Here is a memorial tribute from the Farringdon
I haven't managed to find out if/when Wilfred Pink is related to me but it is a very nice inscription anyway!
With thanks to Chris Hayles
Private Wilfred Pink died of rounds on the 26th February 1945 received in action
three weeks earlier at Kule, 40 miles north of Mandalay in Burma, while serving with
the Worcestershire Regiment
Wilf was the only son of Wilfred and Laura Pink who lived at No. 2 Railway Cottages. Lower Farringdon. Mr Pink was a ganger on the Meon Valley permanent way looking after a section of the railway which ran through Farnngdon. Wilf attended Famngdon Elementary School and afterwards went to Normandy Street School in Alton He was good at cricket, enjoyed shooting and was a Scout. His cheerful face appears in group photographs in the Farnngdon Remembrance Book of both village school children and the Scout Troop. He was particularly interested in farming and was a member of the Young Farmers Club.
As a boy he kept calves behind his grandparents house. Wilverlyn, opposite Railway Cottages. His father bought land for him in Upper Farringdon on which he hoped to establish a chicken farm, but the War Department took over the land during the war for a searchlight station. Mr. & Mrs. Willis now live at Rivendale which was built on the site of the old searchlight hut. Before he was called up Wilf worked at Aylwards Corn Mill in Farringdon, but like others from the village he joined the Territorial Army at the Alton depot of the Hampshire Regiment. He served with the 2/4th Battalion in Kent which included many men from the Alton area who had joined the TA before the war One of these was George Johnson from Farringdon who died in a motor cycle accident while an army dispatch rider.
In March 1942 a party of 50 from the battalion, including Wilf was sent to Madras in India as a reinforcement for the 2nd Battalion the Worcestershire Regiment, which had been in India since 1936 and had recently been stationed on the N.W Frontier. The battalion was commencing training for jungle warfare in Burma with the 64th Infantry Brigade, part of the 19th Indian Division. The other two infantry battalions in the brigade were the 5/lOth Baluch Regiment and the 1/6th Gurkha Rifles. The division moved to the Burmese border concentrating in the Imphal area in late 1944. Burma had been overrun by the Japanese in early 1942 but re-conquest had been a low priority, as the jungles and mountains were a formidable obstacle. However the Americans wanted to supplement their air bridge over the Himalayas to the Chinese Army and US air bases in China with an overland route through northern Burma. So in December 1943 US General Stilwell attacked in the north with two Chinese divisions from Assam into Burma with contractors following behind to build a road to China. Meanwhile British Forces attacked 500 miles to the south along the Burmese coast, The Japanese counter attacked our forces fiercely, cutting off the 7th Division. However, we stood our ground supplying the division from the air and after a fortnight, with their supplies exhausted, the Japanese withdrew, leaving 5,000 dead behind. This success set the pattern for the coming campaign to drive the enemy from Burma, which would rely on air drops to supply the 14th Army as it battled through the mountains and jungles.
Before our attack could begin the Japanese tried to break through into India in the centre towards Imphal in February 1944. Extremely fierce fighting ensued which for a time was critical but by mid June the enemy gave up exhausted having suffered 65,000 casualties. General Slim then took up the offensive with the 14lh Army. Throughout the Japanese onslaught General Stilwell continued his slow progress towards China and in support of this operation General Wingate's Chindits carried out a remarkable campaign to disrupt enemy communications over 100 miles behind enemy lines. Two brigades were flown into jungle air strips cut by advance parties which landed by glider and another brigade marched 450 miles through jungle and mountain from Assam to join them. This force was supplied by air and supported by fighters flown from the jungle air strips.
In November 1944 the 2nd Worcesters joined the attack
at the Burmese border. They had left their transport behind, which would have
been useless in the mountains and jungle, and reduced their kit to a minimum,
with just a few Jeeps with trailers and mules to carry essential equipment. They
relied on air drops for supplies. After crossing the river Chindwin for a time
they led the brigade as they pursued the enemy on foot. In two months pursuit
they covered 300 miles dislodging the Japs whenever they caught up with them.
They were the first unit to reach the great river Irrawaddy which runs the
length of Burma and to locate a suitable crossing point north of Mandalay. The
brigade won a bridgehead across the nver onto the cast bank which the 2nd
Worcesters helped to defend when the Japanese counter attacked trying to push
them back into the river. After a fortnight during which the battalion was
allowed a brief rest on the west bank, the Worcesters returned to the bridgehead
to join in the breakout and an attack on the village of Kule on the 8th
February. The brigade was supported by a squadron of tanks from 150 Regiment
Royal Armoured Corps, heavy artillery from 4 Indian Field Regiment and Hum
bombers which gave air support. They emerged from the jungle and crossed paddy
fields behind the tanks under cover of a smoke screen. After over five hours
fierce fighting they captured the village. Snipers were a constant problem in
the tall grass and the tops of palm trees. The tanks had to shoot up every tree
and the grass was set alight
with incendiary bullets to flush out the enemy. Next morning the Worcesters had to fight off a fanatical counter attack by the Japs. It was during this bitter fighting that Wilf received the wounds from which he ultimately died
Wilfs parents were informed of his wounds and told that he would be flown home. but they heard nothing further until shortly before VE Day when they were notified that he had died He is buried in the Tankkyan Cemetery in Rangoon. A veteran who served with him and was wounded in the same action remembers that Wilf was affectionately known by his friends as "Wulfy" He was 24 years old when he died
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