The Burma Campaign

[Transcribed from National Archives File WO 172/982, War Diary 10th Burma Rifles by:  Steve Rothwell - The Burma Campaign web site.]

 

W A R   D I A R Y

10th Burma Rifles

 

Hour, Date, Place.

Summary of Events & Information.

1 Jan. 42

Maymyo

22 Gurkha Recruits arrived from 7 Burif.

2 Jan. 42

2/Lieut. MAUNG MAUNG GALE[1] reported arrival from P.T. Courses, AMBALA.

2 Jan. 42

2 Karen Recruits arrived.

3 Jan. 42

6 Karen Recruits arrived.

7 Jan. 42

4 Karen                  

9 Jan. 42

2 Karen and 1 Kumaoni recruits arrived.

10 Jan. 42

3 Kumaonis, 6 Karen, 1 Burmese and 1 Gurkha recruits arrived.

12 Jan. 42

9 Karen, and 4 Kumaoni recruits arrived.

16 Jan. 42

1 Gurkha recruit arrived.

17 Jan. 42

3                            

20 Jan. 42

1 Chin                     

21 Jan. 42

4 Gurkha, 1 Clerk, 7 Karen, and 1 Chin recruits arrived.

22 Jan. 42

1 Gurkha, 2 Karen, and 4 Burmese recruits arrived.

23 Jan. 42

1 Chin recruit arrived.

26 Jan. 42

3 B.A.O.Rs., and one follower having lost touch with 4 Burif in Kawkraik[sic - Kawkareik] area reported here.

27 Jan. 42

3 B.A.O.Rs., and one follower of 4 Burif returned to 4 Burif.

28 Jan. 42

93 trained recruits were attested by the Commandant.

29 Jan. 42

4 B.A.O.Rs., of 6 Burif reported here under B.M.P. escort.

30 Jan. 42

4 --------------do--------- sent to Moulmein under B.M.P. escort.

31 Jan. 42

A draft of 119 B.A.O.Rs. (consisting of 114 Re-inforcements and 2 Hosp. cases from 5 Burif and 3 Hosp. cases from 6 Burif. -119) was despatched to 9 Burif.

31 Jan. 42

Capt. J.C.HOME[2] proceeded to attend a Staff College Course, at QUETTA.

 

 

 

 

 

[Note:  all line entries in the diary are signed “P.C. Buchanan  Capt.”[3]]

 

 

 

 

 

 

No AS/1/412

 

L.E. Lintott[4]

MAYMYO

Original Copy   }
                             }   To;-  H.Q., 2nd Echelon (Burma),


Lt-Col.

1 Feb. 42

Duplicate Copy }                             RANGOON.

Comd.,   10 Burif.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Feb 42.

Maymyo

2/Lieut T.G.C. MURRAY[5] appointed Coy Comd (“A” Coy) vice Capt J.C. HOME proceeded to Staff College, Quetta.

1 Feb 42.

1 Gurkha recruit enrolled and posted to this Bn.

2 Feb 42.

2 Gurkha recruits enrolled and posted to this Bn.

3 Feb 42.

1 B.A.O.R. of 6 Burif reported arrival from Mingaladon.

3 Feb 42.

7 Karen recruits enrolled and posted to this Bn.

4 Feb 42.

1 Kumaoni recruit enrolled and posted to this Bn.

5 Feb 42.

4 B.A.O.Rs of 4 Burif reported arrival from Field Area.

5 Feb 42.

4 B.A.O.Rs of 6 Burif reported arrival from Mingaladon on completion of Bren Gun Course.

6 Feb 42.

1 B.A.O.R. of 2 Burif reported arrival from Mingaladon.

7 Feb 42.

2/Lieut D.G.A. O’CONNOR[6] transferred to 2 Burif.

7 Feb 42.

5 B.A.O.Rs. of 6 Burif reported their arrival.

7 Feb 42.

17 Chin recruits enrolled and posted to this Bn.

8 Feb 42.

Maymyo

12 Kachin recruits enrolled and posted to this Bn.

9 Feb 42.

1 B.A.O.R. of 8 Burif reported arrival on discharge from I.G.H. [Indian general Hospital], Maymyo.

9 Feb 42.

7 B.A.O.Rs. of 6 Burif reported their arrival.

10 Feb 42.

No.11772 Rfn MG SHEIN tried by Summary Court Martial for desertion, sentenced one year R.I. and dismissed.

11 Feb 42.

2 B.A.O.Rs. of 4 Burif proceeded to join their Bn.

11 Feb 42.

1 Karen recruit enrolled and posted to this Bn.

12 Feb 42.

Jem[adar] SAMANA SHARMA and orderly, 7 Burif proceed to join their Bn.

12 Feb 42.

1 Syce[7] of 6 Burif reported his arrival from Field Area.

13 Feb 42.

1 Karen and 5 Burmese recruits enrolled and posted to this Bn.

14 Feb 42.

2 B.A.O.Rs. and 1 Syce of 6 Burif reported arrival.

14 Feb 42.

7 Burmese recruits enrolled and posted to this Bn.

16 Feb 42.

Jem[adar] SUAK THUAMA and 1 B.A.O.R. of 6 Burif reported arrival.

16 Feb 42.

5 Syces of 6 Burif reported arrival.

16 Feb 42.

1 Karen and 3 Burmese recruits enrolled and posted to this Bn.

17 Feb 42.

3 N.C.Os attached Burma Field Security Section.

17 Feb 42.

4 Burmese and 4 Karen recruits enrolled and posted to this Bn.

19 Feb 42.

Capt Rogers[8], 3 G.C.Os and 37 B.A.O.Rs. depot 3 Burif reported arrival.

19 Feb 42.

Jem[adar] LLOYD MAY U and 12 B.A.O.Rs, 3 Burif reported arrival for attachment to this Bn.

20 Feb 42.

2 B.A.O.Rs, 8 Burif transferred to 9 Burif.

20 Feb 42.

1 B.A.O.R., 2 Burif reported arrival.

22 Feb 42.

2 B.A.O.Rs. of 8 Burif reported arrival.

22 Feb 42.

Air Raid – Stedman Lines Area, Vet. Hosp., A.T. Coy Lines, and A.H.Q. Area bombed.  Electric, Telephone and Watermains [sic] damaged.  1 B.A.O.R. and 3 Followers killed.

22 Feb 42.

32 Kachin recruits enrolled and posted to this Bn.

23 Feb 42.

Jem SUAK THUAMA and 18 B.A.O.Rs. and 2 Syces proceeded to join 6 Burif at Mandalay.

23 Feb 42.

Maymyo

169 recruits attested.

23 Feb 42.

Air Raid Warning sounded – No enemy planes appeared.

24 Feb 42.

Jem ABDULLA KHAN and 5 B.A.O.Rs, 2 Followers, 12 Burif reported arrival to form Depot.

24 Feb 42.

2 B.A.O.Rs. of 4 Burif reported arrival from the Field.

24 Feb 42.

Air Raid Warning sounded – No enemy planes appeared.

25 Feb 42.

4 B.A.O.Rs. of 4 Burif reported arrival from the Field.

25 Feb 42.

Air Raid Warning sounded – No enemy planes appeared.

26 Feb 42.

Jem HABIB ALI and 1 B.A.O.R., 8 Burif reported arrival.

26 Feb 42.

20 B.A.O.Rs. of 4 Burif reported arrival from the Field.

26 Feb 42.

Air Raid Warning sounded – No enemy planes appeared.

27 Feb 42.

34 B.A.O.Rs. of 3 Burif reported arrival from the Field.

27 Feb 42.

16 B.A.O.Rs. of 4 Burif reported arrival from the Field.

27 Feb 42.

Air Raid Warning sounded – No enemy planes appeared.

27 Feb 42.

2 Burmese recruits enrolled and posted to this Bn.

28 Feb 42.

4 B.A.O.Rs. of 3 Burif proceeded to join their Bn at Pegu.

28 Feb 42.

3 B.A.O.Rs. of 2 Burif reported their arrival.

28 Feb 42.

Air Raid Warning sounded – No enemy planes appeared.

28 Feb 42.

3 Burmese recruits enrolled and posted to this Bn.

[9] [10]

 

 

No AS/1/413

L.E. Lintott

MAYMYO

Original Copy   }
                             }   To;-  H.Q., 2nd Echelon (Burma),


Lt-Col.

 

Duplicate Copy }                             RANGOON.

Comd.,   10 Burif.

 



[1] Maung Maung Gale (also Maung Gale or Mg Mg Gale).  Commissioned 2nd Lt. ABRO, 28th April 1941.  On 20th February 1942, sent from the 9th Burma Rifles from Meiktila as part of a draft for the 3rd Burma Rifles (Anglo-Burmese Library; London Gazette; War Diary 9th Burma Rifles, WO 172/981 (War diary 9th Burma Rifles)).

[2] John Christian Home, born 26th July 1908 at Tarrington, Hereford. Commissioned as 2nd Lt., The Worcestershire Regiment, 31st January 1929.  Promoted to Lieutenant, 31st January 1932 and Captain, 1st August 1938.  Special Employed (local captain 31st January 1938 to 31st July 1938), 10th July 1937.  With the 2nd Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment sailed from China to India, November 1936 (see photo at The Worcestshire Regiment).  As part of the 1st Battalion shooting team, won the Aldershot Command Match and Challenge Cup of 1937.  As Captain, served with the 4th Battalion, The Burma Rifles, seconded from 14th January 1938 (still in this post October 1939).  War substantive Major, 1st January 1945, temporary Lt.Colonel, 1st January 1945.  Died August 1972, Northwich, Cheshire (The Worcestshire Regiment; British Army List; Indian Army List; “The Worcestershire Regiment, 1922-1950”, Birdwood, Gale & Polden (1952)).

[3] Peter Carstairs Buchanan, born 21st November 1912 at Esher, Surrey.  Commissioned 2ndLt., (ABRO 27), 10th November 1939.  As Lieutenant (temporary Captain), appointed Adjutant of the Composite Burma Rifles Battalion in Ranchi, 20th June 1942.  This composite unit later re-emerged as the 2nd Burma Rifles and Buchanan continued as Adjutant.  With the battalion, as part of the 1st Chindits Operation 1943, awarded the  Military Cross, gazetted 5th August 1943.  As Lt.Colonel and C.O., 2nd Burma Rifles, 1944, he appears in photos at Anglo-Burmese Library.  His recommendation read:

Brigade: 77th Indian Infantry Brigade          

Rank and Name: Lieutenant (temporary Captain) Peter Carstairs Buchanan      

Action for which recommended: -  OPERATIONS IN BURMA - MARCH 1943

Captain BUCHANAN entered BURMA as Adjutant of the 2nd Burma Rifles. Duties which he continued to discharge until the death in action of his C.O., Lt.Col. Wheeler, near ZEEBUGYIN East of the IRRAWADDY, when he himself took over command of the small party of Burma Rifles with him at the time, and successfully led them out via FORT HERTZ.

Throughout these operations, Captain BUCHANAN displayed great courage and gave an example of unselfishness and indifference to personal safety that had an inspiring effect on all ranks who witnessed it. In particular, when the Brigade Group was bivouaced 12 miles north of WUNTHO from the 12th to the 15th March 1943, Captain BUCHANAN took a small party actually into the enemy post at WUNTHO remaining in a position immediately overlooking the town and the enemy's dispositions for a period of 36 hours. During this period he relayed messages to the Brigade H.Q. every six hours, containing accurate and detailed information about the enemy's movements. this information resulted in a highly successful attack on WUNTHO by our air forces.

Captain BUCHANAN has the distinction of being the first British officer to carry out a close Guerilla reconnaissance on an enemy post deep in enemy occupied  territory resulting in a successful air attack. It is hoped that such reconnaissances will become frequent in future operations, but the success of the first attempt was a matter of great importance and called for high qualities of vigour, imagination and courage on the part of the officer who carried it out.      

Recommended By:  Brigadier O.C. Wingate, DSO, Commander 77th Indian Infantry Brigade Group           

Honour or Reward:  Military Cross (Immediate)         

Signed By:  Brigadier O.C. Wingate, Comdr. 77th Ind. Inf. Bde; General Auchinleck, Commander-in-Chief India.

As Lieutenant-Colonel, MC, TD (66802), The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, Territorial Army, awarded OBE, gazetted 4th June 1957.  Died 7th October 1990 at St. Ives, Cornwall (London Gazette; National Archives; Anglo-Burmese Library; The Peerage; Chindits Special Forces Burma 1942-44 - Awards).

[4] Leslie Edward Lintott born, 1st November 1897.  Served in the ranks - Lance corporal (351015), 2nd/7th Battalion, The London Regiment, 1st November 1915 to 27th November 1917.  Served France, 1916-17.  As Cadet, commissioned as temporary 2nd Lt. for service with the Indian Army Reserve of Officers, 28th November 1917.  Served Palestine, 1918.  Commissioned to the General List as 2nd Lt., 1st February 1918, with seniority from 28th November 1917.  Promoted to Lieutenant, IARO, 28th November 1918.  Appointed to the Indian Army as 2nd Lt., 22nd May 1919, with seniority from 28th August 1918.  Served with the 2nd Battalion, 91st Punjabis, 1919 to 1921.  Promoted to Lieutenant, 28th August 1919.  Served Waziristan, 1920-21.  Served with the 2nd Battalion, 50th Kumaon Rifles, 1922?  Promoted to Captain (provisional), 23rd August 1923.  As Captain, served as Company Officer with the 2nd Battalion, 20th Burma Rifles, 8th August 1925 to 1934.  Confirmed as Captain, 4th December 1925.  Served Burma (Saya San Rebellion), 1930-32.  Attached to the 10th Battalion, 20th Burma Rifles, 1934 to 22nd August 1936.  Served as Company Officer with the 4th Battalion, 20th Burma Rifles, 13th January 1935 to 1st April 1937.  Promoted to Major, 23rd August 1936.  Seconded to the Burma Defence Forces, 1st April 1937.  Served as Company Commander with the 4th Battalion, The Burma Rifles, 1st April 1937 to 1940.  Served with the 5th Battalion, The Burma Rifles, October 1940 to June 1941.  Raised the 10th (Training) Battalion, The Burma Rifles at Maymyo on, 1st July 1941.  Acting Lt. Colonel with effect from 1st July 1941.  Commanding Officer of the 10th (Training) Battalion, The Burma Rifles, 1st July 1941 to May 1942.  Officer Commanding Bhamo?, May 1942.  Reached India by way of the Hukawng Valley, May 1942.  Temporary Lt. Colonel, 1st January 1943.  As Major, temporary Lt. Colonel, promoted to Lt. Colonel, 23rd August 1944.  As Lt. Colonel (AI 996), Special List (Ex-Indian Army), retired, 10th August 1948 ("War Services of British and Indian Officers of the Indian Army 1941", Savannah (2004); “Burma Invaded 1942”, Enriquez C.M. (2013); British Army List; Burma Army List January 1940; Burma Army List October 1940; Burma Defence Services List July 1941; Burma Army List 1943; Indian Army List 1921; Indian Army List October 1935; London Gazette; WWI Medal Rolls (ancestry.co.uk)).

[5] T.G.C. Murray.  Emergency Commission as 2nd Lt., 28th April 1941.  War substantive Captain, 6th June 1944, temporary Major, 6th June 1944.

[6] D.G.A. O’Connor.  Emergency Commission as 2ndLt., 28th April 1941 (British Army List).

[7] A term inherited from the Indian Army for a person who takes care of horses, a groom.  Possibly in this context a mule driver.

[8] Paul Herberdon Rogers, born 8th July 1912.  Commissioned, The Loyal regiment, as 2ndLt., 2nd February 1933.  Promoted Lieutenat, 2nd February 1936.  Appointed to Burma Defence Force, 14th April 1939.  Acting Captain, 1st October 1939 to 31st December 1939, temporary Captain, 1st January 1940 to 1st February 1941.  Promoted to Captain, 2nd February 1941.  Commander of the Depot, 3rd Burma Rifles.  Promoted to Major, 1st July 1946 (British Army List; War Diary 3rd Burma Rifles WO 172/976 (War diary 3rd Burma Rifles)).

[9] Philip Anthony Mair Heald, born in Egypt, 24th September 1915.  Before the war, joined the Prison Service in 1936 and then joined the Burmah Oil Company as Labour Welfare Office, in 1937.  Commissioned as 2ndLt., 15th April 1942.  Served with or at least passed through the 10th Burma Rifles, as noted in the war diary of the 2nd Burma Rifles when he went on 31 days leave from the Composite Burma Rifles Battalion at Ranchi on 20th June 1942.   Served with the 1st Chindits, Column 5.  Hospitalised after return to India until November 1943, when rejoined the 2nd Burma Rifles as Adjutant, 24th November 1943.  In 1946 rejoined the Prison Service, where he worked until retirement in 1975.  Died 28th September 1991  (War Diary 2nd  Burma Rifles WO 172/975 (War diary 2nd Burma Rifles); British Army List; Chindit chasing, Operation Longcloth 1943). 

[10] The Commonwealth War Graves Commission database lists the following men of the 10th Burma Rifles.  Where date of death is known this is given.  Note that two of the records show deaths after 1942 when the 10th Burma Rifles was disbanded.

Rifleman  LIAN ZA GIN  

Lance Naik  N'HKUM GAM  16 April 1944

Rifleman  SAW MYA THAN  15 July 1942

Rifleman  SON CHIN THANG        

Cook  THANDIN               

Recruit  TUN HAN.