2nd Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment

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Recorded Interview
Pte. Kenneth James Wells 14559924
Page 7


Mistaken Identity:
.....One of the men was out by our perimeter when one of our listening patrols were returning and he didn’t hear the password or recognition whistle, (Two short one long), we had another, (Father Christmas, around Christmas time that was), can’t remember which was the one on this occasion but he threw a grenade which landed right by the feet of one man which blew his leg off, right below the knee. He was sent back for that incident, he was so inexperienced that man and this kind of thing cane happen.

Lost A Finger:
.....We were coming up towards the hill in another attack when the Japs opened up on us, L/Cpl XXXX a bren-gunner had a bullet hit his trigger guard I think and it took one of his fingers off, it was just hanging from the skin, and he said, bugger me, look at that, that’s my lot, there’s my ticket to Blighty. It didn’t seem to bother him but that’s what shock does.

.....We made several attacks on hill 15R, we was halfway up the hill when I saw a hand grenade come rolling down I stood back and it went off, this bloke by me, got small piece of shrapnel in the neck, he had a whole in his neck the size of the tip of my little finger, he said bloody hell, the Stretcher Bearers took him back. Late that night somebody said to me, you know that lad who got hit with shrapnel in the neck? Killed him, I said bloody roll on; yeah it went into his windpipe or something.

Terrible Wounds:
.....XXXX was laying down returning fire when he got strafed through his backside on Kabwet Hill, he lived though, he was a baker and worked near the shop where I worked, he was still conscious he said Ken, that’s my lot, I could see all the blood coming from his trousers around the back and his flesh exposed, nasty wounds, terrible, he said, I’ve had it ain’t I? I said you’ll be all right XXXX, your dad said, get him down, let’s get him down that hill quick. From there he was taken to the MDS (Medical Dressing Station), and then to a CSS (Casualty Clearing Station), then he was flown out by a light aircraft. He lived, married the Nurse who helped him to walk again, he was wounded so badly. But she got him back walking again and they have a daughter, XXXX.

.....We were for some time on prisoner escort guard duties, on one occasion down the Mawche Road, about 90 miles, it was terrible that journey through the mountains, the road was quite good though; the Royal Engineers were up there clearing all the logs where the Japs had left logs boobie trapped, we were taking rice, tons of this rice, to the Karen village people, Roman Catholic they were. I was in charge of six trucks and a funny thing was all these Japs could speak English, every single one could speak English, I said to one of them, during the war you were bastards, you killed our people, no, he said, I was in the Medical Corp everyone said they were Medical Corp.

.....On one particular occasion we had gone to a village in the area and this irate head man of the village said, why you bring those people here? I said were driving them trucks to bring you your rice, which was a humiliation for the Japanese. He said no like um, bad people, very bad people, we don’t want them here, we’ll kill um, and they had these big Machete’s, I said, I can’t let you do that, they killed all our children, I said, no not these people their in the Medical Corp, he replied, we had a Major come here in a Jap lorry and these men got out and rounded all the children up, we never see them anymore, his eyes were sad and tearful, punishment for helping the Guerrilla forces up in the hills they said, blowing up trucks, which we hadn’t. We unloaded the rice double time as there was a lot of milling about and moved out as quickly as possible. (Ken said that this incident got very intense indeed).

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Pte. Kenneth James Wells
Pte. Kenneth James Wells

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