3rd Battalion 8th Punjab Regiment – Never Forgotten



3rd Battalion 8th Punjab Regiment – Never Forgotten

A new Italy Star Association associate member will be placing ISA ‘In Remembrance’ crosses and poppies at Monte Cassino in May.

Sue Hughes, from Hampshire, is travelling with Frank de Planta’s http://www.cassinobattlefields.co.uk organisation, making her first visit to Monte Cassino, where her late father, Wilfrid Potter, fought in the Fourth Battle (3rd Battalion, 8th Punjab Regiment, part of 19 Indian Infantry Brigade, British Eighth Army).

With a wealth of wartime memorabilia (pictured) but few stories (as ‘he never spoke much about his war years’), Sue is piecing together family history for her sons – and much of it involves her father’s progression through Italy from 1943-45.
Having located places Wilf visited in Naples last summer, matching locations to those in a superb wartime album compiled by Wilt’s father when he mailed photographs home, she’s set for a fascinating journey.

“The regimental War Diaries revealed Dad, aged 22, was on a course at the start of the Fourth Battle, which probably saved his life given the pounding the Rifle Companies took in the first few days,” said Sue.

“I am here, as is the next generation, because my father’s name is not on that war memorial. I planned to save my poppy last November to take to Monte Cassino, but at Frank’s suggestion I decided to acquire 22 additional ones.
“He has the locations of the 22 men from 3rd Battalion 8th Punjabi Regiment buried at Cassino. I shall place a poppy on the grave of every soldier in my father’s Battalion, also at the Cassino Memorial, along with ISA crosses.”

Sue, who is attending the ISA reunion lunch on May 15, a week after her trip, is looking forward to sharing her experiences, photos and meeting members.

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SMH March 2016

27 Comments

  1. Saverio

    Dear Chander Mohan

    I sent you an email.

    Regards

    Saverio Malatesta

    Reply
  2. Rajan Darbar

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    Reply
  3. Harjit Singh

    I just found out that my uncle died in WW2 in Italy while serving in 3/8 Panjab Regiment Bn3. His information is:

    Service number 13474, NIRANJAN SINGH, Died Dec 26, 1943; buried in
    Sangro River Cereemation Memorial, col 13

    I would love to know more about him and battles that he fought and if he got any awards

    Thank you so kindly, Harjit Singh

    Reply
  4. Sarah Kinsella (nee Winckler)

    Just come across this post. My father, Dennis Lancelot Winckler, was commissioned into the 3rd Battalion 8th Punjab Regiment on 21.06.1940. After the war – 24.12.1944-00.04.1946 – he was a General Staff Officer 2nd Grade (GS02)Training Teams, Directorate of Military Training, General Staff Branch, India Headquarters Branch.

    Reply
    1. Sue Hughes

      Hello Sarah, Capt DL Winckler is mentioned in the 1944 War Diaries (WDs), both in handwritten notes and typed; I received these from tour guide and historian Frank de Planta before my first trip to Cassino in 2016. Your father is also named in the 3/8 Regt History which I was lucky enough to source through the ISA. I have made other valued connections and updated info on what my Dad was doing via the ISA comments’ pages. Our fathers would have been friends and fellow officers. Frank took me down to the River Gari – where the 3/8 made a crossing under utterly grim conditions – and read me the WD notes as we walked. Get in touch with him, he’ll tell you more and put it into context.
      Best wishes, Sue Hughes (nee Potter)

      Reply
      1. Sarah Kinsella

        Thank you.

        Reply
    2. Frank de Planta

      Sarah.

      Get in touch with me through my website http://www.cassinobattlefields.co.uk and I would be happy to share with you what I have on 3/8 Punjabs. What they achieved at Cassino in the Fourth Battle is epic.

      If your father remained with the battalion up to 24 Dec 44 then he would have known Lt Wilfred Potter very well because there were no more than seven British Officers in an Indian Army battalion. A British Army battalion had 32-35 British Officers in it.

      Regards

      Frank

      Reply

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