WHY WE MUST NOT FORGET THE FORGOTTEN ARMY - BURMA 1941 to 1945
Gloucester boy Ron Harding, now
102 years old.
The 14th Army in Burma was known as the “Forgotten Army” because all attention in the UK was on the war in Europe following D Day . Even when the war was over in Europe troops in Burma had to continue the fight until what was known as “VJ” Day (Victory over Japan) on 15th August 1945.
We should not forget this awful struggle in the jungles and plains of Burma and there is certainly one amongst us who will surely not. Ron Harding who is 102 was one of those great men who fought there and he is very much alive living in a care home in Gloucester. His story is remarkable as he narrowly escaped death and capture several times as a gunner in 24 th Anti Aircraft/Anti Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery. On one occasion his position was overrun by the Japanese and he was compelled to hide in a jungle hole for nigh on 3 weeks until he was rescued suffering from dehydration and malnutrition.
Another remarkable story is how he was forced to find his own way home after VJ Day. Such was the chaos as the war ended administration faltered. This he did by hitch hiking on military aircraft and ships to get himself home to Leckhampton.
The ABF The Soldiers Charity are holding a fundraising talk and supper at the Royal Agricultural University on Friday July 20th at 6.30 pm to highlight the “Forgotten Army”. The talk given by a renowned military tour guide Piers Storie Pugh will focus on another remarkable story, the Chindits, a group of soldiers who fought behind the lines in Burma. Ron will not be attending but his son Andrew will be. And we hope others will too. To attend please get in touch with Suzanne Hollis on 01980 672337 firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are £25 including a fork supper with wine included.