Wedding, August 1945







The war years

Shortly after war was declared the 2nd Battalion moved to Fort Sandeman (see map) where
a formal photo was taken (see below) and then to Secunderabad, Deccan in September1940 for training. From there they go to Malaya landing in Penang in March 1941. Ironically they are disappointed when they hear of their Malaya posting, as it’s a backwater, writes my father, where nothing will ever happen.

But this is where the war begins, and it is never the same again; they all scatter to the wind. Having landed in Malaya, my father, much to his chagrin and disappointment, is ordered to attend Staff College in Quetta. While there the battalion becomes embroiled in the fighting that erupts in Malay and is utterly decimated. So the battalion that my father revered and spent the happiest years of his bachelor life is no more, and I also believe that my father never forgives himself for being absent during that fighting.

On 15th January 1942 he is posted as Brigade Major, Jullunder Brigade Area, a training area for the war. He thoroughly enjoyed that time there, but was soon given another post as Staff Officer in the Waziristan District, which again he enjoyed. He could have had a very comfortable war, well away from the frontline nevertheless, he pushed very hard to get to the war, and finally succeeded, getting a posting to the 5th Battalion IX Jats in August 1943. He went to Burma with the 5th and took part in some action, which he describes in detail in his memoirs.

When the Commanding Officer moves on in June 45, my father is asked to give up his UK leave to take command of the battalion but decides that he is too tired physically and mentally to do so. Instead, in August 1945, he goes home and marries my mother. He returned to India by air in December 45, with my mother following by sea, and I am born in June 1946 in Naini Tal. He is in India for one more year and nearly gets command twice; first it’s the 7th Battalion IX Jats and then the Andaman Islands, but both fall through. Finally he gets a staff job as a general staff officer (GSO II) in Delhi, and I come down to from the hills with my Ayah and live in a hostel with my parents. We return to England sailing from Bombay 1st June 1947, almost a year to the day I was born, and my father leaves the army to become a chartered accountant because, as he writes,

I really did understand that very complicated document, the Sepoy's pre-war Pay and Mess book.”




Sailing home on SS "Scythia" June 1947



British officers, 2nd Battalion IX Jat Regiment
Edith, Penny, John Hislop, Delhi 1946
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