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A picture of some 36 Squadron men in KD with pith helmets outside a hut somewhere in India a very long time ago

The above picture has been sent to us by Steve Roby, who lives in Australia. His father, Malcolm, now aged 80, served with the Squadron in India and later in Europe during World War II.

Steve says his Dad has just seen the web site for the first time. He reveals that the photograph was taken outside the accommodation hut at Tanjore, India, on December 12th, 1942. It shows the transport section, and Malcolm is sixth from the left in the back row (sorry, rear rank!).

This one is allegedly the lads with their mascot (a feline one), though I am tempted to think they are about to challenge the Royal Signals motorcycle display team at the next Royal Tournament!!

The above clipping from the "Calcutta Statesman" describes the rescue of a downed 36 Squadron crew. Steve has now provided some details from his Dad concerning this incident.

The pilot was Fg Off Eric Raymond Stannard. In Malcolm's words "the sergeant told Geordie to go down to the strip early on the advance party to Bengal. He said he didn't want to go. Answer was "you are going!"

In the night, I kept waking, and seeing a fag glowing. Then I heard sobbing. "What's wrong?" I asked. He replied "I'm going to die tomorrow!"

The plane went down in the Bay of Bengal. Geordie was last seen clinging to the wing. He couldn't swim. The crew were rescued, but there was no mention of the loss of the man from Hexham-on-Tyne.

Flying Officer Stannard was killed in North Africa, on Saturday March 4th, 1944. Malcolm recalls: "we were waiting for a Wellington to return. A low mist came down. When the plane came, it was so low we dropped to the ground. The we heard the plane hitting the trees, finally hitting a building at Joinville, just behind the base hospital. Fg Off Stannard was only 21 years old, and had just married a nurse from this base. They were a popular crew with us from the start and sadly missed."

The picture above shows the blokes, together with some local talent, grouped around a water pump.

Steve says there are names on the back of this photograph (if you look inside your computer's monitor you can read them for yourself!) According to Steve, it was taken in Tanjore. Seated left is Flt Sgt Emmet, and although Steve is unable to read some of the names on the photo, he lists (his spellings)Tony Mallard, Taffy Thomas, Bill Carter, Wally Ward, Bob Kent, Cpl. Merridith, Cpl. Gardener. He names the Indian personnel as Abdul Blackwall, John the Barber and Aladin! Thanks Steve!

If you have any pictures from your days with 36, how's about sending some to the Editor. (Pictures purchased from furtive little men on the street in dodgy places in the Orient are welcome, but will not necessarily be published!)

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