Reginald Frank Robinson (WIS CORPORAL 7939388)

Born in Upper Froyle on 21st December 1921, he was called up in 1941 after serving one year with the Home Guard and enlisted on the 19th June in the 61st Training Regiment Royal Armoured Corps. based at Tidworth in Hampshire. After a period of 8 months training which covered Driver/mechanic, Gunnery and Wireless Operator, he was moved to Bovington Camp to prepare for embarkation from Liverpool on 23rd March 1942 aboard S.S. Arundel Castle bound for India.
A week or so was spent in Cape Town, S.Africa and the journey continued on the S.S. Mauritania to India docking at Bombay. After a week to ten days at the docks awaiting orders, the contingent was sent to join a newly formed armoured regiment, the 26th Hussars. This new unit had no armoured vehicles or trucks of any description and were hiring bullock carts from the local villages in order to carry out tactical exercises. After a short time, he was admitted to a British General Hospital suffering from dysentery and during this stay also developed appendicitis
After almost 2 years it was decided that there was too much armour in India and the regiment was disbanded. He then joined an infantry unit, the 2nd Battalion York and Lancs Regiment which formed part of the second CHINDIT expedition into Burma. Their mission was to infiltrate enemy lines, ambush Japanese reinforcements and supply columns and destroy stores, fuel and munitions dumps. This would allow American aid to reach China via the land route currently blocked by the enemy.
During the monsoon season, he developed a hernia carrying supplies which the mules could not carry due to the muddy conditions deep in the Burmese jungle. He then became ill with jaundice and was turned loose from the advancing column to find his own way back to India. He left with another soldier named Shackleton who was a direct descendant of Sir Ernest Shackleton the Antarctic explorer. They met up with other soldiers on their trek through the jungle and eventually ended up at the Indawgy Lake in the north of Burma. He then travelled by various methods, including raft, train, aircraft and also by foot to arrive in Bangalore where survivors gathered from all parts of the country to reform the regiment which then moved up to Fort William in Calcutta.
This was the end of his military service in India and he was repatriated finally being “demobbed” at Beverley in Yorkshire on 18th December 1946.