The Feature Page
Captain Gordon Pratt Signals Officer
1/8th Bn Lancashire Fusiliers
I'm attaching two pictures of my father, both (we think) taken in 1943. As you'll see, one is a group photo taken on Minden Day, and the other of him. My mother thinks that by the time of the photos he was a Captain.
Prior to Kohima he was in Dimapur in India. From Dimapur they went to relieve the Kohima Ridge troops.There was a fierce battle, but 2 Div. helped stop the Japanese and opened the road to Imphal. They then pushed on and relieved that. My mother thinks that the Royal Norfolk regiment was also involved at Kohima - she remembers meeting some veterans at reunions. After Imphal 2 Div Lancs Fusiliers went on into Burma, where my father became the Signals Officer and had to maintain the communications. Apparently the Japanese used to call out to them at night although neither could see each other - and the mules added to the strange noises !
Apparently the Naga tribesmen were very friendly, and my mother thinks that it was here that he played his violin. She doesn't know how far they got into Burma, but it was not as far as Mandalay.
My father returned to England in November 1945 and went to Morpeth for a while on extended leave, and was finally demobbed in May 1946. He, John Taylor, Tom Kershaw and Geoff Page always remained close at met at reunions in Bury every year. I have childhood memories of him dressed up in his DJs going off for this - I'm not sure how they travelled - it was before we had a car ! They also joined the 2nd Division Officers Club and met in London once a year for lunch, usually at the Army and Navy Club.
So, the history of Gordon Pratt (born 3rd Jan 1918 died 24th November 1991) prior to the above is :
Sept 1939 to Officers' Training Unit, Dunbar, Scotland
Nov 1939 Commissioned into 1st Batt. Lancs Fusiliers
1940 (late) Severely injured while on manoeuvres in Patrington, Yorks. In Beverley base hospital for some months
March 1942 Embarkation leave
April 1942 -April 1943 Assam India.
15th April 1943- November 1945 Burma (Battle for Kohima )
Professor Stephen Pratt ( Son of Captain Gordon Pratt )
Head of Music
Artistic Director, The Cornerstone Festival