Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of the South Staffordshire area who died during the two World Wars.
CWGC: Lance CorporalTAYLOR, HARRY Service Number 2754838 Died 26/08/1942 Aged 24 2nd Bn. Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) Son of Fred and Harriet E. Taylor, of Blymhill Lawn, Staffordshire. RANGOON MEMORIAL, Face 15.
2nd Bn Black Watch
When war broke out with Nazi Germany in September 1939 the 2nd Battalion was already on active service in Palestine and was to be deployed in a successful rearguard action against overwhelming Italian forces in Somaliland in July 1940. It was then sent to Crete to help defend the island from the anticipated German invasion.
May 1941 saw the first ever airborne assault take place when German paratroopers descended on the 2nd Battalion at Heraklion in the north of Crete. The initial offensive was most effectively repulsed but later landings elsewhere forced the withdrawal of the garrison. Five months later the Battalion was moved to the besieged fortress of Tobruk and in November was to suffer very heavy losses in the attempted breakout to link up with the 8th Army. The tanks failed to provide the planned support and within one hour over 300 men had become casualties - but the objective was taken.
After its enormously varied war fighting in Somaliland, in Crete and at Tobruk, the 2nd Battalion was sent to India, which was under threat from the rapid Japanese advance through Malaya and Burma. There it was specially trained for participation in the Second Chindit Expedition. Divided into two columns and often working in smaller groups, the Battalion spent 5 months operating behind the Japanese lines, disrupting their communications, their supplies and flow of reinforcements. Resupplied entirely by air drop the columns attacked and ambushed enemy columns in savage actions, generally in thick jungle and in appalling conditions of heat and disease, made worse once the monsoon broke. The Battalion ended the War training as a parachute unit for the planned invasion of Malaya. [https://www.theblackwatch.co.uk/history-and-research/black-watch-history/second-world-war/]
This memorial has mostly been compiled from official sources. It would be good to be able to expand it with more personal material - memories, stories, photos, etc. If you have any suitable material or any corrections please contact Greg.