The Burma Campaign

4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment

Dedication
Subedar Kharak (Khadga) Bahadur Rai served with the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment throughout the 1943-1944 campaign.  For his continuous bravery and leadership he was awarded the Military Cross.  This history of the 4th Battalion is dedicated to his memory.[1]

 

Formation and Mobilisation for Action

The Burma Regiment came into being at Hoshiarpur, India, on 1st October 1942.  The Burma Frontier Force and Burma Military Police and all but one battalion of the Burma Rifles had been disbanded, and the officers and men were posted to the new Burma Regiment.  Six infantry and one mounted infantry battalions were planned, together with a holding and training battalion which would also act as the regimental centre and depot.  The 4th Battalion was formed from personnel of the Reserve Battalion, Burma Frontier Force and placed under the command of Lt. Colonel G.L. D'Oyly-Lowsley.  Initially the Battalion consisted of one company of Punjabi Mussalmen, one of Sikhs and two of Gurkhas.[2] [3]

In March 1943, 'C' Company under the command of Major C.D. Shaw was detached and sent on special duty to the Arakan where it fought with distinction in the battle for the tunnels at Buthidaung.[4]  It was known as the ‘Arakan Detachment’, Burma Regiment.  Following the return of Shaw's company to Hoshiarpur in July 1943, the Battalion completed its training under the command of Lt. Colonel H. Chappell and later Lt. Colonel B.J. Devenish-Meares.[5] [6] [7]

In June 1943 the Governor of Burma sanctioned a reorganisation of the then six battalions of the Burma Regiment, to take effect from 1st July that year.  The 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th Battalions were reorganised on the Indian Army War Establishment then in use.  The 3rd and 6th Battalions were disbanded to provide sufficient manpower for the remaining battalions, the men being assigned to the other battalions or to the Reinforcement Battalion at the Regimental Centre at Hoshiarpur.  The Reinforcement Battalion, sometimes referred to as the 10th Battalion or the Holding Battalion, was to hold a reserve of twenty percent of the combined sanctioned strength of the four remaining battalions.  However the provision of sufficient reinforcements continued to be a problem and it was later decided to disband the 5th Battalion to provide Sikh and Punjabi Mussalmen reinforcements for the 1st Battalion.  It was also decided that the 2nd Battalion should be reorganised on a reduced war establishment, sometimes referred to as 'cadre', to provide Gurkha and Kumaoni reinforcements for the 4th Battalion and for the special detachments serving with the 14th Army.[8]

This subsequent reorganisation was ordered to take place in November 1943.  The specific changes to the 4th Battalion were to be completed by 15th of that month.  The class composition of the Battalion was to be changed from four companies of Gurkhas to three of Gurkhas and one of Kumaonis.  This latter company was to be transferred from the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment and surplus Gurkha personnel from the 4th Battalion were to be sent to the 2nd Battalion, which was to be reduced to cadre.  The rationale for the reorganisation was the continuing dire shortage of reinforcements for the Burma Regiment and it being felt that the revised mix of companies would give a better percentage of reinforcements available in the two classes - Gurkhas and Kumaonis.  This reorganisation is reflected in the Weekly Field Return of the Battalion for 5th December 1943 which gives the split of ‘Indian’ personnel by class as 657 Gurkhas and 192 Kumaonis.  The reorganisation is also confirmed by Major I.C.G. Scott in his personal account.  Many of the men had served previously with the Myitkyina Battalion, Burma Frontier Force.[9] [10]

In October 1943, the Battalion was ordered to proceed to Assam for subsequent service in North Burma.  Mobilisation orders were received on 15th October and the 4th Battalion returned to Hoshiarpur from exercise nine days later.  Preparations were made and stores made ready for loading on to the train.  On 18th November 1943 the Battalion marched to Hoshiarpur station to the accompaniment of the pipe band of the 17th Dogra Regiment.  The Battalion entrained and departed Hoshiarpur at 14:05 that afternoon for Fort Hertz, North Burma.[11]

Fort Hertz and The Kachin Levies

Fort Hertz was a remote British military outpost in north-eastern Burma in the district of Putao in what is now the Kachin State near the present town of Putao. It was named after William Axel Hertz.  Hertz led the first expeditions into the far north of Burma in 1888, was responsible for the 1912 Gazetteer of Kachin Hills area and served as the first Deputy Commissioner of the Government in the Putao District.  The military post was established in 1914 and given the name Fort Hertz in 1925 on the retirement of William Hertz from the Indian Civil Service.  Up until 1942, Fort Hertz was maintained as an outpost of the Myitkyina Battalion of the Burma Frontier Force.  During the 1942 Japanese invasion of Burma, various retreating soldiers of the British/Indian Burma Garrison remained in the Fort Hertz area. The military authorities in India had no direct contact with Fort Hertz during most of the summer of 1942.[12]

Later it was decided to re-occupy Fort Hertz in order to protect the landing ground there and to raise and support Kachin Levies to operate between Myitkyina and Fort Hertz.  There was no road from India to Fort Hertz and air transport and supply was the only option.  It was August before this was possible and it had to be preceded by a small detachment dropped by parachute to prepare the landing ground.[13] 

At the end of August 1942 Lt. Colonel W.M.F. Gamble and Captain E. Leach were flown in to raise the Northern Kachin Levies and establish the Levies headquarters at Sumprabum.[14] [15] [16]  When the British withdrew from Burma to India in 1942, most of the Kachins in the Burma Frontier Force and the Burma Rifles were allowed to return home to take care of their families.  They were allowed to take their rifles and as much ammunition as they could carry.  For some time the Japanese held off moving into the Kachin Hills but when they did so later in 1942 the Kachins were ready for them.  Formed into small guerrilla bands, they harassed the Japanese and when news of this activity reached India British Officers were flown in to organise the Kachins.[17]

The Levies were to obtain information on Japanese dispositions and movements and to prevent or delay further Japanese advances by carrying out guerrilla warfare.[18]  By the time of the Japanese advance on Sumprabum in March 1943 there were six companies of Levies.[19]  The Fort Hertz Detachment of the 10th Burma Regiment, commanded by Captain McCorkell, arrived on 30th March 1943 to provide regular infantry support to the Levies and to protect the landing ground.[20] [21]

The Levies did valuable work in harassing the Japanese forces in the Myitkyina area during the early part of 1943.  They were so successful that they provoked the Japanese into retaliation. Early in March a considerable Japanese force advanced on Sumprabum, taking the town, temporarily dispersing the Levies and threatening Fort Hertz.  It was thought a brigade would be needed to defend Fort Hertz however there were neither troops available nor the means by which they might be transported and supplied by air.  Instead an additional company of The Burma Regiment, known as the Hukawng Valley/Fort Hertz Detachment, commanded by Captain R.C Walker, was flown in and a battalion held in reserve in India.[22] [23]  Fortunately, for the time being at least, the Japanese seemed content to stay in Sumprabum.[24]

Finally in October 1943 it was decided to send a regular infantry battalion, the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment.  Between August and October 1943 an Area Headquarters was established at Fort Hertz to take control of the Kachin Levies, the Burma Regiment detachments already present and the infantry battalion soon to arrive.  Brigadier J.F. Bowerman was appointed Area Commander and arrived to take command on the morning of 22nd October 1943.[25]  Given the British dependence on American air transport, fighter protection and ground attack, an American liaison officer, Major J.C. Cairns of the U.S. Army, accompanied Bowerman.  To make aerial reinforcement and supply of a larger force possible work was started at Fort Hertz to lengthen the existing runway and build a new one to the north of the original.[26]

After leaving the plains around Putao/Fort Hertz the country is mountainous and generally covered in thick jungle.  Only a single dry weather track, passable to Jeeps and animal transport, runs from Putao down to Sumprabum and then on to Myitkyina.  The track was crossed by many waterways which it was possible to ford in dry weather.  In places there were bamboo bridges capable of carrying Jeeps but the elephants always waded across.  When the rains came the bridges were quickly washed away and rafts made from bamboo and 40 gallon petrol drums were built and used to cross the swollen streams.  The main river in the Northern Kachin Hills is the Mali Hka which is joined by the Nmai Hka about 30 miles north of Myitkyina where the Irrawaddy River is formed.  The area to the east of the Mali Hka and to the north of the Nmai Hka was known as 'The Triangle'.  Away from the main track there are many small jungle paths, often following minor waterways.  From November until late February the climate is generally good, not too hot during the day, cool at night and mostly dry apart from the odd shower.  March and April are very hot and thunderstorms are common.  Between May and October is the monsoon and the time when malaria becomes rife.  The main paths become very muddy and impassable even to Jeeps.  Throughout the campaign the 4th Battalion and the Levies were supplied from the air by American transport aircraft.  They also received support from American bombers and fighter-bombers.[27]

At the time of the arrival of the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, the Japanese held Sumprabum, the capital of the Northern Kachin Hills, about 100 miles south of Fort Hertz.[28]  This garrison was maintained from Myitkyina, some 130 miles further to the south.  The Japanese had made two attempts to push further north from Sumprabum but had been held by the two independent companies of The Burma Regiment, supported by the Kachin Levies.  The Japanese held Sumprabum in about battalion strength, supported by artillery and heavy machine guns.  They had fortified the area with numerous bunkers.[29]

The Japanese detachments operating north of Myitkyina and in Sumprabum came from the 114th Regiment.  There were thought to be around 300 Japanese in Sumprabum and along the line of communications south to Myitkyina.  In 'the Triangle' area the main Japanese base was at Ningchangyang with an estimated strength of around 200 men.  Bowerman's first order confirmed the division of his forces between the Sumprabum ('West') and 'Triangle' ('East') zones.  A Burma Regiment detachment under Captain McCorkell and four Kachin Levy companies were assigned to the Sumprabum zone, being spread across the area to the north of Sumprabum.  The second Burma Regiment detachment, under Captain Walker and the two remaining companies of the Kachin Levies were operating across the Mali Hka in the 'Triangle' zone.  Bowerman had been reinforced by 'C' Company of the 1st Royal Jat Regiment, together with a 3-inch mortar detachment, which had flown in on 15th November.  The Jats were sent south from Fort Hertz to join the troops already in place.  However the Jat company and mortars were recalled to Fort Hertz only a few days later and were then flown out to India, their place been taken by the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment.  By 4th December Bowerman's Area Headquarters was established at La-awn Ga.[30]

The Struggle for Sumprabum

It was in this isolated and contested area of North Burma that the 4th Battalion, Burma Regiment arrived at the end of November 1943.  After a nine day train journey from Hoshiarpur the Battalion arrived at Panitola station on 26th November 1943 where it detrained and marched to camp about one and a half miles from the airfield at Dinjan.  The airfield was one of several concerned with the American airlift of supplies to China over "The Hump", the air route over the eastern Himalayas.  By December 1943 it was also beginning to become involved in the air supply of ground forces fighting in Burma.   Major Shaw and 'D' Company emplaned immediately and set off for Fort Hertz only to return an hour or so after take-off.  It seems that within only ten minutes of the destination, the American C-47 planes carrying 'D' Company had been ordered not to land at Fort Hertz as the airstrip there had been deemed not ready to accept a large influx of transport planes.[31]

Two days later, on 28th November, 'D' Company took off once again for Fort Hertz and was followed that afternoon by 'A' Company.  This time the companies were allowed to land and the next morning they set off in turn for the march south towards Sumprabum.  At the same time the remainder of Battalion continued to arrive by air, with 'B' Company, the Battalion Jeeps, signals, stores, mortars and Headquarters Company being next in line.  The Battalion Headquarters, the balance of Headquarters Company and 'C' Company flew in on 30th November to complete the Battalion transfer to Fort Hertz.  Later that day 'B' and Headquarters Companies set off on the march south towards Sumprabum, leaving 'C' Company and elements of the Battalion at Fort Hertz.  By 2nd December 1943 the Battalion was making good progress and on the following day the Battalion Headquarters was at La-awn Ga, about half way to Sumprabum, with three companies out in front and heading further down the track.  On 4th December 'A' Company was at Kindu Ga, 'D' Company left Kindu Ga en route for Pasi Ga and 'B' Company left La-Awn Ga also for Pasi Ga.[32]

The heavy equipment (3-inch mortars, ammunition boxes, wireless equipment and so on) was carried by elephants owned by the timber and forestry firms such as The Bombay Burma Trading Corporation and Steel Brothers that had escaped from the Japanese advance.  Other kit was carried by bullock carts driven by Shans, by pack mule led by Chinese muleteers or by hand by Kachin porters.  A small number of Jeeps were also available and some care was needed to introduce these to the elephants which had never encountered such machines.[33]

By 9th December the Battalion Headquarters was at Hpungchanhka, 'A' Company at Sarenghkyet, 'B' Company at Jagon and 'D' Company at Kawnan.  'C' Company left Fort Hertz on 6th December and by 9th December had reached Masumsup where it left for La-awn Ga.  The next day the Battalion was witness to much aerial activity.  Three Japanese bombers passed over Pasi Ga heading north and an hour later, at midday, there was a dog fight between American fighters and Japanese bombers and fighters.  The losses recorded in the Battalion war diary are three Japanese bombers and four fighters and on the Allied side four C-47 Dakota transports, one fighter and a B-25 bomber.  That evening the Battalion doctor was sent to Kawnan to attend to three American fliers injured when their C-47 crashed in the area.  The Americans were recovered successfully and passed up the track to Hpungchanka two days later on 12th December, from where they were sent back north by Jeep.[34]

Area Headquarters now reorganised the disposition of troops in the 'East' and 'West' Zones of operations.  Taking effect from 12th December 1943, the 'East' Zone, in 'the Triangle', was under the command of Lt. Colonel Ford, Commanding Officer of the Northern Kachin Levies.[35]  He commanded four companies of the Levies and the two detachments of the 10th Burma Regiment under McCorkell and Walker.  Command of the 'West' Zone was given to Lt. Colonel Devenish-Meares whose troops consisted of his own 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment and two companies of the Kachin Levies.  In the 'East' Zone, Ford's orders were: obtain information on Japanese strengths, dispositions and intentions; prevent Japanese infiltration into the north of 'the Triangle'; to maintain good relations with the Chinese detachment then in Kajitu.  Devenish-Meares' orders for the 'West' Zone were: obtain intelligence of Japanese strengths, dispositions and intentions in that zone; prevent the Japanese from advancing north of Sumprabum and threatening Fort Hertz.  His orders went on to discuss the recapture of Sumprabum, which was only to be attempted with the permission of 14th Army Headquarters and at no time was the defence of the 'West' Zone to be put at risk by operations against Sumprabum.[36]

Working closely with the Kachin Levies, the Battalion quickly closed in around the Japanese garrison at Sumprabum, effectively laying siege to the town by cutting off the Japanese supply line from Myitkyina.  The Kachin Levies operated many small patrols around and to the south of Sumprabum.  They were expert at laying booby traps and ambushes for unwary Japanese.  Co-operation between the Levies and the Battalion was made easier by many of the Gurkhas of the Battalion having served previously with the Myitkyina Battalion, Burma Frontier Force, as these men were familiar with the area, the Kachins and their language.[37]

On 14th December the Battalion began to send out patrols further to the south, to the area north north-west and south of Sumprabum.  On 21st December a combined Battalion-Levies patrol ambushed a southbound Japanese column of approximately 140 men heading down the Myitkyina-Sumprabum road at a point about one and a quarter miles north of Sumtaw Ga.  The estimated Japanese casualties were twenty dead and 40 wounded with none on the British side.  The patrol consisted of a platoon from 'C' Company, 4th Battalion under Captain G. Fetherstonhaugh, a platoon from 'E' Company of the Kachin Levies under Captain D. Rosner and five men from the Kachin Home Guard, for a total patrol strength of 65 men.[38] [39] [40]

As a result of new orders, on 26th December 'A' Company moved from Sarenghkyet to the area of Ngataung Ga, the Company's role now being to protect the rear and flanks of 'D' Company and of 'C' Company of the Kachin Levies.  This Levies company was in the Kaitau area to the north-east of Sumprabum and was now ordered to make plans for a move to the Laza area where it was to cut the road between Laza and Sumprabum from the south east. The next day, 'B' Company Headquarters and one platoon then at Jagon left for the area around Hpungin Bridge.  The Advance Headquarters of the 4th Battalion moved from Hpungchanhka to Jagon on 28th December whilst the Battalion Rear Headquarters was ordered forward to Hpungchanhka.  'C' and 'D' Companies of the Battalion were to remain at their present positions as was 'E' Company of the Kachin Levies.  Elsewhere 'B' Company of the Kachin Levies was to move from La-awn Ga, bypass Sumprabum to the west and head for a patrol base in the area of either Kaitaw Ga or Shalayang from where the Company would cut the road in the area of Tingpai, far to the south of Sumprabum.  These moves were preliminary to the start of Operation 'BAMBOO' which had the aim of investing the Japanese in Sumprabum more closely and choking off their supply line from Myitkyina.[41] [42]

Throughout this period the Americans continued to supply the Battalion and the Kachin Levies from the air with regular supply drops at designated dropping areas.  Aerial activity was not only confined to supply drops and on 5th January 1944 eight American P-51 and A-36 planes bombed and strafed Sumprabum, dropping sixteen 500lb bombs.[43]  Meanwhile patrols penetrated ever more closely to Sumprabum.  At the start of Operation 'BAMBOO' on 10th January 1944 the Battalion's dispositions to the north of Sumprabum were: 'A' Company in the Ngaawma area south of Hpungchanhka area; 'B' Company in the Hpungin Hka area; 'C' Company with Headquarters and two platoons at Hpungchanhka and one platoon with 'C' Company of the Levies; 'D' Company in the Kawnan area.  The Kachin Levies had 'E' Company to the south of Sumprabum in the Tingpai area; 'F' Company in the Laza area to the south east; 'G' Company to the west of Sumprabum around the Magawng Ga/Gumshen area with one platoon from 'C' Company of the 4th Battalion in support.  As the ring around Sumprabum slowly tightened it was pounded from the air by the Americans.  By the end of January 'D' Company, 4th Battalion had moved to Npyentaung, just a couple of miles or so north of Sumprabum.  This move provoked a response from the Japanese garrison who sent out around 50 soldiers with a mortar to fire upon the 'D' Company position and Npyentaung village.  The Company suffered no casualties and its forward platoon claimed to have killed ten of the Japanese force.[44]

This pattern of harassment and counter response continued into February.  The Japanese forced a 'B' Company observation post off of Kindu Hill on 4th February and then proceeded to occupy the hill.  On 16th February 'A' Company of the Battalion relieved 'D' Company at Npyentaung, freeing 'D' Company to head around Sumprabum to the west and south west to Yitkan in support of 'G' Company of the Kachin Levies who had just moved into this area.  On 18th February two platoons from 'D’ Company and two from 'G' Company of the Levies ambushed around 50 Japanese  and their transport in the area of Wasat, about seven miles south of Sumprabum, as they headed north from Myitkyina.  Around 20 Japanese were believed killed and the ambushed force was force to turn around and head back south.  Havildar Mohindar Kumar Pradhan and Sepoy Jase Rai were subsequently awarded the Burma Gallantry Medal for their part in this ambush.  Sepoy Chintabahadur Thapa was awarded the Gallantry Certificate.  Towards the end of the month 'C' Company of the Battalion came forward freeing 'D' Company to move further south down to and beyond Hpabum.[45] 

The Kachin Levies and the two supporting detachments of the 10th Burma Regiment were operating far to the south and on almost every other day throughout February the Japanese were ambushed as they moved up and down the road.  By now it had been decided that the course of action to be taken against the Japanese in Sumprabum was to bring about their complete isolation.  The pressure against Sumprabum from the north and west was to be maintained whilst a 'road block force' of two companies of the 4th Battalion and a company of the Kachin Levies moved to cut the road from Myitkyina to the south.  In the 'East’ Zone the Kachin Levies and the Burma Regiment detachments were ordered to ambush and delay any enemy movement on the road between the road block force and Wabawng.  To make this possible the 'East' Zone area of operations was amended and troops in this zone were now to operate west of the Mali Hka in the area south of the Sinan Hka, to the south of the road block.[46]

On 21st February the 4th Battalion Mule Conducting Party under Lt. E. Robinson arrived at Forth Hertz from India.  Robinson and his mules finally caught up with the Battalion six days later.[47] [48]

Also during the month, the 4th Battalion formed a Commando Platoon at Hpungchan-Hka on 16th February, which later in the month moved from Hpungchan-Hka to Shalayang.  This specially selected party of around 40 men was placed under the Command of Major Scott.  His mission was to proceed south to Durip Ga and disrupt the Japanese lines of communication between Myitkyina and Sumprabum further to the south.  He was also to ensure that Durip Ga was held to prevent a possible Japanese advance through the Daru Pass to the Hukawng Valley and into the rear of Stilwell's drive southwards.  The Kachin Levies 'E' Company commanded by Rosner was already operating in the Shalayang-Durip Ga area and came under Scott's command.  The area of operations was the road between the Sinan Hka and the Daru Hka, a stretch of road some 30 miles in length reaching down to around 80 miles north of Myitkyina.  Scott and his command operated up to 60 miles behind Japanese lines.  After arrival at Durip Ga, Scott began a series of ambushes on the Myitkyina road.[49]

Many ambushes were laid for the Japanese during this time, British tactics being largely determined by there being insufficient manpower and supporting arms to conduct more direct operations.  A typical ambush involved careful selection of a position overlooking the road.  The ambush party was split into small groups of three or four men who occupied simple foxholes.  Jungle creepers were stretched between the positions which when tugged provided a means of signalling.  From each position the jungle was carefully cleared to give good fields of fire and the cut vegetation removed so as not to reveal the preparations.  A rendezvous point was established in dead ground away from the road and the men were to collect here after the ambush.  Each group cut its own escape route to the rendezvous and went over the ground to ensure they knew the way.  The ambush site was then viewed from the road, the view the Japanese would have when they came, to ensure that nothing was visible to give away the position.  The ambush party then settled down to await Japanese movement along the road.  Although surprise was achieved the Japanese convoys were usually well protected and quick to bring their mortars into action.  This was the signal for the ambush party to pull out to the rendezvous and subsequent escape through the jungle.  Japanese casualties resulting from these ambushes were high although not always without loss to Scott's Platoon.[50]

On 4th March a mixed party of Commando Platoon men and Levies under Major Scott ambushed around 40 Japanese moving north in the Mihtong area.  Japanese casualties were estimated at between 15 and 33 and many of the bullock carts they were using were destroyed.[51]  The next day, an ambush set by a section under Subedar Singbahadur Lama killed all members of a Japanese mounted party moving south down the road near Mihtong.  However the Subedar was wounded and died on the way back to camp at Durip Ga.[52]  On 6th March, yet another ambush was led by the Battalion Havildar Major, Bawarsing Thapa, and the party was made up of a section of the Commando Platoon and a party of Kachin Levies.  A company sized detachment of Japanese heading north walked into this ambush and suffered heavy casualties without inflicting any loss to the Havildar Major's group.  For this and other actions later in the campaign Bawarsing Thapa was awarded the Burma Gallantry Medal.  Both 'C' and 'D' Companies also conducted successful ambushes during this first week of March, inflicting many Japanese casualties for no loss.[53]

Pressure against the Japanese garrison at Sumprabum continued to build.  The Kachin Levies were as always actively engaged.  By this time 'A' Company of the Levies under Captain Saw Butler, or ‘Bert’ as he was known, moved down to cover the road south of the Daru Hka, operating from the east side of the road, in the ‘Triangle’.[54]  Another Levy company, 'C' Company under Captain I.D. Fellowes-Gordon, moved to Laza, south-east of Sumprabum.[55]  The Kachin Levies continued to operate ambushes against the Japanese and for the first time began using land mines on the road.  On 9th March, the 4th Battalion had 'D' Company under Major Shaw set up a road block on the road in the area of Yikku, twelve miles south of Sumprabum in an effort to close the road completely, intending to force the Japanese in Sumprabum to withdraw or starve.[56]  The site of the roadblock was excellent for defence but was so well hidden that it could not be located from the air, making supply drops impossible.  The Japanese attacked the roadblock the next day but were beaten off with heavy losses.  They continued to attack the roadblock throughout the day and eventually the detachment began to run out of ammunition and food and was forced to withdraw.  Casualties were light, with one Naik killed and two Sepoys wounded.[57]  That night 'D' Company camped at Magauga before being recalled to Yitkan.[58]

Sometime during the first week in March, Major Scott took over 'B' Company and the Battalion Commander, Lt. Colonel Devenish-Meares, returned to India due to illness.[59]  Devenish-Meares’ replacement, Lt. Colonel Perry, landed at Fort Hertz on 8th March 1944 to take over command of the Battalion.[60]  By 10th March he had reached La-awn Ga from where he set off to join the Battalion.  His arrival was followed on 12th March by the arrival at Fort Hertz of 32 reinforcements for the 4th Battalion.  The next day Area Headquarters received a signal stating that the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment was being sent to Fort Hertz as a temporary reinforcement however the move of this battalion was postponed on 26th March and subsequently cancelled.[61]

Perry’s arrival at La-awn Ga on 10th March coincided with the launch of a Japanese offensive out of Sumprabum.  The first attack was to the north-west against a joint 4th Battalion-Levy post at Pinsau.  This attack was repulsed at the cost of only one man wounded but the Japanese were thought to have suffered 30 casualties.[62]  A further attack to the east in the direction of Kaitau drove off an observation post manned by the Kachin Levies after which the Japanese dug-in in the area.  Next the Japanese attacked to the west and once again pushed the Battalion out of the position before digging in.  The Japanese also sent patrols as far as Mache Ga where the Battalion also had a company however here the enemy was driven off.[63]

The resurgent Japanese activity caused the Battalion to reshuffle its dispositions.  Platoons from all Companies were moved to the Pinsau-Mache Ga area between 10th and 14th March.  On 13th March the Battle (Advanced) Headquarters of the Battalion left Yitkan for Pinsau and the next morning went on to Npyentaung.  'D' Company followed, moving from Yitkan to Pinsau to act as Battalion reserve.  'B' Company reported Japanese patrols south of Pinsau near Mache Ga.  That same day the Japanese attacked Pinsau again with around 120-150 men, supported by an infantry gun and a heavy mortar.  Bitter fighting ensued which lasted all afternoon and in the early evening the Japanese captured a hill feature that made the 'B' Company position untenable.  The Company was forced to withdraw and later took up position behind 'D' Company which had been sent to a position covering the nearby Jeep road.  On 15th March 'C' Company was ordered to withdraw from around Mache Ga and move to a position behind 'A' Company at Npyentaung.  The Advance Headquarters moved further back to the track junction at Runkhu.  While all this activity ensued to the north of Sumprabum, patrols from the Battalion and the Levies continued to operate to the south and during the day a mixed party ambushed a Japanese platoon one mile south of Tingpai, killing twelve and wounding ten for no loss.  The Japanese survivors continued on their way south in the direction of Myitkyina.[64]

In response to this Japanese pressure the Commando Platoon was withdrawn, being ordered to Nyam Ga on 17th March.  That day the Japanese made their final attack on Pinsau and also to the east, plastering the 4th Battalion and Levy positions with mortar and artillery fire.  However this was not followed up by infantry assault.  The following day eight American P-51s/A-36s bombed and strafed Sumprabum.  On 19th March 'D' Company patrols reoccupied Pinsau, there being no trace of the Japanese.  No Japanese were found either when 'A' Company subsequently occupied an enemy position north of Sumprabum.  It became apparent the Japanese bombardment had been intended to cover their withdrawal from Sumprabum and they had been able to do this successfully.[65]

Discovering that Sumprabum was deserted, the British force now approached the town.  The first men to enter were the Kachin Levies who entered late on 19th March.[66]  The 4th Battalion followed closely behind and the next day all bar 'B' Company were established in and around Sumprabum.  'B' Company arrived the next day.  Patrols were sent out but were unable to find any trace of the Japanese between Sumprabum and the Sinan Hka area.  The patrols reported that the road was in good condition.[67]

Stalemate at Tiang Zup

After a well earned rest, on 24th March the Battalion set out southwards along the road from Sumprabum  with 'D' Company leading the way.[68]  Led by Major Shaw, this company went some way down the road and reached the Sinan Hka without meeting any Japanese.[69]  On 25th March Shaw's Company set off for Maitong Hka and on the following day the remainder of the Battalion and four companies of the Kachin Levies arrived there.  'D' Company headed off for Tingpai, in the lead once again.[70]

On 26th March Brigadier Bowerman arrived to join the Battalion and the Kachin Levy companies.  The Brigadier called a conference at which it was decided that 'B' and 'E' Companies of the Kachin Levies would patrol down the road in front of the 4th Battalion, while 'A' and 'C' Levy Companies would cut in behind the Japanese garrison which had been discovered further down the road at Tiang Zup.  The Levies' 'D' Company would go out on the right flank to investigate a Japanese prisoner’s report that many men had moved there.  Meanwhile 'F' and 'G' Companies of the Kachin Levies would stay east of the Mali Hka.  The next day Area Headquarters moved into Sumprabum.[71]

The 4th Battalion followed the Levies straight down the road with 'D' Company in the lead.  At Kawapang on 27th March, a small Japanese patrol approached 'D' Company but withdrew when fired upon.  Apart from this there was no contact with the Japanese.  The next day American P-51s/A-36s bombed and strafed the Daru Hka where a Japanese presence had been reported.  The next day it was found there had indeed been a Japanese position there but it had been evacuated the previous evening.  The advance continued for the next few days and in less than two weeks following the capture of Sumprabum, the 4th Battalion reached a point only 60 miles north of Myitkyina, having covered 70 miles without making significant contact with the enemy.  Finally on 4th April the 4th Battalion came under fire from Japanese positions across the Tiang Hka near the hamlet of Tiang Zup, 53 miles from Myitkyina.  It appeared the enemy had chosen this place to make a stand.[72]

'B' Company was first to approach the Tiang Hka stream from the north from Sup Hka (Supka Ga).  At 14:00 on 4th April a patrol from 'B' Company crossed the Tiang Hka but had only gone 300 yards from the stream when it was fired upon.  The patrol quickly withdrew back across the stream.  The next morning, while 'A' and 'D' Companies came forward in support, 'B' Company mortared the Japanese positions before sending another patrol across the stream that evening.  Once again the patrol was fired upon and withdrew without loss.  During the night the Japanese fired six mortar bombs on the Battalion positions about 600 yards north of the Tiang Hka without effect.  These actions presaged a struggle for the Tiang Hka crossing and Tiang Zup that would last until the middle of June.[73]

A patrol on 6th April skirted around the Japanese position to the west and reached the hamlet of Pauhkawng in the rear of and to the south west of the Japanese position.  It was found to be clear of the enemy.  Four American P-51s/A-36s bombed and strafed the Japanese south of the Tiang Hka who were then mortared by the Battalion.  Return fire from the Japanese was limited to rifle fire and a few grenades fired from 'dischargers', the so called 'knee mortars' favoured by Japanese infantry.  The next day 'A' Company moved to Pauhkawng and attacked the Japanese position at Tiang Zup however the attack was held up by light machine guns firing from bunkers.  Later the Japanese shelled Pauhkawng followed by the 'B' Company forward positions to the north of the Tiang Hka.  On 8th April 'D' Company attempted to get around the Japanese by way of Pauhkawng to reach the road behind them at Milestone 51 but they found the terrain difficult and halted at Pauhkawng.  An 'A' Company patrol from Pauhkawng to the bungalow area near the Tiang Hka was attacked by the Japanese and heavily mortared.  Then 'C' Company crossed the Tiang Hka from the north and attacked the Japanese positions.  The enemy were driven from their forward positions but near Milestone 52 'C' Company was held up by Japanese forces thought to be 150-200 strong firing from the ridge which dominated the area.  That evening 'C' Company was ordered back across the Tiang Hka and 'A' Company returned from Pauhkawng to Milestone 54, behind the 'B' Company positions north of the stream.  During these engagements two men were killed and eight wounded.   Majors Scott and K.N.H. Martin were also both wounded.[74]  Scott was wounded by a Japanese mortar bomb and evacuated to India for treatment.[75]

The next day, 'C' Company took over the forward positions held by 'B' Company which now pulled back to Milestone 56, at a point between the stream and Sup Hka (Supka Ga). Harassing fire was kept up on the Japanese positions by the Battalion 3-inch mortars during the morning of 10th April.  This was followed by bombing and strafing by four P-51s/A-36s which was seen to be on target.  'D' Company followed this up by sending a patrol from Pauhkawng towards the Japanese positions but the patrol came under machine gun fire and withdrew.  It was then reported that a Japanese party of unknown strength had been seen at Njip, to the south of Pauhkawng beyond Waza.  The next morning a 'D' Company patrol from Waza to Njip found the track covered by the Japanese and withdrew under the fire of machine guns and knee mortars.  Other Battalion patrols confirmed the Japanese were still present in the Tiang Zup position and very much on the alert.  The next few days continued in this fashion, with fire being exchanged and the Battalion shuffling companies and sending out patrols to ascertain the Japanese positions and strength.[76]

A major effort to eject the Japanese from the Tiang Zup position was launched on 14th April.  The Japanese positions on the ridge south of the Tiang Hka were bombed by eight P-51s/A-36s mid-morning but several bombs were seen to fall wide of the target.  The Battalion followed up the air attack with 3-inch mortar fire and at 11:00 'C' Company crossed the Tiang Hka from the north and launched a feint attack.  Meanwhile the main attack went in from the south with 'B' Company attacking from Pauhkawng and 'D' Company up the road from Milestone 51.  The attack was supported by medium machine guns firing across the Tiang Hka from the north.  The Japanese replied with fire from an infantry gun and mortars which was aimed at suppressing the Battalion's medium machine guns and mortars.  The fighting continued and all Companies came under crossfire from machine guns in bunkers.  The progress of 'D' Company was held up by thick jungle on either side of the road and just beyond Milestone 52 they came up against a position protected with wire and with a with a good field of fire, the jungle here having been cleared away by the Japanese.  At 16:00, with the attack stalled on all fronts, a withdrawal was ordered and all Companies returned to their original positions.  Three men had been killed and six wounded.[77] [78]

After the failed attack on 14th April both sides settled into a routine.  The Japanese strengthened their emplacements and kept the Battalion patrols and observation posts at bay with fire from the infantry gun, mortars and snipers.  In return the Battalion kept up intermittent mortar fire on the Japanese positions.  Patrols were sent out daily and almost always drew enemy fire.  On 23rd April a 'D' Company platoon moved down from Waza to the road in the area of Milestone 50 where it came under the command of 'C' Company of the Kachin Levies.  On the morning of 29th April a platoon of Japanese moving north was ambushed by 'D' Company on the track near Njip and was thought to have suffered twenty casualties.  That afternoon 'D' Company reported that the Japanese had been seen in company strength in the Waza area.  Shortly afterwards the Japanese mortared the 'D' Company positions at Waza before launching an infantry attack.  This was repulsed with the loss of one Governor's Commissioned Officer and two men wounded.  The Japanese attacked again that evening but once more were beaten off, with what appeared to be heavy casualties.  'D' Company was harassed throughout the night but although the Japanese were heard moving around the following morning there were no further attacks.[79]

After the attacks on Waza things returned to the by now usual routine of patrolling and the shuffling of companies and platoons.  On 1st May the Battalion Commando Platoon relieved a platoon of the Fort Hertz Detachment, Burma Regiment on the Pauhkawng track.  The next evening 'A' Company moved into Waza to relieve 'D' Company which returned to Pauhkawng the next morning.  Word was received from the Levies operating to the south that a party of Japanese had been seen moving down the road from Tiang Zup but patrols from 'B' and 'C' Companies confirmed that the Japanese were still holding on to their positions south of the Tiang Hka at Tiang Zup.  Sadly during one of these patrols, Major Fetherstonhaugh was reported missing, believed killed.  During the afternoon 'D' Company came back from Pauhkawng to join Battalion Headquarters on the north side of the Tiang Hka.[80]

On 4th May the American crew of a 75mm gun had their first practice shoot against the Japanese positions with satisfactory results.  The gun, a 75mm pack howitzer of the type used by airborne forces, had arrived at Battalion Headquarters on 24th April and was commanded by the American Captain McRea.  Two days later there were signs of serious Japanese activity when the Levies reported seeing around 150 enemy arrive at Njip from Nosp Zup during the morning.  Later in the day a platoon from the Fort Hertz Detachment moved to Awaz and took over defence of the hill feature just to the north.  During the night 'A' Company at Waza reported that Japanese patrols were active in their area and at 09:45 the next morning the Japanese began probing 'A' Company's flanks.  About an hour later the Japanese attacked but were beaten off before being seen moving around the left flank of the Company position.  At 14:05 the Japanese attacked the Waza position from the west and once again were driven off.  A further attack met the same fate later that afternoon at 16:00.  A platoon was sent forward from Pauhkawng to reinforce the Fort Hertz Detachment position.  This was very timely for at around 19:00 the Japanese attempted to encircle the Waza position and maintain pressure on the Fort Hertz Detachment on top of their hill feature.  The Japanese were active throughout the night with patrols all around the Waza position.  Early the next morning they cut off the water supply to 'A' Company.  At 07:30 the Waza position was reinforced by a platoon sent by the nearby Force Hertz Detachment.  At 10:45 the Japanese again attacked the Waza position but with no more success than the previous attempts.  The track between Pauhkawng and Waza was reported cut by the Japanese just before midday but was found to be clear again an hour later.  The American 75mm howitzer was again in action, firing at the Tiang Zup position.  It then seemed that the Japanese had given up on taking Waza when the water point was found to be clear but that evening it was reported that around 80 Japanese had been spotted some two miles to the south-west of Waza having arrived from the direction of Njip.  Just after 23:00 that night they attacked again but were beaten back with heavy casualties.  The Waza position continued to be harassed throughout the night but at 06:50 on the morning of 9th May it was reported that the Japanese appeared to have withdrawn to Njip, which was promptly bombed by four American P-40s.  'D' Company now came forward to relieve 'A' Company who went back across the Tiang Hka to the Battalion Headquarters area and into reserve.  The 'A' Company commander reported that the Japanese attacks on Waza had cost the enemy dearly, it being estimated that there were over 100 Japanese dead and wounded.[81]

On 14th May Brigadier Bowerman, suffering from suspected typhus fever, was evacuated to the landing strip at Tingpai for onward evacuation by air to India.  He flew out on 17th May and for a short time the American Colonel Willey took over command of the Area until Brigadier Haswell arrived at Tingpai to assume command on 28th May.[82]

There were no further Japanese attacks over the next few days.  Patrols continued to seek out the Japanese positions and to look for signs of any Japanese withdrawal from Tiang Zup.  The Japanese there were attacked by twelve P-51s/A-36s on 12th May.  The Battalion followed this up with mortar fire and the next day the American howitzer also joined in.  Mortaring of the position went on daily but patrols confirmed that the Japanese still held their positions.  Patrol activity and harassing fire continued for several more days until 28th May when 'B' and 'D' Companies launched an attack on Tiang Zup from the west and the south-west, beginning at 04:00.  'B' Company moved around to the north of the main Japanese position whilst 'D' Company moved in between this and the Japanese gun position.  However both companies came under heavy fire from these positions.  'B' Company attempted to close with the main position but the steep slope prevented them from doing so.  Both companies were now pinned down and unable to move forward given the difficult ground and at 10:45 the attack was called off, fortunately with the loss of only two wounded.  The Japanese positions were now mortared and the enemy replied with three shells from their infantry gun.  'D' Company moved off south to occupy a road block position on the road in the area of Milestone 49.[83]

Lt. Colonel Perry, the Battalion Commander, was evacuated due to sickness to Tingpai on 28th May, ready to be flown out to India.  The next day, Captain McCorkell, commander of the Fort Hertz Detachment assumed temporary command of the 4th Battalion.[84]  It was around this time that Major Scott returned from India to find the Battalion in a serious situation due to the spread of typhus.  In addition to the Commanding Officer, Lt. Colonel Perry, the Second in Command, Major Thunder,[85] a company commander, Major G.F. Kinnear,[86] the Adjutant, the Intelligence Officer and several senior Governor's Commissioned Officers had been or were about to be evacuated to India.  Another company commander, Major Fetherstonhaugh, had been killed in action earlier.  The assaults against the Japanese at Tiang Zup had all been without success and at some cost.  Perhaps not surprisingly morale was low.[87] 

The Japanese remained at Tiang Zup, and at the southern position at Njip, into June.  On 4th June the Battalion made preparations to attack Tiang Zup once again and the attack opened at 04:30 on the morning of 7th June with mortars, the American howitzer and small arms fire being directed at the enemy position.  Fifteen minutes later 'B' Company advanced on the main position, referred to as the 'Maidan feature', while the supporting fire moved to other targets.  The Company put in two attacks from the north on the main enemy position but these were beaten back by machine gun fire.  The ground in this area was very steep and covered with thick jungle so further attacks were made from the east of the position.  These were also driven off by machine gun fire and at 13:00 the attack was called off and 'B' Company returned to the start line with the loss of eight wounded.  Further activity was restricted to patrolling and harassing fire for the next few days.[88]

On 11th June 1944 Lt. Colonel J.K. Ransford arrived at Area Headquarters, en route to take over command of the 4th Battalion.[89]  On reaching the Battalion the next day he assumed command and his first task was to see the Japanese position across the Tiang Hka for himself.  He then toured all the Battalion positions which at this time were: 'A' Company at Pauhkawng; 'B' Company at Waza; 'C' Company manning the road block at Milestone 49; 'D' Company and Battalion Headquarters in position north of the Tiang Hka.  Ransford immediately set about restoring morale.  The next day, 13th June, Major McCorkell, now the 4th Battalion Second in Command, Major Shaw and Captain C.W. Steel were all evacuated suffering from "NYD" (Not Yet Diagnosed) fever.[90] [91]

On the morning of 18th June 1944, 'C' Company captured several Burmese coolies on the road, the men having run away from Tiang Zup.  They claimed that the Japanese were ready to evacuate Tiang Zup any day soon and had sent some equipment down river by raft the previous night.  A fighting patrol from 'A' Company was sent to Tiang Zup and triggered an exchange of machine gun and mortar fire.  The Battalion continued to mortar Tiang Zup throughout the night.  The next morning the fighting patrol from 'A' Company approached reported that a Japanese outpost appeared to have been abandoned.  The patrol was immediately reinforced and advanced into the main Japanese position.  Here it came under rifle fire but pressed on, killing around 20 Japanese.  The remaining enemy were cornered in a dry gully with their backs to the Mali Hka but were all killed after they had made out to be surrendering only to throw grenades at their would be Gurkha captors.  After weeks of stalemate Tiang Zup had fallen to the men of ‘A’ Company who inflicted around 40 Japanese casualties for the loss of none of their own.  That evening another company passed through and pressed on for six miles beyond Tiang Zup to Njip, which was found to be deserted.[92]

The Advance to Myitkyina

The next morning, 19th June, first 'B' Company and then 'C' Company passed through and pressed on down the road beyond Tiang Zup towards the Nsop Hka.  Sadly a company commander, Major M.F. Rogers, was drowned crossing the Tiang Hka as Battalion Headquarters closed up to the forward troops to better understand the situation.[93] [94] 

On the morning of 21st June, 'C' Company established an observation post on the north bank of the Nsop Hka and reported seeing some bullocks and a number of Japanese who appeared to be cooking just south of the village of Nsop Zup, on the south side of the stream.  The post also spotted a possible medium machine gun position to the west of the road just south of the ‘dak’ bungalow area.[95]  A patrol from 'B' Company crossed the Nsop Hka two miles west of Nsop Zup but did not report anything.  Meanwhile, 'D' Company and the Battalion Pioneer Platoon strung a bamboo bridge across the Tiang Hka, capable of taking foot traffic, and rafts were built to carry the Jeeps across.  The Jeep ferry was completed the next day.  Landslides blocking the road between Tiang Zup and Njip were cleared by 'A' Company.[96]

On 23rd June 'B' Company moved across the Nsop Hka to the high ground west of Nsop Zup.  From here they sent a patrol to Dipibum which reported they had found an empty Japanese position.  The next day the Company came forward and filled in the Japanese trenches before withdrawing back to the Nsop Hka.  The previous day 'C' Company had fired 3-inch mortars at Nsop Zup and the Japanese had replied with two mortar bombs of their own.  It seemed the Japanese intended to hold Nsop Zup and 'C' Company exchanged mortar fire with the enemy over the next few days while the Battalion brought forward supplies and made ready to attack.  By 27th June the Battalion was largely concentrated at Waringkawng on the north bank of the Nsop Hka overlooking the road.  'D' Company moved to Jarawngyang, a mile or two to the west.[97]

Up to this time a series of angry messages had been received by Area Headquarters from Stilwell's headquarters, ordering the 4th Battalion and the Levies to leave a holding force at the Nsop Zup and to send as many men as possible down to Myitkyina.  Stillwell's combined Chinese-American force had been attempting to capture Myitkyina for some time but without success.  It was decided to send all but one company of the Levies and two companies of the 4th Battalion down to Myitkyina by way of jungle tracks.  This force was placed under the command of Major Scott and was known as SCOCOL (Scott Column).  The remaining two companies of the Battalion remained with the Battalion Commander at Nsop Zup.  It took a few days to form SCOCOL which was gathered together at Waringkawng, a small deserted village about two miles from the main road opposite Milestone 47.  The 4th Battalion elements made up a column headquarters, with a mortar section and a few medical orderlies, and included 'A' Company under Major P.E. Lenander and 'D' Company under Major Shaw.[98]  The fifteen mules allocated could only carry enough rations for one day and a schedule of air drops was worked out that would keep the column supplied en route.[99]

On 28th June Scott and his SCOCOL Headquarters moved to Jarawngyang and the next day the remainder of the column concentrated there.  On the following day, 30th June, SCOCOL set off for Myitkyina, intending to travel through the jungle by way of Mawtawng and Yindamyang.  Having set off on the morning of 30th June, by that same evening SCOCOL reached Mawtawng, about two miles from the Nsop Hka and eight miles from the road.  Here it was discovered that the Nsop Hka river was impossible to cross and as a result the next day's air drop would be missed.  Scott had no alternative but to return to Waringkawng and to plan another route.  The column reached Waringkawng on 3rd July.[100]

Meanwhile 'C' Company kept up harassing mortar fire on the Japanese at Nsop Zup whilst 'B' Company continued to patrol the area.  On 1st July Kachin Levies on the east bank of the Mali Hka fired upon Nsop Zup with a medium machine gun, an act they repeated over the next few days.  While 'C' Company and the Kachin Levies kept the Japanese in Nsop Zup occupied, 'B' Company and the Pioneer Platoon began building a suspension bridge across the Nsop Hka which was completed by the evening of 4th July.  'B' Company immediately sent patrols across to locate areas suitable for supply drops and to locate any Japanese positions.  Two days later a message was received from 'B' Company that they had established a dropping ground for supplies at Piyang.  The next day further news was received from 'B' Company that a patrol had discovered an unoccupied Japanese position at Loiyang and that Dipi Bum was strongly held.  The patrol had clashed with the Japanese, killing two or three for no loss.  As there was no water at Loiyang 'B' Company decided to occupy Piyang.  'C' Company moved to Jarawngyang en route to Piyang where they arrived the next day, 8th July.  Throughout this period operations were hampered by incessant heavy rain.[101]

Major Scott reformed SCOCOL at Waringkawng on the evening of 7th July.  The column had the same mission as before - to march to Myitkyina through the jungle, skirting any Japanese positions on the road.  The next day the column began moving up to the Nsop Hka in preparation for crossing on 9th July.  That day the men crossed over by the suspension bridge whilst the supplies and the mules were ferried across.  That night the column camped at Piyang village and took receipt of an air drop which included a supply of rum.  The next day the column marched to Ndao village before heading for Panglan the following morning where another air drop was received later that day.  From Panglan it was only a short march to the Hpungin Hka river and four rafts were built to carry the column across.  'D' Company crossed first, followed by 'A' Company, and the column made for Yindamyang village.  On 15th July the column concentrated at Seingneing on the way to Yindamyaung.  On reaching the village of Yindamyang a message was received from the Kachin Levies Headquarters that Scott was to press on as fast as possible to Hpalap, which was reached the next day.  From here SCOCOL was ordered forward once again, this time to a small hill, Laichu Bum, alongside the Myitkyina road roughly opposite Milestone 10 to the north of Myitkyina.[102]

On 18th July the Area Commander, Brigadier Haswell met the American Commander, General Wessels in Myitkyina to discuss future operations.  Wessels ordered Haswell to move into the Maingna-Waingmaw area to attack the Japanese there and to relieve Morris Force which had been operating in the area.  On this day the 4th Battalion Advance Headquarters was at Milestone 26.6 and SCOCOL in the area of Laichu Bum.  The entire force would need to be concentrated before the attack on Maingna could take place.[103]

SCOCOL reached Laichu Bum on 17th or 18th July, with 'D' Company being first to arrive.  Here they met Major Rosner of the Kachin Levies who showed the men a good location to build their camp.  During the night the men could hear the fighting at Myitkyina which had been besieged by the Chinese and Americans for more than two months.  Rosner gave Scott the news that the 4th Battalion had cleared the Nsop Zup position and was now advancing down the Myitkyina road.  The next day Scott was joined by 'A' Company.  Scott's orders now were to reconnoitre and, if possible, clear the road between Milestone 10 and 13.  Intelligence thought there might be a well defended Japanese base hospital at Milestone 10 and that there might also be a supply dump in the area.  Scott set off the next day with a patrol from 'D' Company but without success as the Kachin guide turned out to have little knowledge of the local area and the patrol returned to camp.  The next day a patrol from 'A' Company was sent out to Milestone 10 with orders to push on to Milestone 13 if possible.  A patrol from 'D' Company was also sent out with the mission of reaching Milestone 13 and then on to Milestone 15 in an effort to contact the 4th Battalion which was now thought to have crossed the Hpungin Hka.  The patrol from 'A' Company returned the next day having made contact with Kachin Levies near Milestone 10.  The only Japanese encountered were half starved and ill.  A deserted hospital was found and the patrol helped themselves to blankets and a supply of quinine.  On the evening of 20th July SCOCOL reported to the 4th Battalion that the area of the road between Milestone 12 up to and just beyond Milestone 14 was clear of the enemy.  With 'A' Company having cleared the area and left it to the Levies, the 'D' Company patrol returned from Milestone 15 without having made contact with the Battalion.  Scott set off to try to find them and met some Levies who reported that the Battalion was near to Alam close to Milestone 15.  Pressing on northwards Scott came under fire from the Japanese and he and his small party were lucky to escape through the jungle and across a deep stream.  The next day, 21st July, the Battalion reached MS 10 and made contact with Scott.[104] 

Final Actions at Maingna

On the evening of 21st July, following the reuniting of SCOCOL and the 4th Battalion, orders were received from Brigade Headquarters to concentrate at Mankrin, just above Milestone 4.  'B' and 'C' Companies reached Mankrin on the morning of 22nd July, making contact with 'D' Company who were already there.  The Battalion Rear Headquarters and 'A' Company arrived by midday on 24th July.  With the arrival of the last elements of SCOCOL at Mankrin on the morning of 25th July the column ceased to exist as by then 'A' and 'D' Companies were under the command of the Battalion.[105]

While SCOCOL had been making its way cross country to the outskirts of Myitkyina, for the remainder of the Battalion the journey to Mankrin began with the occupation of Nsop Zup on 11th July, two days after SCOCOL crossed the Nsop Hka on its way south.  Nsop Zup was taken by 'B' and 'C' Companies.  The Pioneer Platoon built a new bridge and rafts across the Nsop Hka which was used by the Battalion Commanding Officer, Lt. Colonel Ransford, and the Brigade Commander, Haswell, that afternoon.  'C' Company pushed on down the road, followed by 'B' Company.  On the morning of 12th July 'C' Company reached the north bank of the Hpungin Hka and at first reported no Japanese presence on the south bank.  However that afternoon Japanese were seen and the Company fired on the enemy with 2-inch mortars and Bren guns.  The Japanese returned fire, loosing off five shells from a battalion infantry gun but causing no casualties to 'C' Company.  The next afternoon 'C' Company was reinforced by its own No. 13 Platoon and the Battalion Mortar Platoon, Medium Machine Gun and Carrier Sections and the Commando Platoon.  That evening a plan was made for two platoons of the Kachin Levies to cross to the south bank of the Hpungin Hka and establish an ambush position on the road to the south of the Japanese position.  In the mean time 'B' and 'C' Companies were to cross to the south bank as soon as possible.  During the night 'C' Company fired six 3-inch mortar bombs at the Japanese position however there was no return fire.  The next afternoon a message was received from 'A' Company of the Kachin Levies that the Japanese had left only an observation post just south of the Hpungin Hka but that around 150 enemy were astride the road just above Milestone 34.  During 15th July patrols were sent out to try to establish where the Japanese were and by the evening had confirmed that the Japanese had withdrawn beyond Weshi.  The next day both companies crossed the river and headed off down the road.  Working closely with the Kachin Levies the two companies, Battalion Headquarters and the remainder of the Battalion pressed on down the road.  On 21st July contact was made with Major Scott and by 24th July the Battalion was concentrated at Mankrin.[106]

Mankrin, on the west bank of the Irrawaddy River, is a few miles north of Myitkyina and once here contact was made with the Americans.  The 4th Battalion was ordered to cross over to the east bank of the Irrawaddy to capture Maingna.  Both Maingna and Waingmaw to the immediate south were strongly held by the Japanese with about 500 men.  The villages were to be taken by the Battalion whilst the Kachin Levies went around and behind the Japanese to ambush their line of communications.  A Chinese battalion also crossed over the Irrawaddy from the Myitkyina area with the intention of intercepting the Japanese as they withdrew southwards.  The Americans were to provide air support and artillery support from their position at Radahpur.[107]

Three companies of the Kachin Levies had crossed the river from the Mankrin area to the east bank during 23rd July.  An additional company had also crossed the river to the south of Myitkyina, to the south bank.[108]  During the morning of 25th July 'A' Company and the Advance Headquarters of the 4th Battalion crossed over to the east bank of the Irrawaddy to 'Area BEACHHEAD', by Milestone 2.5, north of Maingna.  By 10:00 all but the Rear Headquarters and the last elements of SCOCOL had also crossed into 'Area BEACHHEAD'.  Patrols were sent out and that afternoon 'C' and 'D' Companies moved out to attack Maingna.  The plan called for the attack to go in on the heels of an American bombing raid but as the aerial attack failed to appear the attack was called off.  The Battalion activity was restricted to patrols for the next few days.  A further attack by 'C' and 'D' Companies was planned for the afternoon of 28th July.  This time the American air support arrived and bombed Maingna however the two companies were unable to advance due to the use of delayed action bombs.  A number of Chinese soldiers and Shans escaping from Maingna were taken prisoner the next day and divulged that Maingna was held by around 80 Japanese with two medium machine guns and five light machine guns.  Heavy rain and resultant flooding on 30th July caused the cancellation of a further attack but a patrol from 'D' Company fired its 2-inch mortars and Bren guns at a Japanese position 'with good results'.   In the meantime 'A' Company moved to the high ground about half a mile to the north of Maingna.  The next day a patrol from 'C' Company kept up the harassment of the Japanese positions.[109]

On the morning of 3rd August 1944, 'B', 'C' and 'D' Companies moved into forming up positions for an attack on Maingna.  At around 09:30 'A' Company laid down a mortar barrage and smoke screen.  This was closely followed by a dive bombing attack by eight American A-36s.  However the bombing only lasted ten minutes and was seen to be ineffective.  The planes dropped their bombs but did not strafe the Japanese positions.  At 10:00 the attacking companies crossed the start line.  Almost immediately 'C' Company was held up just beyond the start line by Japanese machine gun fire but by midday had reached the Maingna-Mwitu road with two platoons to the north and around 100 yards west of the paddy fields.  First 'D' Company and then 'B' Company crossed the paddy fields further to the south of 'C' Company and worked around to the south-east of the Japanese perimeter.  Three Japanese positions were taken by 'D' Company, three Japanese soldiers being killed in the process.  However both 'B' and 'D' Companies were then held up by enfilade fire from their north.  At around 15:00 'C' Company attempted to push forward again but gained only a few yards before coming under fire from the north-east.  This fire also fell on the 'C' Company Rear Headquarters and the Battalion Advance Headquarters.  Although this fire stopped at around 15:30 it was clear that all companies were held up by Japanese crossfire so orders were given that all units were to withdraw if the objective had not been taken by 17:00.  This being the case at 17:00 the withdrawal took place and an hour later the Battalion had fully disengaged.  Casualties were: 'A' Company - nil; 'B' Company - one killed and one wounded; 'C' Company - one killed and six wounded; 'D' Company - one killed and one wounded.  Although a small number of casualties they represented a significant number of the remaining men of the Battalion which had been much reduced by earlier casualties and sickness.[110]

The following day, 4th August, a patrol from 'A' Company entered Maingna and advanced 800 yards, taking fifteen Japanese positions.  'A' Company asked for reinforcements from the Battalion and one platoon from each of the other companies was sent forward.  However by 10:30 it became apparent that the left flank of the 'A' Company patrol was seriously in danger from the Japanese and it was forced to withdraw, having suffered five wounded.  The next day another patrol from 'A' Company entered Maingna to a depth of around 200 yards but as on the previous day this patrol also came under heavy fire from the left flank and was forced to withdraw with one man killed.  Later that day the Japanese shelled the Battalion area north of Maingna three times but all shells fell wide and there were no casualties.  At midnight the Battalion returned the compliment and fired fifteen mortar rounds at the Japanese positions in Maingna.  On 5th August 'D' Company sent a patrol to harass the Japanese and this shot up enemy positions before pulling back at 11:00.  Between 12:30 and 13:30 American artillery fire was aimed at Maingna from the west bank of the Irrawaddy but was seen to be ineffective.  At 13:30 American planes bombed and strafed the village but the results could not be seen.[111]

The final attack on Maingna was planned for 7th August.  'D' Company was to harass the eastern-most Japanese positions and at the same time to send a fighting patrol to shoot up the Japanese piquet south-east of Maingna.  The Battalion 3-inch mortars were to fire a barrage of 225 mortar bombs just prior to the start of the attack.  'B' Company was to give covering fire with medium machine guns, Brens and 2-inch mortars on the north and north-east end of the village from Zero Hour.  At Zero Hour 'A' Company was to advance due south to the objective, Milestone 0 (zero) on the Maingna-Mwitu road.  The Company was to be followed by 'C' Company who would cover the left flank of the attack before advancing to their objective, a Japanese medium machine gun position on the eastern side of Maingna astride the road.  'B' Company was to remain ready to reinforce the advance.  The attack went according to plan, beginning at 09:30.  'D' Company drew Japanese fire from the east and inflicted several Japanese casualties.  Although the Battalion mortar barrage was four minutes late it was very effective, causing much disruption among the Japanese defenders, preventing them from bringing 'A' Company under enfilade fire from the east.  Although 'A' Company took fire from its front both it and 'D' Company took the north-east corner of the village by 10:30.  'B' Company and the Battalion medium machine guns were now ordered forward to reinforce 'A' Company's left flank.  The 'D' Company platoon was called in and sent to reinforce 'A' Company.  At 11:00 'C' Company set off to the east end of the village.  At 12:30 'A' Company had taken their objective and had 'B' Company on their left, with 'C' Company on 'B' Company's left.  'D' Company was now brought forward on to 'C' Company's left.  'A' Company then advanced further south of the road, followed by the other companies on their left.  By 14:00 the entire village was in the Battalion's hands and cleared of Japanese.  'A' Company now remained in place while the other companies conducted a sweep of the jungle to the south-west from east to west.  At 15:00 the operation was completed and the Battalion ordered to consolidate.[112]

The Battalion rested in Maingna for the next few days.  On 9th August a patrol to the village of Hula 800 yards south of Maingna made contact with Chinese troops.  An American liaison officer with the Chinese reported that the east bank of the Irrawaddy was clear of Japanese between Hula and Waingwa further to the south, across from Myitkyina.[113]  Shortly after the capture of Maingna the 4th Battalion was angered to hear over the radio an announcement giving credit for the town’s capture to the Chinese.[114] 

The 4th Battalion had entered the campaign with around 950 men and had received more than 200 reinforcements subsequently.  However for the final attack on Maingna it could muster only 149 men, the rest having been lost along the way as battle casualties or due to sickness.  During the advance south the wounded and sick were evacuated back up the road, being treated at field hospitals built along the way and the more serious casualties being evacuated to India by air from an airstrip at Tingpai.  After the fall of Myitkyina a light aircraft strip was prepared at Mankrin and many sick and wounded were flown from here down to Myitkyina by a friendly American pilot.[115]

On 12th and 13th August the Battalion crossed back over the Irrawaddy to Mankrin.  On the afternoon of 13th August 'B' and 'C' Companies, the Mortar Platoon, the Pioneer Platoon and a party of signallers left by plane from Myitkyina for Dinjan.  The next day 'A' and 'C' Companies, Headquarters and Administration Companies and Battalion Headquarters marched to Singapur airfield to the east of Myitkyina where they too left by plane for Dinjan.  The final elements of the Battalion flew out on 15th August and the Battalion gather at a reception camp at Tinsukia.  Small details had been left at Sumprabum and Fort Hertz and these rejoined the Battalion in India over the next few days.  On 18th and 19th the Battalion gathered at a camp site near Tinsukia which was soon found to be very uncomfortable.  The daily temperature was very high and sickness began to take its toll of the exhausted men.  Finally the Battalion entrained for Hoshiarpur on 1st September.  At Pandu Ghat the Battalion left the train and embarked aboard river steamers which took them to Sirajgunji.  Here on 4th September the river was left behind as once again the Battalion entrained and five days later arrived at Hoshiarpur.  For the rest of September and until the end of November the time was spent recovering from illness and taking war leave.[116]

In October it was announced that General Stilwell had been relieved of his command and this was the cause of some celebration amongst British and American officers alike.[117]

The Arakan - Return to Burma and Independence

On 11th February 1945 the 4th Battalion received warning orders for a return to Burma.  The initial destination was Akyab from where the Battalion would subsequently send out company detachments to undertake internal security duties on the mainland.  As preparations were made for the move the Battalion continued to train in infantry tactics and undertook several exercises to practice them.  An advance party of one British Officer, one Governor's Commissioned Officer and 30 men left Hoshiarpur on 1st March 1945.  The main body of the Battalion left the next day by train for Chittagong and consisted of 846 officers and men and 35 mules.  On 6th March the Battalion detrained at Goalando Ghat and embarked aboard the S.S. "Ardlamont" which set sail for Chanpur.  The next morning the Battalion disembarked at Chanpur and arrived at Chittagong later that evening.  On 9th March the Commanding Officer, Lt. Colonel Ransford, accompanied by the 'D' Company Commander and the Battalion Intelligence Officer left under Naval Escort for Akyab as the advance party.  Ransford returned on 22nd March and three days later the 4th Battalion embarked aboard the S.S. "Valera" and sailed for Akyab the following day.  Akyab was reached the next day, 27th March, and the Battalion disembarked and marched to camp at Mawtinya.  The 4th Battalion now came under the military administration of 451 Sub-Area however operational tasks were to be at the behest of the Civil Affairs Service, Burma, known as CAS(B).[118] [119]

The Japanese had been cleared from the Arakan but government remained in the form of a military administration under Headquarters 12th Army, in co-operation with the Burma Government in exile in Simla.  Day-to-day administration was undertaken by CAS(B) whose officers held military rank whilst retaining their Civil Service titles, the most senior being Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner.  The Battalion was now responsible to the Commissioner and day-to-day administration was via Deputy Commissioner J. McTurk.[120]  All travel around the Arakan was by boat and the Battalion soon acquired a small fleet of launches and boats.  There were many gangs of ‘dacoits’ at large in the Arakan at the time, some of them were well armed.  A ‘dacoit’ in India or Burma is a member of a band of armed robbers and an act of banditry is a ‘dacoity’.  Some individuals and groups or gangs were also referred to as ‘Thakins’ and although this name was applied by the British to Burmese nationalist political and military groups intent on gaining independence there were numbers in these groups who were actively involved in criminal activities and it seems that on occasion the British used the terms ‘dacoit’ and ‘Thakin’ interchangeably.[121] [122]   

The first task for the Battalion involved sending No. 1 Platoon of 'A' Company, under Major J. Dalton, the Company Commander, to Paletwa to act as escort for a CAS(B) officer and as the advance party for 'A' Company which was soon to operate in that area.[123]  Dalton set off on the evening of 1st April in a ‘Higgins Boat’ for Paletwa and arrived on the morning of 3rd April.[124]  That same day Ransford and his Adjutant, Lieutenant L.C. Balmer held a conference at the headquarters of 451 Sub-Area to discuss the move of the Companies to the mainland.[125]  During the Japanese occupation the civil population in many areas of the Arakan had been supplied with arms by the British.  Since the Japanese defeat and the subsequent re-occupation of the Arakan large numbers of ‘dacoits’ and armed criminals took advantage of the lack of effective administration and were operating with little fear, terrorising civilians.  The role of the 4th Battalion was to disarm the civil population, to stop criminal activity and to deal with ‘undesirable characters’.  To this end orders were issued assigning specific areas of the mainland to individual companies of the Battalion:

- 'A' Company under Major J. Dalton was to occupy the Myohaung (Mrauk U), Paletwa and Kyauktaw area in the Kaladan River valley, with one platoon in each village and Company Headquarters at Myohaung.  The Company was to patrol the Kaladan Valley and the foothills to the west.  Before relieving the Tripura Rifles who were present in the area, the Company Commander was to be fully briefed about the location of ’dacoit’ and other criminal activity.  Captain K.S. Thapa was to join the company together with a mortar section and a detachment each of signallers and pioneers.[126]

- 'B' Company under Major Graham was to send a platoon to Ponnagyun, on the lower Kaladan River, with the mission of disarming the civil population and clearing the area of all ‘undesirable characters’.[127]

- 'C' Company under Major I.D. Hillis was given the same mission for the Minbya, Myabin (Myebon) and Pauktaw area, with one platoon based in each village and Company Headquarters at Minbya.  The Company was to patrol the valley and foothills to the east and west.  Attached to the company was a mortar section and detachments of signallers and pioneers.[128]

- 'D' Company under Major Shaw had the same mission for the Buthidaung-Rathedaung area along the Mayu River, with Company Headquarters and two platoons at Buthidaung and one platoon at Rathedaung.  The Mayu Valley and the foothills of the Mayu Range were to be patrolled and the ‘dacoits’ captured or killed.  Attached to the company was Captain R.B. Treleaven with a mortar section, and detachments of signallers and pioneers.[129] [130]

All detachments were to work closely with the local Civil Affairs Officers.  The main means of transportation was by either tug, operated by an Indian Inland Water Transport Company, 'Higgins Boat’ or country boats in the upper reaches of the waterways.  By 12th April all companies had reached their allotted areas of responsibility and had begun sending out patrols and giving propaganda lectures to villagers.  The Battalion Headquarters remained on Akyab and on 10th April the Commanding Officer began a tour of the Company areas, returning to Akyab on the evening of 19th April before setting off once again the next day, this time for the Mayu River area.  Throughout this period there were reports of Japanese troops moving through the area, trying to escape to the east, however these reports were found to be either long out of date or merely rumours and no Japanese were encountered.  On 21st April it was decided that 'D' Company would establish a platoon camp at Awruma in the hills near Rathedaung.  On 24th April the Battalion Advance Headquarters left Akyab for Kyaukta, arriving two days later.  The Advance Headquarters consisted of the Commanding Officer, Adjutant, Medical Officer and Battalion Sergeant Major.  Towards the end of the month there were minor encounters with ‘dacoits’ resulting in a small number of arrests.[131]

The routine of patrols continued during May.  The Battalion Commanding Officer, Lt. Colonel Ransford, kept in touch with his detachments by touring the areas for which his Battalion was responsible.  On 2nd May the Awruma Camp detachment of 'D' Company raided the villages of Thaikyandaung and Thayawbin and captured eight ‘dacoits’ and their leader, San Hla, who during the occupation had been congratulated by the Japanese for his work as a spy.  In the Yo Chaung area 'B' Company conducted a raid and set check points on several tracks.  In the early hours of 4th May a section of 'B' Company surprised a party of ‘dacoits’ who arrived by boat at the village of Thedet.  As they tried to escape two ‘dacoits’ were killed and two were wounded and captured.  The Commanding Officer, Lt. Colonel Ransford, returned to headquarters at Akyab and attended several conferences with the 451 Sub-Area Command and local Senior Civil Affairs Officers.  Ransford began a further tour of his Companies on 8th May.  Preparations for the imminent arrival of the monsoon were under way and construction of a monsoon camp was undertaken by 'D' Company at Awruma.  However it was then decided to withdraw the platoon located there because of the expected difficulties in communication, movement and supply that would arise once the monsoon broke.  The other companies also constructed monsoon camps of their own and one was prepared by Battalion Headquarters at Akyab.  Patrols obtained varying degrees of information from villagers, in some instances the villagers were sceptical of the benefits of cooperation with the returning British, in others they were fearful of retribution meted out by the local ‘dacoits’.  On 11th May, two British officers, four Governor's Commissioned Officers and 208 Other Ranks of the Battalion Rear Party arrived at Akyab from Chittagong.  The Senior Police Officer at Myebon submitted a report that the Thakin Party leader of the Minbya district, Phongyi U Sein Da, had recruited up to 200 men and armed them with British and Japanese arms. [132]  All villages in the area were supplying them with food and other essentials.  At a meeting with the Senior Civil Affairs Officer, Akyab, Lt. Colonel McTurk, and the Senior Civil Affairs Officer (Police) on 19th May it was decided to send a platoon to Kyaindaung for two weeks to investigate the report of U Sein Da's Thakins and for a Civil Affairs Officer to be posted to help calm the area.  When on 20th May the Battalion Commanding Officer arrived at Yotarok, in the 'B' Company area, he was told by the Company Commander, Major Graham, that after intensive patrolling and persuasion by the Company the local ’dacoit’ leader, Krani-Aung and other leaders of his gang had decided to give themselves up.  His brother had been imprisoned in India and had been released on condition that he would do his best to quieten the area.  His efforts had greatly influenced his brother's decision to surrender.  On 24th May Major Scott returned from leave in the United Kingdom and resumed his duties as Battalion Second-in-Command.  Two days later, Lieutenant G.E. Evans of 'D' Company attempted to ambush a party of ‘dacoits’ at Nattalayeywa village but was thwarted when the ‘dacoits’ were tipped off by local spies.[133]  However Captain Treleaven, now attached to 'D' Company, had more success on 29th May when his patrol managed to engage a party of escaping dacoits, killing six and wounding others.  On the last day of the month the Commanding Officer's touring party returned to Akyab.[134]

Attempts to capture or disperse the 'Thakin' and ’dacoit’ gangs continued throughout June.  On 2nd June, Major Hillis took two sections of No. 9 Platoon, 'C' Company, into the hills around Kyaindaung in search of the 'Thakin' U Sein Da.  He returned six days later having captured the 'Thakin' leader's right hand man, San Thein, and with news that the gang had left the area to escape the attention of Hillis's men.  Attention also turned to the leader of another of the larger ’dacoit’ gangs, Sein Tun.  Men of the Battalion Headquarters Platoon were despatched to Htizwe and Thamiliywa on 3rd June at the request of the Senior Civil Affairs Officer, Akyab, to help pacify the area.  The Battalion was visited on 15th June by Lt. Colonel MaCrae, the G.S.O.(I) (General Staff Officer, Intelligence) of 404 Line of Communication area, the parent formation of 451 Sub-Area.  MaCrae toured some of the Company areas and his visit lasted eleven days.  In the 'B' Company area, on 19th June, Jemadar Adjutant Bhaiman Rai decided to go fishing off the sun deck of the Steam Tug "Gita".  He made up a charge of gun cotton and threw it over the side with the intention of killing or stunning the fish.  Unfortunately the charge was so large that it damaged the tug which began leaking and was soon abandoned by the crew before it sank.  The incident was later subject to a court of inquiry.  On 20th June, Lt. Colonel Ransford left Akyab by plane for Calcutta on 28 days war leave.  His place was taken by Major Shaw who became Officiating (temporary) Battalion Commander.  On 26th June two ‘dacoits’ of Sein Tun's gang were taken into custody by 'B' Company in the Yotarok area.  They had apparently fallen out with their leader and offered information on him and his gang.  Three days later 'B' Company scored another success against Sein Tun when twelve of his gang came in to surrender, having been persuaded to do so by British propaganda put out by a local leader.  During the month radio communications were established between the Battalion Headquarters at Akyab and the outlying Companies.  This was quite an achievement as it involved more than doubling the range of the wireless sets in use at the time.[135]

July 1945 was a comparatively quiet month with ongoing patrols.  In the Yotarok area, where 'B' Company operated, it was reported that on the night of 4th/5th July a woman had been killed by ‘dacoits’ in Letwemyan and two 'ticals' of gold stolen.[136]  Captain J.E. Key took No. 4 Platoon and two policemen to investigate but villagers could not identify the men involved.[137]  On 16th July another 'dacoity' occurred in the 'A' Company area, at a village ten miles from Myohaung involving the murder of the headman's son and the theft of around 4,000 Rupees worth of gold and clothing.  The gang had used a light machine gun.  However when a patrol arrived to investigate it was met with the usual silence with regards to the whereabouts of the criminals involved.  Small incidents of 'dacoity' continued and between 17th to 31st July 'A' Company reported five such incidents in the Myohaung area.  On each occasion a patrol was sent out but with no result.  The hunt for Sein Tun continued and on 29th July a 'B' Company patrol was sent to Sinthe where it had been reported that Sein Tun was living.  However the village was found to be deserted.  As in preceding months Battalion Headquarters sent out a touring party consisting of the Battalion Second-in-Command, the Adjutant, the Medical Officer and a Signal Subedar.  The party left Akyab aboard the S.S. "Chindwin" on 6th July.  That same day a party of 84 reinforcements under the command of Lieutenant J.S. Bell arrived at Akyab by sea from Chittagong.[138]  A further party of reinforcements arrived on 31st July.  There were also further comings and goings as officers and men went on or returned from war leave.  The Battalion Commanding Officer, Lt. Colonel Ransford returned from leave on 31st July.  During the month Battalion Headquarters was visited by the Commander of 451 Line of Communication Sub Area, Brigadier General A.L. Kent Lemon.[139]

In early August the Battalion Mortar Platoon went to Minbya where it was to carry out training.  The Platoon disembarked on 8th August.  That same day, in the Kyauktaw area, part of the 'A' Company area, a ‘dacoity’ occurred in Taung Bwe in which two villagers were killed and others were robbed.  On 25th August 'A' Company began a sweep of the Myohaung area to the north-west where a number of ’dacoit’ incidents had taken place.  No trace of the ‘dacoits’ was found other than an abandoned hideout which was destroyed.  Throughout the month 'B' Company carried out continuous patrolling hoping to capture Bo Sein Tun and his gang but with no success.  In the Minbya area, 'C' Company and the Mortar Platoon conducted patrols and training but there were no reports of ’dacoit’ activity.[140]

In September came the breakthrough in the hunt for Sein Tun when Captain Key led three sections of 'B' Company and a police detachment to Thedaw Mrowa following information received that Bo Sein Tun was in the area.  Leaving on 8th September, Key arrived at the village the next day to be told that Sein Tun and some ‘dacoits’ were staying in a small hut just outside the village.  As the patrol approached the hut they were told by villagers that the ‘dacoits’ had gone however village headmen then led the patrol to a small hillock in the jungle.  Noises were heard coming down from the hillock and two armed men were seen.  A policeman fired at one of these but missed and the ‘dacoits’ ran away down the other side of the hillock.  Lance Naik Chandra Bahadur Thapa chased them and opened fire with his Thompson sub-machine gun at a range of 80 yards, killing one of the dacoits.  The policemen and villagers identified the body as that of Sein Tun.  Thus came to an end the infamous career of the leader of the ‘dacoits’ in northern Arakan.  Later at the end of the month 'A' and 'C' Companies mounted a combined sweep of the Myohaung area but with no success.[141]

October saw the departure of Major B.H.N. McNeill on leave to the United Kingdom, under the leave scheme "STIFF".[142]  Patrols continued as usual and on 3rd October patrols from 'A' and 'C' Companies in the Panmyaung area went in search of 100 armed men moving north near Shwegyon.  However no contact was made and it seems the ‘dacoits’ had left the Taungmaw area that morning.  On 24th October Captain Shipley left Akyab by air for Calcutta for repatriation to the United Kingdom under scheme "PYTHON".  The next day at Rathedaung in the 'D' Company area, a police patrol handed in five men and documents captured at Panzai.  The documents indicated that a Communist Party had been started in the Arakan by U Pyin Ya Thi Ha, with support from the Indian Communist Party whose headquarters were at Chittagong.  The men were later released.  On 30th October 22 men of the Battalion Headquarters Platoon were withdrawn from Rathedaung and arrived at Akyab for local duties.[143]

The first mentioned contact with members of the Burma Patriotic Forces (P.B.F.) occurred at Akyab on 5th November 1945 when two P.B.F. officers arrived at Battalion Headquarters, saying that they were recruiting for the new Burma Rifles battalions then being formed and that they were paying existing members of the P.B.F. for services undertaken earlier in the year.  Normal patrolling continued and the Battalion Commanding Officer left Akyab on 26th November for the usual tour of the Company areas.  A 'B' Company patrol returned to Yotarok from the Kanzauk area on 23rd November, bringing seven prisoners, five of whom were wanted for murder.  On 29th November Major Scott, the Battalion Second-in-Command, left Akyab for Minbya to undertake the withdrawal of 'C' Company to Akyab.  This was completed the next day.[144]

An order from Headquarters 551 Sub Area arrived on 3rd December, stating that no more operations were to be carried out by the Battalion except to comply with a direct request from a Civil Officer not below the rank of Deputy Commissioner.  A signal to this effect was sent to the companies the next morning.  On 14th December, 'B' Company arrived complete at Akyab, having been withdrawn from its area of responsibility.  It was followed three days later by the Mortar Platoon which arrived at Akyab having been withdrawn from Minbya.  A request was received on 30th December from the Deputy Commissioner to support the rounding up of 50 ‘dacoits’ who had attacked a village near Myohaung and two platoons were sent out from Myohaung the next morning to search for them.[145]

On 14th January 1946 two platoons of 'A' Company from Myohaung and a platoon from 'B' Company from Akyab went to Thaungkwinmaw, six miles north-east of Minbya where it had been reported that 200 armed men were gathering for an attack on the police and wireless stations at Minbya.  The area was swept but no evidence of a large body of men was found.  Both patrols arrived at Myohaung on 16th January.  The next day 'C' Company left Akyab by ship to relieve the 1st Tripura Rifles at Kyaukpyu.  On 22nd January the Commanding Officer, Lt. Colonel Ransford flew to Calcutta en route to the United Kingdom for 61 days leave.  Lt. Colonel I.C.G. Scott assumed command of the Battalion. The Battalion was inspected by the Inspector General Burma Army, Major General L.C. Thomas on 23rd and 24th January.  The General presented Burma Gallantry Medals to four men of the Battalion.[146]

In February 'A' Company was active in patrolling its operational area.  Still a key figure being searched for was the ’dacoit’ leader, Phongyi U Sein Da.  A patrol sent out on 5th February in response to a ‘dacoity’ returned with nine captured prisoners.  On 20th February, as part of the programme to raise new Burmese units of the Burma Army, incorporating men of the Patriotic Burma Forces who until towards the end of the war had fought on the Japanese side, two Burmese officers arrived on attachment to the Battalion.  They were 2nd Lieutenants San Shwe and Than Maung.  They were joined later in the month by 2nd Lieutenants Shwe Tha, Soe Myint and Thein Toke.  Two days later 'A' Company fought a fierce little action against around twenty ‘dacoits’ armed with light machine guns.  Havildar Narsing Bahadur Limbu charged the light machine guns and put the ‘dacoits’ to flight, capturing both guns , a Sten gun and several grenades.  One wounded ’dacoit’ was captured but later died of his wounds.  Elsewhere that day 'D' Company was very lucky not to suffer heavy casualties when a patrol travelling in six sampans down the Mayu River came under attack.  A party of around 20-30 ‘dacoits’ ambushed the patrol initially killing one boatman and wounding another.  Under covering fire from the three sampans furthest away from the ambush scene, the remaining three, near the west bank, were able to withdraw.  Lance Naik Bal Bahadur Rana landed and crawled in amongst the ‘dacoits’ before opening fire, killing one and wounding two others.[147] 

In March the turnover of officers continued as some went away on leave and others were released from the Army.  On 4th March Major Shaw arrived from Buthidaung to take over command of the Battalion as both acting Lt. Colonel Scott and Major McNeill were leaving for release a few days later.   On 10th March it was decided to withdraw 'D' Company from Buthidaung to Akyab and replace it with a small detachment to keep the Chittagong- Buthidaung road open.  The road was mainly being used to get men to and from India on leave.  On 11th March Captain Bell arrived back in Buthidaung having been on escort duty to Singapore following his war leave in India.  The next day former General Aung San of the Patriotic Burma Forces arrived at Myohaung to hold political meetings in the area.  At one of these meetings on 15th March one platoon from 'A' Company stood ready in case of disturbances.  Although there was no trouble Aung San made it clear to the people of Myohaung that it was time for the British to leave Burma.  At this time a change over was made to the Myohaung company, with 'B' company relieving 'A' Company which arrived in Akyab by 21st March.  Patrolling and the search for ‘dacoits’ continued throughout March and into April with only minor clashes and arrests.  On 22nd April, Lt. Colonel Ransford returned from leave in the United Kingdom and resumed command of the Battalion.  During April the Burmese Anti-Fascist Peoples Freedom League (A.F.P.F.L.) was active in the area, holding several meetings.  At the end of the month a large detachment from 'D’ Company, under the command of Majors Shaw and Balmer went to Kyaungdawng hoping to make arrests of many wanted men attending a rally organised by U Sein Da.  However given the large numbers of people attending and the potential for trouble should arrests be made, Shaw attempted to obtain the cooperation of U Sein Da's 'private army' to make the arrests.  Unfortunately these men were reluctant to help so Shaw's party made a meal and then returned to their launches.  U Sein Da himself did not appear at the rally.[148]

In May the District Commissioner requested that a platoon be permanently stationed at Kyauktaw following the murder there of two headmen and a Sub-Inspector of Police, with the local ‘dacoits’ seemingly gaining the upper hand.  On 19th and 20th May respectively the outposts at Mawhtet and Hpontha were closed and withdrawn to Akyab due to the inadequacy of monsoon accommodation.  However work began at Hpontha to provide suitable monsoon accommodation that would enable a platoon to return when ready.  On 29th May a patrol found and killed a notorious ’dacoit’ leader south of Kyauktaw with the help of volunteers from the Pyithuria Phawtat (the A.F.P.F.L.).  There was a Company rotation at the end of May, with 'A' Company going to Kemapyu to replace 'C' Company and 'D' Company taking over from 'B' Company at Myohaung.  On 24th May the Battalion was assigned officially to the Akyab, Kyaukpyu and Sandoway Districts for internal security.[149]

It seems that the Battalion was at one point earmarked for disbandment for on 5th June the Battalion Headquarters received a letter stating that the 4th Battalion would not now be disbanded to be reorganised as part the 1st Gurkha Field Regiment of the new Burma Army.[150]  Two days later a patrol out of Minbya down the Min Chaung came under fire as it approached Kani village.  Subedar As Bahadur Limbu manoeuvred his patrol to lay an ambush and succeeded in capturing three ‘dacoits’ with their weapons.  The work to provide monsoon accommodation at Hpontha progressed slowly as the labourers were intimidated by notices posted on the half-built 'bashas'.  The notices declared that the Burma Regiment would not be around forever and anyone who helped the Battalion would suffer retaliation once they had left.  ‘Dacoit’ activity, although declining in some areas, suddenly intensified in the Yotarok-Kyauktaw areas.  The local police became completely demoralised and began to desert their outposts.  Police patrols often came under fire from the ‘dacoits' light machine guns.  The Battalion sent a number of patrols through the area.  There were difficulties at Akyab also.  On 16th June it was reported that the third instance of the theft of arms from Royal Air Force Akyab had taken place.  The Battalion provided more guards to prevent further thefts of arms, arms that might be used against the Battalion's patrols in future.  Lt. Colonel Ransford once again departed the Battalion, this time for good, to the Staff College at Quetta, leaving on 24th June.  His place as Battalion Commander was taken over by the Battalion Second-in-Command, Major K.S. Thapa.  Four days later, the south Burma Area Commander, Brigadier I.F. Hossack, D.S.O., arrived at Akyab and inspected the Battalion.  July and August were relatively uneventful months with ongoing patrols and occasional clashes with ‘dacoits’.  In October a major operation was carried out involving columns from 'A', 'B' and 'C' Companies conducting sweeps through the Kyaukpyu District.  During one of these sweeps three riflemen were drowned on 18th October while crossing a river in a country boat.[151]  The next day 'C' Company burnt the rebel leader U Sein Da's headquarters village of Kyaindawng, capturing two ‘dacoits’ and releasing three hostages.  By the time the first phase of the operation ended on 26th October several ‘dacoits’ had been killed, many captured and small quantities of arms and ammunition taken.  The second phase began on 31st October.

[The 4th Battalion war diary ends here.]

As independence approached it seemed that the 4th Battalion was once again destined to be disbanded.  By now it formed part of the new Burma Army, control of which was to pass to the new government of the Union of Burma on independence.  However disbandment was deferred once again when in June 1947 Aung San, by now de facto Prime Minister of Burma, decided to retain the 2nd and 4th Battalions, The Burma Regiment.[152]  Beginning from 1st November 1947 the commanding officers of the infantry battalions of the new Burma Army, including the Burma Rifles and the Burma Regiment, were replaced with Burmese citizens.  The remaining British officers were officially classified as ‘advisers’.  The 4th Battalion was still present in the new Burma Army after independence in 1948 and remained as a wholly Gurkha battalion.  Little of the Battalion’s story from this time onwards is known however it appears the 4th Battalion played an active role in support of the government during the political and ethnic strife which followed independence.  A company of the 4th Battalion was present at the siege of Thazi in March and April 1949 as part of a force which included two companies of the 3rd Chin Rifles and two of the 6th Burma Rifles.[153]  The British Services Mission documented the 4th Battalion’s dispositions on 8th March 1949 as:

- Battalion Headquarters:   Kyaitkasan (Rangoon)
- One platoon and headquarters:   Henzada
- Two platoons:   Duya (Tenasserim)
- One platoon:  on guard at the War Office, Rangoon
- One platoon:  on guard at the President’s Residence, Rangoon.[154]

On 22nd April 1949 a force of locally raised Burma Gurkhas [the 4th Burma Regiment?] re-occupied Mandalay with ease.  The Karens had not garrisoned the town other than to leave a company in the fort [named Fort Dufferin by the British but actually the Royal Palace and Mandalay Fort] and it was held by a motley force of two or three thousand P.V.O. and Communists.  The Karen company left for the south the previous day and the P.V.O. and Communists withdrew to Amarapura after offering only minor resistance.[155]

By 1950 the Government forces had turned the tied and were actively engaged in recovering lost territory.  In the oilfields area of Upper Burma elements of the 4th Burma Regiment took Magwe on 8th April and Minbu on 13th April.  Around Loikaw and Taunggyi in the Shan States there was low level fighting with what were probably 'dacoits'.  The Government troops in the area were the low grade 1st Shan and 1st Karenni battalions, both units being only partially trained.  In the east of the Shan States the single company of the 1st Burma Rifles was replaced as the garrison of Kengtung town by the 4th Burma Regiment.  The major problem in this area was the influx of Chinese Nationalist soldiers across the border in the Mong Hopaung area.  The 4th Burma Regiment was ordered to round them up and disarm them in preparation for repatriation to China.  Mindful to avoid border disputes, the French-Indo China and Siamese border guards were warned of the 4th Burma Regiment's mission.[156]

12 November 2017



[1] The recommendation for a gallantry award for Subedar Kharak (Khadga) Bahadur Rai reads as follows:

Unit: 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment

Regimental No.:              54006

Rank/name:       Subedar Kharak Bahadur Rai
Main Class:       Gurkha Rai
Village:             Kahule
P.O.:                Leherisarai
Tehsil:               Darbhanyga
District:             No.4 Bhalpur

During the period 16 Nov 1943 to 15 May 1944 this officer has been in the forefront of every battle in which his company has been engaged.  Time and again he has volunteered to lead very dangerous patrols into the enemy lines.  During the last five months, while his company has been in close contact with the enemy, he has always remained cheerful even under the most trying conditions.  He has throughout, by his own personal courage, set a very high example to his men.

Recommended by:        Lt. Colonel A.V. Perry, Commanding 4th Bn The Burma Regt.
Forwarded by:               Brigadier F.W. Haswell, Commander Fort Hertz Area
Rec’d for M.C. by:         Lt. General W. Slim, G.O.C. in Chief, Fourteenth Army
Rec’d for M.C. by:         General Sir G.F. Giffard, Commander in Chief, 11th Army Group.

The award of the Military Cross was gazetted on 8th February 1945  (WO 373/35/135).

[2] Private Papers of Lt. Col. I.C.G. Scott (IWM)

[3] Geoffrey Lionel D'Oyly-Lowsley born, 10th January 1900.  Commissioned as 2nd Lt. to the Unattached List, 1st October 1918.  Appointed to the Indian Army as 2nd Lt. (IA 1227), attached to the 4th Gurkha Rifles, 7th October 1918.  Served Afghanistan, North-West Frontier, 1919.  Served Waziristan, 1919-21.  Promoted to Lieutenant, 7th October 1919.  Served Waziristan, 1921-24.  Promoted to Captain, 1st October 1924.  Promoted to Major, 1st October 1936.  Seconded to the 1st Battalion, The Burma Rifles, 18th May 1937 to June 1942.  Attached to the 1st Punjab Regiment from 1st April 1938.  Temporarily in command of the 1st Battalion, The Burma Rifles, 14th April 1942 to end April 1942.  Commanding officer of the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1st October 1942 to late 1942/early 1943.  As Major (acting Lt. Colonel), April 1943.  As temporary Lt.-Colonel, appointed Commanding Officer, 14th Gurkha Rifles, a training battalion, at Mohan, near Saharanpur, September 1943.  The 14th Gurkha Rifles formed part of the 115th Indian Infantry Brigade (Training), part of the 39th Indian Training Division.  The 39th Division was formed at Shillong on 20th June 1942 from remnants of the 1st Burma Division, September 1943.  Died ("accidentally killed"), 12th September 1944.  Buried at Dehra Dun (later Delhi War Cemetery), 13th September 1944 ("A History of the 4th Prince of Wales's Own Gurkha Rifles, 1857-1948", Volume 3, Macdonnel, Ranald; Blackwood (1952); "Loyalty & Honour, The Indian Army September 1939 - August 1947; Part II, Brigades", Kempton C., Military Press (2003); “War Services of British and Indian Officers of the Indian Army 1941”, Savannah (2004); British Army List; FindMyPast; Indian Army List; Indian Army List 1943; War Diary 1st Burma Rifles, WO 172/974 (War diary 1st Burma Rifles); Private Papers of Lt. Col. I.C.G. Scott (IWM)).

[4] Colin Dalrymple Shaw born, 2nd April 1919.  Emergency Commission to the General List as 2nd Lt. (189656), 28th April 1941.  Served with the 2nd Battalion, Burma Rifles, 28th April 1941 to June 1942.  Served with the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1942 to 19th May 1946.  Commanded 'D' Company, 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, November 1943 to 4th March 1946.  As Captain, commanded 'C' Company, 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment on detached duty in the Arakan, 1st March 1943 to 14th July 1943.  Evacuated with malaria, 2nd May 1943.  Wounded, 2nd May 1943.  Returned to unit, 7th June 1943.  As Captain, temporary Major, 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, awarded the Military Cross, gazetted, 8th February 1945.  As temporary Major, 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, awarded Bar to the M.C., gazetted, 28th June 1945.  Acting Battalion Commander, 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 4th March 1946 to 22nd April 1946.  As Battalion Second in Command, left the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment at Akyab for release in the United Kingdom, 19th May 1946.  As war substantive Captain, relinquished commission and retired as honorary Major, 6th November 1946.  Died, 1983  (Burma Defence Services List July 1941; FindMyPast; London Gazette; War diary 2nd Burma Rifles; War diary 4th Burma Regiment, W0 172/5037, 7803, 10321; War diary 'C' Company 4th Burma Regiment, WO 172/2657).

[5] Scott recalls Shaw's company as being 'D' Company however the war diary maintained by Shaw confirms his command as 'C' Company.  Following his return to the Battalion Shaw did then go on to command 'D' Company, perhaps the explanation for Scott's assertion  (Scott; War diary of ‘C’ Company, 4th Battalion Burma Regiment 1943, WO 172/2657).

[6] Hereward Chappell born, 21st April 1898.  Educated Wyggeston School, Leicester.  Enrolled as Cadet in the Saugor Military Academy, India, 1916.  Commissioned as 2nd Lt. to the Unattached List, 18th April 1916.  Appointed as 2nd Lt. (AI 847) to the Indian Army, 39th Royal Garhwal Rifles (18th Royal Garhwal Rifles from 1921), 27th April 1916.  Served Iraq, 20th March 1917 to 28th September 1918.  Served Salonika and Turkey, 25th October 1918 to 11th November 1918.  Served Waziristan, 1919-21.  Mentioned in Despatches, gazetted, 5th June 1919.  Promoted to Captain, 18th April 1920.  Inspector of Messes, Waziristan Force, 17th May 1922 to 2nd October 1922.  Staff Captain, 5th December 1923 to 24th February 1924.  Served North-West Frontier of India, 1930.  Served Burma (Saya San Rebellion), 1930-32.  Seconded to and served as Assistant Commandant with the Burma Military Police from 7th August 1931.  Promoted to Major, 18th April 1934.  Transferred to the Special Unemployed List, Indian Army, 1st November 1935.  Officiating Commandant, Northern Shan States Battalion, Burma Frontier Force, 1937.  Commandant, 2nd Rangoon Battalion, Burma Military Police, 1938 to May 1942.  Commanding Officer, the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, early/mid-1943 to September 1943.  Joined the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1943.  Commanding Officer, the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, September 1943 to 22nd October 1946.  Promoted from Major (temporary Lt. Colonel) to Lt. Colonel, 18th February 1946.  Retired, 6th June 1948.  As substantive Lt. Colonel, Officer Commanding the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, awarded O.B.E., 12th June 1947, gazetted, 20th August 1948.  Died, 28th December 1978 ("War Services of British and Indian Officers of the Indian Army 1941", Savannah (2004); British Army List; Indian Army List; London Gazette; Private Papers of Lt. Col. I.C.G. Scott (IWM); WO 172/7802; WO 172/10320; WO 373/82/281).

[7] Basil John Devenish-Meares born, 11th January 1898.  Commissioned as 2nd Lt. to the Unattached List for the Indian Army, 15th November 1915.  Appointed to the Indian Army (AI 805), 18th November 1915.  Attached to the 38th Dogras, served with the 41st Dogras, 20th November 1915.  Appointed Company Officer, 1st Battalion, 41st Dogras, 21st February 1916.  Promoted to Lieutenant, 15th November 1916.  While attached to the 41st Dogras, served with the 2nd Battalion, 101st Grenadiers, 1919? to 1st January 1920.  While serving with the 1st Battalion, 41st Dogras, mentioned in despatches, gazetted, 22nd January 1919.  Promoted to Captain, 15th November 1919.  While Captain, 41st Dogras, married Edith May Belk at Bombay, 13th February 1920.  Attached to the 17th Dogra Regiment following formation of the regiment, 1922 to 3rd September 1939.  Served as Assistant Commandant, Myitkyina Battalion, Burma Military Police, 22nd March 1923 to July 1925.  Served as Assistant Commandant, Eastern Battalion, Burma Military Police, July/October 1925 to April 1927.  Served with the 3rd Battalion, 17th Dogra Regiment, 1928-1937?.  Served North West Frontier of India, 1930-31.  While serving with the 3rd Battalion, 17th Dogra Regiment, mentioned in despatches for service in the North West Frontier of India, 1930-31 campaign, gazetted, 6th May 1932.  Appointed Company Commander, 3rd Battalion, 17th Dogra Regiment, 10th January 1933.  Promoted to Major, 15th November 1933.  As Major, Company Commander, 3rd Battalion, The Burma Rifles, 17th August 1937.  As Major, Company Commander, 1st Battalion, The Burma Rifles, January 1939.  Permanently seconded to The Burma Rifles, 3rd September 1939.  As Major, Second in Command, 1st Battalion, The Burma Rifles, January 1939.  As acting Lt. Colonel, Commanding Officer, 5th Battalion, The Burma Rifles, 1st April 1940 to June 1942.  Promoted to Lt. Colonel, 6th May 1940.  Commanding Officer of the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, September/October 1943 to 12th June 1944.  Served with an Indian States Forces unit, late 1944 to 10th July 1946.  Acting Brigadier, 24th February 1945 to 2nd April 1945.  Served as Military Adviser, Indian States Forces, Punjab States Forces, Ambala, 11th July 1946 to 10th July 1950.  For service as a Military Adviser, Indian States Forces, Punjab States Forces, awarded O.B.E., 1st January 1948.  As Lt. Colonel, while on the Special List (ex-Indian Army), British Army, retired, 28th April 1948.  As Lt. Colonel (414423) (late Indian Army) retired, appointed Lieutenant, Combined Cadet Force, Gloucester, 1st September 1950.  Died, 1971 ("War Services of British and Indian Officers of the Indian Army 1941", Savannah (2004); Burma Army List January 1938, January 1940, October 1940; Burma Defence Services List July 1941; FindMyPast; Indian Army List 1916, 1919, 1922, 1923, 1927, 1928, 1930, 1936, 1939, 1945, 1946; London Gazette; War Diary of the 4th Burma Regiment, WO 172/2657; Private Papers of Lt. Col. I.C.G. Scott (IWM)).

[8]Burma Army Reconstruction”, WO 203/4030

[9] However Scott also records that the 4th Battalion went to Burma with four Gurkha companies and remained with this organisation up to and beyond Burma independence.  He claims the 4th Battalion was the only all Gurkha battalion outside of the Brigade of Gurkhas.  However the Weekly Field Returns for December 1943 confirm otherwise and the Battalion was indeed composed of three Gurkha rifle companies and one Kumaoni (“Burma Regiment”, WO 203/974; “Burma Army Reconstruction”, WO 203/4030; War diary 4th Battalion Burma Regiment 1944, WO 203/5037; “Burma Army Reconstruction”, WO 203/1169; Scott).

[10] Ian Campbell Graham Scott, born, 1st October 1915.  General Staff, Steel Brothers, 1939 to 1st January 1941.  Commissioned as 2nd Lt., ABRO (ABRO 82), 10th November 1939.  Served with the Reserve Battalion, Burma Frontier Force at Pywabwe, in charge of infantry training, September 1940 to August 1941.  Column Commander, No. 3 Infantry column, F.F.4, Burma Frontier Force, September 1941 to end March 1942.  Served with F.F.4, Burma Frontier Force, training at Loilem, September 1941 to November 1941.  Served with F.F.4 at Mongpan, November 1941 to February 1942.  Promoted to Lieutenant, 6th December 1941.  Transferred with F.F.4 to the Toungoo front and took part in operations with the 1st Burma Division, February 1942 to March 1942.  Temporary Captain from 14th March 1942.  On disbandment of F.F.4, formed and commanded F.F.9, Burma Frontier Force, April 1942 to May 1942.  War substantive Captain and temporary Major from 19th June 1942.  Served with the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment as company commander, training at Hoshiarpur, 1st October 1942 to October 1943.  In action in the Kachin Hills against Japanese lines of communications and in the advance on Myitkyina, October 1943 to April 1944.  As temporary Major, wounded, 8th April 1944.  Commanded SCOCOL in the crossing of the Nsop Hka and the capture of Myitkyina, June 1944 to July 1944.  As (temporary?) Lt. Colonel, Commanding Officer of the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment in anti-dacoit operations in the Arakan, July 1944 to September 1945.  As temporary Major, Mentioned in Despatches, gazetted, 19th September 1946.  Rejoined the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment as Second-in-command after returning from leave in the United Kingdom, 2nd May 1945.  Appointed Battalion Commander, the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment and acting Lt. Colonel, 22nd January 1946.  As acting Lt. Colonel, relinquished command of the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment and left by air for Calcutta en route for UK release, 19th September 1946.  Worked for Steel Brothers in Pakistan and Burma, post-war (Burma Army List; Burma Army List 1943; FindMyPast; IWM Collections; Private Papers of Lt. Col. I.C.G. Scott (IWM); London Gazette; Thacker's Directory; War Diary of the 4th Battalion Burma Regiment 1943, WO 172/2656; War Diary of the 4th Battalion Burma Regiment 1944, WO 172/5037 and 10321).

[11] War diary 4th Battalion Burma Regiment 1943, WO 172/2656

[13] “Operations in the Eastern Theatre based in India, Mar.- Dec. 1942”, Field Marshall, The Viscount Wavell.

[14] “Amiable Assassins: The Story of the Kachin Guerrillas of North Burma”, Ian Fellowes-Gordon, R. Hale (1957)

[15] Walter Morris Felix Gamble born in Edinburgh, Scotland, 26th November 1896.  Served in the ranks with the Australian Imperial Force, assigned to the 15th Light Trench-Mortar Battery as Private, 28th May 1915 to 8th August 1916.  Served Gallipoli, 1st September 1915 to 20th December 1915.  Served Egypt, 5th January 1916 to 5th April 1916.  Served France, 19th July 1916 to November 1917.  Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant, Australian Imperial Force, 9th August 1916.  Awarded the Military Cross for action at Polygon Wood, Belgium 1917, award gazetted, 19th November 1917.  As Lieutenant, Australian Imperial Force, commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant on admission to the Indian Army on probation, 25th March 1918, with seniority from 9th May 1917.  Arrived in India, 28th March 1918.  Promoted to Lieutenant, 9th May 1918.  Attached to the 3rd Battalion, 8th Punjab Regiment from 23rd August 1918.  Attached to the 91st Punjabis (3rd Battalion, 8th Punjab Regiment), appointed temporary Captain whilst serving as a Platoon commander at a School of Instruction, 26th October 1918.  Platoon Commander, Officers School of Instruction, Bangalore, 1918-1919.  Appointed to the Indian Army as Lieutenant, 25th March 1919.  Served Waziristan, 1921-23.  Promoted to Captain, 1st May 1921.  Served North West Frontier of India, 1930-31.  Served Burma (Saya San Rebellion), 1930-32.  Served as Assistant Commandant with the Burma Military Police, 5th October 1931.  Served as Assistant Commandant with the Western Battalion, Burma Military Police at Fort Hertz, October 1932 to April 1933.  Transferred to the Special Unemployed List, 9th September 1935.  Promoted to Major, 1st May 1938.  Acting Lt. Colonel from 1st August 1938.  Served as D.A.A.G., Northern Command from 7th June 1940.  Arrived at Fort Hertz to take command of the area and to raise and command the Northern Kachin Levies, September 1942.  Relieved of command of Fort Hertz Area and the Northern Kachin Levies, August 1943.  As Major, temporary Lt. Colonel, awarded O.B.E., gazetted, 16th December 1943.  As temporary Lt. Colonel (AI 41), O.B.E., M.C., mentioned in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Burma, gazetted, 19th July 1945 ("War Services of British and Indian Officers of the Indian Army 1941", Savannah (2004); “Amiable Assassins: The Story of the Kachin Guerrillas of North Burma”, Ian Fellowes-Gordon, R. Hale (1957); Burma Army List 1943; Indian Army List 1919, 1932, 193, 1941; London Gazette).

[16] Edmund Ronald Leach born, 7th November 1910.  Educated at Marlborough and Clare College, Cambridge where he graduated with honours in Engineering, 1st January 1932.  Went to study the Kachin Hills of Burma, 1939.  Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant, ABRO (ABRO 79), 10th November 1939.  Served with the 1st Battalion, The Burma Rifles, October 1940 to December 1940.  War substantive Lieutenant, temporary Captain, 15th June 1941.  Served with the 10th (Training) Battalion, The Burma Rifles, 1941.  Promoted to Lieutenant, 17th October 1941.  Served with the 3rd Battalion, The Burma Rifles (not verified), 1942?.  Seconded to the "X" List (wounded?), January 1942.  Appointed to organise the Kachin Levies, April 1942 to May 1942.  Trekked out of Burma to China, May 1942.  As acting Major, flew to Fort Hertz to organise the Northern Kachin Levies with Lt. Colonel Gamble, August 1942.  Transferred to the Civil Affairs Service (Burma) after quarrelling with Lt. Colonel Gamble and being reduced in rank to 2nd Lieutenant, August-September 1942.  Transferred to the Civil Affairs Service (Burma), August-September 1942.  Became a lecturer in Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics, 1946.  Received a Ph.D. in Anthropology at the London School of Economics, 1947.  Became a lecturer at Cambridge University, later being promoted to reader, 1953.  Elected provost of King's College, Cambridge, 1st January 1966.  Knighted, 1975.  Retired, 1979.  Died, Cambridge, 6th January 1989 ("Amiable Assassins, The Story of the Kachin Guerrillas of North Burma", Fellowes-Gordon I., Robert Hale (1957);"Edmund Leach", Tambiah S.J., British Academy; "Burma Levies 1942", WO 203/5712; Burma Army List January 1940; Burma Army List October 1940; Burma Army List 1943; Burma Defence Services July List 1941; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Leach).

[17] Scott

[18] “Amiable Assassins”

[19]Northern Combat Area Command: North Kachin Levies”, 1943 Mar.-1944 Nov, WO 203/118

[20] Recommendation for Award for McCorkell, David Robert Andrew , WO 373/35/128; WO 203/118

[21] 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).

[22] The Fort Hertz and the Hukawng Valley/Fort Hertz Detachments of the Burma Regiment were originally detached companies of the 1st and 2nd Battalions, The Burma Regiment respectively.  However by January 1944 they had become fully independent companies of the 10th Battalion, the Burma Regiment – the Regimental Depot or Centre and Holding Battalion (“Burma Bde and Regt”, WO 203/974; WO 203/118).

[23] 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; Stewartry Monumental Inscriptions; London Gazette; Thacker's Directory; WO 203/5697; WO 373/103/179).

[24] “Operations in the India Command, from 1st anuary 1943 to 20th June 1943”, London Gazette 20th April 1947

[25] John Francis Bowerman, born 28th November 1893.  In ranks 187 days (temporary 2nd Lt.), 26th January 1915 to 31st July 1916; temporary Lieutenant, 1st August 1918 to 28th November 1918).  Commissioned Lieutenant, Machine Gun Corps, 26th October 1916.  First World War, served Iraq, 18th September 1916 to 31st May 1917; wounded; Operations against  the Marris ( N.W. Frontier), 20th February 1918 to 25th March 1918.  Appointed Indian Army, 29th November 1918.  Promoted to Captain, 20th October 1919.  Served Afghanistan, N.W. Frontier 1919; Waziristan, 1920-21; Waziristan 1921-24.  Attached to 1st Battalion, 129th Duke of Connaught’s Own Baluchis (1921), later 10th Baluch Regiment.  Served N.W. Frontier of India, 1930-31.   Seconded to Burma from 26th January 1931, Burma Military Police.  Promoted to Major 20th October 1933.  Served Burma, 1930-32 (Saya San Rebellion).  Commandant, Myitkyina Battalion, Burma Frontier Force, 1937.  Inspector General, Burma Frontier Force, 1938 until 9 months leave until 22nd October 1938.  Commandant, southern Shan States Battalion, Burma Frontier Force, 1938-1942.  Liaison Officer to Chinese 6th Army in the southern Shan States, April 1942.  Assumed command of the Burma Frontier Force in Myitkyina on 4th May 1942.  Later, as Brigadier-General, C.O. 2nd Burma Brigade in India from 1st October 1942.  Commander, Fort Herz Area Headquarters, 22nd October 1943 to 14th May 1944, until evacuated by air to India with Typhus, flying out on 16th May 1944.  As temporary Brigadier, awarded C.B.E., 6th June 1946.  Died 18th December 1983  (British Army List; Indian Army List; “War Services of British and Indian Officers of the Indian Army 1941”, Savannah (2004); War Diary 14th Burma Rifles, WO 172/986 (War diary 14th Burma Rifles; IOR L/WS/1/1313; “Burma Frontier Force … 1939-1942” By Lt.Col H.M. Day, WO 203/5694).

[26] “HQ Fort Hertz Area, 1943”, WO 172/2149

[27] Scott

[28] Sumprabum: 'sumpra' meaning 'grass'; 'bum' meaning 'hill'.

[29] Scott

[30] WO 172/2149

[31] Scott recalls the train journey as taking fourteen days however the Battalion war diary records only a nine day journey from 18th to 26th November 1943 (War diary 4th Battalion Burma Regiment 1944, WO 203/5037; Scott).

[32] WO 172/2656

[33] Scott

[34] WO 172/2656

[35] Frank O'Neill Ford born, 26th September 1892.  Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant, Indian Army Reserve of Officers, 5th January 1917.  Served with the 86th Carnatic Infantry, 5th January 1917 to 3rd July 1917.  Served with the 85th Burman Rifles (originally the Burma Battalion formed from the Burma Military Police at Mandalay in July 1917 and becoming the 85th Burman Rifles in 1918), 4th July 1917 to 1st January 1920.  Served Iraq, 8th August 1917 to 11th November 1918.  Promoted to Lieutenant, Indian Army Reserve of Officers, 5th January 1918.  Served Iraq, 1919.  As Lieutenant, appointed to the Indian Army (261 IA), 2nd May 1919.  Promoted to Lieutenant, Indian Army, 2nd May 1919, with seniority from 5th October 1918.  Served with the Kachin Company, Burma Military Police attached to the 1st Battalion, 10th Gurkha Rifles, 1st January 1920.  Served with the 3rd Battalion, 70th Kachin Rifles (following redesignation of the 85th Burman Rifles to be the Kachin-Chin Battalion on 1st April 1921 and then the 3rd/70th from November 1921), November 1921 to 1923.  Served with the 3rd Battalion, 20th Burma Rifles (redesignated from the 3rd Battalion, 70th Kachin Rifles), 1922 to 31st March 1937.  Promoted to Captain, 26th September 1922.  Attached to the 10th Battalion, 20th Burma Rifles then leave, 1923.  Attached to the 10th Battalion, 20th Burma Rifles on returning from leave, 28th April 1924 to 1925.  Served Burma (Saya San Rebellion), 1930-32.  Attached to the 10th Battalion, 20th Burma Rifles, early 1933 to summer 1933.  Served as Senior Staff Officer, Mandalay, 1934.  Leave ex-India, 17th February 1935 to 17th February 1936.  Promoted to Major, 26th September 1935.  As Major, permanently seconded to the Burma Rifles, 1st April 1937.  Served as Company Officer, the 3rd Battalion, The Burma Rifles, 1st April 1937 to 30th November 1939.  As Major, acting Lt. Colonel, formed the 13th (Shan States) Battalion, The Burma Rifles, Burma Territorial Force and became the Commanding Officer, 1st December 1939 to May 1942.  Acting Lt. Colonel, 1st May 1941.  Commanding Officer, the Western Chin Levies, December 1942 to March 1943.  Commanding Officer of the Northern Kachin Levies, March 1943 to June 1945.  As Major, temporary Lt. Colonel, promoted to Lt. Colonel, 26th September 1943.  Awarded the O.B.E., gazetted, 8th February 1945.  As Lt. Colonel, Special List (Ex-Indian Army) British Army, retired, 27th October 1947.  Died, 3rd June 1980  ("Distinctly I Remember", H. Braund, Wren (1972); "War Services of British and Indian Officers of the Indian Army 1941", Savannah (2004); Burma Defence Services List July 1941; Billion Graves F.O'N Ford; Indian Army List 1919, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1928, 1930, 1933, 1935, 1936; London Gazette; WO 373/80/326; War diary of the Northern Kachin Levies, WO 172/2656; "Amiable Assassins", Fellowes-Gordon I., Robert Hale (1957)).

[36] WO 172/2149

[37] Scott

[38] WO 172/5037

[39] George Fetherstonhaugh born, 31st January 1916.  Emergency Commission to the Indian Army as 2nd Lt. (EC2668), 5th May 1941.    Attached to the 9th Gurkha Rifles, 5th May 1941.  Served with the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1943 to 2nd May 1944.  As Major, reported missing believed killed while on patrol, 2nd May 1944.  As Major, killed, 3rd May 1944  (Commonwealth War Graves Commission; Indian Army List 1941; London Gazette; War diary 4th Burma Regiment, WO 172/2656, 5037).

[40] Denis Rosner born, 4th September 1920.  Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant, ABRO (ABRO453), 1st March 1942.  War substantive Lieutenant, 1st October 1942.  Served with the Burma Levies (Kachin), May 1942.  As Lieutenant, on strength the Northern Kachin Levies, 7th December 1943.  As Captain, Company Officer, 'E' Company, the Northern Kachin Levies, later Company Commander 'E' Company, December 1943 to 1944.  Posted from the Northern Kachin Levies to Line of Communication Command, S.E.A.C., 28th December 1944.  Remained in Burma after the war and in 1950 became an English teacher at St. Columban's in Myitkyina, 1950  ("Amiable Assassins, The Story of the Kachin Guerrillas of North Burma", Fellowes-Gordon I., Robert Hale (1957); Burma Army List 1943; http://www.diranart.com/Kachin%20State.htm; "Burma Levies", WO 203/5712; London Gazette; War diary Northern Kachin Levies, WO 172/2656; War diary Northern Kachin Levies, WO 172/5042).

In addition to Ford, the Commanding Officer, and Rosner, Company Commander, ‘E’ Company, other key officers of the Northern Kachin Levies were:

'A' Company - 'Bert' Butler (see below)

'B' Company – Robert Tanner, second in command/commander, succeeded by Nhpan Naw,

'C' Company – Ian Fellowes-Gordon (see below)

'D' Company - Richard D'Silva

‘E’ Company – Denis Rosner (see above)

'F' Company –Saw Torry

'G' Company – Douglas Thomas Stretch Dowse

N'hpan Naw, a Kachin.  Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant, ABRO (ABRO 771), 15th February 1943.  Served with the Northern Kachin Levies, 16th March 1943 to December 1944.  Appointed Company Commander, 'B' Company, Northern Kachin Levies, end May 1944.  Requested for service with the American O.S.S. Detachment 101 by Lt. Colonel Peers, Commanding Officer of the detachment, 29th July 1944.  As war substantive Lieutenant, acting Captain, awarded the Military Cross for the period 16th November 1943 to 15th May 1944, gazetted,  8th February 1945  ("Amiable Assassins, The Story of the Kachin Guerrillas of North Burma", Fellowes-Gordon I., Robert Hale (1957); War diary Northern Kachin Levies, WO 172/5042; London Gazette; WO 373/35/132).

Douglas William D'Silva born, 26th January 1900.  Appointed to the Burma Civil Service, Burma Forest Service, 30th March 1922.  As Extra Assistant Conservator, Burma Forest Service, awarded M.B.E., gazetted, 3rd June 1932.  Served as Extra Assistant Conservator, Burma Forest Service, Maymyo Division, Maymyo, 1939 to 1940.  Served as Extra Assistant Conservator, Burma Forest Service, Prome, 1940 to 1941.  Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant, ABRO (ABRO 630), 10th April 1942.  Commanded a company - 'D' Company - of the Northern Kachin Levies, January 1943 to 1944.  Went on war leave, 12th August 1944.  As Major, admitted to No. 47 British General Hospital, Ranchi, 14th September 1944.  Discharged from No. 47 British General Hospital and granted 21 days sick leave, 19th October 1944.  Rejoined the Northern Kachin Levies from the Burma Regimental Centre, 30th December 1944.  As war substantive Lieutenant, temporary Captain, attached the Northern Kachin Levies, awarded the Military Cross, gazetted, 8th February 1945.  As 2nd Lieutenant, relinquished his commission in the ABRO and granted the honorary rank of Major, 27th June 1946.  Living in southwark, London, 1948.  As a 'Forester', sailed from New York to southampton aboard the R.M.S. "Queen Mary", arrived, 18th April 1956.  Described as working in 'Forestry, resident of British Honduras, sailed from southampton to Kingston, Jamaica aboard the S.S. "Manistee", departed, 18th August 1956  (ancestry.co.uk; Burma Civil List 1942; London Gazette; Thacker's Directory; War diary Northern Kachin Levies, WO 172/5042; www.scarletfinders.co.uk; WO 373/35/130).

Saw Torry born, 23rd October 1920.  Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant, ABRO (ABRO 628), 7th April 1942.  Served with the Karen Levies, April-May 1942.  War substantive Lieutenant from 7th October 1942.  Captain, December 1943.  Served with the Kachin Levies, 1943 to 18th December 1944.  Company Commander, 'F' Company, Northern Kachin Levies, 1944.  As Major, posted to Line of Communication Command, S.E.A.C., 18th December 1944.  Served with Special Operations Executive, Force 136, 1944-46.  Dropped by parachute into Japanese occupied Karenni as part of Operation 'Character', February 1945?.  As temporary Captain, Northern Kachin Levies, mentioned in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the Burma and on the Eastern Frontier of India, gazetted, 5th April 1945  ("Amiable Assassins, The Story of the Kachin Guerrillas of North Burma", Fellowes-Gordon I., Robert Hale (1957); "Burma Levies", WO 203/5712; "Northern Kachin Levies", WO 203/118; Burma Army List 1943; HS 9/1476/7; London Gazette; War diary Northern Kachin Levies, WO 172/5042).

Douglas Thomas Stretch Dowse born, 1905.  Attended Epsom College, 1916.  Attended Edinburgh University, 1922.  Worked as a 'Forest Manager'?, ????.  Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant, ABRO (ABRO 577) (incorrectly identified as Douglas James Dowse, later corrected by London Gazette of 6th August 1943), 1st April 1942.  War substantive Lieutenant from 1st October 1942.  Company Commander, 'C' Company, Northern Kachin Levies until, 4th December 1943.  Formed and commanded 'G' Company, Northern Kachin Levies, December 1943.  As temporary Captain, Northern Kachin Levies, mentioned in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the Burma and on the Eastern Frontier of India, gazetted, 5th April 1945  ("Amiable Assassins, The Story of the Kachin Guerrillas of North Burma", Fellowes-Gordon I., Robert Hale (1957); Burma Army List 1943; London Gazette; Epsom College Register).

[41] WO 172/5037

[42] Scheme 'BAMBOO' was first proposed to 14th Army on 16th December 1943  (WO 172/2149).

[43] The P-51 was the famous ‘Mustang’ and the A-36 ‘Apache’ was a ground attack/dive bomber version of the ‘Mustang’.  A total of 500 A-36 dive bombers served in North Africa, the Mediterranean, Italy and the China-Burma-India theatre during World War II before being withdrawn from operational use in 1944 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_A-36_Apache).

[44] WO 172/5037

[45] WO 172/5037

[46] War diary of the Northern Kachin Levies – 1944, WO 172/5042; “H.Q. Fort Hertz Area”, WO 172/4485

[47] WO 172/5037; WO 172/4485

[48] Edward Robinson born, 13th September 1907.  Emergency Commission to the Unattached List as 2nd Lt., 29th October 1942.  Attached to the Indian Armoured Corps, 29th October 1942.  War substantive Lieutenant, 29th April 1943.  Served with the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment as Commander, Battalion Mule Conducting Party, December 1943 to 28th December 1944.  Posted to the Burma Regiment Centre on expiry of war leave, 28th December 1944  (British Army List 1945; Indian Army List 1943; War diary 4th Burma Regiment, WO 172/2656, 4485, 5037).

[49] WO 172/5037; Scott

[50] Scott

[51] WO 172/5037

[52] Subedar Singbahadur Lama, killed in action, 5th March 1944  (Commonwealth War Graves Commission).          

[53] WO 172/5037; Scott

[54] Saw Butler born, 13th May 1920.  Known as 'Bert'.  A schoolmaster in Toungoo before the war.  Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant, ABRO (ABRO 626), 7th April 1942.  War substantive Lieutenant, 7th October 1942.  As Captain, Company Commander, 'A' Company, the Northern Kachin Levies, 7th December 1943 to 11th September 1944.  Requested for service with the American O.S.S. Detachment 101 by Lt. Colonel Peers, Commanding Officer of Detachment 101, 29th July 1944.  Assumed role of Officiating Commanding Officer, Northern Kachin Levies, 11th September 1944.  As Major, posted to Line of Communication Command, south East Asia Command, 18th December 1944.  As war substantive Captain, temporary Major, member of Force 136 (S.O.E.), parachuted into Karenni, acted as second in command of Operation 'OTTER', February 1945.  Subsequently awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his actions during this operation.  As Lieutenant, temporary Captain, attached the Northern Kachin Levies, awarded the Military Cross, gazetted, 8th February 1945.  As temporary Major, mentioned in recognition of gallant and distinguished services whilst engaged in special operations in south East Asia, 7th November 1946.  As temporary Major, awarded the Distinguished Service Order, gazetted, 25th September 1947.  Second in Command of a battalion of the Karen Rifles, 1948?.  Secretary to the Karen State Government, 1950s?  ("Amiable Assassins, The Story of the Kachin Guerrillas of North Burma", Fellowes-Gordon I., Robert Hale (1957); "Memoirs of the Four-Foot Colonel", Smith Dun; Burma Army List 1943; London Gazette; War diary Northern Kachin levies, WO 172/2656, 5042; WO 373/104/103).

[55] Ian Douglas Fellowes-Gordon, 18th Laird of Knockespock & Tapersie, born New York, U.S.A., 1921.  Commissioned from O.C.T.U.(R.A.) as 2nd Lieutenant, Royal Artillery (136581), 13th August 1940.  Promoted to Lieutenant, 27th October 1941.  As Captain, Company Commander, 'C' Company, the Northern Kachin Levies, 4th December 1943 to 14th May 1944.  As Major, temporarily in command of the Northern Kachin Levies in the absence of the Commanding Officer, 14th May 1944 to 11th September 1944.  Injured, evacuated to hospital Central Military Hospital, Panitola, India, and replaced by Major Saw Butler, 11th September 1944.  Returned to the Northern Kachin Levies from hospital, flying to Myitkyina, 15th October 1944.  As Lieutenant, temporary Captain, attached the Northern Kachin Levies, awarded the Military Cross, gazetted, 8th February 1945.  Resigned his commission and granted the honorary rank of Major, 2nd March 1948.  After the war wrote of his experiences with the Northern Kachin Levies in a book title 'Amiable Assassins", published 1957.  Wrote a further account of the Kachin Levies, "Battle for Naw Seng's Kingdom", published 1971.  Died at Kirkhill of Kennetmount, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, 10th January 1991  ("Amiable Assassins, The Story of the Kachin Guerrillas of North Burma", Fellowes-Gordon I., Robert Hale (1957); British Army List; http://www.findagrave.com; London Gazette; War diary Northern Kachin Levies, WO 172/2656, 5042; WO 373/35/30).

[56] Scott recalls the roadblock was established by two companies.   The Fort Hertz Area Headquarters diary records that two companies of the 4th Battalion were sent to establish the roadblock south of Sumprabum, supported by a company of the Kachin levies to provide reconnaissance.  However the 4th Battalion War Diary has 'D' Company under Shaw laying the roadblock on 9th March 1944 (Scott; WO 172/5037; WO 172/4485).

[57] The unfortunate Naik was Hari Bahadur, died 10th March 1944 (Commonwealth War Graves Commission).

[58] WO 172/5037

[59] Scott

[60] Arthur Victor Perry born, 9th January 1901.  As temporary 2nd Lieutenant, appointed temporary Lieutenant, 7th October 1916.  As temporary Lieutenant, appointed acting Captain, 3rd April 1918.  As temporary Lieutenant, appointed temporary Captain, 14th May 1918.  As temporary Captain, relinquished commission upon completion of service and retained the rank of Captain, 3rd August 1919.  Commissioned to the Unattached List for the Indian Army as 2nd Lieutenant, 24th December 1920.  Arrived in India, 3rd March 1921.  Attached to the 1st Battalion, Suffolk Regiment (the battalion arrived in India on 30th November 1919), 6th March 1921 to 6th March 1922.  Served Malabar, 1921-22.  Attached to the 8th Rajputs, redesignated the 4th Battalion, 7th Rajput Regiment during the year, 6th March 1922.  Appointed to the Indian Army as 2nd Lieutenant (IA980), 19th March 1922.  Promoted to Lieutenant, 24th March 1922.  Served Waziristan, 1921-24.  On leave, ex India, 19th March 1925.  Served as Company Officer, the 4th Battalion, 7th Rajput Regiment, November 1925 to 7th November 1937.  Officiating Adjutant, the 4th Battalion, 7th Rajput Regiment, 1927.  Promoted to Captain, 24th December 1928.  Served as Adjutant with the 10th Battalion, 7th Rajput Regiment, 1st June 1930 to 1934.  Leave ex India to 19th November 1931.  Leave ex India, February 1935 to 25th October 1935.  Officiating Second in Command, 4th Battalion, 7th Rajput Regiment, 1936.  Seconded to the Burma Defence Forces, 7th November 1937.  Served as Company Officer with the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Rifles, 7th November 1937 to 1941.  Promoted to Major, 1st August 1938.  Served with the 8th (Frontier Force) Battalion, The Burma Rifles, 1941 to June 1942.  Acting Lt. Colonel from 26th February 1942.  Commanding Officer of the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 8th March 1944 to 28th May 1944.  Evacuated sick to India, 28th May 1944.  As Major, temporary Lt. Colonel, promoted to Lt. Colonel, 24th December 1946.  As Major (temporary Lt.-Colonel), Officer Commanding, 2nd Battalion, The Kachin Rifles, appointed M.B.E., 1st January 1948.  As Lt. Colonel, Special List (ex Indian Army) British Army, retired, 3rd January 1949.  As Lt. Colonel (18144) to be Lt. Colonel, Regular Army Reserve of Officers, The Suffolk Regiment, 4th January 1949.  As Lt. Colonel (18144), The Suffolk Regiment, resigned his commission, 15th March 1951  (“War Services of British and Indian Officers of the Indian Army 1941”; British Army List; Burma Army List 1940; Burma Defence Services List 1941; Indian Army List 1922, 1924, 1925, 1926,1927, 1928, 1930, 1932, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1940, 1943, 1945; London Gazette; War diary 4th Burma Regiment, WO 172/5042).

[61] The 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment had left Hoshiarpur on 16th March intending to fly to Fort Hertz when it was diverted to help protect the vital base at Dimapur from the Japanese offensive    ("The War Against Japan, Volume III - The Decisive Battles", Woodburn Kirby S., HMSO (1961); War diary of the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment, WO 172 5036; WO 172/4485).

[62] Scott recalls the 10th March attack was on a company position at Kawnan and the Japanese second attack on Pinsau on 11th March.  I have gone with the details recorded in the war diary (Scott; WO 172/5037).

[63] Scott

[64] WO 172/5037

[65] Scott gives the Japanese artillery and mortar attack on Pinsau as 18th March however I have gone with the War Diary which gives the previous day (Scott; WO 172/5037).

[66] WO 172/5042

[67] WO 172/5037

[68] WO 172/5037

[69] Scott

[70] WO 172/5037

[71] WO 172/4485; Amiable Assassins

[72] WO 172/5037; Scott

[73] WO 172/5037

[74] Kenneth Norris Henry Martin born Mandalay, 9th May 1910.  Served with the Rangoon Battalion, Burma Auxiliary Force, 1940 to 1941-42?.  Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant, ABRO (ABRO 227), 26th October 1941.  Served with the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1942? to 1945?  War substantive Lieutenant, temporary Captain, 1st October 1942.  As temporary Major, while serving with the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, wounded, 8th April 1944.  While serving with the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment at Hoshiarpur, proceeded on 28 days war leave, 11th November 1944 to 4th December 1944  (Burma Army List 1940, 1943; FindMyPast; War diary 4th Burma Regiment, WO 172/2656, 5036).

[75] The men killed on 8th April were Havildar Bal Bahadur Chhetri and Sepoy Harkaman Limbu (WO 172/4037; Commonwealth War Graves Commission; Scott).

[76] WO 172/5037

[77] WO 172/5037

[78] The men killed on 14th April were Sepoys Aim Bahadur Chettri, Joga Singh and Lackhman Gurung (WO 172/4037; Commonwealth War Graves Commission).

[79] WO 172/5037

[80] WO 172/5037

[81] WO 172/5037

[82] WO 172/4485

[83] WO 172/5037

[84] WO 172/4485

[85] Gerald Edward Thunder born, 26th August 1913.  As Gentleman Cadet, Commissioned from the Royal Military College to the Unattached List for the Indian Army as 2nd Lieutenant (IA 291), 1st February 1934.  Arrived in India, 16th February 1934.  Appointed to the Indian Army from the Unattached List as 2nd Lieutenant, attached to the 1st Battalion, 15th Punjab Regiment, 18th March 1935.  Served with the 2nd Battalion, 20th Burma Rifles, 18th March 1935 to 1st April 1937.  Promoted to Lieutenant, 1st May 1936.  Officiating Quartermaster, 2nd Battalion, 20th Burma Rifles, 1936 to 1937.  Seconded to the Burma Defence Forces, 1st April 1937.  Served with the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Rifles, 1st April 1937 to June 1942?  Acting Captain, 19th August 1940 to 18th November 1940.  Temporary Captain, 19th November 1940 to 31st December 1940.  Acting/temporary Captain from 10th January 1941.  Promoted to Captain, 1st February 1942.  Acting Major, 1st February 1942.  Temporary Major from 1st January 1943.  As Captain, temporary Major, served with the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1942? to May 1944?  While serving as second in command, 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, evacuated sick to India, May 1944.  Served with the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1945 to 4th August 1945.  While serving with the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, ordered to take command of the 3rd Burma Rifles, 1st August 1945.  Left the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment at Mandalay for Simla, prior to taking command of the 3rd Burma Rifles, 4th August 1945.  Commanding Officer, 3rd Burma Rifles, 1945?  Promoted to Major, 1st February 1947.  As Major, Special List (ex Indian Army) British Army, retired with the honorary rank of Lt. Colonel, 28th May 1948.  Sailed aboard the S.S. "Strathmore" from London to Sydney, occupation listed as merchant, departed, 24th August 1954.  Died, 1999  (British Army List; Burma Army List 1938, 1943; Burma Defence Services List 1941; FindMyPast; Indian Army List 1935, 1936, 1937; London Gazette; Private Papers of Lt. Col. I.C.G. Scott (IWM); War diary 2nd Burma Regiment, WO 172/7802; War diary 4th Burma Regiment,WO 172/2656).

[86] George Forbes Kinnear born, 21st April 1914.  Joined Steel Brothers in 1932 and sent to Burma, 1935.  Served as a member of the Armoured Car Section, Rangoon Battalion, Burma Auxiliary Force, 1938? to 6th September 1939.  Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant and served with the Rangoon Battalion, Burma Auxiliary Force, 6th September 1939 to 1st September 1941.  Called up for military training, attended a course with the Indian Army Service Corps, July 1941.  Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant, ABRO (ABRO 206), 1st September 1941.  Served as Mechanical Transport Officer, Commanding Officer of the Mechanical Transport Unit, Reserve Battalion, Burma Frontier Force at Pyawbwe, late 1941 to June 1942.  War substantive Lieutenant, temporary Captain from early 1942?  War substantive Captain, temporary Major from 4th April 1942.  Served with the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1st October 1942.  As war substantive Captain, temporary Major, flew into Burma with the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, landing at Putao (Fort Herz), November 1943.  Evacuated sick (typhus and malaria) to Assam, then Calcutta, May 1944?  Returned to the United Kingdom, 1945.  Returned to Burma, worked in the Civil Affairs Service (Burma), before discharge from the Army, 1946.  Lived and worked in Burma, 1946? to 1961?  Worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, appointed Consul for the Kingdom of Nepal, residing at Kathmandu, 2nd November 1964.  Awarded O.B.E., 13th June 1970.  Died, 22nd July 2005 (Burma Army List 1940, 1943; Burma Defence Services List 1941; Journal British-Nepal Society; London Gazette; War diary 4th Burma Regiment, WO 172/2656).

[87] Scott

[88] WO 172/5037

[89] James Kenneth Ransford, born, 18th October 1913.  Baptised Abbottabad, India, December 1913.  Commissioned as 2nd Lt. to the Unattached List, 1st February 1934.  Assigned to the Indian Army, 2nd Gurkha Rifles, as 2nd Lt. (IA294), 12th March 1935.  Promoted to temporary Captain, 1st May 1936.  Promoted to Lieutenant, 1st May 1936.  Seconded to the 1st Battalion, The Burma Rifles, 29th November 1937.  Seconded to the Burma Defence Force, 29th November 1937.  Served with the 1st Battalion, Burma Rifles, from 1938.  Promoted to Captain, 1st February 1942.  Company Commander, 9th (Reserve) Battalion, The Burma Rifles, 16th February 1942.  Commander "B" Company, the 1st Battalion, The Burma Rifles, April 1942 until wounded and evacuated.  As acting(?) Lt. Colonel, assumes command of the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 12th June 1944.  Promoted war substantive Major, temporary Lt. Colonel, 12th September 1944.  Leaves the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment en route for 61 days war leave in the United Kingdom, 22nd January 1946.  Returned from war leave and reassumed command of the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment in the Arakan, 22nd April 1946.  Left the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment for the Staff College at Quetta, 24th June 1946.  As temporary Lt. Colonel, the 2nd Gurkha Rifles, Mentioned in Despatches, gazetted, 19th September 1946.  Promoted to Major, 1st February 1947.   As Major (375889), from Special List (ex Indian Army), to be Major, 7th December 1947, with seniority from 1st February 1947.   As Lt. Colonel, Employed List (l), late Royal Artillery, retired on retired pay with Reserve Liability, 27th July 1960  (British Army List; FindMyPast; Indian Army List; London Gazette; Seppings interview; War Diary 1st Burma Rifles WO 172/974 (War diary 1st Burma Rifles); War Diary 4th Burma Regiment WO 172/5037).

[90] WO 172/5037; WO 172/4485; Scott

[91] Cyril William Steel born, 16th April 1916.  Emergency Commission as 2nd Lieutenant (233585), 15th April 1942.  War substantive Lieutenant from 15th October 1942.  As war substantive Lieutenant, served with the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1942? to 1944?  Temporary Captain from 11th February 1944.  Evacuated from the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, suffering from fever, 13th June 1944.  Returned from sick leave and taken on the strength of the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment at Hoshiarpur, 16th October 1944.  Occupation banker, resident of India, sailed from  India for Liverpool aboard the S.S. "Empress of Scotland", arrived, 22nd September 1946.  Occupation banker, sailed with his wife, Lily Elsie from Liverpool for Burma aboard the S.S. "Scythia", departed, 22nd February 1947.  Occupation "bank assistant", sailed with his family from Liverpool for Burma aboard the S.S. "Staffordshire", departed, 30th August 1950.  Occupation banker, sailed with his family from Liverpool for Burma aboard the S.S. "Warwickshire", departed, 26th March 1954.  Occupation "banker", resident of India, sailed from southampton for Bombay aboard the S.S. "Carthage", departed, 13th December 1957  (Ancestry.co.uk; British Army List; Burma Army List 1943; FindMyPast; War diary 4th Burma Regiment, WO 172/2656; War diary 4th Burma Regiment, WO 172/5037; War diary Fort Hertz Area, WO 172/4485).

[92] WO 172/5037; Scott

[93] WO 172/5037

[94] Maurice Frederick Rogers born, 29th October 1920.  Emergency Commission as 2nd Lieutenant (EC5144), attached to the 16th Punjab Regiment, 28th May 1942.  As war substantive Lieutenant, acting Captain, served with the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1942? to 19th June 1944.  War substantive Lieutenant, 28th November 1942.  As Major, Company Commander, 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, drowned crossing the Tiang Hka river in an attack on Japanese positions at Tiang Zup, 19th June 1944  (Indian Army List 1943; War diary 4th Burma Regiment, WO 172/5037; Commonwealth War Graves Commission).

[95] A dak bungalow, dak-house or dâk-bungalow was a government building that provided free accommodation for travelling government officials and, upon their permission, "incomparably cheap" lodging for other travellers (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dak_bungalow).

[96] WO 172/5037; Scott

[97] WO 172/5037

[98] Patrick Eric Lenander born Tipperary of Danish parents, 17th March 1915.  Worked as a jeweller for Coombes & Co., Rangoon, 1937 to 1941.  Trained as an Officer Cadet at the O.C.T.U., Maymyo, possibly attached/serving with an anti-aircraft unit of the Rangoon Field Brigade, Burma Auxiliary Force, 1st January 1941.  Helped man river steamers of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company in the evacuation from Rangoon to Mandalay, February 1942.  Emergency Commission from Cadet to the General List, Regular Army as 2nd Lieutenant (233590), 15th April 1942.  War substantive Lieutenant from 15th October 1942.  Served with the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1942? to 1944.  Company Commander, 'A' Company, 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, June 1944.  Worked in 'the military headquarters' in Rangoon, 1945-46.  Demobilised from the Army and returned to England, 1946  (British Army List 1944; London Gazette; Burma Army List 1943; Reminiscences of Patrick Lenander; Private Papers of Lt. Col. I.C.G. Scott (IWM); War diary 4th Burma Regiment, WO 172/2656, 5037).

[99] Scott

[100] WO 172/5037

[101] WO 172/5037; WO 172/4485

[102] WO 172/5037; WO 172/4485; Scott

[103] WO 172/4485

[104] Scott

[105] WO 172/5037

[106] WO 172/5037

[107] Scott

[108] WO 172/4485

[109] WO 172/5037

[110] WO 172/5037

[111] WO 172/5037

[112] WO 172/5037

[113] WO 172/5037

[114] Scott

[115] Scott

[116] WO 172/5037

[117] Scott

[118] 451 Sub-Area Headquarters was located at Akyab and formed part of 404 Line of Communication Area.  The recaptured areas of Burma passed from command of operational or fighting formations of the Army to that of Line of Communication Command.

[119] War diary 4th Battalion Burma Regiment 1945, WO 172/7803

[120] John McTurk born, 26th July 1914.  Appointed Burma Civil Service (Class I), 13th September 1937.  Assistant Commissioner, Burma Civil Service (Class I), 1938 to 1940.  Sub-Divisional Officer, Minbu (BCS Class I), pre-war.  Deputy Commissioner, Shwebo, pre-war.  Emergency Commission to the General List as 2nd Lieutenant (57309), 26th October 1941.  Served with F.F.6, Burma Frontier Force, February 1942 to March 1942.  With effective disbandment of F.F.6, was attached to Lieutenant McCann's column of F.F.2, Burma Frontier Force, March 1942 to May 1942.  "On deputation", Burma Civil Service (Class I), 1st September 1942.  Civil Affairs Service (Burma) (CAS (B)), 1944-45.  Civil Affairs Officer with the 26th Indian Infantry Division, Arakan, 1944.  Senior Civil Affairs Officer, Akyab, 1945.  Travelled from Rangoon to Liverpool aboard the S.S. "Reina del Pacifico", arrived, 11th June 1946.  As Lieutenant, war substantive Major, appointed Major, south Staffordshire Regiment, Territorial Army Reserve of Officers, 1st January 1949.  As Major, appointed Major, south Staffordshire Regiment, Territorial Army Reserve of Officers, retired having reached the age limit, granted the honorary rank of Lt. Colonel, 26th July 1964.  Died, 1990  ("Burma Frontier Force" by Lt. Colonel G.G. Pryce, WO 203/5697; “Notes on [the] Burma Frontier Force” by Major D. Mostert, WO 203/5700; “The Temple Bells are Calling, Memories of Burma”, Mole R.; Ancestry.co.uk; Burma Army List 1943; Burma Civil List 1938-1940; Burma Civil List 1942; FindMyPast; London Gazette; War diary 4th Burma Regiment, WO 172/7803).

[121] Scott

[122] ‘Thakin’ or ‘Thakin Party’:  Dobama Asiayone (Burmese: We Burmans Association, DAA), commonly known as the Thakins was a Burmese nationalist group formed around the 1930s and composed of young, disgruntled intellectuals.  Drawing their name from the way in which the British were addressed during colonial times, as ‘master’, the party was established by Ba Thaung in May 1930, bringing together traditionalist Buddhist nationalist elements and fresh political ideals. It was significant in stirring up political consciousness in Burma, and drew most of its support base from students.

The Thakins were credited for the formation of the Burma Independence Army (BIA).  In 1940, a Japanese army officer, Colonel Suzuki Keiji, took thirty Thakins including Aung San for military training at Japanese schools in Formosa (Taiwan) and Hainan.  These thirty Thakins, known as the Thirty Comrades, were the founding members of the Burma Independence Army, which would later number around 8000 men.  When the Japanese invaded Burma in late 1941 and early 1942, the BIA marched with the Japanese to expel the British.  On 1 August 1943, the Japanese granted Burma a kind of independence.  The BIA was renamed the Burma National Army (BNA).  Recognising that the Japanese had merely replaced the British rather than providing the independence they sought, in March 1945, the Burma National Army turned on the Japanese as the British Fourteenth Army advanced on Rangoon.

From the onset the British considered the Thakins to be traitors and in 1945, despite the switch of allegiance that had occurred later in the war, this view prevailed.  ‘Thakins’ were often seen as little different from ‘dacoits’, indeed whilst many ‘Thakins’ came to assist the British in restoring order, others did indeed resort to crime under the cover of membership of the Burmese nationalist political and military groups.

After the return of the British and the establishment of their interim military administration, the Anti-Fascist Organisation (AFO), formed in August 1944, was transformed into a united front, comprising the Burma National Army, the Communists and the Socialists, and renamed the Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League (AFPFL).  The Burma National Army was renamed the Patriotic Burmese Forces (PBF) and then gradually disarmed by the British as the Japanese were driven out of various parts of the country.  The Patriotic Burmese Forces, while disbanded, were offered positions in the Burma Army under British command according to the Kandy conference agreement with Lord Louis Mountbatten in Ceylon in September 1945  (‘British Military Administration in the Far East, 1943-46’ Donnison F.S.V., HMSO (1956); https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thakins; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aung_San).

[123] James Dalton born, 31st May 1908.  From Lance Corporal, Emergency Commission as 2nd Lieutenant to the Indian Army, Indian Armoured Corps, 29th October 1942.  War substantive Lieutenant from 29th April 1943.  Acting Captain to 30th September 1943.  Temporary Captain from 1st October 1943.  As Major, posted to the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment from 64 Line of Communication Sub Area, 27th December 1944.  Served with the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 27th December 1944 to 4th January 1946.  Company Commander, 'A' Company, 1945.  Left the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment for the United Kingdom for release from the Army, 4th January 1946  (British Army List; Indian Army List 1943, 1945; War diary 4th Burma Regiment, WO 172/5037, 7803,10321).

[124] The ‘Higgins Boat’ was a flat bottomed landing craft with a ramp at the bow to allow loading and unloading.  It is a famous craft, familiar to anyone who has seen newsreel of the D-Day landings and other amphibious assaults.

[125] Leslie Claude Balmer born, 13th July 1923.  Emergency Commission to the Indian Army as 2nd Lieutenant, attached to the 1st Gurkha Rifles, 5th September 1943.  War substantive Lieutenant from 5th March 1944.  As Lieutenant, joined the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 2nd September 1944.  Served with the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 2nd September 1944 to 31st January 1946.  Served as Adjutant, the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 28th February 1945 to mid-1946.  Captain, 1945.  Major, 1946.  As Major, Company Commander, 'C' Company, 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, late 1946?  As Captain, temporary Major, 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, awarded the O.B.E., gazetted, 1st January 1948  (British Army List 1945; FindMyPast; London Gazette; War diary 4th Burma Regiment, WO 172/5037, 7803, 10321).

[126] Kushal Singh Thapa.  Emergency Commission as 2nd Lieutenant to the Indian Army, attached to the 4th Bombay Grenadiers, 21st December 1941.  War substantive Lieutenant from 1st October 1942.  War substantive Lieutenant, acting Captain to 8th November 1943.  War substantive Lieutenant, temporary Captain, 9th November 1943 to 25th December 1944.  As Lieutenant posted to the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment from the Burma Regimental Centre, 28th December 1944.  War substantive Lieutenant, temporary Captain from 29th December 1944.  As Captain, attached to 'A' Company, 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment from 4th April 1945.  As Major, Company Commander, 'A' Company, 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment from 3rd January 1946.  Officiating Battalion Second in Command, 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment from 24th June 1946.  Officiating Battalion Commander, 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment from 24th July 1946  (Indian Army List 1943, 1945, 1947; War diary 4th Burma Regiment, WO 172/5037, 7803, 10321).

[127] Possibly John Alexander Graham born, 31st December 1917.  Emergency Commission to the Indian Army as 2nd Lieutenant, attached to the 5th Royal Gurkha Rifles, 9th August 1942.  War substantive Lieutenant from 9th February 1943.  As Captain, the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment at Hijougri, evacuated sick, 21st August 1944.  Served with the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1944 to 1946.  As Major, Company Commander, 'B' Company, 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1945 to 1946.  As temporary Captain, 5th Royal Gurkha Rifles (EC5701) mentioned for gallant and distinguished services in Burma (also mentioned in the same supplement is Major I.D. Hillis), 19th July 1945  (British Army List 1945; Indian Army List October 1943; London Gazette; War diary 4th Burma Regiment, WO 172/5037, 7803, 10321).

[128] Ian Dunlop Hillis born, 11th April 1922.  From Lance Sergeant, Emergency Commission to the Indian Army as 2nd Lieutenant, attached to the 5th Royal Gurkha Rifles, 9th August 1942.  War substantive Lieutenant from 9th February 1943.  Acting Captain to 21st March 1943.  Temporary Captain, 22nd March 1943 to 30th April 1943.  As Lieutenant served with the Western Chin Levies, September 1943 to early 1944.  As Lieutenant served with the Western Chin Levies until evacuated sick, February 1944.  Acting Major, 19th June 1944 to 18th September 1944.  Temporary Major from 19th September 1944.  War substantive Captain, 19th September 1944.  As Lieutenant (5800), attached to the Western Chin Levies, mentioned in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Burma and on the Eastern Frontier of India, gazetted, 19th October 1944.  Served with the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment as Company Commander, 1945 to 1946.  As acting Major, 5th Royal Gurkha Rifles (EC5700) mentioned for gallant and distinguished services in Burma, 19th July 1945.  As war substantive Captain (359252), from the Indian Army, to be war substantive Captain, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 1st December 1945  ("Distinctly I Remember", H. Braund, Wren (1972); Indian Army List 1945; London Gazette; War diary 4th Battalion Burma Regiment, WO 172/7803, 10321; War diary Western Chin Levies, WO 172/5043).

[129] Richard Barrie born, 1920.  Treleaven Founder member Society of Wildlife Artists, falconer, peregrine protector, painter, author, fisherman.  Attended Dulwich College, south London, 1932-36.  Commissioned from Cadet as 2nd Lieutenant (203366), The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, 20th July 1941 or 30th August 1941.  War substantive Lieutenant, 1st October 1942.  Temporary Captain from 2nd February 1944.  Served with the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1945.  Awarded the M.B.E for services to Ornithology in Cornwall, 17th June 2006.  Died Launceston, Cornwall, 8th December 2009  (Ancestry.co.uk; British Army List 1944; Dulwich College War Record 1939-1945; London Gazette; Telegraph Announcements).

[130] WO 172/7803

[131] WO 172/7803

[132] U Sein Da, an Arakanese monk (‘Phongyi’ – monk), founded the Arakan People’s Liberation Party, known as the P.L.P.  Set up in 1945 it resorted to armed struggle against the British  and continued the fight for a separate Arakan after Burma’s independence in 1948.  He and 400-1,000 of his followers surrendered in 1958 (“Burma in Revolt, Opium and Insurgency since 1948”, Lintner B.; “Revolution as Development: The Karen Self-Determination Struggle Against Ethnocracy (1949 - 2004)”), Fong J, Universal Publishers (2008)).

[133] George Edward Evans born, 3rd February 1915.  Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant, ABRO (ABRO 322), 9th January 1942.  As Captain, served with the Oriental Mission (Special Operations Executive - S.O.E.), 1942.  As war substantive Lieutenant, acting Captain, served with the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1943  ("Burma Levies", WO 203/5712; Burma Army List 1943; HS 9/488/6; War diary 4th Burma Regiment, WO 172/2656).

[134] WO 172/7803

[135] WO 172/7803

[136] The tical – equal to just over 0.5 ounces – served for a long time as the widely accepted unit of measure for gold.  A 'tical' would be a bar or ingot of this weight.

[137] John Eric Key born, 1st August 1930.  Emergency Commission to the Indian Army as 2nd Lieutenant, 26th November 1942.  Attached to the Indian Armoured Corps (8447), war substantive Lieutenant from 26th May 1943.  Served with the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1943 to 14th January 1946.  War substantive Captain from 28th April 1944.  Acting Major, 24th May 1944 to 23rd August 1944.  Temporary Major, 24th August 1944 to 22nd September 1944.  As temporary Major, mentioned in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Burma, gazetted, 19th July 1945.  As Major, Company Commander, 'A' Company, 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1946.  Left the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment for by air to Calcutta en route for the United Kingdom for release from the Army, 14th January 1946  (British Army List 1945; Indian Army List 1945; London Gazette; War diary 4th Burma Regiment, WO 172/2656, 5703, 7803, 10321).

[138] John Stuart Bell born, 31st October 1922.  As Guardsman, Emergency Commission to the Indian Army as 2nd Lieutenant, attached to the 3rd Madras Regiment, 12th December 1943.  War substantive Lieutenant from 12th September 1944.  Served with the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment.  Served as Major with the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment  (Indian Army List 1943; War diary 4th Burma Regiment, WO 172/7803, 10321).

[139] WO 172/7803

[140] WO 172/7803

[141] WO 172/7803

[142] Bedford Hugh Nicholas McNeill born, 12th May 1915.  As "Planter" sailed from London to Calcutta aboard the S.S. "Modasa", departed, 7th October 1938.  Emergency Commission to the Indian Army as 2nd Lieutenant (ECO 206), attached to the 9th Gurkha Rifles, 21st June 1940.  Acting Captain to 22nd October 1941.  War substantive Lieutenant from 23rd October 1941.  Temporary Captain, 23rd October 1941.  War substantive Captain from 3rd February 1944.  Acting Major, 4th February 1944 to 11th April 1944.  Temporary Major from 12th April 1944.  Served with the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1st August 1944 to 11th March 1946.  As Captain, temporary Major, Company Commander, 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, for actions at Maingna, awarded the Military Cross, gazetted, 9th November 1944.  Served as Battalion Second in command, the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1945.  Left the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment and proceeded to the 9th Gurkha Regimental Centre for release in India, A&S Group 26, 11th March 1946.  As "Tea Planter" sailed from Bombay to Liverpool aboard the S.S. "Empire Brent", arrived, 8th March 1948.  As "Tea Scientific Officer", sailed from Liverpool to Karachi aboard the S.S. "Cilicia", departed, 16th August 1952.  As "Tea Scientific Officer", sailed from Bombay to London aboard the S.S. "Himalaya", arrived, 24th April 1956.  As "Tea Scientific Officer", sailed from India to London aboard the S.S. "Corfu", arrived, 23rd November 1959  (ancestry.co.uk; FindMyPast; Indian Army List 1945; London Gazette; War diary 4th Burma Regiment, WO 172/5037, 7803, 10321; WO 373/96/414).

[143] WO 172/7803

[144] WO 172/7803

[145] WO 172/7803

[146] WO 172/7803

[147] WO 172/7803

[148] WO 172/7803

[149] WO 172/7803

[150] 1st Gurkha Field Regiment, one of three artillery units proposed for the new Burma Army, was in fact not formed.  The other two, 1st Burma Field and 1st Chin Anti-Tank Regiments were formed.

[151] The three Riflemen drowned were: Sepoy Bal Bahadur Thapa (56657), Sepoy Kashi Ram Chhetri (62078) and Sepoy Tika Bahadur (62008)  (Commonwealth War Graves Commission).

[152] “Epilogue in Burma, 1945-48”, McEnery J.H., Spellmount (1990)

[153] “Building the Tatmadaw, Myanmar Armed Forces Since 1948”, Maung Aung Myoe, Institute of southeast Asian Studies (2009); “Burma's armed forces: power without glory”, Selth A, EastBridge (2002); “The Chin Hills Battalion”, MSS Eur 250.

[154]Review of the Civil War in Burma”, British Services Mission, 21st March 1949, DEFE 7/864

[155] The Second Quarterly Report of the British Services Mission, 30th June 1949, DEFE 7/865

[156] The Second Quarterly Report of the British Services Mission, 30th June 1950, DEFE 7/867