No 1 Commando Newsletter Feb 27th 1944
Copy of original document supplied by John Mewett; Transcribed by Jennie Barlow.
"You may gather how very pleased I'm feeling now that there's this 'club' running for your benefit and mine too. It sure makes me feel that there's someone in this lot who cares enough to let us wives know under what circumstances you are in."
This is an extract from an Airgraph received by one of our men from his wife in England. I think it is a fitting opening to this news letter. As a tribute, it speaks for itself: may we add that we are all equally grateful for the work you are doing back home.
The Commando is still in the location described in the News Letter of 13th February. The location hasn't changed but the weather is daily becoming warmer. Between eleven in the morning and four in the afternoon it is now appreciably better than England in August.
As for recreation in Camp, on the evening of the 14th February we enjoyed a very fine show by an E.N.S.A. party consisting of seven girls and three men. The Camp cinema continues to show a surprisingly good selection of old films. A wireless set and two amplifiers provide some radio entertainment to the Camp; we hope to improve on this soon. A Brigade magazine entitled "The Third Jungle Book" in being published. From this unit Lieut. J.R. Turpin is publishing advisor and Lieut. A.J. Davies is Art Director, on the publishing staff. Finally on the 3rd and 4th March, "Commando Performance" the unit's Concert Party is celebrating its first birthday and giving a show. I can't do better than give you the artists' names and quote from the programme, for we are very proud of this show. They are:
Lieut. Alan Davies (More Caricatures)
Q.M.S. Brown (on the high C's)
Sgt. Frank Payne
L/Sgt. George Sutton
Pte. Maurice Hook (with his harmonica)
Pte. Fitzgerald (on sentry go)
Gdsm. Jack Raymond ("The Story Teller")
Pte. "Taffy" Lewis (The Welch Tenor)
Pte. Freddie Witton (and a piano)
and Pte. Maxie Walters ("Jankers Permitting")
The show is devised and produced by CSM. J. Smith.
To Bombay, Fus. Burden (H.Q.), Gnr. Bernini (3 Troop) and Rfn. Smith (4 Troop), went on the 23rd and 24th February to take part in a Greeting Film that is being made. On the 11th and 12th of this month Pte. Garbutt (3 Troop) and Fus. Dawson (4 Troop) also went to Bombay for the same purpose.
The relatives of these men will be informed of the time and place where these films will be shown in the United Kingdom.
Every troop has by now had 48 hours leave in POONA. POONA has several good cinemas and a swimming pool for H.M. Forces; and while on leave the Troops lived in a very good rest camp.
While training permits, sport is carried on as usual. Hockey, football and volleyball games are held, if possible in the evening. The Sergeants won a hard game with the officers at hockey by the odd goal on the 25th. On the afternoon of the 27th February the officers of No. 1 Commando played the officers of No. 42 Commando at football, the result of this hard-fought game was a draw.
To round off this description of our life during the last fortnight I would like to tell you of the boxing meeting held in POONA on the evening of Saturday 26th February. You may remembers that we were to fight No. 5
Commando. That meeting, "owing to the exigencies of the service" had to be cancelled and in its place a meeting was held with a team drawn partly from our friendly rivals 42 (RM) Commando and partly from Poona District. There were 15 bouts each of three one and a half minute rounds. They were fought in an open air stadium before a large crowd. This was our team:
Lieut. T.H. Bowman No. 6 Troop
Sgt. Jackson No. 4 Troop
Pte. Prosser No. 2 Troop
Gnr. O'Donnel No. 5 Troop
Rfn. Osbourne No. 6 Troop
Pte. Rudgely No. 6 Troop
Pte. Wren Intelligence Section, Headquarters
Pte. Talbot No. 6 Troop
Pte. Crellin No. 1 Troop
L/Cpl. Chapman No. 4 Troop
Pte. Thompson No. 4 Troop
Pte. Croxford No. 3 Troop
Pte. Curran No. 1 Troop
Rfn. King No. 4 Troop
The contest was very keen and the result very close, for of the fifteen fights, 1 Commando won seven and Poona District eight. I think the show put up by everyone has put 1 Commando on the map out here. 1 Commando won a cup as winning team compared with the Marines.
A stop press item of news is that on Sunday 27 Feb 44 the unit was inspected by General Sir Claude Auchinleck, G.O.C. India Command. Films were taken of this visit and of the visit of Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten; these may be shown in the U.K.
4194098 L/Bdr. Williams (Headquarters) to be Bdr.
5676284 Pte. Reid, D. (Headquarters) to be L/Cpl.