Paging local historians…


David Stokes sent this photo to his family in Sandhills, Shire Oak. Can we identify the possible regiment or location? Clearly somewhere warm. Thanks to Michael Williams for the image.

Here’s a quick but very interesting enquiry from reader Michael Williams, whose enquiry reaches me via Facebook.

Michael’s uncle, David Stokes, lived in Sandhills, Shire Oak and sent this picture home. I’m assuming it’s Second World War, but it may well not be.

Does anyone know which regiment this image may be of, and in which theatre of war they were combatant? From he uniform and rolled up sleeves, I’d say it was somewhere hot or tropical.

Can any military buffs help with this, or info on David Stokes? I’m sure the Walsall Wood, and Brownhills elders may have something to say.

Please do comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

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6 Responses to Paging local historians…

  1. Pedro says:

    Don’t know if this will help?

    The distinctive Australian slouch hat, sometimes called an “Australian bush hat” or “digger hat”, has one side of the brim turned up or pinned to the side of the hat with a Rising Sun Badge in order to allow a rifle to be slung over the shoulder.

  2. Clive says:

    The football at the front of the photo as Diggers 1944 on it. I dont know much about the forces, but the chap 2nd from the right, back row, looks like he could be American or Austrailian air force!

  3. Mike says:

    Been told he was pow in Burma would that make sense

  4. Pedro says:

    The first football match played behind the Japanese lines in Northern Burma between the British army and RAF teams, was won by the RAF by 6-1.

    There were plenty of spectators but not cheering as the Japanese were too close.

    (army in Camouflage and RAF in their skins!)

    Derby Telegraph April 1944

  5. Andy Dennis says:

    “Digger” is distinctly Australian. I guess the peak-capped man in the centre is the senior officer of the unit from which the players were drawn. It seems unlikely that POWs would look so smart; I can’t imagine the Japanese providing such smart footballing kit. The chaps also look rather more healthy than would be expected. Did the Japanese allow mail, anyway?

    Burma would certainly fit. In 1944 the Japs invaded India, but were soon being pushed back. Pure speculation, but I suppose it’s possible he was liberated by the allied advance, perhaps by the men in the picture.

  6. Concerning the football team the diggers it was a royal engineers team.david stokes is front row right it was the Second World War and he did serve in Burma,I know this as I’m married to his oldest daughter Kathleen

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