- Title: WAVELL'S TOUR - VISIT TO IMPHAL [Allocated Title]
- Film Number: JFU 90
- Other titles: BRITISH ARMY OPERATIONS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR [Allocated Series Title]
- Summary: Field Marshal Wavell, the Viceroy of India, flies in to Imphal for a visit to British troops and to decorate those involved in the fighting for Kohima.
- Description: Three Douglas Dakota transport planes line up alongside the airstrip and the furthest plane taxis forward. Another Dakota taxis forward guided by an airman on the ground. Wavell gets off the plane and is followed by other officers. He is met on the airstrip by Lieutenant-General Stopford General Officer Commanding XXXIII Indian Corps, Air Commodore Vincent Air Officer Commanding 221 Group RAF and other dignitaries. Wavell inspects the guard of honour from 2nd Division comprised of men from the Durham Light Infantry, Royal Berkshire Regiment (Princess Charlotte of Wales's) and Royal Welch Fusiliers (all three of these battalions being part of 6th Infantry Brigade). Wavell visits the camp of the 20th Indian Division and is shown guns captured from the Japanese. These are small caliber light mountain guns with wooden spoked wheels (more like museum pieces than 20th Century weapons according to the dopesheet). The Viceroy chats to one of the men showing him the weapons. Wavell hands out medals to several soldiers, they come in turn, salute and their medals are pinned to their chests. Medal recipients are Bombardier John Francis Kelly, Private Samuel Ernest Cann and Lance Naik Rur Singh (9th Battalion 14th Punjab Regiment). Next stop on Wavell's tour is Bishenpur, India. There are cloud covered mountains behind the camp and Wavell presents more medals. These are the Military Cross to Major Denis Sheldon MacGregor Eadie (5th Field Company, Royal Engineers), Captain John Oscar Moreton (99th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery) Lieutenant Eric Frank Ogburn (1st Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers) and Lieutenant Charles Edward Dowse (5th Field Company Royal Engineers). He presents Colour Sergeant Bertie Fitt (2nd Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment) with a Distinguished Conduct Medal. Also receiving the DCM are Sergeant Herbert Arthur Davis MM (2nd Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment) and Lance Sergeant Arthur John Kemble (1st Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment). The final medal ceremonies were for the Military Medal and were presented to Lance-Corporal William Williams (2nd Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment), Corporal Sidney Vickers 1st Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers, Private Myer Chowcat (1st Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment), Gunner John Dennis Satchell of 100th (Gordon Highlanders) Anti-Aircraft/Anti-Tank Regiment Royal Artillery and Corporal Frederick Charles Sims (1st Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers). Wavell talks to an American Army Japanese interpreter, Sergeant E Miyagi, who is escorting three Japanese prisoners of war. Wavell then talks to the Maharaja of Manipur, Bodh Chandra Singh, who is accompanying him on the tour. The Maharaja wears traditional, flamboyant, clothes. Wavell studies areas of recent battles through binoculars and then studies a map of the area. Wavell and his retinue walk along a rough road. The group visit the Naga Hills and are surrounded by Naga tribesmen who present the Viceroy with a large machete. The tribesmen all wear their traditional costumes and carry machetes and spears. Wavell is then presented with a piece of traditional cloth. He is introduced to several tribesmen who salute him by putting their hands up to their noses. The local Naga people walk off. A guard of honour waits on the airstrip as a Douglas Dakota taxis nearby. The guard present arms. Wavell and several other officers inspect the men and chat to them. Clouds cover the mountains in the background. Wavell meets Indian officers and chats to them. Wavell is shown antiquated artillery pieces captured from the Japanese; these are mostly light mountain guns of a small caliber. There is a medal presentation. An officer stands in front of a building with four Naga tribesmen. One of the Naga holds a long spear which the officer reaches up to to test the sharpness of the point. The Naga laugh as they are filmed. The officer inspects a thick band which is worn just above the elbow by the tribesmen. The officer gets the tribesman to take off the armband and show it to camera. Wavell presents more medals. The Maharaja of Manipur and Wavell climb the steps of a building. A group of Naga tribesmen in traditional dress follow them up the steps. Wavell speaks to the Maharaja outside. Naga women are gathered under a basha; they wear white cloths on their heads. More Naga men line up as a crowd gathers to see the visitors pass by.
- Access Conditions: IWM Attribution: © IWM
- Featured Period: 1939-1945
- Production Date: 1944-08-06
- Production Country: GB
- Production Details: War Office Directorate of Public Relations (Production sponsor) SEAC Film Unit (Production company) Watson, W (Production individual)
- Personalities, Units and Organisations: Wavell, Archibald Percival (person) Stopford, Montagu George North (person) Vincent, Stanley Flamank (person) Bodh Chandra Singh (person) Fitt, Bertie Robert (person) British Army, 2nd Division (regiment/service) Indian Army, 20th Indian Division (regiment/service) British Army, Durham Light Infantry, 2nd Battalion (regiment/service) British Army, Royal Berkshire Regiment (Princess Charlotte of Wales's), 1st Battalion (regiment/service) British Army, Royal Welch Fusiliers, 1st Battalion (regiment/service) British Army, Royal Norfolk Regiment, 2nd Battalion (regiment/service) British Army, Royal Engineers, 5th Field Company (regiment/service) British Army, Royal Artillery, 99th Field Regiment (regiment/service) United States Army (regiment/service)
- Keywords: Imphal, Manipur, India (geography) Bishenpur, Manipur, India (geography) Burma 1942-1945, Second World War (event) Kohima 1944, Burma 1942-1945, Second World War (event) Burma 1942-1945 (theme) British Army 1939-1945 (theme)
- Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W Sound format: Silent
- Technical Details: Format: 35mm Number of items/reels/tapes: 1 Footage: 1209 ft; Running time: 14 mins
- Notes: Full citations for all the medal recipients in this film are annotated on the dopesheet. These awards appeared in the London Gazette, no. 36679, 29 August 1944. The awards for Private Cann, Fusilier Vickers' were gazetted in no. 36627, 25 July 1944, and Bombardier Kelly in no. 36574, 20 June 1944. For record film of the various types of captured Japanese gun, see related items. The Naga people are a distinct ethnic group of somewhat unclear ancestry but possibly mixed Mongol and Tibeto-Burmese. They live mostly on the Indo-Burma border in the Indian states of Assam, Manipur and Nagaland and on the border areas of Burma's Sagaing Division. Traditionally headhunters, the British paid the Nagas in salt for captured Japanese weapons or, rather gruesomely, for the heads of enemy officers. From the middle of the nineteenth century increasing numbers were converted to Christianity by the work of missionaries. During the war they proved helpful to the Allies, providing scouts and guides, and aiding Allied stragglers or crashed airmen. Film shot by the RAF depicting the plight of Naga refugees can be found at the reference below. See related items.
- Link to IWM Collections page:
Related IWM Collections Objects:
JFU 142 (CAPTURED JAPANESE ARTILLERY ON DISPLAY AT 20TH INDIAN DIVISION [Allocated Title]) JFU 132 (ROYAL ENGINEERS IMPROVISE A FERRY ACROSS THE NAN QUIN CHONG RIVER [Allocated Title]) JFU 225 (ROAD LINES OF COMMUNICATION FORWARD FROM DIMAPUR INTO BURMA [Allocated Title]) JFU 230 (ROAD LINES OF COMMUNICATION FROM DIMAPUR TO KALEWA [Allocated Title]) ABY 25 (NAGA REFUGEES AT UKHRUL, MANIPUR, INDIA [Allocated Title]) 16970 ()