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The seriously ill were admitted to hospital straightaway, whilst the rest of the men were taken in trucks to Dimapur to recuperate.  They were given special rations, as most men had lost between three and four stones in weight.  They were later moved to the slightly cooler area of Bangalore and were then given 28 days leave.  There was a lot of back pay to collect.

When they returned from leave, there was an item of stupendous news.  It had been decided that all men who had been overseas for longer than three years and eight months were to be repatriated immediately.  The 60th Field Regiment just qualified.

And so in November 1944 most of the men in the 60th Field Regiment set sail from Bombay.  There was no long trip round the Cape this time and they reached England just in time for Christmas.  One man who stayed behind was Major Neil Hotchkin, a talented amateur cricketer who played for Cambridge University and Middlesex and who'd just been selected for the MCC tour of India when the war had broken out.  He had been selected to play for the Combined Services in India, a team which included his former Middlesex colleague, Denis Compton.  So he played first-class cricket in India after all!

Major Neil Hotchkin (right) from Woodhall Spa opens the innings for the Combined Services with Reg Simpson of Nottinghamshire and later England.

After Christmas leave at home the men had to report to Woolwich, where they were told that the 60th Field Regiment was now in a state of "Suspended Animation"-- which meant that it no longer existed.  Gradually, they were posted to various other units, and one or two even finished the war in Germany.  Most of the men were posted to units in the UK however.

The men were sad that the Regiment was broken up in this way and that friends--the band of brothers-- who'd been together since before the war, and who'd been through so much since were now separated.  They would have preferred to have stayed together as a unit and been able to march from the railway stations back to the Old Barracks at Lincoln and the depot in Augusta Street in Grimsby.  The heroes returning, bands playing, flags waving, pretty girls running forward with kisses, streets lined with cheering crowds…. 

But it was all a bit of an anti-climax, and somehow it seemed as though all the efforts they had made as a unit hadn't been recognised. 

Except for men whose actions had been personally seen by Brigadier Jock Campbell, no-one received a medal after the battle of Sidi Rezegh.  That was because  when the Commanding Officer had been asked who should receive a medal he'd proudly said that everyone deserved one.  As a result, no-one got one... 

Although they had been in the 8th Army almost from the date of its inception, they were to learn that for some reason or other only those who been in it from El Alamein onwards (a year later) were entitled to wear the bronze "8" over their Africa Star ribbon. 



If the regiment hadn't been disbanded, they would have been entitled to TWELVE World War 2 battle honours: 
Ypres-Comines Canal, Dunkirk 1940, Defence of Habbaniya, Falluja, Baghdad 1941, Iraq 1941, Palmyra, Syria 1941, Sidi Rezegh, Naga Village 4.5.44-4.6.44, Kohima, Chindits 1944.