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Burma Auxiliary Force

Rangoon Battalion, Burma Auxiliary Force - January 1941

Photo by kind permission of John Hodge, grandson of the commanding officer of the Rangoon Battalion, BAF, Lieutenant Colonel William M Hodge


Officers of the Rangoon Battalion, BAF and their guests at a formal reception, January 1941.  Amongst the guests are H.E. Sir Archibald Cochrane, Governor of Burma, and Major General D.K. McLeod, GOC Burma.

Standing: 2ndLt. G.G. Robertson, 2ndLt. A.A. Conway, 2ndLt. K.N.H. Martin, 2ndLt. K.S. Laurie, 2ndLt. G.F. Kinnear, 2ndLt. J. Pritchard, Captain E.D. Wardleworth (K.O.Y.L.I.); ADC to G.O.C. of Burma), 2ndLt. R.B. Groves, 2ndLt. P.G. Waters, 2ndLt. J.H. Gemmell, 2ndLt. R.C. Scott, 2ndLt. J.F. Villiers, 2ndLt. D. Lewton-Brain, 2ndLt. R.St.C Stracy, 2ndLt. C.J.C. Lumsden, Captain N. Chancellor (ADC)

Seated: Captain B. Mahony, Major O.H. Mootham, Major A.D. Macnamara, I.A. (Military Secretary), Major F.W. Sharpe (The Gloucestershire Regiment; Adjutant), Brigadier R.B. Leslie M.C., H.E. Sir Archibald Cochrane, GCMG, KCSI, DSO (Governor of Burma), Lt.Colonel W.M. Hodge (Commanding), Major-General D.K. McLeod CB, DSO (G.O.C. Burma), Major H.D. McCall, Major M.V. Wright (10th Baluch Regiment), Captain P.M. Beecheno, Captain E. Polglase, Lieutenant C.R. Cowie

Note: Names confirmed on original photograph, corrected as they appear on the photograph and updated 28th November 2014

Using these sources it has been possible to identify the civilian positions held by some of the men and when they and others were commissioned into the Army in Burma Reserve of Officers (ABRO):

G.G. Robertson:  Assistant, Mackinnon Mackenzie & Co., 42-46 Phayre St., Rangoon
A.A. Conway:  General Staff, Steel Brothers, Rangoon.  Commissioned 2nd Lt., ABRO, 26th October 1941
K.N.H. Martin:  Commissioned 2nd Lt., ABRO, 26th October 1941
G.F. Kinnear:  Steel Brothers, Rangoon.  Commissioned 2nd Lt., ABRO, 1st September 1941
J. Pritchard:  General Staff, Steel Brothers, Rangoon
R.B. Groves:  Steel Brothers, Rangoon. Later Captain of the Rangoon Golf Club, 1952?
R.C. Scott:  General Staff, Steel Brothers Rangoon
D. Lewton-Brain:  Steel Brothers, Rangoon.  Commissioned, ABRO, 2nd Lt., 2nd August 1943
R.St.C Stracey:  Burmah Oil Company.  Commissioned 2nd Lt., ABRO, 15th December 1941
C.J.C. Lumsden:  Commissioned 2nd Lt., ABRO, 2nd August 1943
N. Chancellor:  General Staff, Steel Brothers, Rangoon.  Commissioned 2nd Lt., ABRO, 2nd August 1943.   Promoted to Lieutenant, 6th November 1942                                               

B. Mahony:  Rubber Estate Manager, Steel Brothers, Rangoon
O.H. Mootham:  Partner, Hartnoll Paget & Foucar, 104 Phayre St., Rangoon

H.D. McCall:  Assistant, Rowe & Co., Ltd. 416 Dalhousie St. Genl. merchants
P.M. Beecheno:  Firm of Clark & Surridge, 79 Phayre St., Rangoon
C.R. Cowie:  Firm of Chas. R. Cowie & Co., Rangoon



3rd Light Anti-Aircraft Battery, R.A., Burma Auxiliary Force - Mhow, India -  May 1942

Photo by kind permission of the late Major Arthur Cockle


Surviving officers and men of the 3rd LAA Battery, Burma Auxiliary Force on being reunited at Mhow, India shortly before being disbanded, May 1942.

Sitting on Ground: Gunner Hla Tin, L/Bdr E. Myaing, Bdr J. Bacon, Bdr L. Reich, L/Sgt D. DeGlanville, L/Sgt G. Claessen, Bdr A. Sharp, Bdr F. Antony, Gunner Tnn Shein, Gunner Saw Albert

Sitting Chairs: Sgt O. Dewar, Sgt P. Rose, Sgt C. Re [?] Lellis, BSM A.J. Tingley, Captain A.T. Cockle, Lt.Colonel H.T. Hogan, 2nd.Lt. K.F. Ho, BQMS A.R.M. Wilkinson, Sgt P. Murphy, Sgt N. Reich, Sgt F.P. Gomes

Standing 1st Row: Gunner E. Gomes, L/Bdr L. Aquino, Gunner San Lwin, Gunner Maung Kho, Gunner J. Raphael, Gunner W. Pinto, Gunner H. Mellican, Bdr J. Claessen, L/Bdr D. D.Cros, L/Bdr Tin Maung, L/Bdr E. Allmark, Gunner A. Davey, L/Bdr A. Pegram

Standing Last Row: Gunner H. Chakravarti, Gunner P.K. Ghosh, Gunner G. Wilson, Gunner S. Penos [?], Gunner A.J. Francis, Gunner D. Mellican, Gunner J. Lopes, Gunner Maung Pu, Gunner S. Barnett, Gunner P. Michael, Gunner J. De Rosario, Gunner Tin Maung Lwin

Compare the above names with those of No. 4 Platoon, Burma Intelligence Corps at  Many of the men of 3rd LAA Battery, BAF went on to serve with the Burma Intelligence Corps.


1st Coast Battery, R.A., Burma Auxiliary Force - February 1945

By 1945 the value of The Burma Intelligence Corps in providing liaison personnel, interpreters and guides to front line divisions was well established.  Men with the necessary language skills and aptitude were hard to find and units of the former Burma Army were assessed for suitable candidates for transfer to the BIC.  In February 1945 the following men of the 1st Coast Battery, BAF (formerly of the Rangoon Field Brigade, BAF), based at Diamond Harbour, Calcutta, were identified for transfer and authorisation sought to complete the move (the transfer was authorised in March 1945):

L/Bdr.  B. Cameron (2169)

Spr.  N. Daniels (2905)

Gunner  N. D'Souza (3098)

Gunner  W. Fairhurst (3299)

Gunner  L. Goldenburg (3219)

Gunner  L. James (3528)

Gunner  A.M. Joseph (3411)

Gunner  L. Sutherland (3076)

Gunner  J. Phillip (2892)

Gunner  A. Richards (2959)

Gunner  B. Joyce (1174)

Gunner  G. Henderson (3051)

Gunner   Anthoobhai (2962)

Gunner  A. Barnabas (3322)

Gunner  R. Ellis (2198)

Gunner  A.C. Deetjen (3516)

[Source: WO 203/48 Burma Intelligence Corps]


24 May 2016

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