The Burma Campaign

[Transcribed from National Archives File WO 172/979, War Diary 7th Burma Rifles by:  Steve Rothwell - The Burma Campaign web site.]

 

W A R   D I A R Y

7th Burma Rifles

 

Hour, Date, Place.

Summary of Events & Information.

 

8 Jan 42

MANDALAY

Bn proceeded Collective trg [Training] MYITNGE area.

 

10 Jan 42

Capt J. DAGLISH[1] rejoined from Chemical Warfare Course, INDIA.

2100 hrs

16 Jan 42

In reply to a wire from HQ, Army in Burma, unit deficiencies in Weapons, Signalling Stores, transport etc forwarded/ Chief deficiencies were Pistols 45, DV Telephones 8.  Unit had No dischargers, Mortar-carrying equipment and No M.T. [Motor Transport].

1200 hrs

17 Jan 42

Wire received from H.Q., Army in Burma – Bn to proceed to MOULMEIN on 19 Jan 42.

1500 hrs

Bn returned from Collective Trg.

Bn was forthwith organised on a war basis.  Previous to this the unit had been on F.S. [Field Service] system of reports and returns, War System of Pay Accounts and on F.S. scale of rations but had NOT received an order to MOBILIZE.

A Depot was formed at MANDALAY in charge of Capt BA AYE[2], to proceed to MAYMYO, as soon as possible.

1800 hrs

19 Jan 42

MANDALAY

Bn departed in two special trains.

Entraining strength BOs. – 11, G.C.O.s and BAORs[3] approx – 630.

Roll of BOs proceeded on service – LT COL E.D. McCARTHY, OBE[4], MAJ P.H. KYADOE[5], Capts H.M. LILLEY[6], D.R.A. McCORKELL[7], J DAGLISH, KIN MAUNG[8], KYAW MYINT[9], 2/LIEUTS M.E. BUSK[10], E.B. SAYNOR[11], O.W. PO[12], KYAW TUN[13].

2200 hrs

20 Jan 42

MARTABAN FERRY

Bn detrained and immediately commenced SALWEEN River crossing.  Work was carried out under considerable difficulty owing to darkness, bulky nature of Gas Stoves etc to be loaded down narrow gangways on passenger launches.

0700 hrs

21 Jan 42

MOULMEIN

Last party of Bn disembarked at Railway Jetty.  Bn HQ was immediately established in BAF [Burma Auxiliary Force] HQ.

1800 hrs

A, C, and D Coys occupied Defence positions on West, North and East sides of MOULMEIN defences from MUTPUN on the SALWEEN River to NGANTE on the ATARAN River.  Comms established by Civil Telephone.  All Coys immediately commenced building and digging defences.  As the Bn had no MT local cars and buses were requisitioned.

0500 hrs

22 Jan 42

5 ORs. of D Coy casualties due to attack by an elephant in Timber Works area at MUTPUN.

1000 hrs

23 Jan 42

1 Hav[ildar] killed in a motor accident.

 

24 Jan 42

Large parties of stragglers of different units arrived in Bn area from TAVOY and KAWKAREIK.  This continued for several days.

 

25 Jan 42

Approx this date bombs were dropped by enemy bombers near D Coy posns.  Large fires commenced later brought under control.  No casualties among own troops.

Patrolling continued especially towards the East.

1200 hrs

27 Jan 42

Bn HQ moved to P.W.D. [Public Works Department] Office, which had been thoroughly built up for P.A.D.[?]

 

28 Jan 42

Widespread looting in town and bazaar area.  Our troops opened fire on many occasions, more especially at night.  C Coy reported sinking several boats in the SALWEEN River containing suspicious characters trying to enter the town.

1800 hrs

Large fire, presumably caused by sabotage, gutted 3 blocks of town in Bn area.  Our troops fought the fire for 5 hours, as practically all local services had ceased to operate.

1400 hrs

30 Jan 42

Bn visited by L.O. [Liaison Officer] from AHQ [Army Headquarters] who gave talk on general policy of conduct of the war in Burma

0700 hrs

31 Jan 42

MOULMEIN

Enemy attacked MOULMEIN on South and SE. [14]  2 Pls B Coy sent as reserve to 8 Burif.  D Coy engaged West of MUTPUN area.

Bn was now in position from MUTPUN on the SALWEEN in the South, along the SALWEEN River front on the West and North, and the northern part of the East front for about 1000 yards in length.

0230 hrs

1 Feb 42

MOULMEIN

Large fire in buildings near Bn HQ.

0600 hrs

Enemy attacked C Coy positions in North and D Coy positions in South, the former much heavier than the latter.  C Coy reported that Capt LILLEY had gone forward from his Coy H.Q.

0630 hrs

Comms with C Coy broken.  Runners despatched. Lieut PO reported that all his dispositions in D Coy area secure.

0640 hrs

Report received that enemy effected landing on North foreshore.  2 Pls B Coy under Sub[edar] Saw Tan Mai despatched on counter-attack role.

0715 hrs

Warning order from Bde HQ[15] for withdrawal of entire force across the river.

Orders despatched C Coy by runner.  It was subsequently proved that this runner was killed in action before arrival, but orders received through Bn Mortar Officer.

0720 hrs

B Coy reported that engaging forces of enemy infiltrating near the Jail.

0815 hrs (approx)

Orders received fro the Bn to commence withdrawal keeping the “Box” closed.  Bn was to embark at 3 Jetties, D Coy at Mission St. Jetty, HQ and A Coy from Railway Jetty and C and B Coys from KALADAN Jetty.

0830 hrs

D Coy withdrew successfully to Mission St. Jetty sustaining five casualties to one LMG Sec.  Bn HQ, HQ Coy and A Coy withdrew to Railway Jetty with casualties amounting to 1 PL.  Position as regards B and C Coys was obscure as fighting continued in North part of town.

0900 hrs

1 Feb 42

Launch containing Bn HQ and HQ Coy and a small number of R.Corps of Sigs grounded on sand bank, 250 yards from MARTABAN shore.  Tide was on the ebb.  Enemy arty opened up but switched to MARTABAN Jetty.

0930 hrs

1 FEB 42

MOULMEIN

D Coy arrived at MARTABAN.

No launches available at KALADAN Jetty.

1130 hrs

MARTABAN

Bn HQ and HQ Coy disembarked by wading and swimming on tide ebbing sufficiently.  All stores and ammo[?] unloaded by means of sampans and small boats.

Subedar Sein Aing of C Coy reported that Capt H.M. LILLEY had been wounded and when last seen by him appeared to be dead[16].  According to this Sub and others of C Coy Capt LILLEY had personally manned a Bren gun and had accounted for 20 to 30 of the enemy who were advancing down the Maidan on foot and on cycles.

Troops as they disembarked were despatched forthwith North on foot, no Tpt being available by rail or road.

2000 hrs

THATON

Bn assembled at Rly Stn.  Of BOs Capts LILLEY and KIN MAUNG and 2/LT KYAW TUN were missing (The latter two rejoined shortly afterwards).

Approx casualties of Bn at MOULMEIN were 1 BO “missing believed killed”, 35 BAORs “killed in action”, 150 BAORs “missing”.

Many other personnel initially reported missing subsequently escaped from MOULMEIN and rejoined the unit during the next week.

2200 hrs

1 Feb 42

THATON

Bn entrained and proceeded North.

0400 hrs

2 Feb 42

HNINPALE

Bn detrained and rested in area near BILIN River.  Stayed 3 days.  Many men rejoined, mostly KARENS of B Coy who had escaped and crossed the SALWEEN by swimming or on rafts.

0800 hrs

4 Feb 42

Proceeded  KYAIKTO.

1130 hrs

KYAIKTO

Arrived at Rly Stn

0800 hrs

5 Feb 42

Bn proceeded THAYETBINGYI village, 4 miles from KYAIKTO.

1100 hrs

9 Feb 42

Comd Offr, Adjutant and Capt Busk met General WAVELL at Rly Stn.

1000 hrs

11 Feb 42

Returned to KYAIKTO from THAYETBINGYI, as situation had deteriorated.  Bn HQ established near Rly Stn.

1600 hrs

11 Feb 42

KYAIKTO

Coys occupied positions perimeter defences of KYAIKTO town.  remainder of perimeter was manned by 4/12 FFR[17]

 

12 Feb 42

Defences further constructed, strengthened and camouflaged

1000 hrs

14 Feb 42

DIV COMD[18] inspected defences.  Received urgent orders to move

2000 hrs

Entrained with HQ 2 Bde.  Destination NYAUNGLEBIN.

1000 hrs

15 Feb 42

NYAUNGLEBIN

Arrived.[19]  Jem[adar] Ba Tun, B Coy who was captured by the enemy at MOULMEIN and confined in the JAIL there, then escaped and again captured at PAAN rejoined.  Gave valuable information.

Draft of 130 men (mostly GURKHAS and KUMAONIS), 15 KARENS and some BURMANS from MANDALAY arrived.[20]

 

16 Feb 42

Orders received that 2 Bde to be L of C Tps [Line of Communications Tps] covering area NYAUNGLEBIN-PEGU.  Bn responsible for PALUNMYAUNG to Civil Subdivision South of SHWEGYIN.  Role to prevent enemy crossing River SITTANG river [sic] to be recced, all boats to be collected and moved to West Bank.

Bn reorganised as follows:-  Bn HQ, No 1 PL, 5 PL, 6 PL (Nos 2, 3 and 4 PLs absorbed in Rifle Coys), A Coy 2 PLs, B Coy 3 PLs, C Coy 3 PLs, and D Coy 3 PLs. Bn strength approx 450.

1 NCO and 6 Rfm [riflemen] sent to KYAIKTO as interpreters, to 17 DIV.

CO went on recce to SHWEGYIN with Bde Comd.

Detachments and patrols sent on recces of whole area.

 

17 Feb 42

N’BIN

B Coy occupied SHWEGYIN, C Coy MADAUK.

Dispositions of Bn:

SHWEGYIN – B Coy HQ and 2 Pls, DONZAYIT B Coy 1 Pl

MADAUK – C Coy HQ and 2 Pls, PAZUNMYAUNG C Coy 1 Pl

PYUNTAZA – A Coy 1 PL.

NYAUNGLEBIN – Bn less above.

One Coy 3 Burif returned from SHWEGYIN on relief by B Coy.

 

19 Feb 42

Patrols active over whole area.

 

20 Feb 42

Report from SHWEGYIN dett. that enemy arrived KAYWA.

 

21 Feb 42

N’BIN

Instructions issued to MR BOTT, manager, SHWEGYIN Rubber Estate concerning his getaway and destruction of plant if situation deteriorates.[21]

Whole area between N’BIN and DAIKU and SITTANG recced by A Coy.

 

22 Feb 42

Patrol activity.

 

23 Feb

Plan for 1 and 3 Burifs to take up posns on SITTANG South of this Bn cancelled.

Report received and confirmed from DONSAYIT that 400 enemy 7 miles East of DONSAYIT at AUKKYIN.

PL at DONZAYIT withdrawn from East to West Bank.

 

24 Feb

Capt DAGLISH with one PL as fighting patrol visited DONZAYIT.  Enemy arrived in force and they withdrew from DONZAYIT to SHWEGYIN up East Bank.  MR BOTT warned of developments.

 

25 Feb

Following prearranged plan B Coy to evacuate SHWEGYIN, 2 PLs to the North which would rejoin Bn at N’BIN and[?] PENWEGON remaining PL to cross to MADAUK

0300 hrs

26 Feb

Capt Daglish left SHWEGYIN.  Enemy advance forces arrived SHWEGYIN and established their HQ in Jail area.  Patrol activity other fronts

 

27 Feb

Patrol activity

 

28 Feb

Capt Daglish accompanied by Jem[adar] Ng Kyint[?] of 1 Burif crossed to East Bank at SHWEGYIN to show him area for a raid.

Patrol activity

1 PL A Coy at PYUNTAZA relieved by 1 Burif.

 

1 Mar 42

NYAUNGLEBIN

Patrol activity.  Bn sent further dets to SITTANG.

 

2 Mar 42

D Coy (less 1 PL) under comd Capt Daglish attacked SHWEGYIN.  Met heavy opposition and forced to withdraw to West bank after dawn.

1145 hrs

3 Mar 42

Concentrated bombing attack on NYAUNGLEBIN by 15 escorted enemy bombers.  Bombs straddled Bn area.  All central portion of town burned out.  This bombing had been preceded by fairly intense recce activity.

1800 hrs

3 Mar 42

NYAUNGLEBIN

Bn moved to THAYETKON, 2 miles North of NYAUNGLEBIN, at Mile 101/7 on Rangoon-Mandalay road.

 

4 Mar 42

THAYETKON

Our patrols continued activity.  Area between DALAZEIK and MADAUK patrolled daily by C Coy under Capt BUSK.

 

5 Mar 42 6 Mar 42

Patrols continued activity

 

7 Mar 42

Japs entered MADAUK but driven out by C Coy patrols.

 

8 Mar 42

Patrol activity.

 

9 Mar 42

Rfn Ba Than who was captured when Japs entered SHWEGYIN escaped and reported that there were 200 Japanese plus Burman traitors there, armed with Mortars and MGs.  Rfn Ba Than also gave the dispositions of these weapons.

2100 hrs

9 Mar 42

Bn moved cross-country to PAZUNMYAING.  Plans were completed for an attack on SHWEGYIN by 5/1 Punjab[22] supported by 7 Burif, on 11 Mar 42.

 

10 Mar 42

PAZUNMYAUNG

C Coy under CO established a bridgehead on the SITTANG River at WAING for 5/1 Punjabis who crossed over on night 10/11 Mar 42 at 0300 hrs.

 

11 Mar 42

D Coy under Major KYADOE left PAZUNMYAUNG to capture MADAUK.  His orders were to commence the attack after Air support at dawn.  No Air support materializing D Coy entered and occupied MADAUK at 0800 hrs.  All boats being on the East bank Maj KYADOE swam the SITTANG river under fire from the East bank and brought back a boat.  2 Pls were ferried over to the East bank, under strong covering fire and dispersed enemy.  They later joined with 5/1 Punjabis who had captured SHWEGYIN after a stiff fight.

 

12 Mar 42

Warning order received to withdraw from area.  Bn to hold Bridgehead at WAING and let 5/1 Punjabis through.  D Coy to remain at MADAUK as rear elements.  One Pl also to remain at DALAZEIK.

1930 hrs

12 Mar 42

Bn HQ, HQ Coy, A & B Coys left PAZUNMYAUNG on cross-country march North via DALAZEIK.

0430 hrs

13 Mar 42

Capt BUSK with 2 PLs C Coy left WAING.

0530 hrs

TAUNGKINSU

Bn less C and D Coys arrived and halted for the day.

0600 hrs

13 Mar 42

MADAUK

Maj KYADOE left with D Coy for DALAZEIK.

1030 hrs

TAUNGINSU

Capt BUSK with 2 pls C Coy arrived TAUNGGINSU[sic].

1930 hrs

Bn marched – destination KYAUKTAGA and main trunk road

0600 hrs

14 Mar 42

GONDE

Bn less D Coy and 1 Pl C Coy arrived GONDE[23] village.

0300 hrs

15 Mar 42

KYAUKSARIT

D Coy and 1 Pl C Coy arrived KYAUKSARIT.

2345 hrs

16 Mar 42

GONDE

D Coy and 1 Pl C Coy rejoined remainder Bn at GONDE

 

17 Mar 42

Bn in GONDE village.  1 Coy KACHINS under Capt D. Lincoln was war posted this Bn to replace Burman Coy which had been disposed of.  Their unit, 3 Burma Rifles had been previously disbanded.[24]  Approx 45 KARENS of 4 Burma Rifles under Capt F. MACDONALD also war posted as reinforcements to this unit.[25]

1800 hrs

Bn ordered to occupy a position on the PUN CHAUNG astride Main Road & Railway, Rangoon-Mandalay, just South GONDE

Bn worked all night digging positions.  During night Sappers blew up two Railway bridges.  Chinese Sappers after demolition work on road bridge left it still usable.

 

18 Mar 42

1 Bde passed through our positions between 0100 hrs and 0700 hrs, when last Tps through.

0800 hrs

Sappers constructed strong road block on bridge which had not been destroyed.

1030 hrs

Japanese column observed marching up road from South.

1145 hrs

18 Mar 42

C Coy under Capt BUSK opened fire on Japanese column at 200 yards range and caused heavy casualties.  Our Mortar and Arty fire opened up forthwith and added to the execution of this column which the remnant of which had taken cover in a piece of jungle East of the Road.  Our Mortar and Arty fire continued intermittently.

1530 hrs

Heavy Arty and Mortar fire by enemy cutting our Telephone comms at Bn HQ and killing remaining mules in GONDE village.  Enemy tried to get round our left flank but were beaten off by a counter attack and did not capture any of our positions.  One Sec C Coy on patrol was captured by enemy but escaped during the battle and subsequently rejoined the Bn.

1530 hrs

GONDE

Enemy opened up arty and mortar at intervals during the remainder of daylight.  On each occasion this was countered by our own arty & mortars.

1800 hrs

Orders received from Bde Comd when he visited to commence withdrawal at 2000 hrs.

Air support at 1820 hrs did not materialize.

2000 hrs

Bn closed down wireless and commenced withdrawal of fwd tps to North of KANUTKWIN.  Wireless comms with Bde HQ during this action was excellent.

2030 hrs

Bn heavily shelled during withdrawal but casualties light owing to dispersion.

0503 hrs

19 Mar 42

NYAUNG-CHIDAUK

Bn arrived after an all-night march, all ranks dead tired.

1100 hrs

19 Mar 42

Bn moved further 5 miles North to KYWEBWE where took up a defensive position astride the road.

2200 hrs

Bn moved by M.T. North of OKTWIN where arrived midnight.

1500 hrs

21 Mar 42

OKTWIN

Proceeded by march route through TOUNGOO to KYEDAW

1930 hrs

KYEDAW

Arrived at Rly Stn.

2130 hrs

 

TOUNGOO

Entrained at KYEDAW.  Receiving information that there were 6 waggons[sic] of ammo in TOUNGOO Rly Stn took train back there attached the waggons[sic] & proceeded NORTH.

0800 hrs

22 Mar 42

SWA

Arrived KYONGON 0630 hrs.  At SWA greatly delayed as engines had to be filled with water by hand.

1600 hrs

PYINMANA

Arrived Pyinmana Rly Stn.

0600 hrs

23 Mar 42

TAUNGDWINGYI

Arrived and halted at TAUNGDWINGYI.

Capt KIN MAUNG war-posted to 2 Bde HQ as addnl. I.O.[Intelligence Officer].  LT Kyaw Tun posted to charge of Div Rear Dump at YENANGYAUNG with remaining G.C.O.s and N.C.O.s of Burman classes.

1000 hrs

25 Mar 42

Moved by march route to BONGON village MS 277 about 5 miles South of TAUNGDWINGYI.

 

26 Mar 42

BONGON

Warning order received to proceed to PROME.

0800 hrs

27 Mar 42

BONGON

Moved SOUTH by M.T. leaving Capt BUSK with C Coy attached 1 Burdiv H.Q.[26]  This Coy rejoined Bn next day.

1400 hrs

27 Mar 42

ALLANMYO

Arrived and halted 2 miles North of ALLANMYO.

Orders received that 2 Bde would hold stocked area of ALLANMYO for 31 days.  Bn was allotted N. and N.E. part of perimeter and extensive digging and building of Dug-outs was put in hand.  As R.Innisks[27] had not arrived we were ordered to dig their position as well.

 

29 Mar 42

Defences strengthened & Bn HQ moved to Bn sector of perimeter.

 

30 Mar 42

Parties from Pioneer Bn attached to dig R.Innisks positions

 

31 Mar 42

R.Innisks took over their area.[28]

 

1 APR 42

ALLANMYO

New defence line established in Northern Sector

1100 hrs

2 APR 42

Warned to proceed THAYETMYO

1600 hrs

2 APR 42

Embarked[29] arriving THAYETMYO in camp area with all stores at 2400 hrs.

 

3 APR 42

THAYETMYO

Took up defensive posn South of Cement Works and sent out patrols.

 

4 Apr 42

Patrols to South.

1900 hrs

5 Apr 42

Moved with Bn as rearguard to Bde.  All buildings houses[sic] were destroyed in our area previous to withdrawal.

0700 hrs

6 Apr 42

LINGYAUNG

Arrived and halted during the day.

1900 hrs

Departed again by march route North.

0700 hrs

7 Apr 42

ALEYWA

Arrived and halted for the day.

1900 hrs

7 Apr 42

Departed by march route.

0700 hrs

8 Apr 42

LETPAN

Arrived and halted for the day.[30]

1900 hrs

Departed by march route.

0600 hrs

9 Apr 42

PEDAW

Arrived and halted for the day.

1800 hrs

Departed by march route.

1000 hrs

10 Apr 42

MALUN

Arrived and halted.  Took up posn South of Oil-tanks at MALUN and sent out patrols.

 

11 Apr 42

MALUN

1 PL B Coy sent back to PEDAW as Standing Patrol, communication established by Helio along line of River.  Positions at MALUN strengthened and 3 more long distance patrols sent out.

Enemy air activity intense.

 

12 Apr 42

Several small boats operating on the IRRAWADDY from the MIGYAUNGYE side were sunk by our Bren gun fire, during the days spent in this area.

 

13 Apr 42

Bn withdrew to posn 2 miles North on orders of Bde.  PEDAW patrol reported that enemy in considerable numbers were  crossing to the West Bank near PEDAW.

 

14 Apr 42

Large enemy column seen moving up the East Bank opposite our posns.  Reported to Bde.  Enemy shelled MINHLA from opposite bank during afternoon.

1500 hrs

Bn withdrew through MINHLA

0400 hrs

15 Apr 42

SEMIGON

Bn arrived and halted at village.  Coys occupied defensive position.  Further orders for Bde to cross from MINBU to MAGWE.

1300 hrs

Bn commenced march.  Intense air activity but no attack on our Tps.

1700 hrs

Arrived Jetty area.  Three enemy aircraft machine-gunned craft on river.

Bn less C Coy crossed IRRAWADDY river during night 15/16 Apr., together with Field Ambulance attached to Bde.

0900 hrs

16 Apr 42

MAGWE

Occupied Civil Police Lines.

1000 hrs

Received orders from 1 Burdiv HQ that this Bn was to form MAGFORCE with Cameronians under COL THOMAS, Comd Cameronians.[31]  Comd MAGFORCE[32] ordered this Bn to march to NATMAUK cross-roads[sic] on Magwe-Yenangyaung road.

1100 hrs

2nd-in-Command and QM departed in 11 lorries which had been given Bn with all stores etc to RV on road 10 miles North and prepare food for Bn.  This column just cleared town before road was blocked by flames.

1200 hrs

Bn marched bearing round towards West as road was blocked by flames.

1530 hrs

16 Apr 42

MAGWE

Arrived at Cross-roads and prepared a defensive position for the night on the left of the Cameronians.  Part of HQ Coy under comd Capt SAYNOR, Sig Offr failed to arrive at Cross roads.  It was subsequently discovered that Capt SAYNOR had gone direct to YENANGYAUNG where he and many of his men were CAPTURED by the enemy.[33]  En route isolated dumps of petrol were destroyed near MAGWE aerodrome.

No incident occurred during the night although the enemy were but 6 miles away at dusk.

2100 hrs

X ROADS

2nd-in-command returned and reported unable to produce rations for men owing to lack of water.  CO ordered him to proceed to YENANGYAUNG & cook food there and meet Bn on way next day during our march to YENAGYAUNG.

0600 hrs

17 Apr 42

Bn commenced withdrawal towards YENANGYAUNG by march route.  Heavy bombing at one place during the afternoon.  No rations arrived and it was later learnt that all our Tpt had been captured by the enemy in YENANGYAUNG and burnt.  There was little or no water on the Magwe-Yenangyaung road and Tps suffered badly from thirst.

1700 hrs

NYAUNGHLA

Arrived.  Bn to hold a position South of NYAUNGHLA for the night near the Irrawaddy river, and to attack through YENANGYAUNG with Cameronians starting at dawn.  No rations yet available for Tps but plenty of water from river.

0630 hrs

18 Apr 42

MAGFORCE started attack. Scheme – Cameronians to take first bound to NYAUNGHLA ridge and this Bn to go through

0800 hrs

Bn in passing through Cameronians met by heavy MG fire from enemy established in trees and houses and in trenches.  Capt MACDONALD comdg B Coy on the left was killed in the initial stages.[34]  Several of his Coy were killed at the same time.

A Coy under Capt LINCOLN[35] was successful in a slow advance for a considerable distance on the Right, although suffering casualties.  Meantime D Coy under Capt DAGLISH was put in to turn enemy on left but was repulsed with considerable casualties.  Later with Tank support[36] Cameronians put in an attack on this flank but again without success.

0800 hrs

18 Apr 42

NYAUNGHLA

Meantime Capt O.W. PO made a gallant attempt to clear a nest of enemy MG and snipers which was doing most to hold up on the left.  He crept up with hand grenades but unfortunately was seriously wounded.

At about 1330 hrs A Coy was held up on the Right.  1 Pl of C Coy (Gurkhas) under Sub[edar] BAGIMAN LIMBU was put in to take the Ridge.  This officer showing great initiative took his Pl on an encircling movement and attacked the enemy on the Ridge from a flank under covering Mortar fire from HQ.  Although he had 4 men killed he pushed on to his objective, and drove the enemy from a house and compound they were holding.  He was then held up by heavy enemy fire from enemy’s centre.

1500 hrs

18 Apr 42

As casualties continued to be heavy from enemy Arty and MG, orders were received to withdraw East of YENANGYAUNG town, this Bn covering initial withdrawal of Cameronians.

Bn then joined up with 1 Burdiv and 1 Bde and took up a defensive position for the night.0600 hrs

0600 hrs

19 Apr 42

YENANGYAUNG

Before dawn heavy MG and mortar fire opened up on our positions inside the perimeter.  The enemy was unsuccessful in this attack and was driven off by well-directed Bren and Mortar fire and forced to retire to some hills about 1000 yards distant.  Further mortar fire on this ridge was particularly successful.  We suffered some casualties during the morning.  The day was very hot and lack of water caused considerable distress.

1430 hrs

On receipt of orders Bn commenced withdrawal towards the East across the hills.  This was successfully accomplished though we came under MG fire in a village near the PIN CHAUNG.  Casualties to Bn here were uncertain owing to dispersion.  Joined YENANYAUNG-KYAUKPADAUNG road and proceeded to RV at M/2 376, where some cooking pots were collected and Bn had its first meal in four days.  Morale of the men continued good however, no single complaint ever having been made.

 

1430 hrs

19 Apr 42

YENANGYAUNG

Approx casualties to Bn during this period in MAGFORCE was 1 BO “killed in action”, 1 BO captured “POW”, 1 BO “wounded in action”, 42 BAORs “missing believed POW”, 12 BAORs “killed in action”, 15 BAORs “missing”.

Bn rested in this area under orders to move further North at short notice.

0100

21 Apr 42

YENANGYAUNG-KYAUKPADAUNG Road

Bn embussed in M.T. all in one column

0500

POPA

Arrived POPALON.  MAGFORCE ceasing to be we became Div Tps [1st Burma Infantry Division].

 

22 Apr 42

Halt

1830 hrs

23 Apr 42

Embussed

2200 hrs

Arrived TAUNGTHA village.

 

24 Apr 42

TAUNGTHA

21 men of Bn went down with CHOLERA of which 17 subsequently died.  CO interviewed[?] Div Comd who ordered Bn to MYINGYAN.

 

26 Apr 42

MYINGYAN

Bn took over security of Jail. At a conference of Burma Rifle COs, it was decided that Bns with indigenous classes should be withdrawn from front line but that this Bn should remain as a Bn of Gurkha and Kumaoni classes.  CO informed G.O.C. that he did not wish to lose his KARENS & KACHINS who had fought magnificently and during whole campaign only 18 Karens had deserted – these mostly Hill Karens when we were on the edge of their own country.  However GOC ruled that these should go back with 1 Burif.  Maj LINCOLN was detailed to proceed with these.  Bren and Tommy guns of these Karens and Kachins were handed over to 1 Bde.

 

27 Apr 42

Orders received that Bn come under Comd 13 Bde.

2300 hrs

After releasing prisoners in Jail as ordered Bn proceeded by march route with bullock cart Tpt to SAMEIKON on Irrawaddy river.

0900 hrs

28 Apr 42

SAMEIKON

Bn arrived and was ferried across IRRAWADDY almost immediately.

Halted at village 1 mile North of North bank.

 

29 Apr 42

 

Halt

1830 hrs

30 Apr 42

 

Bn proceeded by march route towards main SAGAING-MONYWA road.

2400 hrs

 

Arrived NGALONDIN village

 

 

 

 

0900 hrs

1 May 42

NGALONDIN

Bn received orders to march to CHAUNG-U as news received that enemy were in MONYWA.  Bn detailed to protect Bde Transport, strength of Bn at this stage after departure of Karens and Kachins being no more than 200.

1600 hrs

CHAUNG-U

Arrived at CHAUNG-U on main SAGAING-MONYWA road.

0700 hrs

2 May 42

Moved with whole of Bde Tpt in direction of MONYWA..

 

 

 

 

1100 hrs

2 May 42

Road M/S 29

Heavily bombed for ½ hr by enemy dive bombers when in villages astride the road.  Damage to bullock carts & stores due to fire started by bombing.  Big losses also in bullocks.  Tpt of 5/1 Punjab suffered most.

1700 hrs

Verbal instructions from Div Comd to try and get Tpt North of MONYWA.  Bn collected wounded in 60 bullock carts by abandoning bedding etc in the carts

1800 hrs

Heavily dive bombed for ½ hour causing casualties men & animals.

1830 hrs

Bn with Bde Tpt and wounded set off across country passing through PEDAW, 3 miles East of MONYWA.

0900 hrs

3 May 42

ALON

Arrived and halted.  Intense enemy air recce activity.

1300 hrs

Departed by route march North.

1600 hrs

BUDALIN

Arrived using one truck for ferrying by stages.

0300 hrs

4 May 42

Departed by route march.

1600 hrs

YE-U

Arrived and took up position on road-block on YEU[sic]-MONYWA road owing to likelihood of enemy tanks coming towards YE-U.

0600 hrs

5 May 42

Proceeded by march route to KADUMA but took up defensive position on CHAUNG about 3 miles South of that place, where arrived at dusk.

1500 hrs

6 May 42

KADUMA

Marched through KADUMA.

 

 

 

 

1930 hrs

6 May 42

KADUMA

Together with R.Innisks Bn departed 15 men to a Tank on journey towards SHWEGYIN.

1500 hrs

7 May 42

 

Arrived about 10 miles from SHWEGYIN by Tanks after a 20 hour journey with no halts for food etc

1800 hrs

 

Took up a defensive position, but marched a further 5 miles that night.

1400 hrs

8 May 42

 

Marched to SHWEGYIN and were ferried across CHINDWIN to KALEWA on night 8/9 May 42.

0700 hrs

9 May 42

KALEWA

Arrived at 4.3 M/S beyond KALEWA and halted for the day.

2200 hrs

Proceeded by march route to INBAUNG.

0700 hrs

10 May 42

Arrived INBAUNG and halted.

 

11 May 42

INBAUNG

Halted here for 4 days as enemy were reported in KALEWA and 13 Bde now temporarily in 17 Div.

Patrolling towards hills on West.

1900 hrs

14 May 42

Proceeded to YESAGYO as Adv Gd to Bde

0100 hrs

15 May 42

YESAGYO

Arrived and halted.

1300 hrs

Bn proceeded to MINTHAMI, remainder of Bde to WITOK.  This move by M.T.

1900 hrs

MINTHAMI

Arrived at MINTHAMI.  Role of Bn to block passes running East-West from KINDAT on the CHINDWIN river to MINTHAMI.  All villages in the neighbourhood were evacuated.  Guides were therefore not available and attempts to find the pass that night proved futile so a standing patrol was established to prevent enemy infiltration on to road from East.

0600 hrs

16 May 42

Further recce for pass.  Many such paths were found.  Villagers of MINTHAMI were found camped in deep jungle.  These villagers proved very helpful when reassured, providing guides and offering to feed entire Bn.

1200 hrs

Track MINTHAMI - KINDAT

Ambush position taken up on top of pass to destroy any enemy approaching from CHINDWIN river.

1800 hrs

Bn withdrew on orders to WITOK.

2330 hrs

16 May 42

WITOK

Arrived.  A hard day for Tps who had been ceaselessly on the move.  Received orders to proceed at 0400 hrs to PANTHA a further 6 miles.

0700 hrs

17 May 42

PANTHA

Arrived

1500 hrs

Departed by route march through TAMU to concentration area 3 miles beyond.

0130 hrs

18 May 42

TAMU

Departed, marching by bridle-path.

1000 hrs

LOGCHAU

Arrived

1200 hrs

Departed in MT for PALEL.

1730 hrs

PALEL

Arrived and halted for 2 days.

1000 hrs

20 May 42

Departed in very heavy rain for IMPHAL.

1230 hrs

IMPHAL

Arrived and occupied quarters near Jail.

1000 hrs

23 May 42

Moved to village huts in North of town.  Bn stayed in IMPHAL for remainder of month.[37]  All ranks received a limited issue of clothing.  Sickness due to malaria, fairly heavy at first was quickly brought under control.

Following officers present:- Lt.Col E.D.McCarthy, Major D.R.A. McCorkell, and Capt M.E. Busk all of whom had fought through whole campaign.  Capt San Baw[38] who had joined Bn from a Course in India on 21 Mar 42 was also present.  Capt J. Daglish had been evacuated sick from INBAUNG on 12 May 42.  These were the only BOs left on the active strength of the Bn.  Present strength in ORs was approx 200.

 



[1] Julian Daglish, born, 19th September 1916.  Travelled to Burma on S.S. "Henderson" to take up post of Police Probationer, sailed from Liverpool, 29th October 1937.  Became Officer On Probation, Police, Pakokku, 30th October 1937.  Appointed 2nd Lieutenant ABRO (ABRO 102), 1st November 1940.  Served with the 7th (Burma Police) Battalion, The Burma Rifles, December 1940 to 30th September 1942.  Promoted war substantive Lieutenant, temporary Captain, 1st October 1941.  Promoted to Lieutenant, 1st May 1942.  Served with the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment when the 7th Battalion, The Burma Regiment was disbanded to form the new battalion, 1st October 1942.  As Lieutenant, war substantive Captain, attached to CAS(B) (Civil Affairs Service, Burma) as Civil Affairs Officer, attached to the 20th Indian Infantry Division, 16th February 1945 to 13th May 1945.  Assistant Superintendent of Police, Northern Shan States, 1946.  Appointed Commandant, Northern Shan States Frontier Constabulary, 1946?.  As Captain, The Burma Regiment, mentioned in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Burma, gazetted, 10th January 1946.  As Captain, The Burma Regiment, awarded the MBE ‘in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Burma’, 17th January 1946.  Relinquished commission and granted the honorary rank of Major, 20th January 1946.   District Superintendent of Police, Burma, 1946.  Died, 23rd March 2006  (ancestry.co.uk; Burma Army List 1943; London Gazette; Ontario Genealogical Society- www.ogs.on.ca; WO 373/81/228).

Extract from Major Daglish’s Obituary:

‘DAGLISH, Major  Julian, M.B.E. 
Peacefully at St. Heliers Hospital, London, England on March 23, 2006 in his 90th year. Major Julian DAGLISH, M.B.E., was born September 19, 1916 in Garston, County of Liverpool, England. He was one of six children born to marine engineer, George Grant DAGLISH and his wife Lucy Elizabeth DAGLISH (formerly MacDONALD.) Mr.DAGLISH's career path took him into the military and he became a Second Lieutenant with the 7th (Burma Police) The Burma Rifles, stationed in Burma, which is now known as Myanmar. Eventually, Mr. DAGLISH was appointed Commandant, Northern Shan States Frontier Constabulary, a jurisdiction which covered the four main substates of North Hsenwi, South Hsenwi, Manglun and Kokang.  While stationed in Lashio, Burma, Mr. DAGLISH met his bride-to-be, Nancy at the funeral of her father, Sao Naw Mong (Sao Song) in 1945 in nearby Mongyai, Sao Now Mong was the Sabwa (chief) of Hsenwi State. Mr. DAGLISH married Nancy (Sao Sein Nyunt) on December 23, 1946. At that time, he was District Superintendent of Police, Burma. Mr. And Mrs. DAGLISH moved to England in 1952, at first living in Liverpool and then moving to Wimbledon Park, London. For his distinguished military service, Mr. DAGLISH - then a captain - received the honour of Member of the Military Division of the Order of the British Empire (M.B.E.). He was congratulated on his M.B.E. by King George The Sixth. Among other medals received by Mr. DAGLISH are two defence medals, as well as The Burma Star and the 1939-1945 Star. Mr. DAGLISH was a member of the Royal Over-Seas League, The Victory Services Club, and The British-Burma Society. He supported many organizations including The Indian Police (United Kingdom) Association; The Worshipful Company of Paviors. He was an active supporter of arts and cultural organizations. After his retirement from the military, Mr. DAGLISH worked as an accountant until he retired to further enjoy his interest in arts, travel and genealogy.

(Ontario Genealogical Society- www.ogs.on.ca)

[2] Ba Aye, appointed 2nd Lt, ABRO (ABRO 105), 1st November 1940.  Possibly an Officer on probation, Police, Mandalay in 1939.  Relinquished commission 20th January 1946 and granted the rank of honorary Captain (www.angloburmeselibrary.com/the-war-against-japan.html; London Gazette).

[3] BAOR – Burma Army Other Rank – non-British soldiers.

[4] Eugene Daniel McCarthy born, 29th July 1893.  Served with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, 1st January 1917.  In the ranks British Army for two years and 87 days, appointed temporary 2nd. Lt, Royal Welch Fusiliers from Cadet, 11th March 1917 to 10th December 1917.  Temporary 2nd Lt. as probationer on appointment to the Indian Army, 6th November 1917.  Commissioned as 2nd Lt., 22nd November 1917, with seniority from 11th December 1917.  Attached to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Pioneers (Kelat-i-Ghilzie) as Company officer and Quartermaster, from 28th November 1917.  Appointed to the Indian Army as 2nd Lt. (AI 172), 11th December 1917.  Appointment to the Indian Army confirmed, 22nd November 1918.  Promoted to Lieutenant , 11th December 1918.  Served Afghanistan, N.W.Frontier, 1919.  Promoted to Captain, 10th November 1922.  Attached to the 10th Baluch Regiment from 13th March 1923.  Awarded the O.B.E., gazetted, 3rd June 1924.  Served North West Frontier of India, 1930.  Served Burma (Saya San Rebellion), 1930-32.  Awarded the King’s Police Medal, gazetted, 2nd January 1933.  Promoted to Major, 10th November 1935.  Commandant, the 1st Rangoon Battalion, Burma Military Police from 11th November 1935.  Served with the 16th Punjab Regiment, 1st April 1938 to 10th October 1939.  As Major, Indian Army, transferred to the Semi-Effective List, 11th October 1939.  As Major, Indian Army, transferred to the Semi-Effective List, 6th April 1940.  As Major (temporary Lt. Colonel) appointed Commanding Officer, the 7th (Burma Police) Battalion, The Burma Rifles, 1st November 1940.  Appointed Temporary Lt. Colonel, 1st February 1941.  Awarded the Distinguished Service Order, gazetted, 28th October 1942, for which the citation reads:

Unit:       7 Burma Rifles

Date, time and place:         MOULMEIN.  30 – 31 Jan ’42.

Action for which recommended :-   During the action 30/31 Jan this officer commanding his battalion with great skill and indomitable energy.  His battalion was engaged in street fighting and it was largely owing to his coolness and disregard for danger that the Northern jetties were not overrun, which if it had happened would have meant very severe losses for the garris           

Recommended by:             Commander, 2 [Burma] Inf Bde. [Brig. A.J.H. Bourke]

Signed By:            J.G. Smyth, Maj Gen, Comd, 17 Indiv; L.J. Hutton, Lt. Gen [GOC Army in Burma]

Promoted from Major (Temporary Lt. Colonel) to Lt. Colonel, 10th November 1943.  As Major, Indian Army, ‘restored to full pay’, 1st November 1940, gazetted, 5th May 1944.  Officer Commanding, Burma Regimental Centre, 1946?  As Lt. Colonel, Indian Army (13891), retired with honorary rank of Colonel, 12th April 1947.  Died, 24th October 1968 (“War Services of British and Indian Officers of the Indian Army 1941”, Savannah (2004); British Army List; London Gazette; Indian Army List; Indian Army List 1919; War diary 2nd Burma Regiment, WO 172/10320; WO 373/30/160).

[5] Ponuke Henson Kyadoe, born 21st November 1907.  Commissioned into the Indian Army as 2nd Lt. on the Unattached List, 1st September 1932.  Promoted to Lieutenant, 4th November 1933, to Captain, 21st May 1937, and to Temporary Major, 1st April 1941.  As temporary Major (96 AI), promoted to Major, 21st May 1945 (London Gazette; British Army List).

[6] Hugh Michael Lilley, born 1916.  Assistant Superintendent of Police, appointed 2nd Lt. ABRO (ABRO 100), 1st November 1940.  As Captain, ‘C’ Company, 7th Burma Rifles, killed 1st February 1942, aged 26.  ‘The son of: Mr and Mrs A.E.V. Lilley, of Leamington Spa.  Promoted to Major from Captain, acting as Assistant Superintendent of Police when he was killed in action against the Japanese near the Sittang River.’ (www.angloburmeselibrary.com/the-war-against-japan.html; Commonwealth War Graves Commission; The Leamington Observer).

[7] 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).

[8] Possibly Kin or Khin Maung, appointed 2nd Lt., ABRO, 1st November 1940.  Possibly Khin Maung, Sub-Divisional Police Officer, Bassein in 1939 (www.angloburmeselibrary.com/the-war-against-japan.html;London Gazette).

[9] Kyaw Myint, appointed 2nd Lt., ABRO, 1st November 1940.  Possibly as Civil Engineer, Glasgow, became a naturalised British Citizen, 20th September 1965  (www.angloburmeselibrary.com/the-war-against-japan.html; London Gazette).

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

[11] Eric Bertram Saynor (189646), as a Cadet appointed from O.C.T.U. to 2nd Lt. 28th April 1941, General List, Regular Army Emergency Commission.  As Captain, killed 17th April 1942, aged 32 (London Gazette; Commonwealth War Graves Commission).

[12] Orville Wright Po appointed 2nd Lt., ABRO 1st November 1940.  As Lieutenant (acting Captain), mentioned in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Burma during the period December 1941 to May,1942, 28th October 1942 (www.angloburmeselibrary.com/the-war-against-japan.html; London Gazette).

[13] Kyaw Tun, Appointed 2nd Lt, ABRO Emergency Commission, 28th April 1941, promoted Lieutenant 28th October 1942. Relinquished commission 15th December 1945 (London Gazette).

[14] The actions described took place a day earlier than described here.  The Japanese attack on Moulmein began on the morning of 30th January 1942 and the withdrawal was completed the next day, 31st January (Indian Armed Forces in World War II, The Retreat from Burma 1941-42).

[15] The defence of Moulmein was commanded by the 2nd Burma Brigade, of which the 7th Burma Rifles formed a part on arrival in Moulmein on 21st January 1942 (Indian Armed Forces in World War II, The Retreat from Burma 1941-42).

[16] See note 6 above.

[17] 4th Battalion, 12th Frontier Force Regiment.

[18] 17th Indian Infantry Division, to which the 2nd Burma Brigade was under command.

[19] At this point, the 2nd Burma Brigade came under the command of the 1st Burma Infantry Division.

[20] The 9th Burma Rifles returned 27 stragglers to 7 Burif between 9th and 12th February 1942, followed by a draft of 107 BAORs on 15th February 1942 (War Diary 9th Burma Rifles, WO 172/981(http://www.rothwell.force9.co.uk/burmaweb/WO_172_981.htm)).

[21] John Richard Elton Bott (Elton-Bott), born 1881.  Qualified as a Civil Engineer and also an Architect, left England in 1901 for Burma.  Manager of a rubber plantation at Shwegyin from 1901 until 1942.  Joined the trek out of Burma and reached India on 29th May 1942.  Exhausted by his ordeal, he died in Calcutta on 10th June 1942 (http://www.genealogy.com/genealogy/users/e/l/t/Errol-Eltonbott/index.html; www.angloburmeselibrary.com/the-war-against-japan.html).

[22] The 5th Battalion, 1st Punjab Regiment.

[23] Between Pyu and Kyauktaga, South of Toungoo.

[24] See War Diary of the 3rd Burma Rifles, WO 172/976 at www.rothwell.force9.co.uk/burmaweb/WO_172_976.htm.

[25] See War Diary of the 4th Burma Rifles, WO 172/977 at www.rothwell.force9.co.uk/burmaweb/WO_172_977.htm.

[26] The 1st Burma Infantry Division, of which the 2nd Burma Brigade and the 7th Burma Rifles formed a part at this time.

[27] The 1st Battalion, The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.  Flew in from India as reinforcements between 9th and 14th March 1942.  By 19th March, the battalion was concentrated in the Prome area under command of 63rd Indian Infantry Brigade, 17th Indian Infantry Division.  The battalion was not placed under command of the 1st Burma Infantry Division until 30th March, after having escaped near disaster at Shwedaung.  The battalion did not reach Allanmyo until midday on 2nd April 1942 (War Diary of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, WO 172/863; see http://www.rothwell.force9.co.uk/burmaweb/1stInniskillings.htm).

[28] See Note 27 above.

[29] Thayetmyo is on the West bank of the Irrawaddy River, the 7th Burma Rifles crossing the river at this point to join up with the 2nd Burma Brigade which had been responsible for the defence of  the West bank for some time.  The Brigade was now detached from the 1st Burma Infantry division and came under the direct control of the 1st Burma Corps (‘Burcorps’) (Indian Armed Forces in World War II, The Retreat from Burma 1941-42).

[30] 2ndLt. Zaw Win, 7th Burma Rifles, was attached to the 14th Burma Rifles for light duties on 8th April 1942.  In 1939, Burma Police, Officer on probation, Shwebo.  Commissioned 2ndLt., ABRO, 1st November 1940 (War Diary 14th Burma Rifles, WO 172/986; (http://www.rothwell.force9.co.uk/burmaweb/WO_172_986.htm); London Gazette; www.angloburmeselibrary.com/the-war-against-japan.html ).

[31] The 1st Battalion, The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles).

[32] ‘Magforce’, was formed on 14th April 1942 at Magwe as 1st Burma Infantry Division reserve and consisted of: 5th Mountain Battery, Indian Artillery; 1st Cameronians; 7th Burma Rifles (from 16th April); 12th Burma Rifles. It covered the division’s withdrawal to Kadaung Chaung on 16th April and was involved in the severe action on the 18th April at Nyaunghla, outside Yenangyaung where 1st Cameronians took heavy casualties.  It was dispersed on the afternoon of the 18th April at Twingon (‘Loyalty & Honour’, The Indian Army September 1939-August 1947, Part III; Indian Armed Forces in World War II, The Retreat from Burma 1941-42).

[33] See Note 11 above.

[34] Ferguson MacDonald.  Commissioned from cadet to the General List as 2ndLt. (189613), 28th April 1941.  War substantive Lieutenant, 22nd December 1941.  Temporary Captain, 22nd December 1941.  Attached Burma Rifles, died, age 28, on 18th April 1942.  Captain MacDonald had been a company commander with the 4th Burma Rifles and his company subsequently became attached to the 7th Burma Rifles – see entry for 17th March 1942 above. (British Army List; London Gazette; Commonwealth War Graves Commission).

[35] Dudley Cecil Lincoln born, 6th August 1913.  Commissioned as 2nd Lt., (56736), Royal Ulster Rifles, 31st August 1933.  Promoted to Lieutenant, 31st August 1936.  Seconded for service with the Burma Defence Force, 13th March 1938.  Promoted to Captain, 17th March 1938.  Appointed to the 3rd Battalion, The Burma Rifles, 17th March 1938.  Adjutant, the 3rd Battalion, The Burma Rifles from 4th May 1939.  Detached from the 3rd Battalion, The Burma Rifles on or shortly after, 19th February 1942.  Company Commander of a Kachin Company, formerly belonging to the 3rd Battalion, The Burma Rifles, war-posted to the 7th (Police) Battalion, The Burma Rifles, 17th March 1942.  Commander, "A" Company, 7th (Police) Battalion, The Burma Rifles, 18th April 1942.  As temporary/acting Major, commanded Karens and Kachins detached from the 7th (Police) Battalion, The Burma Rifles, and withdrawn from front line duty, Myingyan, 26th April 1942.  Promoted to Major, 31st August 1946.  Promoted to Lt. Colonel, 1st January 1956.  Retired from the Regular Army on retired pay, 19th August 1958  (British Army List; Indian Army List; London Gazette; War Diary 3rd Burma Rifles, WO 172/974 (http://www.rothwell.force9.co.uk/burmaweb/WO_172_976.htm); War Diary 7th Burma Rifles, WO 172/979 (http://www.rothwell.force9.co.uk/burmaweb/WO_172_979.htm)).

[36] ‘A’ Squadron, 2nd Royal Tank Regiment (Indian Armed Forces in World War II, The Retreat from Burma 1941-42).

[37] Together with the 8th Burma Rifles, the battalion left the camp at MS 109 on the Imphal-Dimapur Road on 24th June 1942 for Ranchi., via Kohima and Dimapur.  At Dimapur the two battalions boarded a special train for Ranchi via Lumding, Badapur, Akhura and Chandpur.  At Chandpur the battalions boarded the steamer ‘Pegu’ and proceeded up river to Goalundo where another special train was boarded for the final leg to Ranchi.

The 7th and 8th Battalions Burma Rifles had been formed from Gurkha and Indian members of the Burma Frontier Force and Military Police in 1940 to speed the expansion of the Burma Rifles given the growing threat of war with Japan (check). On arrival in India after the retreat the 7th Battalion had about 300 men, mostly Gurkhas and Kumaonis formerly of the Burma Military Police and the 8th Battalion about 400 men, Punjabi Mussalmen and Sikhs formerly of the Burma Frontier Force.  GHQ India proposed amalgamating the two battalions and the new unit was expected to then serve as a regular infantry battalion in an Indian division.  The Government of Burma were uncomfortable with this and preferred to see the men returned to the Burma Frontier Force and Burma Military Police pool.  Despite an initial intention to retain the identities of these battalions, in the end the men were formed into the 1st Battalion, Burma Regiment (War Diary 8th Burma Rifles, WO 172/980 (http://www.rothwell.force9.co.uk/burmaweb/WO_172_980.htm);  British Library India Office Records L.WS.1.1313).

[38] Henry San Baw, appointed 2nd Lt. ABRO, 26th October 1941.  Relinquished commission with the honorary rank of Captain, 20th January 1946 (www.angloburmeselibrary.com/the-war-against-japan.html; London Gazette).