After the end of the Battle of Britain, the already highly trained Searchlight Units were surplus to requirements. Records are hard to follow some very cryptic possibly to protect the soldiers families in case of Invasion as they were to be sent behind enemy lines.

One such unit was formed from the 41st Battalion 5th North Staffs (Originally TA Volunteers). Unfortunately these soldiers are neither recognised by the Staffords Regiment or the Royal Artilery neither consider them part of their regiments due to their role change and historic records have also been unfair to them.

My father joined the 41st Battallion 5th North Staffs (TA) in 1938 as a Royal Engineer posted to 363 Company where he served until 1942 in this unit. They then were drafted to 126 light Anti Aircraft Regiment which supposedly never left the UK and then to the 60 Field Artilery Regiment all of which can be verified with copies of my fathers war records.

They were infact transported out to India under the Command of General Wingate and Brigadier Mike Calvert as part of the Chindits Special Forces 77th Brigade.

Attached is a photo of my father in his North Staffords Uniform and a pdf of the Company of men from the Seachlight Units who formed part of the Chindits, my father is one of the soldiers and the two officers in the front row are General Wingate and Brigadier Mike Calvert commanders of The Chindits.

© John Cooper.

My father in his North Staffords Uniform

My father in his North Staffords Uniform
© John Cooper 2011.

Company of men from the Seachlight Units who formed part of the Chindits

Company of men from the Seachlight Units who formed part of the Chindits. General Orde Wingate and Brigadier Mike Calvert can be seen in the center. © John Cooper 2011.