranks but that could well be. All I really remember was a cloud of white blanco dust in the searchlights, on the" present arms"
I remember winter training camps being carried out at Kukrail which was a derelict village about 14 miles outside Lucknow. I had not made a record of these but I suspect that they were about Jan 1946 and Jan 1947. The first one consisted of simple field exercises but the second one had much more field firing. In the second camp I was in the advance party setting up the obstacle course and acted in the weapon training section, the discharger cup firing point, and firing a Bren gun on fixed lines over the obstacle course. If Lt Lovelady still views these posts he may be able to confirm the dates.
A further training camp was arranged to take place in Rhanikhet, a peace time station about 7,000 ft above sea level. The transport to this station consisted of a train journey to Kathgodam, the nearest railhead, followed by a road trip in local buses for about 40 miles. Quite a hair-raising experience with the steep drop at the side. The accommodation here was very good and in front of my office was an open area which you could possibly call a garden, complete with fountain. The fountain worked, but there was no circulation pump so the water just went green. The terrain was so steep that it was deemed impossible for any training. It was thought a good idea that a dental inspection should be carried out to get dental treatment up to date. I think the dentist was out of practice, as five people needed hospital treatment, so the idea was abandoned.
Late in 1946 a typical Kina episode occurred. There had been a rape or assault or something in the town and an identity parade was to be held with no exemptions. The parade ground area was vast and the parade area was at least 100yds from the nearest billet. Suddenly a fusilier appeared about 300 yds away, probably a cook who had been on early duty. Everyone knew that Kitna had spotted him and waited to see what would happen. It seemed ages for the man to approach the billet and I think he knew he was being watched. As he mounted the veranda, Kitna waited until his foot was just reaching the top step when he let out his usual "SOLDIER!! Double over here" and gave him the biggest ear bashing ever.
By this time, early 1947, Capt Waltho had been replaced by Major Trevor-Roper, brother of the historian who wrote "The Last Days of Hitler. Also I think Lt Col Acland had been demobbed and was replaced by a Lt Col whose name I don't remember.
As we approached the day of Independence, it was not known to the Ors, what would happen to the battalion, and whether there would be any problem with the locals, but also at this time I had been offered LIAP, (Leave in advance of repatriation) I was of course very glad to accept this, and I was to leave a few days after Independence, not knowing what was to happen to the battalion afterwards. As it happens there was no trouble, and the flag on the residencywhich had flown night and day since the mutiny was quietly removed with no fuss. In my photo album I enclose a copy of the published report, which appeared in the local Pioneer newspaper, and also I think from the Daily Express although this was only an agency report.
I passed through the old HBTD (Homeward bound trooping Depot) at Deolali pronounced Doolalli as in the well-known saying "Doolali tap" referring to men returning to the UK affected by the sun. I returned to the transit camp at Liverpool to find out about our movement. We were shocked to find that we were to be sent to the Canal Zone, although we knew that our demob number had been frozen in Southampton the day before. On the boat, no one seemed to know we were there when we queried stops at Gibraltar and Malta, but we were told that we would have to get off at Port Said, as the boat was going no further. We spent about 10weeks up and down the canal zone until eventually we got our original posting to the 2nd Bn The King's Own at Quassassin just as they were moving out to Fayid There, we found that the battalion had been split up with the young regulars being drafted to the King's Own, whilst conscripts went to the UK with the Battalion, to Wem in Shropshire
Thus ended my time with The Lancashire Fusiliers. I joined with some trepidation but would not have missed it for the worlds, Kitna and all.

Isn't it wonderful to have found Frank who knew David Biddy's father in the 1st Bn all those years ago?

Frank has replied to David as follows:-

Replies to David Bibby queries

Yes I confirm that your father was with the 1st Bn LFs. In fact in “B” company, where I was company clerk. I remember this draft arriving and I did in fact march them from the guardroom to the billets. Kitna being Kitna could not resist a shout from about 100yds “ Get a grip on those men Cpl.”
In fact if you look in my photo album, he is in the group of “B” company at Rhanikhet 1947.
Also I am in your dad’s photo album on pae 2. I am the one without the shirt.
After 6 Infantry Training corps at Berwick on Tweed it is likely that he would have gone to Alnwick for more advance training.
The company was not based in Rhankhet but went there for about 6 weeks for a summer training camp. Rhankhet being in the Himalayas, it was much cooler of course, and was of course a peace time hill station. The terrain was too difficult for ordinary so it was more like a holiday.
As you say, duties in Lucknow consisted of internal security but there was very little action. There was an occasional show of force in the city (which was out of bounds)
Composed of about 3, 3ton trucks fully loaded with armed men but without a round of ammunition between them. I did not experience any great anti British feeling; most of the disputes seemed to be between the Hindus and Muslims.
He would be a Bren gunner within an infantry section.
The one and two star ratings are pay scales as a measure of efficiency
Believe me you can believe any stories about Kitna, and then some!
The geographical locations A to B would be within the city of Lucknow, which is an extremely large cantonement and was out of bounds to us. There may have been tripe to other cities like Cawnpore about 48 miles away, but I don’t personally remember them
As your father said, King’s Commissioned Indian officers where to be given the same respect as British officers, but I didn’t see much of this happening.
My experience of first medical inspection before call up was a one to one with a M.O at Preston Lancs but this could vary in different towns I suppose. There was one man I remember, who would fit the bill, but I think he was a good bit older and possibly had been with the Chindits
On your photo album, Page three, Very Likely Rhanikhet. I never saw so much scrub in Lucknow
Page five, No this is Lucknow
Page six. Your dad was a big pal of Bill Fryer and they were always together. Maybe from civvy street or during their training.
Page Nineteen. Yes Kathgodam railway station. Nearest railhead to Rhanikhet. The buses had no windows and the seats were slatted wood.
Page 21. Probably near Rhanikhet. There were many small rivers within reach but I notice the people on the picture are Indians so might not have been on a walk. The rivers were snowmelt from the higher hills.
Page 23 Good picture, which I haven’t seen before. My office was in the centre of the low block on the right.. The fountain I mention in my profile can just be seen at middle left
Page 24 Looks like the officers married quarters at Rhanikhet. I remember they were perched on a steep hillside.
Page 26 and 27. As t the road from Kathgodam. The road continued like this for 48 miles and climbed and then dropped almost to plain level., sometimes with a very steep drop at the side.
Page 29. Almost certainly Field Marshall Auchinlech
Page 30 This looks like a platoon photo rather then a company photo. Almost certainly at Rhanikhet.

The link below takes you to the pics Frank refers to.


Click on photo to go to the Ronnie Turner Feature
" Any India veterans recognise this Officer?
This is Captain Basil Marchant-Smith who passed away August 4th 2004.

If you can help please contact Joe.
The Navy chap is his twin brother.
Any info on this fine LF would be appreciated

He was posted to one of the LF Battalions in India in early 1945, just before Japan surrendered.

He then volunteered for Malaya to fight in the Malayan Jungle

These next 3 Photos have been sent in by C/Sgt Arthur Davenport
via Eddie Potts
Does anyone remember
James Cragg

Any information, dates, duty, training, journey would be most welcome, did Ron. know him
see next Photo 7B ?


Fusilier 14778048 James (Jimmy) Cragg
1st Bn Lancashire Fusiliers
Died 8th May, 1945 in India aged 36 years from Cholera
Buried in Delhi War Cemetery, India

back row 8th from the left that’s me Ronnie Turner

first row standing 6th from the left is Ronnie Turner and sat at the front 5th from the left,“Chindit Bob” from St Helens,

These 3 photos have been sent in by
George Elliott
son of
WO1 W.A.

WO1 W.A. Elliot
But are these his children

Where is this

"1LF Winners of Victoria Carnival Cup 1945."

Jim Brookes, Roy Edwards and Eric Wild at Lucknow


These next photos have been sent in by Ron Wright who's father was Bill Wright

Hi Joe

I enclose only a couple of pictures, the rest are past it however they do show your regiment and we were located somewhere in Lucknow. We certainly visited or lived near the following.
Dhera Dun - Naini Tal - Jullunder.
I went to school in Dhera dun.
I recall we had a bungalow and were there during the some of the riots.

I also had an emergency operation during our stay and left part of my anatomy and my appendix, which was kindly removed at the same time.
I remember it vividly, and wish I could meet the surgeon who performed the operation and saved my life.

I suspect the spelling of the Indian names may not be correct, for that I apologise . My father I understand was at that time a Colonel, but at the end of the war dropped his rank to Major to join the Australian Army.

He then went into the Diplomatic Service, and actually was in charge of the Queens security during her visit in the 80’s?

Well that's it, except thank you for your help.
Ron Wright


Eddie Holmes
part of his diary when he was India

A Walk In The Sun

About the month of June / 1947 our platoon (3inch Mortars) were sent, with others, to the hill station of Rhaniket from our barracks in Lucknow India. Rhaniket is a village in the foothills of the Himalaya about 7,000 feet above sea level. The accommodation was quite reasonable and consisted of a ground and upper storey wooden building with a veranda around the higher floor. What views ! One such view was of the highest mountain between us and the snow capped heights of the Himalaya proper. This feature has twin peaks and is named Bahtkot East and Bahtkot West. The height of this mountain is 9,050 feet. See my position. Here I am a greenhorn youth from the Docklands of Salford. The scenery was awe inspiring, breath taking, magnificent and any other superlatives you can think of. Day in, day out my mucker and I, Fus Dunne stared and stared across the valley to these far away peaks. So much so they became known in the platoon as The Dunne Holmes Peaks.
The obsession in the mountain grew, so much so we approached the Platoon Commander, Capt Armitage, for permission to go and climb this feature between us and the snow caps of the distant landscape. The good news was, he agreed. The bad news was he insisted in coming and anyone else who wished to do so could volunteer. Further bad news was Capt Armitage also insisted come what may we had only 5 days to get there and back and of course we had to carry 5 days supply of food. The Platoon Commander insisted also that we took with us, our rifles and 10 rounds of ammunition. I decided to keep a diary of our Walk In the Sun

The Diary

1st Day Tuesday June 1947
Set off, 06-16 hrs Party consists of :-
Capt Armitage. Sgt's Gallagher & Willis
Cpl Neil. L/Cpl's Everett, Legg and Holmes.
Fus's Baker, Turner, Dunne, Griffiths, Brockley,
Stopforth, Riley and Short.

1st Stop Not recorded.
2nd Stop. 08-00hrs. Distance covered 6 miles.
Pace will have to be slowed down a bit. The road is good but the load is heavy. Fus Short has a definite disliking for this pace. My own feet are a little sore.
3rd Stop. 08-45hrs Distance covered 7 ½ miles.
We have not yet contacted the path. I hope we have not passed it.
Everyone is a little tired but this is not unnatural with our load.
Morale Report. In general, still OK.
Individual As yet no single person is cheesed off : Fus Short promises Fus Baker a pint in Somerset.
4th Stop 09-25hrs Distance covered 8 ½ miles.
The going has not improved any because of the road beginning to rise. We have stopped fairly soon after the last stop. Reason: We think we have finally contacted the path. WE HOPE.

Morale report OK.
Individual Still no one on their knees.
Stop press Definitely the path, only another 20 miles!
5th Stop. 10-15 hrs Distance covered 9 ½ miles.
Going down the path is quite opposite to the road. We have got to hold ourselves from running.
Morale report. OK
Individual. Everyone is looking forward to arriving in the valley.
6th Stop 10-55hrs Distance covered 10 ½ miles.
Needing a little sustenance We had a few raisins. We have not yet arrived at our first destination.
Morale report. No declension
My first water bottle is nearly empty. Fus Griffiths claims we must reach the top and that we can't have failure. We'll see.
7th Stop 11-50hrs My feet are MILO. I have been carrying Sgt Willis's big pack and believe me he has done well to carry it so far. It's much heavier than mine.
Morale report. Still OK.
8th Stop 12-30hrs Distance covered 12 ½ miles.
Just found that I have got a large blister under my right heel although it is not sore yet. L/Cpl Everett has had bad feet for many miles and he even told me he was thinking of going back tomorrow. I have noticed the difficulty he has found in marching.

To sum up The Days March.

The going has never been easy and considering the very heavy load we are carrying I consider
we have done fairly well to travel approx 12 ½ miles in 6 ½ hourd.
Further Note
Have found out that there are quite a few with blisters and our acting Med orderly, Fus Turner
had quite a busy time treating the march wounds.
Part 2
Notes It has been decided that the people who do not want to go on through
having blisters or other things can stay behind and act as a base whilst the rest carry on tomorrow, Wednesday, in light battle order. Eight people decided to carry on they are :- Sgt Gallagher, Cpl Neild , L/Cpl Holmes, Fus's Turner, Dunne, Griffiths and Baker. In Sgt's Willis favour it will be noted that he wanted to go but one of the two Sgts had to stay behind so they tossed for it and Sgt Willis lost.
Further notes. The distance estimated to the peak from here is about 18 miles or slightly
under. Our intention is set off about 06-00hrs. I suggested a couple of hours night marching if we
are that much away from the peak top at the end of tomorrows march. The idea was cried down
by many of the party but one or two did agree that as it was a full moon it would
help us to cover the distance. There are two persons not going now and personally I think they
should not have decided to go in the first place. The reason is they are in a bad way
with either their shoulders or their feet. The people concerned are Sgt Gallagher and Fus Turner.
Sgt Willis is now going in place of Sgt Gallagher.

2nd Day Wednesday June 1947. Set off 06-35hrs
1st Stop 07-20hrs Distance covered 3 miles.
A definite noticeable difference in our load. Headway pretty good. Having difficulty in keeping to the path we have been forced to march along the river bed. Everyone is sweating a little owing to there being no breeze. Weather is so far in our favour. This is important, as we have left our ground sheets behind.
Morale report OK.
2nd Stop 08-10hrs Distance covered 6 miles.
Still going OK though we are getting many obstacles in the form of rocks and streams. Fus Dunne's feet are not treating him too good. We are only a little tired yet but we are far from disheartened. My vest and shirt are soaking in sweat. Capt Armitage is doubtful about us making the top. For myself I am not ready to judge our possibilities.
Morale report Still good.

3rd Stop. 09-05 Distance covered 9 miles.
Still plodding along the riverbed. Not doing too bad at all. We are obviously in country not often visited by the army because all the inhabitants keep coming out to see us. At present I can hear a bagpipe playing. Here of all places, and what a noise! Here comes another Piper playing something that sounds like Georgia. My feet are doing fine but they are far from being perfect. We have just discovered the real name of the Peak. It is Bahthot West.

General Notes. It is now obviously not possible to reach the top with the time we have or with the food we have. From this spot alone the estimated time needed to get to the top and back here, is 3 days. We are about ¾ of a mile from the nearest part of the hill. This fact is very disappointing but we all agree that to carry on our attempt would be foolish . There are two ways open to us now. These are 1) To carry on for 5 or 6 miles until we come back to a Tea Garden and stay there for the night and 2) to make our way back to the base camp. We chose the latter because we agree there is no point in marching on and having to retrace our steps tomorrow without any appreciable gain other than ground covered. After a couple of hours rest we are going to make our way back to the base camp and if possible get back tonight. This we may not do as we intend to go rather easy on our return journey. This may mean camping about 3 or 4 miles from our base. Anyway time will tell what will happen tonight.

Sadly there are only 2 days of this diary available as the original and typed copies are lost. I still have, somewhere a couple or so photographs taken on our walk. To finish where the diary left off we did reach base camp and had a great day before climbing back up over our hill to rejoin our colleagues in Rhaniket. As a tailpiece I think the funniest memory must be on the first day descending from Rhaniket and Capt Armitage having to constantly pick up a 7 pound tin of peas that kept falling off the top of his big pack where it was very poorly balanced.
I often think Where are they now ? and whether they still enjoy

Click here to see the
Photo's of the Walk in the sun