The Burma Campaign

[Transcribed from National Archives File WO 172/978, War Diary 5th Burma Rifles by:  Steve Rothwell - The Burma Campaign web site.]

 

W A R   D I A R Y

5th Battalion, The Burma Rifles

 

Hoshiarpur
14-12-42.

H.Q.
Burma Army
India

Subject:            War Diaries

Reference        ???? 873/? of 1 Dec 42

1. War Diary of 5 Burif for 1 Dec 41 to 20 May 42 is forwarded herewith.

2. No unit records were brought [sic] and this has been completed entirely from my own private diary.

3. Complete War Diary was sent to D.R.E.(B) by me on 9 Sep 42 in accordance with his[?] No B 12/2 Ech (B) of 21 Aug 42.

B.J. Devenish-Meares[1]

Lt. Colonel

Comd. 5 Burma Rifles

 

Hour, Date, Place.

Summary of Events & Information.

Dec 1941.[2]

PANGKHEM [3]

 

1st

 

Period of Tension[sic] commenced

 

8th

War declared against Japan

 

11th

Censorship scheme brought into force
B Coy rejoined from NAMAWNGUN

 

12th

AA Pl to TAKAN to cover Bde [1st Burma Brigade] crossing ferry

 

16th

All troops officially on ACTIVE SERVI CE

 

25th

Orders received to move to KIULONG and prepare defensive positions

 

26th

Adv[ance] Party left

PANGKHEM

 

27th

 

Bn [battalion] moved to MONGPING at 09`15 by march route arriving 1530

 

28th

Marched from MONGPING 0100 arr NAWNGKHIO[?] 0830 leaving there again 2030 hrs

 

29th

Arr KIULONG 0830. Bn dispersed in Bivouac areas

 

30th

Recce positions

 

31st

Digging commenced

 

JANUARY 1942.

KIULONG

 

8th

 

50 Reinforcements arrived from 9 Burif, Chins & Kachins

 

14th

Recce party to NAWNGKHIO for intermediate defensive position

 

15th

1 Burif Recce party arrived from LOIMWE
GOC and Div Comd [1st Burma Infantry Division] visited

 

17th

Recce party from NAWNGKHIO returned
1 Burif Recce party left for LOIMWE

 

21st

Orders for move to TAKAW WEST received

 

23rd

Adv Party & A Coy left by M.T.[motor transport]

 

24th

3 Pl & SAA left

 

25th

C, D & HQ. Coys left.

 

26th

Stores left

 

27th

B Coy left

 

28th

Bn HQ left

 

29th

Bn concentrated TAKAW WEST and commenced work on partially dug defensive position

 

FEBRUARY 1942

TAKAW WEST

 

1st - 8th

 

Bn employed in digging & improving Defensive Position

 

8th

Orders received to move to HOPONG en route to join 13 I.I. Bde [13th Indian Infantry Brigade] at MAWCHI

 

9th

Visited by Div Comd

 

10th

Bn left for HOPONG by M.T. arriving there complete at 2300 hrs

 

11th

Comd and Adjt to MAWCHI to meet Bde Comd.

 

13th

Bn less C Coy arrived MAWCHI having moved in M.T. to KEMAPYU thence by march route
C Coy left in detached role at LOIKAW

 

14th

Moved to Bn position on high ridge. S of MINES Area and took over from 5/1 PUNJAB.

 

15th

Recce of Position and coys started digging their fourth defensive position in 2 months

 

16th

Seven enemy aircraft over

 

17th

C Coy moved from LOIKAW to B.P. 36 [Battle Position 36] on SALWEEN

 

18th

Orders received at midnight to move to Toungoo

 

19th

Majority of Bn had moved down hill when move cancelled

 

20th

Bn again in position

 

25th

Warning order received to move and join 1 Bde

 

26th

Bn concentrated at bottom of hill by PUMPING STN.

 

27th

COMD and “R” Group [Recce Group] left for Toungoo

 

28th

Bn R.V. [rendezvous] 6 miles out of Toungoo on MAWCHI Rd

 

MARCH 1942.

1st

Div Comd’s Conference TOUNGOO
Bn moved by M.T. to KYAUKTAGA
One Column F.F. 1 (Capt TURNER[4]) placed under comd
Bn holding position incl Rd RANGOON-MANDALAY incl right bank SITTANG. R. approx miles.

 

2nd

Position recced and work commenced.

 

3rd

Comd recced intermediate position at KANWTKWIN[?]

 

4th

18 Burman looters shot.

 

5th

Formed 5th rifle Coy from H.Q. Coy.

 

7th

Recce of 1 Burif position at NYAUNGLEBIN

 

 

 

MARCH 1942

8th

Orders issued by Bde Comd for attack on DAIKU & PYUNTAZA Rd BLOCK.  2/7 RAJPUT to take latter 1 & 5 BURIF then to pass through and take DAIKU

 

9th

Bn concentrated at KYAUKTAGA and moved by March route that night to N. of NYAUNGLEBIN

 

10th

Moved by March Route at night to SANPE 5 miles S of NYAUNGLEBIN.

 

11th

RAJPUT attack failed. Bn ordered to move but as move commenced order was cancelled.  One Pl Burmans acting as escort to 2 M.B [2nd Mountain Battery, Indian Artillery] during attack deserted.

 

12th

Bn occupying left sector Bde defensive position

 

13th

Orders received for withdrawal to THATEGON
Bn less A Coy moved by March Route that night
A Coy took over Bde front[?] with orders to make enemy think Bde still in position, but not to get seriously involved.

 

14th

Arrived THATEGON 0600 hrs, complete desolation en route all villages deserted
A Coy rejoined during day having lost 2 Killed 5 wounded in patrol encounter.

 

15th

KYAUKTAGA.  Bn holding centre sector of Bde position  2/7 RAJPUT on right  F.F.3 on left.
Front approx 3½ miles
Bn disposed as follows.  fwd B & C.  Reserve A in Bn HQ area. D between E & C.
Mortars with B & C. Spt Secs [Support Sections] with B, E & C.

 

16th

At 1840 hrs, seven lorries drove up main road to within 200 yds of B Coy’s position.  They were engaged by every Bren that could bear.  Heavy casualties were inflicted on the enemy as they debussed and 5 lorries disabled.  There was silence for the rest of the night

MARCH 1942

17th

0630 hrs. rt fwd coy in action again but only for short period and attack died away.  At 1150 heavy and accurate shelling began almost entirely confined to Bn HQ and centre fwd coy areas. Heavy and accurate. Later estimated by R.A officers as 2 mtn[illegible?] Btys and heavy mortars.  This continued intermittently all day.  About 1500 hrs a large mixed force of Japs and Thakins advanced against the centre fwd coy whilst a smaller force of infantry and cavalry moved against the left coy.  The enemy did not press his attack seriously but the centre coy was forced to give ground.  It was at this time that Comd Burman Coy discovered that one of his remaining platoons had deserted en masse leaving him with only 26 men.
At 1700 hrs the enemy attack developed again and by 1715 hrs when orders were received for withdrawal from Bde the enemy had infiltrated through the centre were [sic] within 100 yds of Bn HQ and had surrounded the remnants of the Burman Coy.
At 1745 hrs the withdrawal commenced and for some minutes rear Bn HQ came under intense shell & mortar fire.[5]
The Bn concentrated at PEINWEGON at 2130 hrs.
Known casualties 2 GCOs 14 ORs killed in Burman Coy
1 Pl and 1 sec Spt Pl [one section support platoon] of Karens missing believed captured
A considerable number of men were missing but whether killed, captured or deserters is not known.
2300 hrs orders for further withdrawal received
5 Burif rearguard to Bde.

18th

1000 hrs

Arr NYAUNGBINTHA.  Further withdrawal ordered
Moved off at 2000 hrs

19th

0800 hrs

Arr BANNEGON.  Bn holding rt fwd sector of Bde position.  Chinese troops out in front
Lieuts Dickie[6], Ba Ohn Tin[7] and Bennellick[8] arr

21st

2100 hrs

Unit concentrated at OKTWIN whilst remainder of Bde moved to Toungoo

March 22nd

0600 hrs

Column composed as under moved off from OKTWIN to cross YOMAS en route to Prome
5 Burif,  dett Malerkotla S&M [Sappers and Miners], det 2/7 23[? illegible]  372 mules
Column only just clear of starting point when Jap attack on TOUNGOO commenced.
Marched by Cart Track to THANYEWO approx 23[28?] miles

23rd

 

To YENGON approx 14 miles, jungle track, water good

24th

 

To KYETHA and MYAKAUMEON 21 miles fairly easy going water poor

25th

 

To KANBAN.  Only 12 miles but a very hard march particularly for animals, water poor

26th

 

To Steels[?] R.H. 4 miles WEST of LEIKWE, hard march of 11 miles with some very bad hill sections, water poor

27th

 

Easy march of 7 miles to NYAUNGWIN, water and supplies good.  Met by Inf Off 17 Div [17th Indian Infantry Division].

28th

 

To PAUKHAUNG approx 17 miles, cart track but very dusty

29th

 

Communication by W/T established for first time since leaving OKTWIN.  Orders received from Burdiv, 1 Bur Bde and 17 Div, all different.
Comd to 17 Div HQ.  Unit moved to PAUNGDALE
Took over  from 4/12 FF Regt and Col F.F.5 came under Comd.[9]

31st

 

Orders to withdraw received.  Marched at 1730 hrs

 

 APRIL 1st

0830

Arr KYOUKKOK on Rd PROME-ALLANMYO
2nd Anniversary of raising of Regiment[10]

2nd

1300

Left KYOUKKOK and marched to PWETHA 6 miles EAST of PYABO GORGE protecting left flank

3rd

 

600 Japs reported moving on PWETHA from S.E. laid ambush but withdrawal orders received before enemy arrived.
Moved at 2030 hrs with bullock cart transport and rejoined 1 Bur Bde at MS 216/3 PROME RD.  arriving there that night.
Moved back to YWATAUNG just SOUTH of ALLANMYO
All unit M.T. to 13 Bde, never seen again.  Bn acting as Rear Guard to 1 Bur Bde, left YWATAUNG 2115 hrs to move up left bank IRRAWADY[sic].

6th

1230 hrs

Arr NGABYETWE

April 7th

0230 hrs

Left NGABYETWE

 

0930 hrs

Arr LINDON CH

 

1400 hrs

Left LINDON CH

 

1800 hrs

Halted SINBAUNGYE for meal.

8th

0001 hrs

Left SINBAUNGYE

 

0730 hrs

Arr MINYWA

9th

0400 hrs

Left MINYWA

 

0915 hrs

Arr MIGAUNGWE

10th

 

GOC Corps Comd & Div Comd visited
Lieut R.R. Platt[11] killed in Air Raid

11th

0300 hrs

Unit acting as Adv Gd to Bde moved out from MIGAUNGWE to take part ion attack on ALEBO coordinated by 13 Bde.

 

0625 hrs

Arrived KANDAW and remained there till 1520 hrs when 5 Burif ordered to take ALEBO.

 

1930 hrs

Arr ALEBO and had to clear it in dark.

12th

 

Systematic search of village revealed considerable amount of Jap equipment etc. left behind in their flight.  Officers’ haversacks contained valuable information.
Karen Coy had short skirmish during day in which Capt. WALLIKER[12] was wounded.

 

1430 hrs

Bde withdrew from ALEBO.  5 Burif moving to KUNON TAUNG where they took over from 1 Burif about midnight.

13th

 

All transport had been left behind in MIGAUNGWE when Bn moved out to ALEBO.  This was still in that town when the Japs entered it in the early hours of the morning.  Whilst the enemy was engaged with 1 Burif the QM saddled and loaded all transport and got everything safely away

 

0700 hrs

Small parties of enemy attacked Bn position at KUNON TAUNG and although firing continued till 1100 hrs no serious attempt was made to press home an attack

 

1330

Orders received to withdraw to TOBINGAW with remainder of Bde., unit acting as Rear Guard

 

2130

Further withdrawal to MS 308 MAGWE Rd.  5 Burif rear guard

April 14th

 

Further withdrawal to MS 324.  Unit in M.T. for first time since March 1st.  Bombed from air three times en route.  1 GCO & 7 ORs wounded.
Unit ordered to occupy right sector Bde Position in vicinity of PADO village
Transport which had escaped from MIGAUNGWE rejoined

15th

 

Bn disposed round PADO village C [Coy] (Karens) on right  A (Chins) left  B (Kachins) Reserve.  Sprt Pl was distributed in fwd areas and the A.A. Pl used for ground defense the mortars in Reserve.  Two L.M.G. ambushes were laid forward on the Chaung.

16th

 

About 0200 hrs contact was made and the Japs in some force walked into both ambushes and suffered severely, this made them cautious and they started feeling round the right where the Karen Coy after holding them for some time gave way.  By the time they had been brought[sic] parties of enemy had infiltrated round the right but were being held by the AA Pl and 1[?] RC[Rifle Company?] of the reserve.
The attack now became general and considerable pressure was exerted on the left Coy no less than 3 bayonet charges accompanied by screaming and swarms of blue crackers being put[sic?], two were thrown back with loss but one penetrated the position
In the meantime a platoon of 2/7 RAJPUTS on our left had withdrawn leaving a big gap which the Japs were quick to utilise.
At 0600 hrs the withdrawal was ordered which was followed up by mortar fire.
The Bde withdrew to MS 339 Rd MAGWE-YENANGYAUNG
Our casualties were fairly heavy but it was impossible to estimate them as there were also a number of desertions incl our complete platoon of Karens

17th

 

Bde withdrew to just SOUTH of YENANGYAUNG being bombed and machine gunned from the air several times en route

18th

 

Bde in reserve for attack on Pt 506.  Bn in position at junction of main Road and By Pass guarding against enemy advance from SOUTH
1600 hrs moved off up By Pass acting as rear Guard to Bde
1900 hrs Div perimeter Camp on hills SOUTH of TWINGON.  Bn holding part of SOUTH Face, with 1 Burif on left KOYLI on right

April 19th

 

No enemy attack was actually put in on the SOUTH Face of the perimeter but from 0600 hrs onwards it was under fire from mortars, M.M.Gs & small arms at times fairly heavy and always accurate.  There was no shade and the men had had neither food nor water since the previous morning
At 1400 hrs Bde commenced to withdraw  5 Burif doing Rear Guard, the route being, eastwards then cross the PIN CHAUNG and R.V. at MS 372.
The men by this time were in a state of exhaustion from the heat and lack of food and water and a number fell by the way.
136 Chins had suddenly been thrown at the Bn without any warning and without any organisation the night before.  Of course some 90 odd deserted during the morning.
The great majority of the Bn less the Kachin Coy, however arrived at the R.V. by midnight

20th

 

Most of the Kachin Coy rejoined, they had had some men captured by a Jap ambush
Unit moved to MT. POPA by M.T. with remainder of Bde

22nd

 

Left POPA by M.T. at 2100 hrs and arrived TAUNGTHA 2400 hrs

23rd

 

Cholera epidemic broke out

24th

 

Cholera epidemic bad, moved Camp to MS 444/2 and whole unit inoculated

25th

 

Cholera cases topped 100 mark, 3 deaths actually in Unit remainder all inoculated and never seen again so number of fatalities unknown
Marched at 1400 hrs for MYINGAN arriving there about 2300 hrs

26th

 

1 Coy Kachins received as reinforcements from 9 Burif
Burdiv [1st Burma Infantry Division] Employment Pl absorbed into Unit
1 Burif put under comd.
Marched at 1630 hrs for SAMMIEKON.

27th

 

Arrived SAMMIEKON 0800 hrs and crossed to WEST Bank
Role of Force. (I) Collection of Bullock Carts for Div Tpt  (II) Improvement of Ferrying Facilities and provision of loading Parties for Burdiv.

29th

 

Marched from SAMMIEKON 1600 hrs for CHANGU.

30th

 

Arrived CHANGU approx 1400 hrs

 

MAY 1st

 

F.F.3 and 1 Gar Bn [1st Garrison Battalion] placed under comd
Role Escort to Div Tpt.  Left CHANGU 1030 hrs & marched till 1400 hrs, dived[sic] bombed several times en route
Moved off again 1630 hrs.  Convoy halted approx 2 miles from MONYWA where several carts were off loaded and handed over to Medical for carriage of casualties
Convoy moved off across country at 1900 hrs and marched all night

2nd

 

Arrived ALON 0930 hrs where escort force broke up
Unit marched again at 1800 hrs as part of Burdiv to BUDALIN which was reached about 2300 hrs

3rd

 

Marched from BUDALIN approx 0600 hrs picked up M.T. en route and arrived YEU 1000 hrs being bombed 3 times from the air en route.
Role in YEU To watch Eastern approaches

4th

 

During the night practically all Kachins left for the Kachin Levies.  Bn less than 200 strong reverted to Div Tps.

5th

 

Marched at 0800 hrs for KADUMA 23 miles, very hot and dusty, arriving there 19300 hrs

6th

 

Left at 0800 hrs in M.T. for PYINGYAUNG 35 miles arriving there 1600 hrs

7th

 

Marched at 1800 hrs with Div Tps and continued through night.

8th

 

Halted at 0700 hrs at MS 21 for one hour then picked up by M.T. and ferried to MS 35 arriving 1200 hrs
Marched again at 1430 hrs for SHWEGYIN arriving there 1900 hrs
Arrived KALEWA 2200 hrs and bivouaced [sic] approx 3 miles outside town on TAMU Rd.

9th

 

Marched from KALEWA at 1940 hrs for INBAUNG 24 miles

10th

 

Arrived INBAUNG 0300 hrs and left by M.T. at 0700 hrs arriving TAMU 1700 hrs.

11th

 

Most of Chins left to join Chin Levies having some 50 all ranks incl followers
Capt WATSON[13] evacuated to hospital with jaundice.

12th

 

Left TAMU 0800 hrs in M.T. for PALEL arriving there 2200 hrs

13th

 

Left PALEL 0630 hrs in M.T. and arrived at CAMP MS 109 at 1400 hrs

May 20th

 

Official date of Dissolution of 5 Burif.

[14]

 

 

 

 

B.J. Devenish-Meares
Lt. Colonel
Comd 5. Burif.

 



[1] Basil John Devenish-Meares, born 11th January 1898, commissioned as 2nd Lt. to the Unattached List, 15th November 1915 and assigned to the Indian Army as 2nd Lt. on 20th November 1915.  Attached to The Grenadiers(?).  Promoted to Lieutenant on 15th November 1916,  attached to the 38th Dogras.    Mentioned in Despatches, 22nd January 1919.  Promoted to Captain on 15th November 1919.  Served N.W. Frontier of India, 1930, for which Mentioned in despatches, gazetted 6th May 1932.  Served with 1st Battalion, 41st Dogras (1921).  Promoted to Major on 15th November 1933.  Seconded to the Burma Army, 17th August 1937.  Served as Company Commander, 3rd Battalion, The Burma Rifles, 1937-38 and with the 1st Battalion, The Burma Rifles, 1938-1939.  Promoted to Lt.-Colonel 6th May 1940.  Served as Commanding Officer, 5th Battalion, The Burma Rfiles.  Later, Commanding Officer, 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment from formation of the battalion (September/October 1943) until end January 1944.  As Lt.Colonel, Military Adviser, Punjab States Forces, awarded O.B.E., 1st January 1948.  As Lt.Colonel (AI 805), Special List (ex-Indian Army), retired, 28th April 1948.  Appointed Lieutenant, Army Cadet Force (Gloucester), as Lt.Colonel (retired), 1st September 1950.  Died 1971  (British Army List; Indian Army List; London Gazette; War Diary 4th Burma Regiment, WO 172/2656 and WO 172/5037; “War Services of British and Indian Officers of the Indian Army 1941”, Savannah (2004); FindMyPast).

[2] In November 1941, according to Major J.H. Turner, the 5th Battalion, Burma Rifles was at Mong Hpan (or Mong Pan),  approximately 220 miles from Taunggyi (“Short History of F.F.3” by Major J.H. Turner, WO 203/5702(Short History of F.F.3)).

[3] Today, Pangkham, a town in the Shan States near the border with Yunnan province, China.

[4] Major Turner was actually the Commanding Officer of F.F.3, Burma Frontier Force.

John Hector Turner born, 6th August 1903.  Commissioned as 2nd Lt. to the Unattached List, 31st January 1924.  Appointed to the Indian Army as 2nd Lt.(IA 525), 15th March 1925.  Served with Hodson’s Horse from 18th March 1925.  Promoted to Lieutenant, 30th April 1926.  Served with the Hazara Pioneers from 1st May 1927.  Served with the 7th Gurkha Rifles from 1933?.  Promoted to Captain, 31st January 1933.  Appointed Assistant Commandant, Southern Shan States Battalion, Burma Frontier Force, Taunggyi, 8th March 1938.  Commander, F.F.3, Burma Frontier Force from formation until disbandment, 1st October 1940 to 20th May 1942.  Promoted to Major, 31st January 1941.  As Major, author of “Burma Frontier Force: short history”, WO 203/5702 - a history of F.F.3, Burma Frontier Force, 31st May 1943.  Commanding Officer, the 4th Battalion, 7th Gurkha Rifles, 16th March 1944 to 4th December 1944.  Promoted to temporary Lt. Colonel, 16th June 1944.  As Lt.-Colonel, C.O. of the 4th Battalion, 5th Gurkha Rifles, during the Battle of Pakokku, wounded, 10th February 1945.  Died, 11th February 1945 ("History of 7th Duke of Edinburgh's Own Gurkha Rifles", J.N. Mackay, Blackwood (1962); “Short History of F.F.3” by Major J.H. Turner, WO 203/5702 (Short History of F.F.3); “War Services of British and Indian Officers of the Indian Army 1941”, Savannah (2004); British Army List; Commonwealth War Graves Commission; Indian Army List; London Gazette).

[5] Also serving with the 5th Burma Rifles, was James Noble Mackay, born 18th January 1900.  Commissioned to the Unattached List as 2ndLt., 15th April 1919.  Appointed to the Indian Army as 2ndLt., 16th April 1919.  Served Afghanistan, N.W. Frontier 1919.  Promoted to Lieutenant, 15th April 1920.  Served with 1st Battalion, 107th Pioneers (1921).  Served Persia, 1920.  Promoted to Captain, 15th April 1925.  Served N.W. Frontier of India, 1930 –31, for which Mentioned in Despatches, gazetted 6th May 1932.  Served North West Frontier, 1937.  Promoted to Major, 15th April 1937.  Seconded from 4th Gurkha Rifles to the Burma Army, 2nd Battalion, Burma Rifles, 1st June 1937.  Served with the 5th Battalion, The Burma Rifles during the 1942 campaign.  Subsequently part of the Composite Burma Rifles Battalion, India, 1942.  Commanding Officer, The Chin Hills battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1942.  Awarded the D.S.O. while attached The Burma Rifles, gazetted 28th October 1942, citation as follows:

Brigade:                 1st [Burma] Inf, 1st Burma Division 
Corps:                    Burcorps               
Unit:                       5 Burif                  
Rank and Name: Major James Noble MACKAY
Date of Recommendation:                               25th April 1942.   

Action for which recommended :-  

At KYAUKTAGA on March 17th the battalion was attacked and subjected to heavy and accurate Mortar fire almost incessantly from 1100 hrs to 1800 hrs.  The Mortar fire was seriously affecting the men’s morale.  Major MACKAY moved amongst them talking to them and soon restored their confidence.
Finally he personally took out the withdrawal order to the centre company which was then bearing the brunt of the attack and remained there until the withdrawal hour bringing back the remnants through very heavy fire mostly at close range.
Throughout the action this officer set a magnificent example of courage and calmness which was an inspiration to all those around him.

Recommended By:             B.J. Devenish-Meares, Lt-Col., Comd, 5 Burif; Bruce-Scott, Maj-Gen, Comd 1 Burdiv

Honour or Reward:             Distinguished Service Order              

Signed By:                            H.R. Alexander, General.  

Promoted Lt.Colonel, 15th April 1945.  As temporary Lt.Colonel, 4th Gurkha Rifles, Mentioned in Despatches, gazetted 9th May 1946 (British Army List; Indian Army List; London Gazette; “War Services of British and Indian Officers of the Indian Army 1941”, Savannah (2004);WO 373/30/157; War Diary 2nd Burma Rifles WO 172/975  (War diary 2nd Burma Rifles).

[7] 2nd Lt. Ba Ohn Tin, appointed ABRO Emergency Commission 28th April 1941; promoted Lieutenant 28th October 1942 (Anglo-Burmese Library; London Gazette).

[8] Edward James Bennellick, born Rangoon, 20th November 1915.  Appointed 2nd Lt. ABRO Emergency Commission, 26th October 1941.  Trekked to India with the battalion and subsequently became part of the Composite Burma Rifles Battalion.  Admitted to Ranchi hospital on 14th June 1942 suffering from malaria.  Relinquished commission as 2ndLt. and granted honorary rank of Captain, 20th January 1946.  Died 2006 (Anglo-Burmese Library; London Gazette, Ancestry.co.uk; FindMyPast.co.uk; War Diary 2nd Burma Rifles WO 172/975  (War diary 2nd Burma Rifles)).

[9] Other sources place F.F.5 at Meiktila on this date.  The Paungdale column was certainly one of those forming the F.F. Group attached to the 17th Indian Infantry Division and is described as being F.F.2 by the Indian Official History.  It is more likely that the the Paungdale column was in fact F.F.2.

[10] The 5th Battalion, Burma Rifles was formed on 1 April 1940, by milking the regular battalions.  One company was Burmese/Burman.

[11] Richard Randle Platt (189622), OCTU Cadet appointed 2nd Lt. General List 28th April 1941.  As Captain, , killed 10th April 1942 aged 35 (London Gazette; Commonwealth War Graves Commission).

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

[13] Possibly Robert Watson, appointed Captain ABRO 4th September 1939 (although relinquished commission (resigned) whilst retaining rank 1st August 1940, gazetted 27th December 1940) (Anglo-Burmese Library; London Gazette).

[14] Also serving with the 5th Burma Rifles was George Henry Astell. Commissioned to the General List from Cadet, OCTU, as 2ndLt.( 189598), 28th April 1941.  Served with the 5th Burma Rifles until assigned from the Composite Battalion, Burma Rifles as Camp Commandant, 1st Burma Division at Imphal, 8th June 1942.  As Captain (temporary Major), awarded the Military Cross, gazetted 4th January 1945, his citation follows:

Transcript of Military Cross Citation              

Brigade: 16th Infantry      

Division: 3rd Indian (The Chindits)

Unit:       The Burma Rifles               

Date of Recommendation:               25th June 1944  

Action for which recommended :-  

On 18 April 1944, two Columns under Major ASTELL, which had been taking part in heavy fighting during the previous three weeks, were moving towards a British block which had been established astride a road and railway at HENU, Burma.

At 0630 hours, the leading troop had reached the broad stream bed of the Mawlu Chaung, when heavy fire was opened from the far side. Fighting developed on all sides, the enemy proved to be for the most part in dug-in positions. It became apparent that the route of the columns had taken them right between two strongly defended localities, which the enemy was holding in great strength with heavy and medium machine guns and mortars. The ensuing action, which was exceedingly hard-fought, continued for over four hours, when Major ASTELL received orders to disengage and continue his march by another route. This disengagement was hotly opposed by the enemy, who were by this time all around the columns; but with great skill Major ASTELL succeeded in withdrawing the greater part of his wounded.

Although in this action he lost twenty percent of his strength, the number of Japanese killed is known to have been more than twice his own losses, and is believed to be much higher still. Although twelve out of fourteen mules were killed, all mortars and machine guns were successfully manhandled out of the battle, and carried many miles. The whole action was fought with great determination by all ranks, and reflected as much credit on them as if it had been crowned with success. The personal conduct of Major ASTELL throughout was magnificent. He exposed himself fearlessly where the fire was hottest, his exemplary courage and demeanour inspired his troops to great deeds, and won their admiration for ever.               

Recommended by: Brigadier B.E. Fergusson DSO, Commanding 16th Infantry Brigade  

Signed By: Major General W.D.A. Lentaigne, Comd. 3 Ind Div; General G. Giffard, Commander-in-Chief 11 Army Group

(London Gazette; Anglo-Burmese Library; War Diary 2nd Burma Rifles WO 172/975 (War diary 2nd Burma Rifles); Chindits Special Forces Burma 1942-44 - Awards).