2nd Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment

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Short Incidents, Madaya And Mandalay
Extracts from an unpublished book
L/Cpl. William Joseph Lowe 14640525


.....B. Company after marching through the swamps into Madaya from north west and arriving in the centre of Madaya at about 11.00 hours. We started bubbling up in a big stone house when suddenly a shout went up and rifles started cracking. Japs were seen moving about a little way up the main street and our fellows had a real birthday. First Jap running across the road was hit 3 times, where he lay wounded. Others were then seen in the same area.

.....Being greatly surprised by our rapid move south 2-inch mortars went into action, one firing at low angle at Japs in a pagoda area. Snipers were sent to the second floor of the largest house. In one house where to men went, two Japs approached under cover of a wall and started to mount the stairs. First one was shot dead, second one running away.

.....While this was going on our C.O. came up and seeing a wounded Jap in the road, ordered S.B. to fetch him in. being covered by rifle fire L/Cpl. XXXX, taking one other S.B., went out being sniped at all the time by the Japs from a house where two of our own snipers had just left holding the house with L.M.G.A. 77 grenade was thrown into the house to try and burn him out. The grenade burst and set the whole town on fire. The Jap, while trying to escape, was shot.

.....Later we moved to the eastern side of town joining up with the 4/4 Ghurkhas. Next morning, we started our march on Mandalay, covering 18 miles by 15 – 13 hours. Company then moved out to help the 8th G.F.R. Regiment. Sgt. XXXX leading his platoon killed 3 Japs before being ordered to withdraw. Company then went back to a village 3 miles to the north. Transport came but only enough to take two platoons and Company Commander with signals. Arriving at village at 18.00 hours platoon went into the attack with three Sherman tanks in support. On hearing the tanks, the Japs tried to get out, but Sgt. XXXX acting Platoon Commander, seeing their movement sent a section to cut them off, Japs being caught in a small nullah, throwing 36 grenades with Pte. XXXX firing Bren-gun from the hip. The section killed 18 Japs altogether, capturing 2 receiving sets, store, rifles, ammunition and 3 swords from Officers killed in the village.

.....Next morning, we moved again to north Mandalay, where we rested for the day. Altogether we marched 36 miles from south of Singu Bridgehead in five days killing 42 Japs and taking one prisoner.

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L/Cpl. William Joseph Lowe
L/Cpl. William Joseph Lowe

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