By Albert Steadman
The battalion was formed at Thorseby Park near Otterton, Notts, in June/July 1940, at which time I was Platoon Sergeant 15 Platoon, ‘C’ Company. On completion of training the battalion moved to the Boston area of Lincolnshire in a cost defence role, moving to various locations into North Yorkshire and County Durham from where at the end of Sept 42 we travelled to Liverpool to embark for Indian.
On arrival in India, the battalion was based in Delhi. In April ‘43’ I left the battalion to attend O.T.S. (Officer Training) at Belgaum but I kept in touch with friends and I know that later the battalion moved to near Bhopal and became a Jungle Warfare Training Unit. Later they moved to Lohardaga near Ranchi in the same role.
The battalion supplied drafts of Officers and Other Ranks to other British Regiments in Burma, including units in the 1944 ‘Chindit’ operation. I know that two former 12th Forester Company Commanders were killed during the Irrawaddy River crossings of February ’45. One with a battalion of 2nd British Division at Ngaziun and one with the 1st Bn Northamptonshire Regt, 32 Brigade 20th Indian Division at it’s Myanmu crossing.
The 13th Bn, The Sherwood Foresters also went to India in 1942; this battalion also supplied drafts to other British Regiments in Burma. I was commissioned to the 10th Gurkha Rifles in August ’43 joining the 4th Bn of the Regiment 4/10 GR, part of 100 Bde, 20th Indian Division.