Pte. Kenneth James Wells 14559924
.....The Japs were trying to get out of Burma by any means they could, along the Mawche Road we were chasing them down routing them out but they had the advantage over us from the mountains giving them the advantage of high ground, they fired down on us and when they did their guns echoed all the way around the valley and mountains, never heard anything like it. ‘B’ Company were dug in up there when this soldier from the Royal Welch Regiment came up told us that we were to be relieved, added that we were going back to Tongoo about 18 miles down the Mawche Road, (Milestone 18), got some bloody good news for you boys, he said, the wars over, you got to be joking their still up there firing their Artillery now and again, I replied, he said no it’s over in Europe, I said bloody Europe, not here is it, no Hitler’s gone, his dead. We were up and down patrolling various locations, patrolling till we were blue in the face, then came news over on the radio, that the A-Bomb had been dropped on Japan, flattening it and killing thousands of Japs, this was relayed up to us by some cheerful Charlie, so we said, so why are they still shooting and firing their Artillery then? He said, because they don’t bloody know do they, they got no way of knowing, so leaflets were dropped by planes but they either chose not to believe it our they didn’t want to loose face.
.....The Japs went on for some time after, raiding villages for food, taking their livestock of pigs, when our people caught up with them they were cooking their food not too far from the village that was raided, a fire fight ensued and some were killed. Now in the book The China Dragons is a picture of Captured Japanese soldiers filling in a bomb crater, well that’s not so the picture is of Jap prisoners burying some of their dead in a makeshift grave with all the villagers looking on.
.....A lot of Japs were left out there, their bodies were never taken back to Japan or given proper burials, the Japs didn’t worry about them did they.
Returning Home: Demob:
.....Coming home, rounding the Bay of Biscay heading for Liverpool Docks, an announcement was made over the ships load speaker, that there was to be a full kit search as nobody was allowed to take weapons home, so there were things going out that porthole, you’ve never seen anything like it, they were chucking all souvenirs away, I kept mine, I had picked up an officers revolver in its case also a Japanese sword which I picked up along the Mawche Road, towards the end of the war when we caught some Japs on the side of the road while on a patrol, I thought that’s a lovely sword I’ll take that home.
.....Down in the galley they gave me some cake in tins, lovely it was, I had about four tins of cake in my bag, I thought I’ll take that home to me old mum, she’d love that. When we docked at Liverpool, we went straight through customs they never even stopped us.
.....When I reached my home on leave my mother wept, with joy, I hung the sword on my bedroom wall and underneath it I placed the revolver and case.
.....During my demob period I was approached about staying on in the Army that was late 1946, the potential for an Army career was made to sound attractive, you could learn to drive, you can learn to do anything, I said, what if there’s another war? He said there won’t be another war, he talked me round to staying in for a few more months, dad said I should have stayed in, he was an Army man, he was at Gallipoli.
.....Later I had to get ready for Civvy Street and was told to select some clothes; I can’t remember where the place was though, but this place had rows and rows of clothes hanging up on coat hangers and there was any amount of ties, shirts, suites, shoes, winter coats, you could pick a hat, trilby, cap, or pork pie, (Style of hat), you name it they had it, everything you could possibly want to start a wardrobe, I think you were allowed two shirts, this old bloke handed me a suit which he insisted was made for me, I tried it on and thought, blimey I look like a right spiv, don’t I, you should have seen me I looked like that bloke in Dads Army (Television comedy show 1968-1977) you know with the moustache, Captain Manwearing (TV character in above show), I decided to come out wearing my uniform. Surprising about a lot of things, you laugh at them know. I was eventually demobbed in the summer 1947.
Pte. Kenneth James Wells