Far East Living History Group
Our main portrayals are
of units of the British, Burmese & Indian Army who served out in the
Chindits (AKA - Special Force, 3rd (CHINDIT) Indian Infantry Division)
Due to the most unusual nature of the force, they were known by a number of names, but the one most easily recognised is “The Chindits”
In March 1944 more than 10,000
Chindits were flown by glider into the depths of the jungle to fight 'behind
the lines', cutting and blowing lines of communications and supply of the
Imperial Japanese Army. This method of jungle fighting, called Long Range
Penetration Group (LRPG), was a new and untrusted concept during the war. Led
by the Wingate, the Chindits were the first troops in the
men, who served as jungle commandos out in the
A patrol, in light vegetation, two keep watch while two others check the map position
As a unit, we focus on the Reconnaissance Platoon of Column 44 (ESSEX), 23rd Brigade. The Chindit Columns comprised of a wide range of troops to ensure they were functional as a self sustaining fighting force. We try to portray as much of the Column to gain a further insight of 'Long Range Penetration Troops'.
Our main portrayals are:
Female Section: “TANS” or Territorial Army Nursing
Service. Established in 1909 as a supplementary
organisation to the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service
(QAIMNS). Its purpose was to support the
regular service in emergencies and times of war. All its members were civilian
nurses, often with limited training. By
the end of the war, the TANS were serving in all theatres of war. This section
gives an insight to the health and living conditions of troops in the
The 2nd Burma Rifles were part of the original 77th (Chindit) Brigade, taking part in the Fist Chindit Expedition, “Operation Longcloth”
joined 3 Indian Infantry Division (Special Force) in August 1943, at
To act as the other small contingents found within the Chindit Columns, we also portray the following units:
RAF Liason, There was a contingent of RAF in each and every one of the columns, and in all of the battles, and marches of, the Chindit Expeditions. They were RAF Officers, drawn from the ranks of experienced pilots , with a radio section of RAF NCOs and Airmen to assist them.
There primary role was to co-ordinate the air supply, and recovery for the column. The supplies being anything from ammunition to new boots. There were also frequent medical evacuations, and even post calls!
Royal West African Frontier Force.
1943 the 3rd (
They fought with distinction with the Chindits, and caused a number of the Japanese units to flee as a result of their ferocity.
fellow force members from the 81st (
Female Section: WAS(B) or Women's
Auxiliary Service (
5307th Composite Force (Galahad)
better known as “Merrills Marauders”
In August 1943 Churchill,
Roosevelt and the Combined Chiefs of Staff met in
Now “Operation Thursday” became a joint Allied Operation. Drawn from units across the Pacific, it was a 3,000 strong volunteer unit to begin with. The final action of the Marauders was at Myitkyina Airfield where they attacked the Japanese in the hope to take back the airfield. This action saw the unit depleted to approximately 200 surviving members of the original unit. As a result of their efforts, Stillwell awarded all members of the Marauders “The Bronze Star”.
We believe that the soldiers who have, literally, served on the other side of the world, deserve recognition for their toils.
We had not come across any groups who portray the period in a Far Eastern Context, except as a Third/Fourth portrayal, or, do so alone. So we decided to found this group. We are also, without question, the first to have Asian Re-enactors, portraying Indian Army, and are amongst the first to feature African re-enactors, as mainstream Living Historians. The Chindits featured men from every corner of the empire, and we have information on troops, so far, from: -
Perhaps you know of a relative from another commonwealth or empire country…. Why not tell us.
We are always looking for more new members.
If you would like to join us please see our Membership Section.
Many people, coming across groups like ours for the first time, ask why we do this. This at first appears to be an easy question to answer, but is in fact complex.
Thousands of people in the
We also have the ability to gather together actual items from the period, relying less on replicas. This means we must ensure that we are as correct as we possibly can be.
Why do it at all? There is a quote which says 'without a past, there can be no future'.
The period was made up of a series
of achievements and disasters, a period where the final innocence of the world
ended. A period encompassing so much; the death of an empire (
We do not glorify war or any aspect of it, but we honour those who served their country, and are so often forgotten. In order to ensure we achieve our aims we work with the veterans of the units we portray.
We do not regard this as just a hobby - it is voluntary work, the rewards are achieving an accurate portrayal. As a society we do have a social side, but it is separate from the work of educating.
Why do we do it? Because we believe remembrance without understanding is not enough.
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