Cooking in Calcutta

John Meadows, centre, holding the big ladle, cooking in Calcutta in 1943.
John Meadows, centre, holding the big ladle, cooking in Calcutta in 1943.
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John Meadows, demobbed from the Army 67 years ago this momnth, is uppermost in the thoughts of son Jeff, who says: “He died in 1966 at the age of 54 and I take the view that my dad was a late casualty of war.”

Jeff, a retired police chief superintendent who joined the old Blackpool Borough force in 1957, has been sorting through family memorabilia and found several items relating to his dad’s experiences in the Second World War.

John Meadows in Pakistan in 1943

John Meadows in Pakistan in 1943

Among these is a 1945 Gazette cutting describing John as having been “wounded in the Indian theatre of war”.

He suffered a gunshot wound to the right buttock in Burma and, as Jeff says: “Although my dad was never captured, when he returned home his health was shattered and he suffered from chronic bronchitis.”

Another treasured item is a photograph of John, ladle in hand, cooking in Calcutta.

John enlisted on September 16, 1940, initially joining 21 LAA (Light Anti Aircraft) Regiment in Manchester.

On March 18, with the 70 HAA (Heavy Anti Aircraft) he embarked for India, leaving the UK from Southend and arrived in Madras on May 17, 1942.

While in India he successfully passed the cooking course, qualified as a cook and transferred to the Army Catering Corps, where he was attached to 136 Field Regiment. On August 1, 1945 he embarked for the UK leaving from Bombay and was demobbed on February 1 the following year.

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