1st Burma Regiment
Home ] The Burma Rifles ] Burma Frontier Force ] Burma Auxiliary Force ] Burma Territorial Force ] Burma Military Police ] The Burma Regiment ] Burma Intelligence Corps ] ABRO ]
Up ] [ 1st Burma Regiment ] 2nd Burma Regiment ] 4th Burma Regiment ] Chin Hills Battalion ]

 

Site Guide

Burma Campaign-Home

Burmese Battleground

Burma Army 1937-43

New Burma Army 1945-49

Officers & Men of the Burma Army

Researching Ancestors in the Burma Army

British Army in Burma

Campaign Outline

Kohima

Orders of Battle

Links

Bookstore - UK

Modern Burma

British & Commonwealth Orders of Battle Website

1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment

Formation, Early Operations and Reorganisation

The remnants of the Burma Army that reached India during May and June 1942 were gathered together at Hoshiarpur in the Punjab.  It was decided to keep the Burma Army in being and to offer up the troops to serve with the Indian Army.  First, a re-organisation was needed and as part of this, The Burma Regiment came into being on 1st October 1942.  Six new infantry battalions were raised, together with a mounted infantry battalion and a training and holding battalion which also acted as the regimental centre.  Three existing battalions were re-designated to become part of the regiment:  the Chin Hills Battalion and the 1st and 2nd Garrison Battalions.   The 1st Battalion of the new regiment was formed by amalgamation of the 7th (Burma Police) Battalion and the 8th (Frontier Force) Battalion of The Burma Rifles.  The new battalion was commanded by Lt. Colonel T.I. Bowers, formerly commander of the 8th (Frontier Force) Battalion, The Burma Rifles. [1]   The 7th Battalion, The Burma Rifles, formed two companies in the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment; a Gurkha company under Major D.R.A. McCorkell and a Kumaoni company under Captain M.E. Busk. [2] [3]   The other two companies of the 1st Battalion were formed from Sikhs and Punjabi Mussalmen who had served previously with the 8th Battalion, The Burma Rifles. [4]

The six infantry battalions were organised into two brigades, the 2nd and the 5th.  The 1st Battalion formed part of the 2nd Burma Infantry Brigade.  It was originally intended that the class, or ethnic, composition of the 1st Battalion of the Burma Regiment would be as follows: [5]

- One rifle company of Sikhs
- One rifle company of Gurkhas, Kumaonis or Gharwalis
- One rifle company of Punjabi Mussalmen
- One mixed rifle company
- Headquarters Company of mixed composition.

However, by December 1942, the composition of the 1st Battalion had been amended to: [6]

- One rifle company of Sikhs
- One rifle company of Kumaonis or Gharwalis
- One rifle company of Punjabi Mussalmen
- One rifle company of Gurkhas
- Headquarters Company of mixed composition.

At the time of formation, there was sufficient equipment for one battalion to be ready for operations by December 1942.  In February 1943 it was estimated that, should full equipment and transport be found, that all six infantry battalions of The Burma Regiment would be ready for operations by the end of April 1943. [7]

In the meantime, equipment had been found for one company of each of the 1st-5th Battalions and, during early 1943, each of these companies was sent forward into the operational area under the command of the Indian Army.  The Gurkha Company of the 1st Battalion, under Captain McCorkell, was detached in March 1943 and flown to Fort Hertz which was under threat from a Japanese advance northwards in the Sumprabum area.  Sometimes known as the Fort Hertz Detachment, McCorkell’s company reinforced regular troops already present at Fort Hertz and the Kachin Levies operating in the Kachin Hills.  Later, a second company of the Burma Regiment was sent to reinforce the Fort Hertz Detachment.  This company was found from the 2nd Battalion and was under the command of Captain R. Walker. [8]   Until December 1943, when the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment arrived, these two companies formed the main backing for the Northern (Kachin) Levies.  Captains McCorkell and Walker led their detachments men until the conclusion of the Myitkyina campaign in May 1944, after which the detachments were flown back to India. [9]

The Burma Regiment was reorganised into four infantry battalions effective from 1st July 1943.  Those companies of the Regiment detached in operational roles now came under the control of the 10th Battalion (the Burma Regimental Centre), permitting the battalions from which they had originally been found to be organised at a full strength of four rifle companies.  From the 1st Battalion, the Kumaoni company, under Captain Busk, was transferred to the 2nd Battalion as part of this re-organisation. [10]   By September 1943, the class (ethnic) composition of the 1st Battalion was half Sikh and half Punjabi Mussalmen.  By now, the Battalion had been undergoing intensive since formation on 1st October 1942 and was expected to be ready for an operational role very shortly after receipt of full equipment.  Ongoing recruitment difficulties resulted in a further re-organisation of The Burma Regiment in November 1943.  As no reinforcements of Sikhs and Punjabi Mussalmen could be made available by India it was decided to disband the 5th Battalion to make available the necessary reinforcements.  This provided 140% reinforcements for the Punjabi Mussalmen and 80% for the Sikhs.  On 1st November 1943 the Burma Army as a whole was transferred to control of General Headquarters, India (GHQ India). [11]

Kohima

On 4th March 1944, an additional battalion was requested to reinforce the troops in the Fort Hertz area.  The 1st Battalion was identified as being ready for operations and was proposed for allocation to the 14th Army for this role.  It was expected that the Battalion would be flown in to Fort Hertz from Tezpur. [12]   A warning order for the move of the 1st Battalion to Fort Hertz via Calcutta was received on 9th March 1944.  All men were recalled from leave and the Battalion brought up to strength by taking on reinforcements from the Burma Regimental Centre.  On the morning of 16th March 1944, the 1st Battalion marched out of camp to Hoshiarpur Station and boarded the train waiting to take them on the first part of their journey.  After five days on this train, at Santahar the Battalion changed trains to travel the metre gauge line to Tezpur.  En route orders were received from Headquarters 14th Army to instruct the Battalion to proceed to a new destination, Manipur Road (Dimapur). [13]

Imphal was the major British supply base from which the operations of the 14th Army on the Central front were maintained.  At Dimapur and the nearby Manipur Road railway station, was established the major railhead to which supplies were brought forward from India for onward transportation to Imphal by road.  When the Japanese launched their offensive into Assam in March 1944, their initial objectives was to seize Imphal.  Three Japanese divisions were to be involved.  To the south and on the left flank of the Japanese offensive, the 33rd Division was to attack up the Kalemyo-Tamu-Palel and Tiddim roads north to Imphal, destroying the 17th Indian Infantry Division, then in the Tiddim area, in the process.  In the centre, the 15th Division was to advance to the south of Ukhrul to cut the Kohima-Imphal road to the north of the Imphal plain.  Finally, to the north, the 31st Division was to seize Kohima.  After crossing the Chindwin on the night of 15th/16th March, the 31st Division was to move on Kohima in three columns from the north, east and south.  The northern column was to move through Layshi and Phakekedzumi to the north of Kohima.  The centre column, followed by the main body of the division, was to push through Fort Keary, Somra and Jessami on to Kohima.  The southern column was to advance via Ukhrul to cut the Kohima-Imphal road at Mao.  Having then captured Kohima, the division was to hold the area and be ready to send a column to support the 15th Division in its attack on Imphal.  From Kohima, the 31st Division would also be able to threaten Dimapur. [14]    

The Allied Central front was the responsibility of the British IV Corps which had under command the 17th Indian Infantry Division to the south on the Tiddim road, the 20th Indian Infantry Division in the Kabaw Valley south of Tamu, the 23rd Indian Infantry Division in reserve in the Imphal-Ukhrul-Kuntaung area and the 254th Indian Tank Brigade in reserve on the Imphal plain.  The Kohima garrison was based on the 1st Assam Regiment and the Shere Regiment (a Nepalese battalion).  These units had detachments forward to watch the likely routes from the Chindwin in the Jessami and Kharasom areas.  The British plan was, when certain the Japanese offensive had begun, to withdraw the 17th and 20th Indian Infantry Divisions to the Imphal plain.  The 5th Indian Infantry Division was to be relieved in the Arakan and flown to the IV Corps area between 13th March and 14th April.  Other reinforcements were earmarked and organised.  In the midst of these preparations, on 5th March the Chindits began flying into Burma to begin the second Wingate operation. [15]

By the middle of March, with Japanese intentions clear and the 17th Indian Infantry Division in danger of being cut off, the orders to withdraw to the Imphal plain were given.  On the 18th March, plans were agreed for further reinforcements for the Central front.  The 2nd British Infantry Division was to be placed in 14th Army Reserve and moved to Chittagong.  The 7th Indian Infantry Division would follow the 5th from the Arakan.  If the Imphal road were to be cut or the huge base at Dimapur come under threat, any brigade of the 5th or 7th Indian Infantry Divisions would be sent there.  Two days later, Kohima and the lines of communication forward of it were placed under the command of IV Corps.  It was against this background that the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, then en route to reinforce Fort Hertz, was diverted to defend the approaches to Dimapur.  On the 28th March, the 161st Indian Infantry Brigade, 5th Indian Infantry Division, began to arrive at Dimapur, flying in from the Arakan.  In the absence of a divisional or corps headquarters, operational control of the Dimapur area as far south as but excluding Kohima was given to the Headquarters 202 Lines of Communication Area under Major-General R.P.L. Ranking.  The 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment and the 161st Indian Infantry Brigade were placed under his command.  The previous day, the 2nd British Infantry Division was ordered to Assam from Chittagong and the Headquarters XXXIII Indian Corps moved to Jorhat, in anticipation of taking command of the Dimapur-Kohima area. [16]

The 1st Battalion, en route for Tezpur when the new orders arrived, left the train at Amingaon on 24th March to embark upon a ferry which took the unit to Pandu.  Arriving at midday, the Battalion boarded yet another train for the Manipur Road railway station.  This train arrived at 08:45 the next day and, immediately upon completion of disembarkation, the Battalion was given orders for deployment by the Headquarters, 202 Lines of Communication Area.  'A' Company under Major J.E. Walliker was to go to Zubza and establish a roadblock. [17]   Major K.L.G. Hales with 'D' Company and the 1st Reinforcements were to remain on standby in the Dimapur area, ready to move to Digboi to relieve elements of the 1st Battalion, 9th Jat Regiment. [18]   The Battalion Headquarters and 'B' and 'C' Companies were to go to the area of milestone 14.5 on the Dimapur-Kohima Road.  From here patrols were to be maintained along the road between Zubza, in the area of milestone 36 on the road to Kohima, and back to Nichuguard.  'A' Company left at midday and just over an hour later, Battalion Headquarters left with 'B' and 'C' Companies for milestone 15. [19]

Upon reaching their allotted positions all three forward companies sent out patrols but reported seeing no enemy activity.  The Battalion Intelligence Officer, Lieutenant H.M. Gray, returned from Kohima where he had gone to make contact with the District Commissioner. [20]   He reported that there was fairly heavy fighting 40 miles east of Kohima.  On 27th March, Major P.H.M. Galbraith returned from the Headquarters 202 Lines of Communication Area with verbal orders for the Battalion. [21] [22]   The following day, east of Kohima, the advance guard of 138th Regiment, 31st Division unsuccessfully attacked the 1st Assam Regiment at Kharasom and Jessami.  By now the 161st Indian Infantry Brigade Group was moving forwards to Kohima and had sent out detachments to cover the withdrawal of the 1st Assam Regiment from the outposts at Jessami and Kharasom.  However, almost immediately the Brigade was ordered to prepare for withdrawal back towards Nichuguard, to take over the area then occupied by the 1st Battalion.  General Ranking had been given orders by Headquarters 14th Army setting his priorities as: the defence of the Dimapur base; the protection of the railway; the retention of a firm base and a mobile striking force; and, lastly, the defence of Kohima.   The 161st Indian Infantry Brigade was to be the mobile force and the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment to hold the firm base. [23]

When the 16st Indian Infantry Brigade arrived, the 1st Battalion would fall back closer to Nichuguard and in anticipation of these moves was now ordered to begin preparing defensive positions between milestones 10 and 12.  Patrolling was to be restricted to four miles either side of the Kohima road between milestones 10 and 36.  That night a warning order was sent to 'D' Company, back in Dimapur, to be ready to move forward.  On 29th March, a report was received from 'B' Company that four Japanese had been seen by a villager in Phegwemi, to the north of the road, and that a larger number had been seen in a village further still to the north.  A fighting patrol was sent out by 'B' Company to capture the four Japanese.  In the early hours of the next morning, the Battalion was ordered to create a road block at the bridge at milestone 10.  Major P.F. Taylor, commanding 'B' Company, was ordered to accomplish this immediately. [24]   During the morning, 'A' Company moved back to milestone 32.5 and that evening the Battalion, less 'A' Company, was ordered to move to the area of the bridge at milestone 10, just outside of Nichuguard.  The Battalion moved off the following morning and was in position at milestone 10 by 16:00 that afternoon.  During the morning, the patrol from 'B' Company sent to capture the four enemy soldiers returned only to report that the four men were in fact a patrol from 'A' Company.  This same patrol reported that the area in question was clear of the Japanese. [25]

By the evening of 1st April, the 161st Indian Infantry Brigade had reached Nichuguard and the Kohima garrison was frantically preparing to defend the village and surrounding area.  There were no signs of the Japanese during the following day.  That same day, 2nd April, the 5th British Infantry Brigade, 2nd British Infantry Division, arrived at Bokajan, ten miles to the north of Dimapur and XXXIII Indian Corps assumed command of all troops in the Assam and Surma valleys.  The British IV Corps remained focussed on the defence of Imphal.  The next day, the Corps commander, General Stopford, ordered that Headquarters 202 Lines of Communication Area was to continue to be responsible for the defence of Dimapur and Kohima until the arrival of the 2nd British Infantry Division. [26]

Meanwhile, General Ranking and General Grover, commander of the 2nd British Infantry Division, had visited the Battalion position on 1st April.  The next day, General Ranking issued orders for the Battalion, supported by the 12th Mountain Battery, 24th Indian Mountain Regiment, to defend the area to the left of the gorge at milestone 10.  The area to the right of the gorge was defended by the 1st Battalion, 1st Punjab Regiment from the 161st Indian Infantry Brigade, supported by the 11th Mountain Battery.  'A' Company of the Battalion was withdrawn from milestone 32.5 to defend the area at milestone 12.5.  'D' Company was moved to the high ground to the west of the main Battalion position.  The two platoons of the Battalion’s first reinforcements took up a position on the high ground to the left of the Battalion position.  On 3rd April, a detachment from 'A' Company was sent to Zubza, in the area of milestone 36, to destroy 10,000 gallons of petrol left there.  During the day stragglers from the 1st Assam Regiment, the 1st Shere Regiment and other units began to pass through the Battalion area. [27]  

On the morning of 4th April, the Kohima garrison spotted Japanese troops approaching up the Imphal road from Mao and along the track from Jessami.  At dawn the next day, a battalion from the 161st Indian Infantry Brigade at Nichuguard, the 4th Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment, a battery of mountain artillery and a detachment of engineers were sent to bolster the Kohima garrison.  They arrived just in time.  The balance of the 161st Indian Infantry Brigade moved down from Nichuguard to Jotsoma, two and a half miles north west of Kohima, where the Brigade’s artillery could be brought to bear in support of the garrison. [28]  

The number of stragglers [passing through the 1st Battalion increased on 5th and 6th April, with many lorries coming back from Kohima.  During the morning of 6th April, the 1st Battalion, 1st Punjab Regiment position was taken over by a composite battalion formed of five companies under Major Alexander.  That afternoon, General Ranking visited the Battalion position and ordered 'A' Company to return to the position at milestone 32.5 and for 'B' Company to take over the position thus vacated at milestone 12.5.  'B' Company were relieved at the bridge the next day by a company from the 1st Battalion, Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, 5th British Infantry Brigade, and moved to milestone 12.5.  'A' Company moved into the position at milestone 32.5. [29]  

The 2nd British Infantry Division was now arriving in strength and the fighting for Kohima was now in full swing.  On 8th April the Japanese managed to bypass the 161st Indian Infantry Brigade at Jotsoma and establish a road block near Zubza.  An attack the next day by the 1st Battalion, 1st Punjab Regiment failed to clear the block which remained in place for five days, cutting off road communications between the 2nd British Infantry Division and the 161st Indian Infantry Brigade.  That evening, the division’s 5th Infantry Brigade was ready to advance towards Kohima.  The Headquarters 6th British Infantry Brigade, with one infantry battalion, arrived at Dimapur. [30]

On 9th April 1944 the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment came under the command of the 2nd Division's 6th British Infantry Brigade.  For the Battalion, some adjustments in disposition were made and on 10th April 'A' Company, at milestone 33.2, observed and heard enemy troop movements along the Bokajan road to the east and north.  That day, the 2nd British Infantry Division took over command of the area from 202 Lines of Communication Area and two composite infantry companies, one Indian and one British, came under the command of the Battalion.  These were known as 'E' and 'F' Companies.   'A' Company reported on 11th April that their position was shelled by two Japanese 75mm guns and that 400 Japanese soldiers were dug in on a hill near Zubza.  The 7th Battalion, The Worcestershire Regiment now came forward from Nichuguard to attack the Japanese road block, but the enemy position was found to be too strong to overcome by frontal attack.  There were further minor adjustments to the Battalion’s positions between 13th and 14th April and on the night of 14th/15th April, 'A' Company suffered three casualties when attacked by Japanese infantry.  The road block was eventually cleared on 14th April by the 1st Battalion, The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders and a link up with the 161st Indian Infantry Brigade was made. [31]

During 16th April, the 6th British Infantry Brigade moved forward towards Kohima and the Battalion came under the command of Headquarters 253 Lines of Communication Sub Area, with the mixed Indian company, known as 'Haines Foot' after its commander, under command as 'E Company.  Over the next two days, Battalion patrols brought in four soldiers of the Indian National Army, known as 'JIFs', and passed them back to higher headquarters for interrogation.  The Battalion undertook extensive patrols for the remainder of the month.  After the road block at Zubza was cleared, the 6th British Infantry Brigade advanced down the road to Jotsoma to free up the 161st Indian Infantry Brigade for the task of forcing a break through to Kohima.  By the morning of 18th April, the situation at Kohima was becoming desperate and as the defenders prepared to make a final stand, British artillery came down on the Japanese positions.  Not long after British tanks and infantry came down the road, the Japanese were cleared from the area to the north west of Garrison Hill and the siege was lifted. [32]

A battalion of the 161st Indian Infantry Brigade now reinforced the Kohima garrison and two days later the 6th British Infantry Brigade took over, the 161st Brigade returning to Jotsoma.  The second phase of the battle was now about to begin, as the 2nd British Infantry Division, with the 161st Brigade under command, deployed for further action.  The objective was to drive the Japanese out of their positions around Kohima ridge and to open the road south to Imphal.  The 4th British Infantry Brigade was temporarily made responsible for the road back to Dimapur.  A battalion from this brigade was in action in the Khabvuma area.  The 5th British Infantry Brigade was ordered to attack the Naga Village, to the north of Kohima, advancing from Zubza by way of jungle tracks to the Merema ridge.  On 21st April, the 6th British Infantry Brigade was ordered to clear the Japanese from the Kohima ridge.  The 4th British Infantry Brigade was relieved on the Dimapur road when 253 Lines of Communication Sub Area was made responsible for road protection up to milestone 32 and the 161st Indian Infantry Brigade for the road beyond that.  The 4th Brigade was now sent to Jotsoma, leaving one battalion as divisional reserve at Zubza.  Heavy fighting now ensued for the Kohima ridge.  Three days later, the 4th Brigade, relieved at Zubza and Jotsoma by the 161st Brigade, began an encircling move to attack Kohima from the south. [33]  

Throughout this period, the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment maintained defensive positions along the road between Nichuguard and Zubza.  On 25th April, a patrol from 'A' Company found a large quantity of Japanese equipment at a feature known as 'Pimple', east of Khabvuma and south of Kohima. [34]   By the evening of 7th May, the 4th Brigade, with the 4th/1st Gurkhas of the 161st Brigade under command, was in command of G.P.T. Ridge and had almost cleared ‘Pimple’ to the north east.  The 6th Brigade had made some gains along the Kohima ridge but the 5th Brigade had been unable to progress beyond the Naga Village.  By 11th May the 33rd Indian Infantry Brigade, 7th Indian Infantry Division, had arrived and, under command of the 2nd British Infantry Division, was in position to support the division’s attack to clear Kohima.  The attack began on the morning of 11th May, with the 4th and 5th Brigades renewing their attacks on the flanks.  At first, progress was slow and the attack stalled but during 12th May, the 33rd Brigade edged forward.  Before dawn the next morning, the Japanese withdrew and the whole of Kohima ridge was clear but at great cost.  The 268th Indian Lorried Infantry Brigade took over the defence of the ridge on 16th May, while the 114th Indian Infantry Brigade, 7th Indian Infantry Division moved down to Zubza. [35]

The Battalion’s role at this time was to support the advance, moving forward in stages to take over positions held by the forward troops as the advance continued.  On 11th May a warning order was received from Headquarters XXXIII Indian Corps for the Battalion to be ready to move at two hours' notice.  The next day, the Battalion was sent forward to contact the 2nd British Infantry Division and to take up a position near milestone 44 known as 'Punjab Ridge'.  The following morning, the Battalion's area of responsibility was extended to include 'Piquet Hill' where 'D Company took up position around midday.  The Battalion was now attached under Lt. Colonel Doyle, Second-in-Command, 4th British Infantry Brigade, for defence and to come under either the 6th British Infantry Brigade or the 33rd Indian Infantry Brigade (7th Indian Infantry Division) for operations.  On 14th May, the Battalion took over the position on 'G.P.T. Ridge' which had been under the control of the 4th British Infantry Brigade since the evening of 7th May and most recently held by the 1st Battalion, Royal Scots.  The Battalion now came under the command of the 4th British Infantry Division.  As before, the Battalion sent out many patrols and also undertook a reconnaissance of Japanese positions on Aradura Ridge.  On 17th May, the Battalion suffered one man killed and one wounded as a patrol returned from attacking a Japanese bunker which turned out to be empty.  The next day, Major Galbraith took command of the Battalion when Lt. Colonel Bowers was evacuated having been injured. Although having retired to the Aradura Spur to the south, the Japanese continued to be active and a number of men of the 1st Battalion were wounded by snipers during this period.  Several anti-sniper patrols were mounted and the Battalion mortars undertook a number of fire missions.  On 23rd May, 'B' Company occupied several positions recently used by the Japanese and 'D' Company, left behind at 'Piquet Hill', rejoined the Battalion later that afternoon.  A patrol was sent out under Captain H.M. Gray to cover the move of 'A' Company to the new position and came under fire from Japanese snipers.  The patrol was forced to fight its way along the chosen route and one man was killed and three wounded.  Brief fire fights, sniping and exchanges of grenade throwing continued over the next few days. [36]

The 7th Indian Infantry Division headquarters had now arrived and resumed command of its 33rd Brigade and had taken over command of the 161st Indian Infantry Brigade.  On 24th May, the 33rd Indian Infantry Brigade relieved the 5th British Infantry Brigade at Naga Village and attacked the Japanese to the south on Point 5120.  The attack failed with heavy losses but the next day much of Gun Spur was taken by the 4th/1st Gurkhas.  Meanwhile, the 2nd British Infantry Division released the formations and units attached to it earlier in the battle.  However, the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment under the command of the 6th British Infantry Brigade in the advance southwards from G.P.T. Ridge and during attacks to clear the Aradura Spur, to which the Japanese had now withdrawn. [37]  

On 26th May, the 1st Battalion came under the command of the 6th British Infantry Brigade.  The Brigade was preparing to capture the western end of the Aradura Spur the next day and the 1st Battalion's role in support of this attack was to send 'C' Company across the nala (or nullah, a watercourse) separating G.P.T. Ridge from the Spur on the afternoon of 26th May.  When the attack went in the next day, 'D' Company was moved down to defend the road and later that morning joined up with 'C' Company.  The next morning, Battalion Headquarters and 'A' Company came forward to join 'C' and 'D' Companies.  The attack by the 6th Brigade now stalled in the face of fierce opposition and a counter-attack on the defensive box held by the 1st Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers during which the Brigadier, Shapland, was badly wounded.  The Royal Welch withdrew from their position during the afternoon it was quickly recaptured by 'A' Company of the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, under the command of Major Walliker.  The Japanese had just begun to consolidate the positions they had captured when ‘A’ Company fell upon them, killing 13 and wounding two more who died later.  All the ground was recaptured together with a quantity of arms.  An attack by the 4th British Infantry Brigade, supported by tanks, later on 28th May, made little progress and suffered heavy losses. [38]  

The next morning, 29th May, the Battalion consolidated its positions.  'A' Company came under fire from Japanese machine guns and was then attacked by a roughly platoon-sized enemy force.  The attack was defeated with the loss of one man killed and four wounded.  Elsewhere, a 'D' Company patrol was fired on by Japanese machine guns on either side of the Kohima-Imphal road but managed to get back with the loss of one man killed and four wounded, one of whom later died.  During the night, 'A' Company was attacked again, this time by a stronger Japanese force that managed to get within ten yards of the barbed wire protecting the position.  The company had one man killed and nine wounded but held the position.  The Company was attacked again the next evening, 30th May, and endured being grenaded throughout that night.  The next morning, 'A' Company was relieved by 'B' Company and there were no further attacks on the position. [39]  

On 2nd June, 'C Company moved out to a position about 200 yards south east of the 'B' Company position and came under heavy fire from three sides before it was able to dig in.  The Company was successfully withdrawn during the early evening, having suffered two men killed and eight wounded.  It was estimated that the Japanese had suffered 20-30 men killed and wounded when they attacked 'C' Company.  The stalemate at Aradura continued until 4th June when it was discovered that the Japanese had pulled out.  To the north of Kohima, the 5th British Infantry Brigade occupied the Phesama ridge on 5th June, against light opposition.  On the right flank, the 1st Assam Regiment reported that Pulebadze was free of the enemy.  The battle for Kohima was at an end. [40]

Up until the 7th June, the Battalion continued to send out patrols and minor clashes with the Japanese were frequent.  On the morning of 7th June, the Battalion moved up to the Aradura Crest where it relieved the 1st/8th Battalion, The Lancashire Fusiliers.  With the Japanese now in retreat to the south, the 1st Battalion was able to enjoy a few days rest and recuperation.  On the evening of 10th June, the Battalion was told that it was to move to the Reinforcement Camp, on the road two miles north of Kohima where it would come under the command of the 33rd Indian Infantry Brigade, now restored to its parent formation, the 7th Indian Infantry Division.  The Battalion set off on the morning of 12th June and was at the Rest Camp at milestone 3 on the Kohima-Bokajan road later that afternoon. [41]

The Pursuit to Ukhrul with the 7th Indian Infantry Division

The Battalion enjoyed a period of rest late June when it accompanied the 33rd Indian Infantry Brigade down the Kohima-Imphal road to Maram and thence to Ukhrul.  The Battalion took the place in the Brigade of the 4th Battalion, 15th Punjab Regiment - the Punjabis having taken very heavy casualties in the struggle for Kohima.  On 22nd June, the advanced elements of the 2nd British Infantry Division had met those of the 5th Indian Infantry Division north of Kanglatongbi, raising the siege of Imphal.  Following in the wake of the 2nd Division, the 33rd Indian Infantry Brigade was carried by truck to the area around Maram.  From Maram, the journey to Ukhrul was to be on foot and the march began on 27th June, with the 4th Battalion, 1st Gurkha Rifles in the lead, followed by the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, and with the 1st Battalion, The Queen's Regiment bringing up the rear.  Steady progress was made with only the occasional sighting or contact with the retreating Japanese.  Everywhere the advancing British and Indian troops encountered Japanese dead, many of whom were the victims of disease and starvation, abandoned where they lay.  Having failed in their objective to capture British supplies at the bases at Imphal and Dimapur, the Japanese now suffered as a result of their inability to make adequate supply arrangements.  Not so the advancing British and Indian troops, as throughout the march to Ukhrul, the 33rd Indian Infantry Brigade was re-supplied from the air.  Ukhrul was reached on 6th July and the next day the town was seized by the Battalion and the 4th Battalion, 1st Gurkha Rifles. The 1st Battalion suffered one man killed and one wounded.  Eight Japanese dead were counted by the Battalion.  The next day, the 33rd Indian Infantry Brigade made contact with the 89th Indian Infantry Brigade, also under the command of the 7th Indian Infantry Division.  The latter brigade, having been flown in to Imphal during May, had set off from the Kohima-Imphal road at Kangpopki and advanced eastwards towards Ukhrul.  Now both brigades began operations to clear the area around Ukhrul to the south. [42]  

On 9th July, the 33rd Indian Infantry Brigade, moved off to Luithun (Luthai in the 1st Battalion War Diary) about five miles to the south east of Ukhrul.  From here, the Battalion was ordered to Lungshong (Lungchong) to establish road blocks with the intention of catching Japanese retreating from the west and south west.  The next day, the 1st Battalion marched to Lungshong and took up position in and around the village.  The following morning at dawn, 'D' Company set off south towards Kamjong, to make contact with and keep under observation a force of around 1,000 Japanese reported to be in the area.  During the mid-morning, the Company clashed with the Japanese and lost one man killed and one wounded.  Four Japanese were killed and one taken prisoner.  The Battalion, by now beginning to suffer many casualties from sickness, was ordered to Maoku, leaving 'A and 'D' Companies in the Longshong area.  As the Battalion moved along the track to Maoku on 12th July, it met 'D’ Company which had had a further engagement with the enemy, killing one and taking four prisoner.  Now more Japanese were encountered and 'D' Company was once again in action.  However, the Company was unable to advance and lost one man killed.  The Japanese had established a road block across the track and remained in position the morning of 14th July when 'D' Company discovered the enemy had gone.  That afternoon, 'A' Company rejoined the Battalion, in position to the south east of Longshong.  A patrol from 'A' Company clashed with the enemy on 16th July and killed five Japanese including one officer.  Sickness continued to take its toll and several officers and men of the Battalion were evacuated. [43]  

On 16th July, the Battalion was ordered to Kamjong and set off the next day.  A patrol from  'A' Company ambushed the enemy near milestone 23 and killed five Japanese.  The Battalion stayed in the area of milestone 23, some eight to ten miles north of Kamjong, for the next few days.  'C' Company was sent south ahead of the Battalion to milestone 24.5 and sent a patrol as far down the track as milestone 27.  No enemy resistance was encountered.  On 19th July, as the Battalion began to move further south to Kamjong, with 'D' Company in the lead, further moves were called off, in part due to the poor condition of the track and the bad weather.  The next day, the Battalion was ordered to move to a position known as 'Horsehead Corner', near Sangshak, the site of a gallant delaying action in March 1944.  Leaving 'D' Company near Kamjong, the Battalion reached its new position early on the afternoon of 21st July.  'D' Company began to pull back from Kamjong on 24th July.   On 27th July, the Battalion began the journey back to the Kohima-Imphal road, as part of the general withdrawal from the operational area by the 33rd Indian Infantry Brigade.  The Battalion followed the route via 'Finch's Corner' to Litan.  Moving further down the road, on the morning of 29th July, at milestone 15, the Battalion was picked up by motor transport and taken to the rest camp at milestone 32 on the Kohima-Dimapur road.  Here the Battalion was reunited with officers and men discharged from hospital who, together with new reinforcements, had begun preparing the camp in anticipation of the Battalion's arrival.  By the beginning of August, the 7th Indian Infantry Division, of which the Battalion was a part, was concentrated in the Kohima area for rest and refitting.  The place of the 1st Battalion within the 33rd Indian Infantry Brigade was now confirmed and it remained in the rest camp for the remainder of 1944.  The 1st Battalion spent the time at the rest camp at Kohima in training.  On 6th October 1944, Lt. Colonel A.S. Lewis arrived to take over command of the Battalion. [44]   Four days later, Lt. Colonel Bowers left the Battalion for the Burma Regimental Centre at Hoshiarpur and Lt. Colonel Lewis took over command.  During November nearly 200 officers and men joined the Battalion as reinforcements. [45]

Across the Irrawaddy with the 7th Indian Infantry Division

During December, Lieutenant-General Slim perfected his plan for the defeat of the Japanese in central Burma.  On 18th December, he briefed his two corps commanders, Messervy of IV Corps and Stopford of XXXIII Corps, and gave them their orders.  The IV Corps was to move down the Myittha Valley to Pakokku and establish a bridgehead across the Irrawaddy.  It was then to seize Meiktila and prepare to advance southwards.  The XXXIII Corps was to advance to Mandalay by way of Monywa.  Having captured Mandalay, the Corps was to then advance down the Mandalay-Rangoon road to Nyaunglebin.  The Japanese were at this time in contact with the 19th Indian Infantry Division, then under the command of the IV Corps, and were to be deceived into thinking that the whole of the 14th Army was advancing eastwards from the Chindwin.  The advance of the IV Corps southwards down the Myittha Valley was to be undertaken in complete secrecy. [46]

The 7th Indian Infantry Division now became the lead division within the IV Corps and began to concentrate at Gangaw towards the end of December 1944.  First to arrive in the area was the 114th Indian Infantry Brigade, covered by the 28th East African Infantry Brigade.  The main body of the Division left Kohima starting on 20th December.  On 19th January 1945, the advance of the 7th Indian Infantry Division to the Irrawaddy River began, led off by the 28th East African Infantry Brigade moving south along the main track from Gangaw to Pauk.  This brigade was followed by the 114th Indian Infantry Brigade and the divisional headquarters.  Covering the left flank of the main advance was the 89th Indian Infantry Brigade which was sent out eastwards on a secondary route towards Pauk.  The 33rd Indian Infantry Brigade, earmarked to make the crossing of the Irrawaddy, remained at Gangaw, waiting to be called forward.  Here, the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, began training for the river crossing with the rest of the Brigade, having arrived left Kohima on 12th January 1945 and arriving at Gangaw ten days later.  Training for the river crossing culminated in the Brigade Exercise 'Viking' on 1st February and later that day the Battalion prepared to move forward to Pauk.  The Battalion set off the next day and reached Tilin where it spent the night.  The next day, the Battalion arrived at Pauk where it took over an area recently occupied by a battalion of the King's African Rifles.  Final preparations were now made for the Brigade's assault crossing of the Irrawaddy.  On 6th February, Major Hales and Lieutenant J. Barnes, the Battalion Intelligence Officer, joined a reconnaissance of the Irrawaddy river bank. [47]   On 8th February, the Battalion left Pauk for Sinthe, the Brigade concentration area.  Arriving here on 10th February, the Battalion conducted further reconnaissance of the river bank over the next few days.   The plan for the crossing was shared with the company commanders at Brigade Headquarters.  Finally, on the night of 13th/14th February, the Battalion moved to the assembly area for the crossing.  At 14:00 on 14th February the Battalion began to cross the Irrawaddy into the Nyaungu bridgehead and was complete on the east bank, less transport, two hours later. [48]

The Battalion, to the east of Nyaungu, took up position as brigade reserve and made plans for the clearing of Nyaungu town.  The next morning, supported by tanks of the 116th Regiment (Gordon Highlanders), R.A.C. of the 255th Indian Tank Brigade, the Battalion began the dangerous task of clearing remaining Japanese soldiers from the area.  'A' and 'C' Companies came under fire from light and medium machine guns sited in bunkers sited beneath local huts.  Several casualties were suffered from this fire and also from enemy grenade launchers.  The companies withdrew 100 yards so that an air strike could be brought down upon the Japanese defenders.  It was reported to have been very effective.  'A' Company then advanced to the rear of 'Pagoda Hill' where a bunker and tunnel complex were found.  Tank support was requested in order to continue the operation but no tanks were available owing to an ammunition shortage.  'C' Company was next to report, having arrived on their final objective to the east of the village.  Here, the Company had come under heavy fire from Japanese dug in on the reverse slopes.  'D' Company and a troop of tanks were sent to move around the left flank of the stalled company and shortly afterwards 'C' Company reported that the reverse slopes had been cleared.  However, to the front, more Japanese continued to fire from a tunnel and, in the rear of the forward companies, it was found that some enemy soldiers had survived to reoccupy some of the cleared positions.  Clearing operations continued and the entrances and exits to enemy occupied tunnels and bunkers were demolished, sealing the unfortunate Japanese inside.  In the early evening, 'C' Company came under fire once again from the area of the bunkers and tunnels.  Six or seven Japanese soldiers were seen to make their escape under the cover of this fire.  There then passed a quiet night as the Battalion took stock of the day's casualties.  Five Other Ranks had been killed and three Governor's Commissioned Officers (G.C.O.s) and 44 Other Ranks wounded.  It was estimated that fifty Japanese had been killed. [49]

By the next morning, 16th February, Nyaungu was reported to be clear.   Throughout the fighting to clear the village and surrounding area, troops and supplies had continued to cross the river and the bridgehead had expanded to contain two infantry brigades and all their vehicles.  The 89th Indian Infantry Brigade was allocated the west and south sectors while the 33rd Indian Infantry Brigade held the east and south east.  The Battalion's pioneer platoon was ordered to close up remaining bunkers with explosives while the Battalion moved to new positions.  Over the next few days, the Battalion sent out patrols throughout the area looking for signs of the Japanese. [50]

Having established a firm bridgehead, the IV Corps plan was to pass the 17th Indian Infantry Division through to make a lightning thrust to take Meiktila.  Although Japanese remnants remained to be cleared from around the Nyaungu bridgehead, on 17th February the Corps Commander, General Messervy, decided to start bringing the 17th Indian Infantry Division across into the bridgehead.  The Japanese were initially slow to respond and when they did launch their counter attack it came in on the western sector where it was thrown back by the 89th Indian Infantry Brigade.  The 17th Indian Infantry Division began to move out for Meiktila on 19th February.  En route, this division would at first seize and hold Taungtha and then relinquish the town so as to gather in all its forces at Meiktila. [51]

Meanwhile, in the 33rd Indian Infantry Brigade sector, on 17th February, the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment had been in action once again.  Acting on a report from 'A' Company, artillery fire was brought down on a nearby nullah thought to harbour a party of Japanese.  There was sporadic sniping to contend with and the sounds of firing were often heard in the distance.  Occasionally, Japanese field guns fired on the positions held by 'B' Company but, during the next few days, there was no direct contact with the enemy and the men were able to take turns bathing in the river.  Then, on 24th February, 'D' Company suffered several casualties when advancing along the Irrawaddy to the east of Nyaungu.  By evening, the entire Battalion had moved to follow 'D' Company and total losses for the day were two Other Ranks killed and one Officer and 17 Other Ranks wounded.  The next morning, the advance continued, preceded by an air strike on Nyin, which was taken shortly after 14:00 by 'A' Company, supported by a troop of tanks.  The other companies moved around the village, encountering some opposition, and total casualties for the day were seven men wounded.  The Battalion remained in the area around Nyin throughout 26th February, sending out frequent patrols. [52]

For the 7th Indian Infantry Division, the objective was to now extend the bridgehead to the south to Chauk and to capture Myingyan to the east.  Myingyan would then be developed into the major crossing over the Irrawaddy and become the forward base for the 14th Army.  The Division was also responsible for recapturing Taungtha, relinquished according to plan by the 17th Indian Infantry Division as part of the operation to seize Meiktila.  Taungtha had been cleared by the 17th Indian Infantry Division during its drive to Meiktila but the Japanese had now returned. While for the time being the 17th Division was kept supplied from the air, land communications needed to be established and the Japanese driven from Taungtha once again. [53]

The 33rd Indian Infantry Brigade began the advance towards Myingyan and Taungtha on 28th February.  The Brigade plan was for two battalions to attack Myingyan and for the third, the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, to attack Taungtha.  The previous day, the Battalion had moved further to the east, with 'D' Company going to Nyil Alet in the rear of the 4th Battalion, 1st Gurkha Rifles.  On 28th February, the Battalion, less 'C' and 'D' Companies, moved to milestone 32 on the road running alongside the Irrawaddy.  The two remaining companies moved to Pyawgan, a little to the south of the river.  On 1st March, the Battalion moved to Ngathayauk, down the Chaungmagyi Chaung to the south east.  By the following morning, the Battalion had arrived in the area of Kamye, to the north east of Ngathayauk.  Over the next few days, the Battalion worked to clear the area to the east, across the Sindewa Chaung and up to Taungtha.  Patrols were sent out to reconnoitre the approaches to and beyond the Sindewa Chaung and intelligence was gleaned from local people.  On 4th March, a wounded enemy prisoner was sent in by 'A' Company and passed on to Brigade Headquarters. [54]

On the afternoon of 5th March, orders were issued for the move forward to the west bank of the Sindewa Chaung near Nwasaung, the eventual objective being Taungtha.  During a reconnaissance that day, the 'C' Company commander, Major K.A.J. Gorvett,  a platoon commander and one sepoy were wounded when the accompanying tank commander, Lieutenant W.J. Hendry, stepped on a mine and was killed. [55]   During the following day, the Battalion, supported by 'C' Squadron, 116th Regiment, R.A.C., crossed the Sindewa Chaung and advanced to Taungtha.  The enemy was encountered on numerous occasions but other than brief exchanges of fire there was no serious opposition.  By midday, the railway line and station to the west of Taungtha had been reached.  A number of snipers were dealt with and one Japanese taken prisoner.  By evening, the Battalion was consolidating its positions in and around Taungtha.  Total casualties for the day were one British Officer, one G.C.O. and one Other Rank wounded.  The next day, 7th March, the Battalion continued to clear the area of Taungtha. Several Jeeps were damaged by enemy shell fire.  'D' Company was sent to seize a hillock to the south east of Taungtha, identified as Point 676.  The planned air strike on 'D' Company’s objective failed to appear but the attack went in anyway, supported by tanks.  The Japanese put up a stiff fight, wounding Lieutenant A.A. Higgins, killing two sepoys and wounding seven others. [56]   The attack failed and 'D' Company withdrew to the previous position.  Clearance operations continued over the next few days.  Japanese 'jitter' parties were active each night and occasional shell fire landed in the Battalion area.  During the late morning of 9th March, 'B' Company reported the capture of a complete set of cinema equipment, found amongst a collection of motor transport spares being carried in bullock carts.  On 10th March, a patrol returned to Point 676 and encountered a Japanese patrol which was fired upon.  At 11:45 an air strike was made upon Point 676 after which enemy soldiers were seen to move about the position. [57]

Japanese troops in small detachments continued to make their presence felt around Taungtha.  The Battalion sent out patrols through the surrounding area and all returned to report encounters with the enemy.  Sporadic enemy shellfire continued.  A further air strike was launched on Point 676 on 12th March but the Battalion made no attempt to follow it up.  Two days later, 'C' Company was sent to attack the high ground to the north of Taungtha, centred on point 1788.  Despite meeting some opposition, the position was taken by 09:30.  A number of Japanese were killed and others found dead.  An enemy observation post was taken and an enemy field gun knocked out by artillery fire brought down upon it by an observer who had accompanied 'C' Company onto the hill.  Later that morning a report was received that Point 676 was now in British hands, having been taken by a company of the 4th Battalion, 1st Gurkha Rifles.  Meanwhile, 'C' Company on Point 1788 continued to take casualties from enemy snipers and killed four Japanese who tried to charge the position.  During the afternoon, shell fire came down upon the unfortunate company and the Company's third platoon was prevented from joining up with the rest of the Company by enemy machine guns.  That night, 'C' Company was forced to give up part of the position on Point 1788 when it was overrun by the Japanese.  Although the position was reoccupied the next morning the third platoon was still unable to join up with the Company.  During 15th March, the Battalion suffered nine sepoys killed and eight wounded.  The next morning, 'D' Company with tanks in support, attacked and cleared the village of Inywa to the south of Taungtha.  Elsewhere, small parties of Japanese were seen around Taungtha but no clashes occurred.  On the morning of 17th March, no sightings were made of the enemy in any of the villages cleared previously but later in the day reports came in of enemy detachments being seen further out. [58]

By now , the 161st Indian Infantry Brigade of the 5th Indian Infantry Division had moved across into the Nyaungu bridgehead and was coming up to relieve the Battalion at Taungtha.  Once relieved, the Battalion was to return to Nyaungu.  Here the Battalion was to remain until relieved by the 1st Battalion, Queen's Royal Regiment, which was returning to the 33rd Indian Infantry Brigade after a period of rest and rehabilitation.  The 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment was then to join the 5th Indian Infantry Division at Meiktila. [59]

At 09:00 on 18th March, the first elements of the 4th Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment, part of the 161st Indian Infantry Brigade, began arriving to take over from the Battalion which went back to Nyaungu as ordered.  Having arrived there by midday on 20th March, the following morning, the Battalion took over from the 2nd Battalion South Lancashire Regiment.  The next few days gave the battalion the opportunity to rest and refit.  On 1st April, the Commanding Officer, 7th Indian Infantry Division, visited the Battalion to say farewell.  The next day, the Battalion set off for Meiktila by lorry, to join the 5th Indian Infantry Division. [60]  

Operations in South Burma with the 5th Indian Infantry Division

By 5th April, the Battalion was concentrated in Meiktila, where it came under the command of the 9th Indian Infantry Brigade.  The Battalion took up positions to the immediate east of Meiktila, with 'C' and 'D' Companies on the airstrip.  The first half of April 1945 was spent resting, providing guards and sending out patrols. [61]

By now the Japanese attempts to recapture Meiktila and the Myitche-Nyaungu areas had been completely defeated.  The shattered enemy formations were in retreat: the15th Army withdrew from the Irrawaddy front to the area east of Kyaukse and Kume; the 33rd Army from Meiktila southwards to the Pyawbwe area.  In the British IV Corps sector, the 17th Indian Infantry Division was directed towards Pyawbwe by way of Thazi.  The 5th Indian Infantry Division was organised as a mobile reserve for the IV Corps’ ultimate task, the drive down the Sittang Valley to Rangoon.  Pyawbwe was taken by 10th April and its capture resulted in the final destruction of the Japanese 33rd Army.  As the 17th Indian Infantry Division mopped up in and around the town, the 5th Indian Infantry Division, with the 123rd and 161st Indian Infantry Brigades, and supported by tanks and armoured cars of the 255th Indian Tank Brigade, passed through to pursue the retreating Japanese.  The 5th Division's 9th Indian Infantry Brigade remained in reserve at Meiktila.  The 123rd Indian Infantry Brigade was the Division's lead formation and after a stiff fight captured Yamethin on 14th April.  Fearing further delay to the British advance on Rangoon, the 161st Indian Infantry Brigade was given control of the armoured advanced group and sent southwards while the 123rd Brigade remained to complete the mopping up of Yamethin. [62]

The 9th Indian Infantry Brigade was now sent down from Meiktila to Tatkon, where an airstrip was prepared to supply both the 17th and 5th Indian Infantry Divisions.  On 16th April, the companies of the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment concentrated around Battalion Headquarters in preparation for a move south.  That same day, the Battalion Commanding Officer, Lt. Colonel Lewis left to take temporary command of the 9th Indian Infantry Brigade when the Brigade commander fell sick.  Major Hales, the Battalion second-in-command, took over and the next day led the Battalion on the move to Tatkon, down the Meiktila-Pyinmana road.  Having arrived in the Tatkon area in the early afternoon of 17th April, the Battalion was immediately ordered to Shwemyo, around five miles further south on the railway just to the west of the road.  Here, the Japanese had delayed the advance of the 161st and the 123rd Indian Infantry Brigades. [63]

The Battalion arrived at Shwemyo during the late afternoon of 18th April and took up positions.  During the night, 'C' Company was attacked by several 'jitter' parties and in the morning found five enemy dead around the Company's positions.  To the south, the Japanese had also attacked both the 161st and the 123rd Indian Infantry Brigades during the night but it was soon realised that these attacks were  diversions to cover a general retreat by the enemy main body.  The 5th Indian Infantry Division had by now issued orders for the encirclement of Pyinmana and on the morning of 19th April, the armoured advanced guard captured the bridge over the Sinthe Chaung, to the north of the town. [64]

The 9th Indian Infantry Brigade was now sent against Pyinmana via the railway line, which runs to the west of both the Sinthe Chaung and the road.  Having previously been organised as an airborne formation (without transport) for the operation at Meiktila, the men marched on foot and most of the equipment had to be carried by local bullock carts.  On 19th April, the Battalion moved again, this time for Ywadaw.  The southward advance of the 9th Indian Infantry Brigade was slowed briefly when the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Punjab Regiment were held up by the Japanese.  That afternoon, Lt. Colonel Lewis returned to take command of the Battalion which stayed the night at Pyokkwe.  The Brigade advance continued with the Battalion acting as the Brigade advance guard.  'A' Company led the way to Ywadaw, riding on tanks of the 255th Indian Tank Brigade.  Ywadaw was reached that afternoon and from the positions taken up by the Battalion, during the early morning of the next day, 20th April, the men were able to watch the Brigade column drive past on the way to Pyinmana.  The Battalion moved out on foot at 07:30, marching alongside the railway.  Pyinmana was reached by the Battalion during the afternoon. [65]

The speed with which the 161st Indian Infantry Brigade had moved allowed it to secure the bridge across the Sinthe Chaung and the northern part of Pyinmana against little opposition.  Leaving the clearing of the rest of the town to the 9th Indian Infantry Brigade, the 161st Indian Infantry Brigade by-passed the town and headed for Lewe to the south.  The night of 21st/22nd April passed quietly for the 1st Battalion and the following morning it set off for Lewe on foot, leaving behind 'A' and 'D' Companies.  Lewe, which had been occupied by the 161st Indian Infantry Brigade two days earlier, was reached at around 16:00.  'A' and 'D' Companies followed up in motor transport and headed for the airstrip to the south of the town.  There were only minor encounters with the Japanese during the night and the next day, 23rd April, the former town magistrate visited Battalion headquarters and welcomed the unit with gifts of fruit and sweets.  The Battalion remained at Lewe until the end of the month, sending out patrols in attempt to negate the many small groups of Japanese still in the area. [66]

The 123rd Indian Infantry Brigade now took the lead and headed for Toungoo.  On 22nd April, Toungoo airfield was taken without opposition and the town was found to be abandoned by the enemy.  The IV Corps then sent the 17th Indian Infantry Division ahead from Toungoo to take Pegu, the advance beginning on 28th April.  Meanwhile, intelligence indicated that a large force of Japanese was moving south down the east bank of the Sittang.  The IV Corps ordered the 9th Indian Infantry Brigade to be airlifted from Lewe to forward airfields to attack this enemy force in the Shwegyin-Waw area.  On the morning of 29th April, the Battalion emplaned at Lewe airstrip and flew to Pyuntaza, the last elements of the Battalion disembarking at around 17:30 that day.  Here the Battalion was joined by the 11th Battery of the 24th Mountain Regiment, Indian Artillery and a troop of armoured cars of the 16th Light Cavalry. [67]

The Battalion and its supporting units immediately set off for Shwegyin via Madauk, on the west bank of the Sittang River.  During 1st May, 'A' and 'C' Companies, with a platoon from 'B' Company, crossed the river by country boat and by ferry.  These units immediately advanced to Shwegyin where they set up ambush positions.  Local intelligence revealed that the Japanese were travelling from north to south, passing through Shwegyin in small parties each night.  However, no enemy were encountered that first night and it seemed that the Japanese had detected the presence of the troops and bypassed them by travelling further to the east.  On 2nd May, patrols were sent out to the north and east and at least two prisoners were taken.  Throughout the next two days and nights, there were minor encounters with the Japanese during which a small number of enemy were killed and a handful taken prisoner.  On a few occasions, artillery and mortar fire was brought down on more distant parties of Japanese and it was thought that casualties were inflicted.  On 5th May, 'B' Company crossed the Sittang, collected its platoon and, with 'A’ Company, headed north of Shwegyin to Thayetchaung where it set up a base from which to carry out offensive patrols.  The following morning, 'B' Company reported that in clashes with the enemy, it had killed three and wounded six.  Captain Wiggins took a platoon from 'C' Company to make contact with a Force 136 officer at Sawthetha, around five miles or so to the east of Shwegyin.  The Companies around Shwegyin juggled their positions daily, always seeking to ambush the Japanese.  Over the next few days, increasingly larger parties of Japanese were encountered and ambushed.  Others were subjected to artillery and mortar fire.  During 7th May, two companies of the 1st Battalion, 17th Dogra Regiment reinforced the troops around Shwegyin.  On 8th May, one of these companies reported that it had caught around 25 Japanese mid-stream as they attempted to cross the chaung at Shwegyin.  The Dogras immediately let loose with their own mortars, causing more than ten enemy casualties and forcing the enemy party back to the north bank.  That evening, the 1st Battalion brought back its companies to the west bank of the Sittang River and concentrated at Madauk. [68]

The next day, the Battalion completed the handover of the area to the Dogras and boarded motor transport for Pyuntaza.  Within 30 minutes of arriving at Pyuntaza, the Battalion was ordered to move immediately to the 9th Indian Infantry Brigade area at Waw, which was reached just before midnight.  The Battalion was then sent to Abya, on the north bank of the Sittang bend and then, on 11th May, to the area of Nyaungkashe village.  From there, patrols were sent out and there were occasional clashes with small parties of Japanese during which casualties were inflicted on the enemy.  On 16th May, a river patrol sent out by 'B' Company met an enemy country boat which it sank immediately by fire.  The next day, the Battalion moved to the village of Pannyo South.  Here, it was found that the Japanese occupied a village to the south called Tawgyi.  On 17th May, 'A' and 'D' Companies were sent to clear them out and, following a preliminary artillery bombardment, attacked the village.  The enemy resisted strongly and the two companies were forced to withdraw, taking their wounded with them.  Next morning, the two companies, now reinforced by 'B' Company, returned.  With the aid of two air strikes and support from a squadron of tanks from the 7th Light Cavalry, the enemy were evicted from Tawgyi.  The nearby village of Zibyugon was cleared in similar fashion the next day and clearance operations continued throughout the area until 23rd May when the Battalion returned to the Abya area.  This must have been a strange time for the officers and men of the Battalion.  On the one hand, they were engaged with a desperate enemy who was prepared to fight to the death rather than surrender.  On the other, the Japanese in Burma had been beaten decisively, the end of the war was fast approaching and sightseeing trips to Rangoon were being organised for the Battalion leave parties.  The Battalion remained in the Abya-Thaiktugon area until 23rd June.  Clashes with the Japanese occurred daily - between patrols or when the enemy attacked defensive positions held by the Battalion.  Exchanges of fire involved hand grenades, machine guns, mortars and artillery.  On 23rd June, the Battalion began a move to Hlegu by way of Waw.  By 10:00 on the morning of 25th June 1945, the Battalion was concentrated in Hlegu. [69]

Hlegu. to the north of Rangoon on the Rangoon-Mandalay road which continues on to Pegu (now Bago), proved to be a much quieter station for the Battalion.  Having established a camp and defensive positions, the main task for the Battalion was to provide an escort for the daily armoured car patrols that operated between Hlegu and Gyogon, about ten miles to the north of Hlegu.  Every third day, a patrol of one section in strength was sent out north from Gyogon to Paynggyi to contact elements of the Burma National Army and obtain information.  Throughout this period, there was no contact with the Japanese. A platoon from 'B' Company went to Waw on 11th June, to join the Brigade party representing the formation in the Rangoon Victory Parade.  On 27th June, two thirds of the Battalion were able to enjoy a film shown in the Battalion lines by a visiting Indian film unit.  Two days later, the Commanding Officer, Lt. Colonel Lewis, left the Battalion to take up a post with General Headquarters India in Delhi.  Major R.F. Spence became the officiating commanding officer. [70] [71]

The Liberation of Singapore

At the end of June, the positions of the 5th Indian Infantry Division around Pegu and Waw were taken over by the 7th Indian Infantry Division.  The 5th Division moved to an area north and north east of Rangoon, in and around Mingaladon, where it began training in combined operations in preparation for Operation 'Zipper', the invasion of Malaya. [72]

In early July, a detachment from 'C' Company went to a site at milestone 15.5 on the Rangoon-Pegu road to begin construction of a new camp for the Battalion.  On 4th July, 58 men arrived to join the Battalion from the Reinforcement Camp at Comilla.  Two days later, the Battalion moved to the new camp at milestone 15.5 and joined in with the construction work.  On 10th July, the visiting Brigade Commander made an unofficial presentation of the Burma Gallantry Award to Lance Naik Sardara Singh of 'D' Company. [73]   The month of July saw the Battalion involved in a wide range of training activities, including working with tanks.  The troops also practised swimming in full equipment, as well as embarkation and disembarkation to and from landing ships and beach landings.  It was also a period of rest and every opportunity was taken to enjoy whatever entertainment was on offer.  Notable highlights were the visits by a canteen run by the Women's Army Service (Burma) - W.A.S.(B.).  The new commanding officer, Lt. Colonel H.R. Carmichael, M.C., 1st Battalion, 17th Dogra Regiment, arrived on 27th July.  Carmichael had been commissioned into the Indian Army and served with the 1st Battalion, Dogra Regiment, earning a mention in despatches for service on the North-West Frontier in 1937.  In 1941, he was seconded to the Royal Air Force where he became a fighter pilot.  In 1943, his Hurricane was shot down while on a mission over the Arakan.  He was captured by the Japanese but ten days later, despite his wounds, he managed to escape and find his way to British lines.  As a result of injuries sustained while being shot down, he then spent several months in hospital before returning to the 17th Dogra Regiment. [74] [75]

On 8th August, news was received of the possibility of a Japanese surrender.  If this came about, the 5th Indian Infantry Division would sail at once for Singapore.  Up to and following the actual surrender on 15th August, the Division had to plan for both the invasion of Malaya and the liberation of Singapore, not knowing which operation it would have to undertake.  As a result, there was much shuffling of men and stores and some ships were loaded only to be unloaded a few hours later.  Within a few days of the Japanese surrender, the 5th Indian Infantry Division was ordered to Singapore. [76]

On 19th August, the Battalion left the camp at milestone 15.5 and proceeded to 'S' Camp Assembly Area in Rangoon, not far from the race course.  The next day, orders were received to load all stores and men's kits on the ship taking them to Singapore.  Just one hour and half later, the orders were rescinded and all stores and kits were unloaded to travel with the men.  On the morning of 21st August, the Battalion marched down to the Pongyi Street Jetty and began embarking in L.C.A.s (Landing Craft, Assault).  The landing craft took the men out to the waiting ship, H.M.T. P.10.   Just after midday the next day, the transport ship moved two miles down the Rangoon River and lined up with the convoy awaiting orders to sail. [77]

Before the convoy could sail, formal negotiations were needed to confirm that the Japanese in Singapore would indeed surrender.  On 26th August, the two bombers, escorted by twelve Spitfires, carrying the Japanese delegation to Rangoon, flew over the waiting ships.  The Battalion remained on board ship on the Rangoon River while surrender negotiations were held with the Japanese in Rangoon.  Finally, all was agreed and on 30th August, the convoy set sail.  At 08:00 on the morning of 5th September, the ship carrying the 1st Battalion arrived off Singapore.  Just before 13:00 that afternoon, the Battalion disembarked and marched to the rendezvous site where they boarded Japanese lorries for the short journey to Kallang airfield.  During 6th September, the Battalion moved to Changi and took over areas previously occupied by the Japanese.  For the next few days, normal duties were undertaken.  A party was sent from the Battalion on 12th September to watch the official signing of surrender by the Japanese.  The weeks that followed were uneventful. [78]

Maintaining Order in Sumatra with the 26th Indian Infantry Division

With the surrender of Japan on 15th August 1945, South East Asia Command (S.E.A.C.) launched operations in Siam, Indochina, Hong Kong, parts of Borneo and the Netherland East Indies.  The immediate objective of these operations was to take control of territories formerly under Japanese occupation.  The tasks involved were to: enforce the Japanese surrender; secure and repatriate prisoners of war and civilian internees; maintain law and order; to help re-establish civil administration.  The force allotted to Sumatra was the 26th Indian Infantry Division, supported by the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy.  The Division was assigned to three areas: Padang; Medan; and Palembang.  Two of the Division’s brigades, the 4th and the 71st, were sent, the former to Medan and the latter to Padang.  Special teams had been created to co-ordinate the recovery of prisoners of war and civilian internees and were known as R.A.P.W.I (Recovery of Allied Prisoners-of-War and Internees).  However, on Sumatra the initial task of recovering the prisoners had already taken place before the 26th Indian Infantry Division arrived.  In mid-September, the conditions were found to be so bad that an immediate evacuation of prisoners was arranged using landing ships, an Australian air force squadron and by aircraft which had brought in supplies.  The whole of the evacuation of the prisoners of war was completed before a single Allied soldier landed.  When the 26th Indian Infantry Division did arrive, it assisted the Japanese to successfully carry out the concentration of the remaining 13,550 Dutch and Asian prisoners and internees in Medan, Palembang and Padang.   The Japanese had at first been ordered to leave Palembang, but on 16th October they reported that the situation in the area had deteriorated.  Reports were also received from R.A.P.W.I. teams requesting the suspension of the work to concentrate internees in Palembang due to safety concerns.  The Division Commander, Major-General Chambers, ordered the Japanese to return troops to the town, to restore order and to protect the oil refineries.  He also requested reinforcements so as to be able to station British troops in Palembang and on 21st October, the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, from the 5th Indian Infantry Division, sailed from Singapore to meet this need.  The 5th Division, meanwhile, had been sent to Java as an urgent reinforcement to the troops already there and who were now involved in very violent clashes with the Indonesian nationalists. [79]  

The Battalion began loading for Palembang on 20th October and assembled at Landswell Jetty before embarking on the five LCI(L)s (Landing Craft, Infantry) that would carry the men to Sumatra.  Later that morning, the convoy assembled south of Singapore Island.  It was made up of the five LCI(L)s, two LCTs (Landing Craft, Tank), two LCA(L)s (Landing Craft, Assault) in tow and an escort of a single frigate.  On the evening of 23rd October, the convoy anchored off the government wharf at Palembang and by 08:30 the following morning, the Battalion had disembarked.  The Battalion was now attached to the 26th Indian Infantry Division, and that morning the Division Commander, Major-General Chambers flew in to the aerodrome to meet the Battalion.  On 25th October, the Battalion began to reconnoitre its areas of responsibility and to settle in.  The Battalion Adjutant, Captain Barnes, took over offices in the town formerly occupied by the Japanese secret military police, the feared Kempei Tai (Kenpeitai).  A Japanese liaison officer reported to the mess that evening and was given orders for the next day's work.  'A' and 'C' Companies, under the command of Major J.E.D. Mann, left for the aerodrome on the morning of 26th October, where they established positions to protect the area. [80]   Another company took up position to guard the residential area where the Dutch civilian former internees were being collected.  Battalion Headquarters and the remaining troops remained in Palembang town. [81]

The Battalion Commanding Officer was instructed to give no hint of official recognition of the Indonesian nationalist cause.  He was to use the local police as much as possible to maintain order and to attempt to persuade local leaders to hand in their arms.  Japanese troops were to be used to guard the oil refineries and to enforce order in Palembang town.  Dutch armed forces were only to be used for the close protection of internee camps.  The arrival of the 1st Battalion at Palembang quickly restored order and the work to collect prisoners of war and internees from outlying camps was resumed. [82]

At the time of landing, there was limited disorder in Palembang town, but this was restricted to attacks on individuals, mainly Chinese, who were thought to be sympathetic to the Allies.  However, on 5th November, the Battalion received information that a R.A.P.W.I party at Benkoelen (Bengkulu), on the west coast, had been attacked by Indonesians.  Captain John Mockler, Indian Medical Service, and a Dutch officer named Treverroe were killed.  The Force 136 officer working with the two officers, Captain Smith, was badly beaten.  On 6th November, the funeral of the two officers took place and was attended by officers of the Battalion and two platoons from 'A' Company.  However, in Palembang, there were no clashes involving Allied troops until February 1946, when a group of naval officers were ambushed resulting in two being killed and the third wounded.  During early 1946, tension grew such that reinforcements were sent to Palembang and between 13th and 15th March, the Headquarters 71st Indian Infantry Brigade and the 1st Battalion, The Lincolnshire Regiment arrived from Padang. [83]

Upon arrival at Palembang, the 1st Battalion, The Lincolnshire Regiment took over protection of the airfield with one company and the remainder of the battalion was concentrated in the fort in Palembang town.  The 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, now under the command of the Brigadier, 71st Indian Infantry Brigade, remained responsible for protecting Dutch internees.  At the end of March, four men flew to Batavia, Java, from where they left to join the Burma Army contingent in the Victory Parade in the United Kingdom.  On 4th June 1946, Lt. Colonel Carmichael departed for the Burma Regimental Centre, having handed over command of the Battalion to Lt. Colonel J.R. Woodcock, 8th Battalion, 8th Punjab Regiment. [84]   However, Woodcock was soon succeeded in command and reverted to Major, following the arrival of Lt. Colonel J.C.W. Cargill, O.B.E. [85]   Cargill assumed command on 5th July. [86]

Early in July 1946, the evacuation of the Japanese from the area began.  The Japanese had been used to guard vital installations and mount patrols, while the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment concentrated on protecting the Dutch internees.  With their departure, two Gurkha battalions were sent from Malaya to take over the town and airfield.  The Lincolns and the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment were sent down river to take over protection of the oil refineries from the departing Japanese.  The 1st Battalion headquarters were established at Soengei Gerong (Sungai Gerong), to the south of Palembang, on 25th July.   Early in August, reinforcements arrived to join the 1st Battalion in the form of 'B' Company, 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment.  It seems this company was known as 'E' Company while serving with the 1st Battalion.  In mid-August, the Battalion took over the defence of the oil refineries at Soengei Gerong and Bagoes Koenig from the Japanese.  On 24th August, Lt. Colonel Cargill left the Battalion temporarily to assume officiating command of the Brigade while the Brigadier was away on leave.  Major Shah Nawaz Khan took over command of the Battalion in his absence. [87] [88]

In August 1946, it was announced that Dutch troops would take over the areas occupied by the British.  The hand over was to be completed by the end of November, the British were to be withdrawn and the 26th Indian Infantry Division disbanded.  The Dutch began arriving in October and the hand over proceeded smoothly and peacefully. [89]

On 8th October, Lt. Colonel Cargill returned to command the Battalion, which was still located in the Soengei Gering area.  The local situation had remained calm throughout his absence.  At the beginning of November, the Battalion was relieved on a company by company basis by the Dutch VII Shock Battalion.  The handover was completed by 7th November and two days later the Battalion embarked aboard landing craft at Soengei Gerong.  By the afternoon, the craft had transported the Battalion down the Moesi River to meet the ship taking the troops back to Burma, the M.T. 'Dilwara'.  The ship sailed the next day and during the afternoon of 17th November, the Battalion disembarked at Rangoon and moved into camp.  'E' Company, presumed to be the reinforcement company from the 2nd Battalion, took over the Mandalay Supply Train guard from the 6th Kumaon Regiment on 20th November.  All other guard and sentry duties were taken over from the 6th Kumaon Regiment the following day. [90]

During January 1947, the Battalion moved to a camp on the old race course in Rangoon.  The Battalion continued to provide guards and sentries.  On 7th January, Lt. Colonel Cargill left the Battalion to attend the Staff College at Quetta.  Major Shah Nawaz Khan became the officiating commanding officer.  Guard duties were rotated between companies and with the 2nd Reinforcement Battalion, The Burma Regiment and the 1st Chin Rifles.  The Battalion remained in camp in Rangoon through the first half of 1947, undertaking numerous guard duties.  On 12th March 1947, 'B' Company, 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, attached to the Battalion since August 1946, returned to its parent unit.  By now it had been made clear by the Burmese that, following independence, they wished for the Burma Army to manned entirely by Burmese, although subsequently a number of Gurkha troops were retained.  The 1st Battalion, composed of Sikhs and Punjabi Mussalmen, was therefore not required.  It was announced that the Battalion would start disbandment on the 1st April 1947 and on 12th March the Demobilisation Touring Team arrived to begin release documentation.  The disbandment schedule called for the Battalion to be completely disbanded by 1st June 1947. [91]

 


[1] Thomas Ivan Bowers, born, 1st October 1897.  Commissioned to the Unattached List as 2nd Lt., 30th January 1917.  Appointed to the Indian Army as 2nd Lt. (AI 153), attached to the 11th Rajputs, 4th February 1917.  Served Mahsud, 2nd March 1917 to 10th August 1917.  Promoted to Lieutenant, 30th January 1918.  Served Afghanistan, N.W. Frontier, 1919.  Officer of the 9th Bhopal Infantry, attached to the Chitral Scouts from 31st May 1919.  As Lieutenant, Chitral Scouts, awarded Military Cross, for distinguished service in the Field in the Afghan War, 1919, gazetted, 3rd August 1920.  Promoted to Captain, 30th January 1921.  Served North West Frontier of India, 1930.  Served Burma (Saya San Rebellion), 1930-32.  Served as Assistant commandant, the Burma Military Police, 1933.  Promoted to Major, 30th January 1935.  As Captain, 10th Baluch Regiment, attached to the Burma Military Police, awarded a Bar to the Military Cross for gallant and distinguished  service in respect of operations in the Wa States, Burma, January to July 1934, gazetted, 28th May 1935.  Served North-West Frontier, 1936-37.  Mentioned in Despatches for distinguished service rendered in Waziristan, North West Frontier of India, 25th November 1936 to 16th January 1937, gazetted, 18th February 1938.  Commandant, the Myitkyina Battalion, Burma Frontier Force, 1939 to 31st October 1940.  Appointed Commanding Officer of the 8th (Frontier Force) Battalion, The Burma Rifles, 1st November 1940.  Acting Lt. Colonel, 1st November 1940 to 31st January 1941.  Temporary Lt. Colonel from 1st February 1941.  First Commander, 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, September 1942 to 10th October 1944.  As acting Lt.-Colonel, Commanding Officer, 8th Burma Rifles, awarded DSO, gazetted, 28th October 1942.  Promoted from Major (temporary Lt. Colonel) to Lt. Colonel, 30th January 1943.  Retired but carried on the Special List (ex Indian Army) British Army while employed with the Pakistan Armed Forces, 1st January 1949.  Ceased to be employed with the Pakistan Armed Forces and reverted to the retired list, 7th December 1954.  As Lt. Colonel, C.B.E., D.S.O., M.C. (439632), Special List (ex Indian Army) (Retired), granted the honorary rank of Colonel, 7th December 1954.  Died, 1980 (“War Services of British and Indian Officers of the Indian Army 1941”, Savannah (2004); History of the 7th (Burma Police) Battalion: The Burma Rifles, 1940-1942”; British Army List; FindMyPast; India Office List 1933; Indian Army List; London Gazette; WO 373/30/155; WO 172/980; WO 172/5036).

[2] David Robert Andrew McCorkell born, 22nd April 1916.  Assistant Superintendent, Burma Police, 1st January 1938 to 1st November 1940.  Served as Headquarters Assistant, Burma Police, Meiktila, 1939.  Assistant Superintendent, Burma Police, Rangoon, October 1940.  Released from service with the Burma Police to serve with the 7th (Burma Police) Battalion, The Burma Rifles, 1st November 1940.  Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant, ABRO (ABRO 147), 1st November 1940.  Served with the 7th (Burma Police) Battalion, The Burma Rifles, 1st November 1940 to September 1942?.  War substantive Lieutenant and temporary Captain from 7th June 1941.  Promoted to Lieutenant, 1st May 1942.  War substantive Captain and temporary Major from 13th August 1942.  As Lieutenant (temporary Captain.) mentioned in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Burma, 28th October 1942.  Commanding Officer of the Fort Herz Detachment, 10th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 16th November 1943 to 1945.  As Captain, 10th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, awarded the Military Cross, 8th February 1945.  As 2nd Lieutenant, relinquished commission and granted the rank of honorary Major, 20th January 1946.  As Acting Superintendent, Federation of Malaya Police Force, awarded the Colonial Police Medal, 9th June 1955  (Anglo-Burmese Library; Burma Army List 1943; Burma Defence Services List July 1941; India Civil List; London Gazette; WO 373/35/128).

[3] Michael Edward Busk, born, 25th February 1920.  Served with the Burma Police, 1939 to 1941.  Travelled from Liverpool to Rangoon on board S.S. "Sagaing".  Occupation "Burma Police", 11th August 1939.  Commissioned to the General List, Regular Army Emergency Commission, from Cadet at O.C.T.U. as 2nd Lt. (217670), 26th October 1941.  Served with the 7th (Burma Police) Battalion, The Burma Rifles, 1942.  As Captain, Company Commander, "C" Company, the 7th (Burma Police) Battalion, The Burma Rifles, March 1942 to June 1942.  Served with the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1942?  As Captain, Commander of the Kumaoni Company, the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, transferred with the company to the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1st July 1943.  Married Priscilla Barker at Poona, India, 26th May 1943.  Served with the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Rifles from 11th November 1943.  Promoted war substantive Captain and temporary Major, 10th September 1944.  As temporary Captain, attached The Burma Rifles, awarded the Military Cross, gazetted, 26th April 1945.  Assistant Commissioner for Police, Rangoon, 9th October 1945 to 16th April 1948.  As war substantive Captain, M.C., General List, relinquished commission and granted the honorary rank of Major, 22nd January 1946.  Served as Assistant District Superintendent, Burma Police, 1946?  Served with the Federated Malay States Police, 1948? to 1950s?  Travelled from London to Singapore with wife and two children, on board S.S. "Carthage".  Occupation "Police", 30th May 1953.  Travelled from Hong Kong to London on board the S.S. "Chusan", occupation "police officer", resident in North Borneo.  Arrived, 1st December 1953.  Died, July 2000 ("History of the 7th (Burma Police Bn, The Burma Rifles, 1940-42"; War Diary of the 2nd Burma Rifles, WO 172/2658; Access to Archives; Ancestry.co.uk; British Army List; FindMyPast; London Gazette; rootsweb.ancestry.com; War diary 2nd Burma Regiment, WO 172/10320; War Diary 7th Burma Rifles, WO 172/979 (http://www.rothwell.force9.co.uk/burmaweb/WO_172_979.htm); War Diary of the 2nd Burma Rifles, WO 172/2658).

[4] History of the 7th (Burma Police) Battalion: The Burma Rifles, 1940-1942”

[5] “Reorganisation of the Burma Army”, (British Library) L/WS/1/1313

[6] L/WS/1/1313

[7] L/WS/1/1313

[8] Richard Caunce Walker born, 14th August 1916.  Married Isobel Douglas.  Worked as an assistant for Rowe & Co., 416 Dalhousie Street, Rangoon, 1st January 1941.  Emergency Commission as 2nd Lt. to the General List (189632), 28th April 1941.  As 2nd Lt., served with the 6th Battalion, The Burma Rifles, 1941.  War substantive Lieutenant, temporary Captain, 15th November 1941.  Served with F.F.7, Burma Frontier Force, February 1942.  Commanded the Hukawng Valley/Fort Hertz Detachment, 10th Burma Regiment, March/April 1943 to August 1944?  As Captain, Mentioned in Despatches, gazetted, 5th April 1945.  As war substantive Captain, temporary Major, the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, awarded the M.B.E., gazetted, 14th November 1946.  As Manager, Rowe & Co., sailed from London to Rangoon aboard the S.S. "Derbyshire”, departed, 10th December 1947.  Died, 29th November 1971 (Burma Army List 1943; Burma Defence Services List July 1941; “Burma Bde and Regt”, WO 203/974; WO 203/118; FindMyPast; http://www.kirkyards.co.uk/colvend/southwick.asp?offset=140; London Gazette; Thacker's Directory; WO 203/5697; WO 373/103/179).

[9] L/WS/1/1313; “Amiable Assassins”, Fellowes-Gordon I, Hale, 1957; WO 373/35/128; 7th Burma Rifles

[10] L/WS/1/1313, WO 106/4587; 7th Burma Rifles

[11] L/WS/1/1313, WO 106/4587; WO 203/503

[12] Letter from C-in-C 11th Army Group to GHQ India, 4th March 1944 in WO 203/1169

[13] War diary 1st Burma Regiment, WO 172/5036

[14] “The War Against Japan, Volume III, The Decisive Battles”, Woodburn Kirby S., HMSO, 1961

[15] “The War Against Japan”

[16] “The War Against Japan”

[17] John Edward Walliker, born, 10th January 1919.  Emergency Commission to the Regular Army as 2nd Lieutenant (EC 145346), The Welch Regiment, 30th August 1940.  Seconded to the 5th Battalion, The Burma Rifles, 12th May 1941.  Served with the 5th Battalion, The Burma Rifles, 12th May 1941 to 20th May 1942.  Served with the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1st October 1942? to 12th July 1944.  War substantive Captain from 4th April 1944.  Evacuated sick, beyond the Regimental Aid Post, 12th July 1944.  As war substantive Captain, temporary Major, 1st Battalion The Burma Regiment, awarded the Military Cross, gazetted, 5th October 1944.  Promoted to Lieutenant, 22nd March 1947, with seniority from 3rd November 1941.  Promoted to Captain, 22nd March 1947, with seniority from 1st July 1946.  Promoted to Major, 3rd May 1953.  As an Army Officer, travelled from Lagos to Liverpool aboard the S.S. "Aureol", arrived, 21st March 1960.  As Major, retired from the Regular Army, 3rd May 1961  (ancestry.co.uk; British Army List; London Gazette; Burma Defence Services List July 1941; War diary 1st Burma Regiment, WO 172/5036; War diary 5th Burma Rifles, WO 172/978; WO 373/34/75).

[18] Keith Lawrence Goodwin Hales, born, 18th March 1911.  Sailed from London to Bombay aboard S.S. "Strathmore", occupation listed as "bank clerk", 15th February 1936.  Worked as Chief Assistant for Thomas Cook & Son (Bankers) Ltd. 102 Phayre Street, Rangoon, 1940-41.  Commissioned as 2nd Lt., ABRO (ABRO 80), 16th October 1941.  Staff Captain, Burma Frontier Force, 1942.  Temporary Captain from 14th March 1942.  Served with the 5th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1943.  Served with the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment as "D" Company Commander, 1944.  Second-in-Command, the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment from 6th June 1944 to April 1945.  Arrived at Liverpool from Rangoon aboard S.S. "Salween", occupation listed as "bank assistant", 22nd June 1948.  Arrived at Liverpool  from Bombay aboard S.S. "Caledonia", occupation listed as "banker", resident of Dacca, 14th May 1959.  Died, 1995 (“Notes on [the] Burma Frontier Force” by Captain Hales, WO 203/5698; ancestry.co.uk; Burma Army List 1943; FindMyPast; Thacker's Directory 1940, 1941; War Diary 1st Burma Regiment, WO 172/5036).

[19] WO 172/5036

[20] Henry Marshall Gray, born, possibly Edinburgh, 18th December 1912.  Employed in the Research Department, Oil Palms of Malaya Ltd., Johore, pre-war.  Served as Corporal, Johore Volunteer Engineers, 1940?.  Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant, attached to the 1st Battalion, Mysore Infantry (Indian States Forces), 18th December 1941.  Emergency Commission as 2nd Lieutenant ( 221756) to the General List (probably in Malaya), 18th December 1941.  Escaped from Pengarang, Johore to Sumatra, 17th February 1942.  Reached Ceylon from Sumatra, February 1942.  Joined the Indian Army, Emergency Commission as 2nd Lieutenant, early 1942.  Attached to the 15th Punjab Regiment, 1942?.  As 2nd Lieutenant, served with the Kokine Garrison Battalion, Burma Frontier Force, 3rd May 1942 to 30th September 1942.  War substantive Lieutenant, 1st October 1942.  Served with the Kokine Garrison Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1st October 1942 to 1943?  Served with the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1944 to 1945.  Temporary Captain from 19th April 1944.  Acting Major, 12th November 1944 to 11th February 1945. War substantive Captain, temporary Major from 12th February 1945.  (Possibly) As Lieutenant (221756), the General List, relinquished commission and granted the honorary rank of Lieutenant, 6th February 1946.  With occupation of "planter", sailed from Southampton for Singapore aboard "Oranje", departed, 30th March 1946.  Manager, Ulu Remis Estate, Layang Layang, Malaya, from 1946.  Married Louise Barrie, 1946.  With occupation of "scientist", sailed from Southampton for Singapore aboard S.S. "Carthage", departed, 16th December 1949.  Died, Brompton Hospital, London, 1981 (ancestry.co.uk; www.malayanvolunteersgroup.org.uk accessed October 2017; British Army List; Indian Army List; London Gazette; Indian Army List October 1945, October 1946; War diary 1st Burma Regiment, WO 172/5036, WO 172/7801; War Diary of the Kokine Garrison Battalion, WO 172/691).

[21] Percy Hardie Murray Galbraith born, 17th June 1912. Attended the Glasgow Academy, 1919-1929. As member of the Territorial Army, Gate Cadet, Glasgow Academy Contingent, Junior Division, O.T.C.) to be 2nd Lieutenant, the 6th Battalion, Highland Light Infantry (T.A.), 14th January 1931. Commissioned from the Supplementary Reserve of Officers to the Unattached List for the Indian Army as 2nd Lieutenant, 1st September 1934. Arrived in India, 14th September 1934. Appointed to the Indian Army as 2nd Lieutenant (461 AI), 24th October 1935. Attached 2nd Battalion, 6th Rajputana Rifles [not established if he ever served with this battalion], 24th October 1935. As 2nd Lieutenant, served as Company Officer, 1st Battalion, 20th Burma Rifles, 24th October 1935. Officiating Quartermaster, 1st Battalion, 20th Burma Rifles, Mingaladon, late 1936 to 10th December 1937. Promoted to Lieutenant, 1st December 1936. As Lieutenant, served as Assistant Commandant with the Reserve Battalion, Burma Frontier Force at Pyawbwe, 10th December 1937 to early 1940?. On leave, ex India, October 1939 to 2nd January 1940. Served as Assistant Commandant with the Chin Hills Battalion, Burma Frontier Force at Pyawbwe at Falam, 16th March 1940 to 17th September 1940. Served with the 8th (Frontier Force) Battalion, The Burma Rifles, 1st October 1940 to September 1942. Temporary Captain, 1st October 1940. Acting Captain from 1st November 1940. Promoted to Captain, 1st September 1942. Becomes an officer of The Burma Regiment, on formation of the Regiment at Hoshiarpur, 1st October 1942. Acting Major, 1943. Second in Command of the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1944. As Major, temporary Lt. Colonel, Officiating Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, following the evacuation and subsequent going on leave of the actual Commanding Officer, 18th May 1944 to 13th July 1944. War substantive Major, temporary Lt. Colonel from 18th August 1944. Commanding Officer of the 2nd Karen Rifles, Bassein, 1946-1948. Retired from the Indian Army as Captain (war substantive Major) with the rank of Honorary Lt.-Colonel, 25th October 1948. On the British Army Reserve List as Major (honorary Lt.-Colonel) (49570), Highland Light Infantry, 6th December 1950. Australian Attorney-General’s Department, 1951. Relinquished commission in the Territorial Army Reserve of Officers, retaining the rank of honorary Lt.-Colonel, 17th June 1962 (British Army List; Burma Army List 1940, 1943; Burma Defence Services List July 1941; Glasgow Academy Roll of Service 1939-1945; http://www.thepeerage.com/p58596.htm; http://www.drumpublications.org/download/oralhistory.pdf; Indian Army List 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939; 1941; London Gazette; The Chin Hills Battalion, Mss Eur E250; War diary 1st Burma Regiment, WO 172/5036; War diary 8th Burma Rifles, WO 172/980).

[22] WO 172/5036

[23] “The War Against Japan”

[24] Peter Frank Taylor, born, Quetta, India, 18th January 1916.  Served with the Burma Frontier Force, 1940 to 1941.  Commissioned as 2nd Lt., ABRO (ABRO 95), 7th March 1940.  Served with the Reserve Battalion, Burma Frontier Force at Pyawbwe, before being transferred(?) sometime after, September 1940.  Promoted to Lieutenant, 21st December 1941.  As Lieutenant, served with F.F.5, Burma Frontier Force, 11th April 1942 to 13th April 1942.  Captured by the Japanese along with his commanding officer, Major Edgley, and the Commanding Officer, the 1st Battalion, Burma Rifles, at Migyaungye.  When the 1st Battalion, Burma Rifles launched a counter-attack, their captors murdered Edgley and attempted to murder Taylor.  However Taylor was wounded and feigned death and eventually escaped, 13th April 1942. Temporary Captain from 10th July 1942.  As Major, served as Company Commander, the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, from 1944 to March 1945.  Died, Cornwall, 1979 (“Burma Frontier Force by Lt. Col G.G. Pryce”, WO 203/5697; Burma Defence Services List 1941; Burma Army List 1943; FindMyPast; Private Papers of Lt. Col. I.C.G. Scott (IWM); War Diary of the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, WO 172/5036, WO 172/7801).

[25] WO 172/5036

[26] “The War Against Japan”

[27] WO 172/5036

[28] “The War Against Japan”

[29] WO 172/5036

[30] “The War Against Japan”

[31] WO 172/5036; “The War Against Japan”

[32] WO 172/5036; “The War Against Japan”

[33] “The War Against Japan”

[34] WO 172/5036

[35] “The War Against Japan”

[36] WO 172/5036

[37] “The War Against Japan”

[38] WO 172/5036; WO 373/34/75; “The War Against Japan”

[39] WO 172/5036

[40] WO 172/5036; “The War Against Japan”

[41] WO 172/5036

[42] WO 172/5036; “Golden Arrow, The Story of the 7th Indian Division in the Second World War, 1939-1945”, Roberts M.R., Gale & Polden, 1952

[43] WO 172/5036

[44] Alfred Spencer Lewis, born, 4th March 1904.  Granted Short Service Commission as Pilot Officer, Royal Air Force, 14th May 1923.  As Pilot Officer on probation, General Duties Branch, Royal Air Force, confirmed in rank, 14th November 1923.  Served in India, 4th October 1924 to 23rd November 1927.  Promoted to Flying Officer, General Duties Branch, Royal Air Force, 14th December 1924.  As 2nd Lieutenant, Unattached List for the Indian Army, appointed as Lieutenant, Indian Army as Lieutenant, 9th November 1928, with seniority from 14th August 1925.  Commissioned as 2nd Lt. to the Unattached List for the Indian Army (IA 395), 12th Frontier Force Regiment, 9th November 1928.  Served as Company Officer, 4th Battalion (Sikhs), 12th Frontier Force Regiment, 9th November 1928 to 30th April 1940.  Transferred to the Indian Establishment, 3rd December 1928.  As 2nd Lieutenant, Unattached List for the Indian Army, appointed to the Indian Army as Lieutenant, 7th December 1928, with seniority from 30th April 1926.  Served N.W. Frontier of India, 1930.  On leave, ex India to 14th August 1930.  As Company Officer, 4th Battalion (Sikhs), 12th Frontier Force Regiment, served as Battalion Quartermaster, 1931 to 1st April 1933.  Promoted to Captain, 14th May 1932.  As Company Officer, 4th Battalion (Sikhs), 12th Frontier Force Regiment, served as Battalion Adjutant from 1st April 1933 to 1935.  On leave, ex India, 8 months to 14th October 1935.  As Company Officer, 4th Battalion (Sikhs), 12th Frontier Force Regiment, served as Company Commander, 10th Battalion, 12th Frontier Force Regiment, 30th March 1936 to 1937.  On leave, ex India, 8 months 11 days to 13th March 1940.  G.S.O. 3rd Grade (Air Intelligence Liaison Officer), Northern Command, from 1st May 1940 to 21st July 1940.  Promoted to Major, 14th May 1940.  G.S.O. 2  [General Staff Officer 2nd Grade], General Headquarters, India (G.H.Q.(I)), General Staff Branch, Directorate of Military Training, Royal Air Force Liaison from 22nd July 1940 to 7th October 1942.  As acting Lt. Colonel, G.S.O., 1st Grade (Operations) (Intelligence), Central Command, from 8th October 1942.  Acting Lt. Colonel to 7th January 1943.  Temporary Lt. Colonel from 8th January 1943.  G.S.O. 2nd Grade, General Headquarters, India, 1943.  As Lt. Colonel,  Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 6th October 1944 to 29th June 1945.  G.S.O. 1st Grade, Directorate of Military Training, General Headquarters, India from 9th July 1945.  As temporary Lt. Colonel, 12th Frontier Force Regiment [serving with the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment], mentioned in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in Burma, gazetted, 10th January 1946.  As war substantive Major, temporary Lt. Colonel, Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, awarded the Distinguished Service Order [for service in 1945], gazetted, 6th June 1946.  As Major, Special List (ex Indian Army), British Army, retired with the honorary rank of Lt. Colonel, 12th December 1948 ("Golden Arrow, The Story of the 7th Indian Division" Roberts MR, Gale & Polden (1952);  "War Services of British and Indian Officers of the Indian Army 1941", Savannah (2004); British Army List; Indian Army List; London Gazette; War diary 1st Burma Regiment, WO 172/5036, WO 172/7801; WO 373/43/13).

[45] WO 172/5036; Golden Arrow

[46] “The War Against Japan, Volume IV, The Reconquest of Burma”, Woodburn Kirby S, HMSO, 1965

[47] John Barnes.  Emergency Commission to the Indian Army as 2nd Lieutenant, 16th January 1944.  As 2nd Lieutenant, arrived as reinforcement and joined the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 11th March 1944.  War substantive Lieutenant from 16th July 1944.  As Lieutenant, served as Intelligence Officer, 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1945.  As Captain and Adjutant, left the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment on attachment to the 1st Battalion, 18th Garhwal Rifles, 29th November 1945  (British Army List; Indian Army List October 1945; War diary 1st Burma Regiment, WO 172/5036, WO 172/7801).

[48] Golden Arrow; War diary 1st Burma Regiment, WO 172/7801

[49] WO 172/7801

[50] Golden Arrow; WO 172/7801

[51] Golden Arrow; “The War Against Japan”

[52] WO 172/7801

[53] “The War Against Japan”

[54] WO 172/7801; “The War Against Japan”; “Tank Tracks to Rangoon, The Story of British Armour in Burma”, Perrett B., Robert Hale, 1978

[55] Kelvin Arthur James Gorvett, born 1920.  Emergency Commission, Indian Army as 2nd Lieutenant (EC3570), attached to the 8th Punjab Regiment, 31st May 1941.  War substantive Lieutenant, 1st October 1942.  Acting Captain to 15th April 1943.  Temporary Captain from 16th April 1943.  Acting Major to 16th February 1944.  War substantive Captain, temporary Major, 17th February 1944 to 11th July 1945.  Served as Company Commander, 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1944 to 1945.  Wounded, 5th March 1945.  Relinquished commission on appointment to the Territorial Army, 4th September 1948  (British Army List; Indian Army List 1947; IWM JFU22; London Gazette; War diary 1st Burma Regiment, WO 172/5036, WO 172/7801).

[56] Arthur Akin Higgins.  Emergency Commission, Indian Army as 2nd Lieutenant (EC12202), commissioned from the ranks (private), 16th January 1944.  As 2nd Lieutenant, arrived as a reinforcement to join the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 20th March 1944.  Acting Captain from 22nd September 1944.  Acting Captain from 1st February 1945.  As Lieutenant, served as Battalion Signals Officer, 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, February 1945.  Took command of 'D' Company, 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 6th March 1945.  Wounded in the neck at Taungtha, 7th March 1945.  Died at "Morning Mist", Vumba, Umtali, Zimbabwe, occupation pharmacist, 20th April 1980 (Indian Army List October 1945; London Gazette; War diary 1st Burma Regiment, WO 172/5036, WO 172/7801).

[57] WO 172/7801; Commonwealth War Graves Commission

[58] WO 172/7801

[59] “The War Against Japan”

[60] WO 172/7801

[61] WO 172/7801

[62] “The War Against Japan”

[63] WO 172/7801; “The War Against Japan”

[64] WO 172/7801; “The War Against Japan”

[65] “Ball of Fire, The Fifth Indian Division in the Second World War”, Brett-James A, Gale & Polden, 1951; WO 172/7801

[66] WO 172/7801; “The War Against Japan”; Ball of Fire

[67] WO 172/7801; “The War Against Japan”

[68] WO 172/7801

[69] WO 172/7801

[70] Robert Francis Spence, born, 15th August 1908.  Acting Major, 1st April 1930 to 30th June 1941.  Serving with the 4th/5th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers, Territorial Army, as 2nd Lt., promoted to Lieutenant, 3rd October 1930.  Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant to the Unattached List from the Territorial Army, 31st January 1931.  Appointed to the Indian Establishment, attached to the 2nd Battalion, 16th Punjab Regiment, 18th February 1931.  Appointed to the Indian Army (425 IA), 1st April 1932.  Attached to the 3rd Battalion, 20th Burma Rifles, 1st April 1932 to 12th October 1936.  Promoted to Lieutenant, 30th April 1933.  Detached to the 10th Battalion, 20th Burma Rifles, 19th July 1933 to 1934-35?  Seconded to the Burma Military Police, 12th October 1936.  Seconded to the Burma Defence Forces, 1st April 1937.  Served with the Myitkyina Battalion, Burma Frontier Force, 1st April 1937 to 1938.  Served with the 2nd Rangoon Battalion, Burma Military Police, 1938 to 1939.  Promoted to Captain, 31st January 1939.  Leave ex India, October 1939 to 11th April 1940.  Served as Adjutant, 17th Dogra Regiment, 11th Battalion, Indian Territorial Force, 30th December 1939 to 1941.  Temporary Major, 1st July 1941 to 17th July 1942.  As Major, was Second in Command of the 7th Battalion, 16th Punjab Regiment, 1941.  Served with the 16th Punjab Regiment, 1941-1944?.  Temporary Major from 22nd March 1943.  Seconded to the Burma Army, 1945.  Served with the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1945.  Officiating Commandant, 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 29th June 1945 to 27th July 1945.  Promoted to Major, 1st July 1946.  Retired, 13th July 1948  ("Solah Punjab: The History of the 16th Punjab Regiment", Catto W. E., Gale & Polden (1967); British Army List; Burma Army List January – October 1938; Indian Army List ; London Gazette; War diary 1st Burma Regiment, WO 172/7801).

[71] WO 172/7801

[72] Ball of Fire

[73] Sardara Singh (Service No. 35279), a Jat Sikh from Ramgarh village in Ludhiana district, the Punjab.  While serving with the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, Lance Naik Sardara Singh commanded the Bren gun team of his section during a platoon attack on an enemy strongpoint on 7th March 1945 at Taungtha.  The platoon came under very heavy light machine gun fire and some artillery fire.  The section became pinned down by the fire from a bunker which was the platoon objective.  When all the other men in the team were wounded, Lance Naik Sardara Singh took the Bren gun and advanced alone towards the bunker, under fire all the while.  When within five yards of the bunker, he fired several long bursts before advancing to see if any of the enemy were still alive.  He was again fired upon by the enemy machine gun and quickly shot the last remaining defender of the bunker.  He then took possession of the enemy light machine gun.  By his actions he ensured that his platoon suffered no further difficulty in taking their objective.  He was awarded the Burma Gallantry Medal (WO 373/40/250).

[74] Humphrey Rawstone Carmichael, born, 5th March 1914.  Served in the ranks three years, 139 days.  Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant to the Unattached list for appointment to the Indian Army, 30th January 1936.  Transferred to the Indian Establishment, 21st February 1936.  Attached to the 1st Battalion, The King's Regiment, 18th March 1936.  Appointed to the Indian Army, attached to the 1st Battalion, 17th Dogra Regiment, 20th March 1937, with seniority from 30th January 1946.  Served with the 1st Battalion, 17th Dogra Regiment, 20th March 1937 to 17th November 1941.  Served North-West Frontier, 1936-37.  Promoted to Lieutenant, 30th April 1938.  Mentioned in recognition of distinguished services rendered in connection with the operations in Waziristan, North West Frontier of India, 16th September to 15th December 1937, gazetted, 16th August 1938.  Acting Captain to 1st January 1940.  Temporary Captain from 2nd January 1940.  Lieutenant, temporary Captain (52889) to be Pilot Officer (temporary) on employment with the R.A.F., 17th November 1941.  As Pilot Officer (Lieutenant, temporary Captain, Indian Army) (52889), to be war substantive Flying Officer, 1st October 1942.  While piloting a Hurricane, was shot down and captured by the Japanese Army in Burma, 26th April 1943.  Escaped from the Japanese, 6th May 1943.  Spent a long period in hospital after returning to Allied lines, 30th May 1943 to October 1943?  As Pilot Officer, R.A.F. (temporary Captain, 17th Dogra Regiment (52889), awarded the Military Cross, gazetted, 8th October 1943.  As Flying Officer, promoted to Flight Lieutenant (war substantive), 17th November 1943.  Promoted to Captain, 30th January 1944.  Relinquished commission as Flight Lieutenant, R.A.F. on return to Army duty, 1st January 1945.  Acting Lt. Colonel, 15th March 1945 to 20th May 1945.  Acting Lt. Colonel, 27th July 1945 to 18th August 1945.  Commanded the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 27th July 1945 to 4th June 1946.  Temporary Lt. Colonel from 19th August 1945.  As acting Lt. Colonel, mentioned in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Burma, gazetted, 9th May 1946.  Left the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment for the Burma Regimental Centre, 4th June 1946.  As acting Lt. Colonel (IA622), mentioned in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the Ear East, gazetted, 22nd August 1946.  As Major (66923), from the Special List (ex Indian Army), to be Major, Royal Army Ordnance Corps, 31st March 1948, with seniority from 5th March 1948.  Promoted to Lt. Colonel, 2nd November 1951.  Deputy Commander, 5 Base Ordnance Depot, Middle East Land Forces, 1954-1955.  Assistant Director of Ordnance Services, HQ, Eastern Command, 1957.  As Lt. Colonel, R.A.O.C., appointed to the Special List, 5th March 1965.  Retired on retired pay, 5th March 1969.  Died, 1995  (Indian Army List; Liddell Hart Military Archives; London Gazette; War diary 1st Burma Regiment, WO 172/7801, WO 172/10319).

[75] WO 172/7801

[76] Ball of Fire

[77] Ball of Fire

[78] Ball of Fire

[79] The War Against Japan, Volume V, The Surrender of Japan”, Woodburn Kirby S, HMSO, 1969

[80] John Edward Desmond Mann, born, Bombay, 8th January 1921.  Served in the ranks 121 days.  Commissioned from Cadet, Cadet Training Unit, Sandhurst, into the Royal Scots Regiment as 2nd Lieutenant (112881), 31st December 1939.  Promoted to Lieutenant, 1st July 1941.  As Captain, arrived to join the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 31st May 1945.  Served with the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 31st May 1945 to 1946.  Promoted to Captain, 1st July 1946.  Died and buried at Madras War Cemetery, 1st October 1946 (British Army List; Commonwealth War Graves Commission; London Gazette; War diary 1st Burma Regiment WO 172/7801, WO 172/10319).

[81] WO 172/7801

[82] “The War Against Japan”

[83] War diary 1st Burma Regiment, WO 172/7801; War diary 1st Burma Regiment, WO 172/10319; “Post-War Occupation Forces: Japan and South-East Asia”, Indian Official History, Prasad B., Orient Longmans, 1958

[84] James Ronald Woodcock, born, 12th October 1911.  Emergency Commission as 2nd Lieutenant, Royal Norfolk Regiment (138788), 4th July 1940.  War substantive Lieutenant from 15th April 1941.  Attached to the 8th Punjab Regiment, 1943 to 1946.  As Lieutenant, temporary Captain (138788), attached to the 8th Punjab Regiment, mentioned in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Burma, gazetted, 16th December 1943.  War substantive Captain, 1945.  As Major, temporary Lt. Colonel, took command of the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment at Palembang, Sumatra, 4th June 1946.  Upon relief by the new commander, 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, reverted to Major and returned to the 8th Battalion, 8th Punjab Regiment, 5th July 1946.  Appointed Lieutenant, Lancashire Fusiliers, 21st December 1946, with seniority from 1st August 1938.  As Lieutenant, war substantive Captain (Lancashire Fusiliers), promoted to Captain, 21st December 1946, with seniority from 12th October 1946.  As Major, Lancashire Fusiliers, to be Lt. Colonel on the Employed List(1), 15th November 1955.  As Lt. Colonel, Regular Army Reserve of Officers, having exceeded the age limit, ceased to belong to the Reserve of Officers, 11th July 1967.  Died, 1991 (Ancestry.co.uk; British Army List; Indian Army List; London Gazette; War diary 1st Burma Regiment, WO 172/10319).

[85] Jack Chalmers Wynn Cargill, born, 30th March 1910.  Served in the ranks, 30th March 1928 to 28th January 1931.  Commissioned to the Unattached List as 2nd Lieutenant, 29th January 1931.  Appointed to the Indian Establishment, 18th February 1931.  Appointed to the Indian Army (IA389), 7th Rajput Regiment, 19th March 1932, with seniority from 29th January 1931.  Promoted to Lieutenant, 29th April 1933.  Promoted to Captain, 29th January 1939.  Temporary Major, October 1940 to 30th June 1941.  Acting Major to 7th June 1941.  Acting Lt. Colonel to 22nd July 1943.  War substantive Major, temporary Lt. Colonel, 23rd July 1943.  Acting Colonel, 13th February 1945.  Acting Brigadier, 31st March 1945.  Mentioned in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Burma, gazetted, 5th April 1945.  Awarded the O.B.E., 28th June 1945.  Promoted to Major, 1st July 1946.  Assumed command of the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 5th July 1946.  Officiating Commander, 71st Indian Infantry Brigade, 25th August 1946 to 8th October 1946.  Left the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment to proceed to the Staff College, Quetta, 7th January 1947.  Mentioned in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the Netherlands East Indies (prior to 30th November, 1946), gazetted, 26th June 1947  (Indian Army List; London Gazette; War diary 1st Burma Regiment, WO 172/10319; War diary 1st Burma Regiment, WO 268/160).

[86] “The History of the First Battalion The Lincolnshire Regiment in Indian, Arakan, Burma and Sumatra, September 1939 to October 1946”, Gates L.C., 1949; WO 172/10319

[87] Shah Nawaz Khan.  Enrolled in the Indian Army, 30th December 1937.  Served as Jemadar with the 16th Punjab Regiment from 3rd August 1941.  Served with the Royal Indian Army Service Corps, 1943?  War substantive Lieutenant from 14th November 1943.  Returned from 13 Casualty Clearing Station, Pegu, to rejoin the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 3rd June 1945.  As Captain, served with the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1945.  As Major, temporary commanding officer, 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 24th August 1946 to 8th October 1946.  Enrolled for Short Service Commission for three years as Captain, 22nd November 1946.  As Major, Officiating Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, until disbandment(?), 7th January 1947 to 1st November 1947.  Captain, 1st February 1947  (Indian Army List; War diary 1st Burma Regiment, WO 172/7801, WO 172/10319, WO 268/160).

[88] War diary 2nd Burma Regiment, WO 172/10320; WO 172/10319; Lincolnshire Regiment

[89] Lincolnshire Regiment

[90] WO 172/10319

[91] War diary 1st Burma Regiment, WO 268/160

12 October 2017

 

Please e-mail Steve Rothwell with comments, additional information and requests for help

All content Copyright of the Burma Campaign web site - all rights reserved. 2015-2017

British & Commonwealth Orders of Battle Website