Officers and Men of the Burma Army
A project by Steve Rothwell - full list available to members of the Anglo-Burmese Library.
The project lists primarily officers who served with units of the Army in Burma (Burma Army), Burma Military Police and the Burma Frontier Force. A similar listing for the Burma Auxiliary Force and the Burma Intelligence Corps is under construction. It excludes Officers serving with Indian and British Army units in Burma other than where such officers may have been seconded to posts within the Burma Army.
The list is not an attempt to provide full biographies of military service. Entries are instances where an officer is recorded in the sources as serving with a Burma Army unit. For instance, an Indian Army Officers service with his Indian regiment prior to joining a Burma Army unit is not recorded.
To access the full list you will need to become a member of the Anglo-Burmese Library - please click here for details of subscription rates and an application form.
Here is a sample taken from the list - for best results view this page on a large screen device (i.e. not a mobile phone):
[Tip - pressing ctrl + f will open a search box on your screen, enter the name you are looking for - the results will be highlighted in the list below. Pressing the "enter" key will find any other instances of the name.]
|Date||Surname||Rank||Forenames||Corps||Date of Secondment||Role||Unit||Location||Date of Appoint't||Notes||Source|
|Jan-38||Pausa Tang||Subedar||1st Battalion, The Burma Rifles||01/01/1928||BA Jan 38|
|Jan-40||Pausa Tang||Subedar||1st Battalion, The Burma Rifles||BA Jan 40|
|Oct-40||Pausa Tang||Subedar||1st Battalion, The Burma Rifles||BA Oct 40|
|20/11/1944||Paxton||Lieutenant||The Chin Hills Battalion, The Burma Regiment||WO 172/5040|
|Jul-41||Pe Thein||Jemadar||5th Battalion, The Burma Rifles||On probation||BDS Jul 41|
|Oct-40||Pe Thwe||Jemadar||No.5 Garrison Company||Rangoon||BA Oct 40|
|Jul-41||Pe Thwe||Jemadar||No.5 Garrison Company||BDS Jul 41|
|Jan-38||Peacock||Lieutenant||D.H.||Army in India Reserve of Officers||BA Jan 38|
|Jan-38||Peake-Cottam||Major||H.||RIASC||Officer -in-Charge Supplies, Rangoon||Rangoon||25/09/1936||BA Jan 38|
|01/01/1942||Peebles||2nd Lt.||Robert William Horsburgh||Unattached List||3rd Battalion, The Burma Rifles||WO 172/976|
|Jan-39||Peel||Captain||C.R.||Coldstream Guards||23/03/1938||3rd Battalion, The Burma Rifles||IA Jan 39|
|Apr-39||Peel||Captain||C.R.||Coldstream Guards||23/03/1938||3rd Battalion, The Burma Rifles||IA Apr 39|
|Apr-32||Peffers||Captain||J.||Assistant Commandant||1st Rangoon Battalion, Burma Military Police||Rangoon||IA Apr 32|
|Oct-32||Peffers||Captain||J.||Assistant Commandant, on Special Duty at Tharrawaddy||Burma Military Police||17/02/1932||IA Oct 32|
|1933||Peffers||Captain||J.||Assistant Commandant||Burma Military Police||IOL 1933|
|Jan-38||Peffers||Major||J.||1st Battalion, 15th Punjab Regiment||30/06/1937||Company Officer||2nd Battalion, The Burma Rifles||30/06/1937||BA Jan 38|
|Jan-39||Peffers||Major||J.||15th Punjab Regiment||30/06/1937||2nd Battalion, The Burma Rifles||IA Jan 39|
|Apr-39||Peffers||Major||J.||15th Punjab Regiment||30/06/1937||2nd Battalion, The Burma Rifles||IA Apr 39|
|Jan-40||Peffers||Major||J.||1st Battalion, 15th Punjab Regiment||30/06/1937||2nd Battalion, The Burma Rifles||BA Jan 40|
|Apr-40||Peffers||Major||J.||15th Punjab Regiment||30/06/1937||2nd Battalion, The Burma Rifles||IA Apr 40|
|Oct-40||Peffers||Major||John Crowe||1st Battalion, 15th Punjab Regiment||30/06/1937||2nd Battalion, The Burma Rifles||BA Oct 40|
|Jan-42||Peffers||Major (temporary Lt. Colonel)||J.||15th Punjab Regiment||30/06/1937||2nd Battalion, The Burma Rifles||IA Jan 42|
|Jan-30||Pelly||Major||H.R.||Supernumerary List||Officiating Deputy Commissioner||Magwe District||25/01/1914||IA Jan 30|
|Apr-30||Pelly||Major||H.R.||Supernumerary List||Officiating Deputy Commissioner||Magwe District||25/01/1914||IA Apr 30|
Officers of the Burma Army
Before the separation of Burma from India in April 1937, army units were part of the Indian Army and officered exclusively by British regular officers of the Indian Army. The Burma Military Police was also officered exclusively by British regular officers of the Indian Army.
With the separation of Burma from the Government of India in April 1937, The Burma Rifles regiment was transferred to Burma. It continued to be officered by officers seconded from the Indian Army on a temporary or permanent basis.
From April 1937, officers for the Burma Rifles, the Burma Military Police and the newly formed Burma Frontier Force were found by the secondment of both Indian and British Army officers. Service with the B.M.P. and B.F.F. was a tour of four years, extendable to five. Officers serving with the B.M.P. and B.F.F. served as Commandants and Assistant Commandants.
With the outbreak of war and the expansion of the Burma Armed Forces, officers for all units came to be found from the Indian and British Armies and from new schemes implemented since the start of the war. The Army in Burma also employed a certain number of officers of the Indian Regular Reserve and of the Special Unemployed List.
The Army in Burma Reserve of Officers (A.B.R.O.) was formed partly from the transfer to it of officers on the Army in India Reserve of Officers who were resident in Burma and partly by the acceptance of new entrants from amongst the European, and later, Burmese "gentlemen" living in Burma. A.B.R.O. officers were posted to wherever needed including the Burma Rifles battalions and the Burma Frontier Force.
In addition to this, further officer requirements were met by the creation of an Officer Cadet Training Unit (O.C.T.U.). Under the provisions of the National Service (British European Subjects) Act, 1940, British subjects in Burma between the ages of 18 and 50, were required to undergo three months' military training. In Burma, this was achieved by embodying the men into the Burma Auxiliary Force and by attachment to British Infantry Battalions in convenient batches. At the end of these attachments, those considered suitable were selected for a four month OCTU course, with a view to appointment to Emergency Commissions in British service, in the case of Europeans and in the A.B.R.O. in the case of Burmans. It was planned for the first batch of 60 officers coming from the OCTU to be available by about April 1941 (in fact 61 cadets were commissioned on 28th April 1941). This was to be followed by further batches at six monthly intervals, although only one further batch was commissioned on 26th October 1941. This approach was expected to produce more than 200 officers. Men who were not successful in passing O.C.T.U. remained members of the BAF, available for service if and when required in the event of an emergency.
Officers for junior staff posts, supply and transport and other services were commissioned direct from civilian life as Emergency Commissions and posted depending on what their training experience best suited them for. Many of these were commissioned to the Burma Unattached List.
The recruiting pool for the Burma Auxiliary Force was enlarged by making eligible for service all British subjects in Burma.
After the retreat from Burma in 1942, all but the 2nd Battalion of The Burma Rifles were disbanded. Officers and men from the other battalions and from the B.M.P. and B.F.F. were included in the newly raised Burma Regiment, administered by India. Others joined the various Levies, the Burma Intelligence Corps and Special Operations Executive (S.O.E.). A number of British officers were posted back to the Indian and British Armies.
Note: Further biographical details of selected officers may be found throughout this web site, The Burma Campaign, included with unit histories, transcriptions of unit war diaries and recollections.
If you have an enquiry regarding an individual who may have served with the Burma Army or have additional details you would like to share, please contact me using the email address below.
17 November 2017