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British Mess Tin, 1940 ~ Named to 1st Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment

Article about: My latest addition is this lovely British Mess Tin named to J.W. Swann of the Leicestershire Regiment. I love items with a Leicestershire connection and this one is special because it can be

  1. #1

    Default British Mess Tin, 1940 ~ Named to 1st Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment

    My latest addition is this lovely British Mess Tin named to J.W. Swann of the Leicestershire Regiment.

    I love items with a Leicestershire connection and this one is special because it can be traced.

    Private J.W. Swann served with the Leicestershire Regiment in the 1930s and during WWII. He was with 1st Battalion in the Malayan campaign of 1941-1942 and was taken prisoner by the Japanese upon the fall of Singapore on 15th February 1942.

    14th March 1942: reported to the War Office Casualty Section as 'Missing' (Casualty List No. 771).
    He was taken to 'Main Camp of Malai POW Camp' at Changi, Singapore and from here may have been transferred to one of the many Japanese 'Work Group' camps along the Burma Railway.

    He was liberated on 30th August, 1945.

    1st October 1945: reported as 'Not being Prisoner of War' (Casualty List No. 1872) having been previously reported as 'Prisoner of War' (Casualty List No. 1253).

    The stories this item could tell!

    A bit more about the Leicesters in the Far East:
    At the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, 1st Battalion was in India and 2nd Battalion in Palestine, engaged in the Arab rebellion. At home the two Territorial Battalions, the 1/5th and the 2/5th, had been mobilised. By the time the war had ended the Regiment’s battalions had served in action in every theatre of the war, a record which is claimed to be unique.
    The 1st Battalion remained in India until February 1941 when it moved to Penang. In May it sailed for the mainland of Malaya and was stationed at Sungei Patani. When Japan declared war on 7 December 1941, the Battalion was in position at Jitra. On the night of the 10/11 December, contact was made with the enemy and from then on the Battalion was continually in action until the final surrender of Singapore in February 1942. During this time the Battalion fought hard and well against a little known enemy. Groups of men were continually being cut off, but in most cases fought their way back to the main body. Due to heavy casualties in both Battalions, on 20 December the 1st Battalion amalgamated with the 2nd Battalion The East Surrey Regiment to form the famous 'British Battalion'. Actions which will always be remembered were fought at Jitra, Kampar, Bata-Pa-Hat and Gurun Road.
    When the British Commonwealth Forces in Singapore surrendered to the Japanese in February 1942, men of the Battalion became prisoners of war until 1945.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture British Mess Tin, 1940 ~ Named to 1st Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment   British Mess Tin, 1940 ~ Named to 1st Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment  

    British Mess Tin, 1940 ~ Named to 1st Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment   British Mess Tin, 1940 ~ Named to 1st Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment  

    British Mess Tin, 1940 ~ Named to 1st Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment   British Mess Tin, 1940 ~ Named to 1st Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment  

    British Mess Tin, 1940 ~ Named to 1st Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment   British Mess Tin, 1940 ~ Named to 1st Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment  

    British Mess Tin, 1940 ~ Named to 1st Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment   British Mess Tin, 1940 ~ Named to 1st Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment  

    British Mess Tin, 1940 ~ Named to 1st Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment   British Mess Tin, 1940 ~ Named to 1st Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment  

    British Mess Tin, 1940 ~ Named to 1st Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment  

  2. #2
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    Wow, if those tins could only talk! I wonder if they went through Changi with him? Probably.

    Oz.

  3. #3

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    Great item!
    Had good advice? Saved money? Why not become a Gold Club Member, just hit the green "Join WRF Club" tab at the top of the page and help support the forum!

  4. #4

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    Very nice, and am pretty certain they are Indian Made- the stamps are virtually identical to those on my oval Indian made aluminium tins. I wasn't aware they were making the squared off versions in aluminium though, and certainly not as early as 1940.

  5. #5

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    Quote by Warspite View Post
    Very nice, and am pretty certain they are Indian Made- the stamps are virtually identical to those on my oval Indian made aluminium tins. I wasn't aware they were making the squared off versions in aluminium though, and certainly not as early as 1940.
    I'm pleased about that; thanks for the information. Very appropriate as JW Swann served in India and the Far-East.

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