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1st Battalion Seaforth Highlanders/23rd Indian Division

Discussion in 'Land Warfare in the Pacific' started by MCT, Nov 4, 2018.

  1. MCT

    MCT New Member

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    It is only in the last few days that some of the mysteries surrounding my late father-in-law have begun to unravel. My sister-in-law finally managed to find her parents marriage certificate which, fortunately, had on it her father's name, rank and serial number and the fact that he didn't change his surname until after the end of the war.

    From that information I was able to do some searching and discovered that he had been in the 1st Battalion Seaforth Highlanders (my husband and brother-in-law thought he was in the Camerons ,however, I found that the two were linked) and had served in Burma. We already knew that he had been a PoW and was very likely one of those prisoners who were part of the "Death Railway" although this and his time in the service were never really discussed. What records I have found online so far, not a lot, did however reveal that much to everyone's surprise was that he had been Mentioned in Dispatches. The MID was listed in the London Gazette in April 1945. There was, however, no indication as to what happened.

    The 1st Battalion Seaforth Highlanders joined the 1st Indian Brigade in the 23rd Indian Division in May 1942


    MID_R_Gardiner.jpg


    Whilst I never met my late father-in-law I do know that he was very secretive about his past and it is extremely likely that he suffered from what today would be called PTSD, he used to go away from time to time to the Erskine Hospital for either respite or treatment.

    I am hoping that I shall be able to get some more information to help put something together for my husband and his siblings.
     
  2. sonofacameron

    sonofacameron Member

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    Seems he has a Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) army number, suggesting he served with them before the Seaforths. What did he change his name to? as I can find no mention of him as a POW.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  3. sonofacameron

    sonofacameron Member

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    Found this possible match.
    Conflict World War 2
    Record set Prisoners Of War 1715-1945
    Archive reference WO 361/2069
    First name(s) R
    Last name Gardiner
    Year 1942
    Rank Lance Corporal
    Regiment -
    Country of imprisonment -
    Prison camp or ship -
    Archive The National Archives
    Document details Prisoners of war, Far East: 'letter' parties transferred overland, 1942
    Category Military, armed forces & conflict
    Subcategory Regimental & service records
    Collections from Great Britain, UK None


    and this
    Gardiner001.jpg
     
    Owen likes this.
  4. MCT

    MCT New Member

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    Thank you so much for this information it is much appreciated.

    The family certainly thought he was in the Cameronians as he was from Cambusnethan in Lanarkshire, a recruiting area for the Cameronians. I spoke with someone at the Seaforth museum and he said that we must have got it confused with Cameron Highlanders.

    As far as we can tell he changed it to Thomson around the time he got married, the other puzzle is that he was MID in April 1945 as L/Cpl but on his marriage certificate less than 12 months later he is shown as being:

    Private 3246893 Seaforth Highlander (fitter) - Robert Gardiner otherwise Thomson

    The 1942 record could very well be him as we believe that he was a PoW for 3 years. Is there anyway of knowing which camp he may have been taken to?
     

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