Military Chat

Top tip - using the Genes Reunited community

Welcome to the Genes Reunited community boards!

  • The Genes Reunited community is made up of millions of people with similar interests. Discover your family history and make life long friends along the way.
  • You will find a close knit but welcoming group of keen genealogists all prepared to offer advice and help to new members.
  • And it's not all serious business. The boards are often a place to relax and be entertained by all kinds of subjects.
  • The Genes community will go out of their way to help you, so don’t be shy about asking for help.

Quick Search

Single word search

The British Newspaper Archive

British Newspaper Archive

Read about historical events at the time they were happening. Perhaps you'll discover your ancestor in their local newspaper?

Start searching


  • New posts
  • No new posts
  • Thread closed
  • Stickied, new posts
  • Stickied, no new posts

Bengal Entertainment Services Association

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Anthony Report 27 Oct 2013 09:23

If you have family connections to B.E.S.A. (Bengal Entertainment Services Association) please contact me.
BESA was a unit based in Calcutta that entertained troops across Bengal,Bihar, Orissa , Assam and even into Burma. It existed from 1942 until October 1942 when the better known ENSA organisation absorbed it. Servicemen with talents as actors, singers or musicians were recruited from India-based Army and RAF units. This was the real story of "It Ain't Half Hot Mum", with performances given in difficult and dangerous locations in the face of malaria and monsoons. The achievements of those involved deserve to be better-known.

Tony Green


Robert Report 5 Jun 2015 18:50

Hi Tony - Not sure if you received my first message, my father was lead singer with a band in India during 1943-4, part of BESA. I have two HMV records and lots of memorabilia about the band and BESA. Get in touch and we can chat. - Bob Elson


greyghost Report 5 Jun 2015 20:47

Hi Robert - Tony posted almost 2 years ago and may not be looking here to see if there has been replies. Try clicking on his name and send him a personal message. If he still has the same email address, Genes will be able to forward your message to him ( and then you have to hope he opens it)


Anthony Report 5 Jun 2015 21:16

Hello Bob
Message now received. I have a lot of information about BESA and would like to swap information. I had an article in the on-line Journal of Popular Entertainment Studies last year: "For the Boys Beyond The Blue: Bengal Services Entertainment Association 1942-1944" (Popular Entertainment Studies: vol 5 issue 1, 2014, pp 100-127 - accessible on line)
My father, Bill Green was a musician with BESA and ENSA bands 1942-1944.
look forward to hearing from you

regards Tony (Green)