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Gentleman's Military Interest Club
Chris Boonzaier

A strange and interesting career....

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Am not sure if he was really japanese, or an Ohara living in Japan?

Yea, an odd phrase to call him "Japanese" if he simply resided in Japan. Even more odd for a truly ethnic Japanese man to join the Indian Army with the Sikhs.

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Still makes joining a Sikh regiment a bit odd. Like the old joke: "McKey, present. O'Rourke, present. Jones, present. Feinstein, present. Brown, present. Schmidt, present. Liverpool Scottish, present and correct, sir!" :cheeky:

Gotta be a good story there, whoever or whatever he turns out to be.

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Ohara (without the apostrophe) is indeed a Japanese name. Doesn't mean this man was Japanese, but it's not impossible.

H

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It says he was a jounalist attached to a Tokyo (though spelled with an I) paper and had served with the middlesex regiment, so a Anglo/Irish reporter on a newspaper with an office in Japan seems most likely. They use to the term Japanese journalist because he works in Japan without meaning he was Japansese.

Edited by Jerry B

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Japanese soldier/journalist named O'Harra, living in India fighting with Sikhs,recovering in a British hospital( only 70 wounds) and wants to be a pilot...what's weird about that?

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Aha! It sounds as though my guess about the Japanese spelling of his name was correct. This was a great blog post.

Best,

Hugh

Wim Reedyk

20 November 2013 at 1:32 pm

I am moved by the fact that so much is told about my grandfather, and that Mr Love personally has known him and his family. My mother happens to be his youngest daughter, Geraldine. She married my father, a Dutchman, in 1954 and moved to Holland where she still lives. She, 82 years old, is still doing well. Unfortunately for me, Harry O’Hara, my grandpa, died before my birth in 1957. Interesting to note is that his name was Ohara. But when he enlisted in the British Army in India, a recruitment officer said to him: We don’t have any Ohara’s here, so we call you O’Hara. My mother told me this story many times, and I’ve got every reason to believe that this is correct.

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Excellent follow up Paul. Puts things in perspective, but it's still an interesting career he had, Him joining the Sikhs is the thing that interests me the most.

And the fact that he was interned xxxxx me off, I understand the mood of the time but I think he has more than proven himself.

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Just saw his photo in a collection of colourized WWI photos.  The suggestion was made that his true name was 'Ahira', which has a certain plausibility to it.  

 

Also, Eric, the source suggests that he was registered as an enemy alien but that they did NOT find evidence of his having been interned.  As it should have been!

 

Peter

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