Museum of the Manchester Regiment
The Men Behind the Medals

Thomas Kelly

Thomas Kelly :

Thomas Kelly : India General Service Medal with clasp 'Burma 1930-32'

India General Service Medal with clasp 'Burma 1930-32'

We don't know anything about Thomas' family or early life. He joined the Manchester Regiment on the 22nd January 1929 and was given the service number 3523299.

We don't know much about Thomas' service. At some point he travelled to India to join the 2nd Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. They had been based in Burma between 1925 and 1929, and then moved to Secunderabad in India.

In December 1930 a rebellion broke out in several regions of Burma. The authorities requested more troops from India to help restore control, so Thomas and the 2nd Battalion deployed to the country in June 1931. They took part in patrols of the jungle and villages in their allotted area until the rebellion was brought to an end by early 1932. Thomas returned to Secunderabad in early February.

The 2nd Battalion moved to Khartoum in Sudan during October 1932, and returned to the UK on the 13th December 1933. They were then stationed in Strensall, Yorkshire until 1938. The 1st Battalion left the UK for Jamaica and Bermuda in January 1934. It moved to Egypt in September 1935 and stayed there until 1938. We don't know which unit Thomas served in during this time.

We believe Thomas was transferred to the Army Reserve after 7 years service, in January 1936. He would be a member of the Reserve for 5 years. This meant he was a civilian, free to find a home and a job, but he could be called back to the Army in an emergency.

An emergency arose in September 1939. The German invasion of Poland led to the outbreak of the Second World War. Thomas was recalled and served with the Manchester Regiment throughout the war. He was released to the Reserve again on the 19th January 1946. Unfortunately we don't know anything about the units or places he served in during the war, or whether he earned any medals for it.

Thomas' medal was donated to the Museum of the Manchester Regiment in November 1945.

Museum of the Manchester Regiment
c/o Portland Basin Museum
Portland Place
Heritage Wharf
Ashton-under-Lyne
OL7 0QA

Telephone: 0161 343 2878
Email: Portland.Basin@tameside.gov.uk
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Trustees of the Manchester Regiment Museum & Archive and Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council