The Burma Campaign

2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment

Formation, Organisation and Re-Organisation

The Burma Regiment was officially formed at Hoshiarpur, India, on 1st October 1942.  The manpower was drawn from the Indian and Gurkha personnel who made up the majority of the Burma Frontier Force, the Burma Military Police and the 7th and 8th Battalions, The Burma Rifles, the latter being manned mainly from Burma Frontier Force and Burma Military Police personnel.   These men were survivors of the withdrawal from Burma, having safety in India between May and June 1942.  10,000 of these men had made it to India and it was estimated that after weeding on largely health and fitness grounds, some 5,000 would be available for active service and around 2,000 would be suitable for service with garrison battalions.  On formation the Burma Regiment consisted of six infantry and one mounted infantry battalions, two garrison battalions, a training battalion and regimental centre.  The six infantry battalions were organised into two brigades, the 2nd and 5th Burma Brigades. The Chin Hills Battalion also became a battalion of the Burma Regiment at this time.[1] 

The organisation and class (ethnic) composition of the 1st to 5th Battalions was:

- One company of either Gurkhas, Kumaonis or Gharwalis
- One company of Punjabi Mussalmen (Muslims)
- One company of Sikhs
- One mixed company
- A mixed H.Q. company.[2]

The 2nd Battalion was formed of around 50% Gurkhas and 50% Kumaonis.  The Commanding Officer was Lt. Colonel H. Chappell, a veteran of the 1942 campaign during which he commanded the 2nd Rangoon Battalion, Burma Military Police.[3] [4]

For many months after formation the infantry battalions of the Burma Regiment underwent training.  All battalions lacked full equipment and transport.  It was thought that if fully equipped the battalions could be ready and fully trained for mobile operations in all but thick jungle terrain by the end of April 1943.[5]

In March 1943, two rifle companies of the Burma Regiment were sent to support the Northern Kachin Levies operating in the Fort Hertz area.  The Levies had proved so successful that the Japanese sent a considerable force to dislodge them from Sumprabum.  Fearing that the Japanese might continue to advance northwards to Fort Hertz detachments of regular infantry were sent to bolster the Levies.  One company, under Captain D.R.A. McCorkell, was detached from the 1st Battalion.[6]  A second, commanded by Captain R.C. Walker, was detached from the 2nd Battalion.[7]  Both men were veterans of the 1942 campaign.  They and their detachments served with distinction with the Northern Kachin Levies and, later, the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment during the recapture of Sumprabum in early 1944 and the subsequent advance to Myitkyina.[8]

In addition to the two companies and other detachments serving at Fort Hertz, the Burma Regiment maintained three other detachments in the operational area under the 14th Army.  Two of these were the Somra Tracts and the Kabaw Valley companies which provided escorts for political officers in those areas.  The third detachment operated in a guerrilla role with 'V' Force in the Arakan and was sometime known as the 'Arakan Guerrilla Detachment'.[9]

Driven largely by manpower shortages, The Burma Army was reorganised with effect from 1st July 1943.  The 3rd and 6th Battalions of the Burma Regiment were disbanded to provide a sufficiently large reinforcement pool for the remaining four battalions.  There were five detachments of the Burma Regiment then on active service inside Burma and which had previously formed part of the war establishments of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Battalions of the Regiment.  These detachments were now transferred to the control of the 10th Holding/Reinforcement Battalion of the Burma Regimental Centre as part of the reorganisation.  The remaining battalions of the Regiment were thus able to return to a full war establishment of four rifle companies each.  Revisions to the class composition (ethnic make-up) of the 1st, 2nd and 5th Battalions, The Burma Regiment was under consideration from early October 1943, the intention being to ensure that the target number of reinforcements held for each battalion could be met.  By this time it was intended that the Burma Army as a whole was to be transferred to the control of G.H.Q. India from 1st November 1943.  At the time this transfer was made, the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment formed part of the 5th Burma Infantry Brigade along with the 1st and 5th Battalions.[10]

The provision of infantry reinforcements for the Burma Regiment remained an ongoing problem.  When in November 1943 it was decided to mobilise the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment to reinforce the Fort Herz garrison, the opportunity was taken alter the class composition of the remaining battalions.  The 4th Battalion was reorganised to consist of three companies of Gurkhas and one of Kumaonis from 15th November 1943.  The Kumaonis for the 4th Battalion were transferred from the 2nd Battalion and surplus Gurkha personnel from the 4th Battalion were transferred to the 2nd Battalion.  It was felt that the revised mix of companies would give a better percentage of reinforcements available in the two classes - Gurkhas and Kumaonis.  It was also decided that the 2nd Battalion should be reorganised on a reduced war establishment, sometimes referred to as 'cadre', to act as a holding battalion for Gurkha and Kumaoni reinforcements for the 4th Battalion and for any special detachments serving with the 14th Army other than those at Fort Hertz.  The 5th Battalion was disbanded to provide Sikh and Punjabi Mussalmen reinforcements for the 1st Battalion.  The Headquarters, 5th Burma Infantry Brigade was also disbanded at this time.[11]

Spared from disbandment, the 2nd Battalion’s future role would be to operate on a reduced scale and be responsible for:

- Providing the detachments required by the 14th Army
- Finding the reinforcements needed by the 4th Battalion.[12]

Return to Burma - Internal Security

However this role was short lived for on 21st November 1944, the Battalion was ordered to mobilise by G.H.Q. India.  Mobilisation was to be complete by 15th December.  The Battalion was brought up to full strength with a composition of 50% Gurkhas and 50% Garhwalis and Kumaonis but remained short of four British Officers.  Additional reinforcements were obtained from the Burma Regimental Centre, providing a reserve of 24% of establishment.  Stores, equipment and animal and motor transport were also brought up to war establishment.  A party was sent to Pathankot in early January 1945 to collect 440 'kukris' with which to equip the Gurkha soldiers of the Battalion.  This party returned on 7th January and two days later movement orders were issued.  The Battalion was to move in three groups from Hoshiarpur to the Imphal area[13].

The first party to leave was made up of Battalion Headquarters, H.Q. Company and 'A' and 'C' Companies.  This group entrained at Hoshiarpur railway station on the evening of 10th January 1945.  The remainder of the Battalion was to move in two parties on 12th and 13th January, one by road and the other by rail.  After a journey of eight days, the Battalion Headquarters party detrained at the Manipur Road railhead (Dimapur) on 18th January and moved into camp.  The Battalion came under the command of 256 Line of Communication Sub-Area.  The second train-bound party arrived two days later.[14]

On 20th January, orders were received from Headquarters XXXIII Indian Corps for one company to be sent forward urgently, the balance of the Battalion remaining at the Manipur Road base until required.  Major J. McLellan and 'C' Company were selected and sent by truck the next day with orders to proceed to Moreh to report to the commander of Movements North, XXXIII Corps.[15]  A second company was ordered to Imphal on 27th January and the next day 'D' Company under Major N. Mitchell set off by truck.[16]  Then, on 31st January, orders were received for the remainder of the Battalion to leave the next day, 1st February 1945, for Moreh for onward movement to Indainggyi.   Moreh was reached on the 2nd February, with the last lorry arriving the following day during which 27 lorries left for Indainggyi.  By 5th February the Battalion party had arrived at Indainggyi.[17]

At Indainggyi the Battalion rested while waiting for orders for a further move forward.  On 13th February, the Battalion Second-in-Command and Captain P.G. Mathew went to Kan in an attempt to contact 'C' Company to find out the condition of Major McLellan.[18]  It had been reported that the Major had been evacuated by air to India following an accident.  No contact was made with 'C' Company but it was reported that it had headed further south.  Captain Mathew remained in Kan, hoping to contact 'C' Company and take over as Company Commander.[19]

Major Mitchell and 'D' Company arrived at Imphal on the afternoon of 28th January from where this unit was flown to Kawlin on the morning of 31st January 1945.  Having established a camp, during the first half of February 'D' Company accompanied the local Senior Civil Affairs Officer (Police), Captain S.G.A. Scott, on a tour of his area of responsibility.[20] [21]  Patrols and raids were also undertaken but there was no contact with Japanese stragglers or 'dacoits'.  Near to Gwegyo on 16th February, a patrol led by Mitchell and Scott found the remains of an American airman whose parachute had failed to open.  The unfortunate man was buried and a cross erected over his grave.  The next day the tour was completed and all of 'D' Company was gathered again at Kawlin.  For the rest of the month and into early March occasional patrols were sent out in response to reports received of 'dacoit' activity but all returned empty handed.  On 10th March Captain A.W. Herbert arrived from Shwebo with 19 mules and the men of the Signal and Mortar Platoons.[22]  Later that afternoon Major Walker of 'A' Company arrived.[23]

By this time 'C' Company was well travelled and had sometimes been in contact with enemy stragglers.  Having left the Battalion behind on 21st January to proceed to Moreh, on 1st February the Company boarded lorries and went to Kan, the then location of the Headquarters, 14th Army.  On arrival that afternoon the Company was detailed to provide the local defence of the Kan airstrip and to liaise with the R.A.F. Regiment unit already providing protection there.  While siting the Company camp the next day, the Company Commander, Major McLellan was involved in a Jeep accident and broke his right wrist and both legs.  He was admitted to the 14th Casualty Clearing Station and later evacuated by air to India.  On 7th February, the Company was ordered to Sinthe and the first party arrived there three days later.  Here the Company provided a number of guard detachments.  On 15th February the airstrip was attacked by two Japanese planes but there no casualties.  On the morning of 19th February, Captain Mathew finally caught up with 'C' Company at Sinthe and took over command.  On 21st February, No. 8 Platoon was sent to Tabya, some 11 miles down the Sinthe-Pakokku road, where the platoon was to operate under the orders of the local Inspector of Police.  Four days later the remainder of the Company was sent to Pakokku, pausing at Tabya to re-supply No. 8 Platoon before moving on to Pakokku which was reached that afternoon.  For the remainder of the month and into March all platoons were active in patrolling the area in search of Japanese stragglers and 'dacoits'.  The patrols all carried the risk of action with the enemy, a reminder of which was provided on 1st March when No. 7 Platoon was sent out to the site of a Japanese ambush of a Jeep from another unit.  The Jeep was found disabled and containing the body of a Jemadar.  The driver and the lieutenant in charge were missing.  Throughout this period the Company was out of contact with the Battalion but some mail for the men was received direct from India.  On 3rd March, the dispositions of the Company were:  - No. 8 Platoon at Yesagyo; No. 7 Platoon at Pakangyi; No. 9 Platoon and Company H.Q. at Pakokku.  The distance between Yesagyo and Pakokku was around 25 miles.  That day a patrol from No. 7 Platoon was fired upon at Mingan.  When reinforcements arrived, the village was attacked and the enemy, around 25-30 Japanese and 'dacoits', were seen to flee.  The Company remained in the Pakokku area throughout the remainder of March.[24]

On 18th February, 'B' Company under Major K.C. Hopkins left in lorries for Shwebo with the remainder of the Battalion party following up on foot.[25]  The march party arrived at Kalewa the next day and set off for Shwebo via Mutaik three days later.  Shwebo, around 70 miles north of Mandalay, was reached around midday on 24th February.  The next day 'B' Company left for Ywadon airstrip at Monywa to relieve a company of the Mahindra Dal Regiment.  ‘B’ Company’s responsibilities were internal security for the local area and the defence of the airstrip.  This left only 'A' Company, led by Major R.C. Walker, under direct command of the Battalion and on 27th February, Lt. Colonel Chappell visited the Senior Civil Affairs Officer at Shwebo to discuss the role of 'A' Company.  Reports were received of 'dacoits' being active throughout the area.[26]

Meanwhile 'B' Company under Major Hopkins arrived at Monywa in the early hours of 27th February.  Arriving at what he thought was the Ywadon airstrip, Hopkins attempted to make contact with the Mahindra Dal Regiment detachment supposedly on guard there.  After great difficulty Hopkins was able to wake 'somebody' up only to be told that no personnel of the Mahindra Dal Regiment were actually present.  Realising that he had not found the airstrip Hopkins continued to search for it until around 05:30 when he rested and had tea before starting again an hour later.  His task was made all the more difficult by badly placed signboards.  Later that morning, Hopkins finally made contact with the officer of the Mahindra Dal Regiment and by midday had taken over the airstrip.  Unhappy with the positions prepared by his predecessors, Hopkins got his men to dig new ones.  Hopkins must have been very frustrated later when he was advised by the local commander who visited the airstrip during the afternoon that ‘B’ Company would be better employed on patrol work rather than airstrip defence.[27]

At Shwebo on 2nd March, a conference was held in the Battalion lines with Lt. Colonel A.A. Donald, the Senior Civil Affairs Officer (Police) and other Police representatives.[28]  The subject discussed was the move of 'A' Company to the Kanbalu area to assist the Police in curbing the activities of the local 'dacoits'.  It was decided that 'A' Company Headquarters would be based in Kanbalu and for the Company to be supplied from Shwebo.  Contact was to be maintained with 'D' Company at Kawlin and both units would be reinforced with detachments of signals and mortars.  The next day, six men, all Burmese speakers, were loaned to the 254th Indian Tank Brigade to act as interpreters for all British and Indian units entering the area.  At 09:00 on 4th March, 'A' Company, with signals and mortar detachments for itself and for 'D' Company, left Shwebo for Kanbalu.  They were accompanied by the Commanding Officer and the Battalion Adjutant who were to undertake a tour of the 'A' and 'D' Company areas.  The party reached Kanbalu later that day and the following morning the Commanding Officer and the Adjutant left for Kawlin.  They found the road to be in very poor condition and it took them six hours to make the 50 mile journey.  Here they found the 'D' Company camp to be very well organised.  The camp even included a barbed wire cage, guarded by the Company, holding civilian prisoners arrested by the Police but who lacked the resources to guard them.  The Company had undertaken several anti-'dacoit' patrols in conjunction with the Police and Civil Affairs Service.[29]

The Commanding Officer and the Adjutant returned to Shwebo on 7th March.  Information was received of a Japanese or 'dacoit' party in the area of Ye-U - Nyaungbintha aerodrome and of a Japanese party at Pokkon.  A detachment drawn from the first line reinforcements and the Battalion Headquarters Platoon was sent to deal with the enemy in the Ye-U - Nyaungbintha area.  This detachment was led by Lieutenant J.H.P.M. Gilchrist and guided by the local township officer.[30]  A second detachment under the Battalion Second-in-Command was sent to tackle the enemy in the Pokkon area.  No enemy were encountered but a disused enemy camp was found near Pokkon.  It was apparent that the Japanese had already moved off, into the area where the Madras Regiment was operating so information was sent to them regarding the Japanese move.  Elsewhere an 'A' Company patrol retrieved a number of abandoned Japanese medium and light machine guns together with two British 'Sten' guns.  On 8th March, the Battalion Headquarters was visited by the Area Commander, 253 Sub-Area, who asked the Battalion to provide a guard detachment for his Headquarters, the hospital areas and the nurses’ quarters.  A party of 20 men was sent on this task.[31]

On the morning of 12th March, Lieutenant Gilchrist's patrol returned from the Ye-U - Nyaungbintha area not having contacted any 'dacoits' or Japanese.  The interpreters loaned to other units returned later in the day.  Information regarding 'dacoits' was received almost every day but was sufficiently out of date as to warrant no action by the Battalion.  On 16th March however the Second-in-Command took a detachment from Headquarters Platoon to search for a small party of Japanese disguised as local Burmese.  Reports placed the enemy group in the area south west of Shwebo in the vicinity of Maletha village, Ayadaw township.  However no Japanese were found and the detachment returned later the same day.  A further patrol was sent out on 18th March in search of Japanese reported to be in the Myemun area.  The patrol returned two days later without having contacted any enemy.  Also on 18th March 'B' Company returned to Shwebo from guarding the Ywadon airstrip, leaving one platoon to guard the airstrip at Ondaw.  On 21st March, the sound of mortar fire was heard and Verey lights were seen but the two platoons sent to investigate discovered this was not due to enemy activity but rather a fire in an old ammunition dump.  On 27th March, it was decided to send 'A Company to Kyaukmyaung and as part of this plan a platoon from the first line reinforcements under Lieutenant K.J. Chand went to Kyaikthin to relieve the 'A' Company platoon on duty there.[32]  A platoon of 'A' Company returned to Shwebo the next day and a truck came back with the 'A' Company detachment from Kyaikthin.  This detachment had been involved in a fight with 'dacoits' in which three 'dacoits' and a Company rifleman were killed.[33]  The remainder of 'A' Company returned on 29th March and the following day the Company completed the move to Kyaukmyaung.  At Kawlin, 'C' Company sent two detachments, known as 'tour parties', to patrol the surrounding area.  These patrols occupied the second half of March.[34]

The Battalion dispositions on 1st April 1945 were:

- 'A' Company – Kyaukmyaung
- 'B' Company, less one platoon - Shwebo less one platoon at Ondaw airfield
- 'C' Company - Pakokku with one platoon at Yesagyo and one at Pakangyi
- 'D' Company – Kawlin
- Battalion H.Q; H.Q. Company; Administration Company; 1st Reinforcements (less detachments) – Shwebo
- Platoon 1st Reinforcements at Kyaikthin and one section at Kadaungbo.[35]

At midday on 3rd April 1945, the Headquarters 505 District opened at Shwebo.  Among the many units taken under command of this headquarters was the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment.[36]  Orders to this effect were received by the Battalion on 10th April from Headquarters, 14th Army.[37]

The situation remained quiet throughout the Battalion area.  On 2nd April Major Walker of 'A' Company reported that he had neither seen nor heard anything of the Japanese in the Kyaukmyaung area since his arrival.  On 5th April, it was reported that the 'B' Company platoon at Ondaw had been flown to Meiktila by the Americans.  This platoon did not return to the Battalion at Shwebo until 30th April.  On 16th April, 'A' Company began moving from Kyaukmyaung to Mandalay where it would be responsible for internal security and guard duties in the Mandalay-Maymyo area.[38]

Instructions were issued by Headquarters 505 District on 18th April to clarify the dispositions and responsibilities of the Battalion.  The role of the Battalion was to be:

- To maintain law and order by operating against 'dacoits' and Japanese left behind or attempting to infiltrate through the Battalion area
- To collect as many arms and as much ammunition as possible from people unauthorised to have them
- To provide an absolute minimum of only necessary static guards for 'vital points'.

Headquarters, 505 District placed three companies under the command of 253 Sub-Area:

- One Company (at that time 'A' Company), located at Mandalay
- One Company (at that time 'D' Company), located at Kawlin
- One Company (at that time 'B' Company), located at Shwebo.

'C' Company, with a detachment from the Mortar Platoon, remained at Pakokku and was placed under the command of 551 Sub-Area.  Battalion Headquarters and H.Q. Company at Shwebo were responsible for providing local guards for the Headquarters, 505 District.  Although under the operational command of the Sub-Areas, the Battalion Company Commanders were expected to act at once on their own initiative as the situation demanded, it being unlikely that there would be sufficient time to refer to Sub-Area Headquarters for instructions.  All suspected persons arrested by the Battalion were to be handed over to the Civil Police.  In all areas patrolling continued throughout April but with only the very occasional sighting or clash with 'dacoits'.  On the evening of 19th April, an American B-25 ‘Mitchell’ bomber made a forced landing about a mile from Pakokku and during the night a section from 'C' Company was sent to the site.  The crew were found and brought in to Pakokku.  During the latter half of April Lt. Chand, in command of the detachment of the Battalion 1st Reinforcements at Kyaikthin was involved in the attempt to capture a local 'dacoit' leader, Onkha.  It was reported that one of Onkha's men had been responsible for shooting Sepoy Jagat Bahadur Mall.  At Mandalay, on 23rd April, Major Walker went to Maymyo to try and contact families left behind in 1942.  Happily all were found.  Patrolling went on throughout the Battalion area during April and a number of suspected 'dacoits' were arrested.  Major J.L. Heenan, Senior Civil Affairs Officer (Police) at Pakokku, accompanied by officers of the Civil Police and a Havildar of the 2nd Battalion, arrested a Japanese deserter at the village of Yeshin on 9th April.[39]  The man had been living at the village at the request of the headman as a guard against the Chins whom the villagers greatly feared.  The unfortunate Japanese was taken away and, being a prisoner of war as opposed to being a criminal, was handed over to Major Mathew of 'C' Company later that day.[40] 

On 1st May, the Battalion locations were reported as:

- Battalion H.Q; H.Q. Company; Administration Company; 1st Reinforcements (less detachments) – Shwebo
- 'A' Company - Mandalay
- 'B' Company at Shwebo, moving to Kawlin
- 'C' Company at Pakokku under 551 Sub-Area
- 'D' Company at Kawlin, moving to Shwebo
- Platoon 1st Reinforcements at Kyaikthin and one section at Kadaungbo.[41]

The Battalion planned to relieve 'D' Company at Kawlin with 'B' Company however on 3rd May orders were received from headquarters 505 District that the new location for this company was to be Kyaikthin.  The Battalion strength was reported as being 15 British officers and 25 Governor's Commissioned Officers and 957 Indian N.C.O.s and men.  In the Pakokku area, 'C' Company conducted a successful raid on the village of Kya-O on 5th May and captured ten members of a local gang.  The Battalion provided two firing squads during the month, each to execute a 'dacoit' convicted of serious crimes.  Major Mitchell led a large party from 'D' Company and the 1st Reinforcements from Shwebo to Myindagyi where on the night of 10th/11th May they assisted the Police to search the village for arms.  On 14th May, the Battalion celebrated V.E. Day.  Later in the month there was an outbreak of cholera in Shwebo and orders were given prohibiting the consumption of raw fruit and vegetables and for extra chlorination of drinking water.  Major Walker of 'B' Company in Mandalay made a second visit to Maymyo on 18th May to contact the families of men left behind in 1942.  During the month the Battalion maintained patrols and was successful in the arrest of a number of criminals and 'dacoits' and the recovery of arms and ammunition.[42]

On 27th May 1945, the Battalion received instructions from 253 Sub-Area that the Battalion Headquarters and stores should begin moving to Mandalay as soon as possible.  The move began the next day with the transfer of stores and the departure of the Signals, Mortar and Pioneer Platoons.  On 30th May the 1st Reinforcements under Lt. N.S. Pal left Shwebo for Mandalay en route for Meiktila to take over the guarding of Headquarters, 505 District.[43]  On 28th May 1945, Headquarters 12th Army came into being and took under command all troops in Burma, including 505 District.  The Headquarters 14th Army was now released to prepare for the invasion of Malaya.[44]

Despite the change in command patrolling continued as normal.  Many patrols were dispatched in response to intelligence received and occasionally resulted in contact with 'dacoits'.  Near Pakokku, in the 'C' Company area, on 29th May No. 8 Platoon sent a patrol to nearby villages, one of which, Kaing, was the centre of local 'dacoit' activity.  A party of 'dacoits' was met and fire opened upon them at a distance.  Although no men were seen to fall, one man from this party was captured.  Three days later, No. 8 Platoon scored a further success when arrested the notorious 'dacoit', Maung Hmon.[45]

During 1st June, Battalion Headquarters and all remaining men and stores at Shwebo left for Mandalay.  They reached their destination during the afternoon.  Only 'D' Company remained behind in Shwebo.  The dispositions of the Battalion were now:

- Battalion H.Q; H.Q. Company; Administration Company - all at Mandalay
- 'A' Company - Mandalay
- 'B' Company at Kyaikthin
- 'C' Company at Pakokku under 551 Sub-Area
- 'D' Company at Shwebo
- 1st Reinforcements at Meiktila.[46]

The General Officer Commanding, Allied Land Forces South East Asia (ALFSEA), Lt.-General Sir Oliver Leese visited the Battalion Headquarters in Mandalay on 8th June and professed himself very pleased with all he saw.  The next day, orders were received from 505 District detailing the organisation of troops under its command for local operations and their allocation to Sub-Areas.  Headquarters 505 District had under command four infantry battalions and an armoured car squadron, allocated to the Sub-Areas as follows:

Headquarters 505 District:  1st Reinforcements, 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment (at Meiktila)
            - 253 Sub-Area:  2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment (less three companies)
            - 455 Sub-Area:  4th Jammu & Kashmir Infantry (Indian States Forces)
            - 551 Sub-Area: two companies, the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment ('D' Company at Shwebo, 'B' Company at Kyaikthin)
            - 552 Sub-Area: 'A' Squadron, 8th King George V's Own Light Cavalry (equipped with Humber and Daimler armoured cars); the 25th Gurkha Rifles; 'C' Company, 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment (from Pakokku when relieved by the 4th Jammu & Kashmir Infantry)
            - 553 Sub-Area: 1st Kachin Rifles.

Given that the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment was split across more than one Sub-Area, the Commanding Officer of the Battalion remained responsible directly to Headquarters 505 District for the training and internal administration of his companies which were under the command of the Sub-Areas for operations and local administration only.[47]

By now it was the rainy season with all the difficulties that that entailed.  Communications were especially affected and on 1st June the Senior Civil Affairs Officer at Kawlin signalled his superior in Mandalay that it was then only possible to contact 'B' Company at Kyaikthin by runner and that once the 'chaungs' (streams) were in flood even this would not be possible.  The message took until 9th June to be received by the Battalion Adjutant in Mandalay.  For the first few days of June 'D' Company at Shwebo undertook some training but on 8th June the Company sent a party under Major Mitchell on patrol to the surrounding area.  This turned out to be uneventful and the patrol returned to Shwebo the same day.  On 11th June, the Headquarters Company took over all guard duty from 'A' Company, releasing that company for patrol duty.  Two days later two platoons from 'A' Company under Major Walker conducted a raid on a village near Mandalay, in co-operation with the Civil Police.[48]

A signal from Headquarters 551 Sub-Area was received on 16th June, advising that 'D' Company might need to move to the area south west of Shwebo in the direction of Monywa to tackle a party of Japanese in the area.  Another signal, this time from Headquarters 552 Sub-Area, advised that the 4th Jammu & Kashmir Infantry were to relieve 'C' Company at Pakokku.  On 18th June, 'A' Company sent two platoons to patrol the area south east of Mandalay where Japanese stragglers were thought to be hiding.  No Japanese were encountered.  On 22nd June, two platoons from 'A' Company were sent to the area approximately 12 miles north of Myinmu to investigate reports of armed Japanese in the area.  'D' Company were thought to be in this area but the Battalion had been out of contact with the Company since it had left Shwebo.  The next day, the Commanding Officer, Lt. Colonel Chappell, and the Adjutant, Captain Thomson, left Mandalay for Monywa to establish Advance Battalion Headquarters there to better co-ordinate the operation against the Japanese thought to be nearby.

Meanwhile ‘D’ Company had been occupied by a hunt for Japanese stragglers.  In the first half of June, reports were received of Japanese stragglers active in the area to the south west of Shwebo, between Monywa on the Lower Chindwin and the Mu River to the east of that town.  Faced with these reports, on 16th June the Senior Civil Affairs Officer (Police) for the area went to Shwebo to make plans with 'D' Company to move into the area to track down the Japanese.  That evening 'D' Company left Shwebo and drove southwards before crossing the Mu River at Thaniayo.  For the next two days the Company conducted raids on Sitis and Zibinle.  No Japanese were found at Sitsi but at Zibinle a man dressed in Burmese clothing was shot dead.  Upon investigation he was found to be a Japanese officer.  The next day the Company concentrated at Ayadaw, the west of the Mu River, where they met up with Lt. H.M. Butcher who had brought the animal transport detachment from Shwebo on foot.[49]  Raids were planned on Tangyi and Yedwetgyi Kyaung to the south of Ayadaw.  Major Mitchell led No. 10 Platoon in motor transport to Minywa from where the following day, 20th June, he obtained guides to Yedwetgyi Kyaung.  However upon reaching this place it was found to be deserted.  Further searches in the area were equally fruitless.  On the way back to Minywa a message was received from the Senior Civil Affairs Officer (Police) concerning three Japanese seen hiding to the south of Tangyi.  In the end two men were encountered who ran off when fired upon.  They were believed to be Japanese.  Mitchell's men spent the night at Nwamathin, a little to the east of Tangyi.  In the meantime Lt. Butcher had led No.s 11 and 12 Platoons to Tangyi but no Japanese were found.  However a villager there told of three Japanese hiding nearby and when Butcher's men approached three Japanese were spotted.  One of these, a captain, was killed but the others got away.  The next day, 21st June, Butcher joined Major Mitchell at Nwamathin.  Reunited again, 'D' Company remained here in anticipation of further information on Japanese movements but none was received.[50]

On 22nd June, Battalion Headquarters in Mandalay was informed by Headquarters 253 Sub-Area that there were 25 armed Japanese in uniform seen in the area to the west of the Mu River and to the south of where 'D' Company were operating.  Two platoons from 'A' Company under Major Walker left Mandalay that afternoon and headed north to Sadaung where they spent the night.  The following evening Walker established his headquarters at Dibyingwe on the east bank of the Mu River, across from the area where the Japanese were thought to be.  The local Police sent out their agents to scour the countryside but no trace of the enemy was found.  Meanwhile, 'D' Company at Nwamathin sent out No. 12 Platoon on patrol on 23rd June but no enemy were found and no information obtained.  'A' Company set up its Headquarters at Dibyingwe that same day and also was unable to obtain any information on Japanese whereabouts.  The next day 'D' Company completed the move to Ayadaw and Major Mitchell went to Monywa  to report to the Commanding Officer who had just arrived there.  Mitchell then returned to Ayadaw.  Over the next few days 'A' and 'D' Companies worked together from their camp at Minywa, sending out patrols and raiding suspect locations, all to no avail.  The Commanding Officer, Lt. Colonel Chappell, had also moved to Minywa, arriving on 25th June.  At Minywa, three days later, he met Lt. Colonel Graham, the G.S.O.(I) of 505 District, to discuss the situation.[51]

Further patrols were sent out each day up to the 1st July when the Commanding Officer went to Monywa for a conference with the Senior Civil Affairs Officer (Police).  It was decided it would be better to withdraw the troops from the area so as to allow the Police to get better information from their local sources.  The next day 'A' and 'D' Companies moved their headquarters to Ayadaw.  On 3rd July, the companies searched the area near Ayadaw and tried to obtain information on Japanese stragglers but with no success.  Acting on information that two Japanese were being harboured by the villagers of Nyaung Bingan, the Commanding Officer and 'A' and 'D' Companies left Ayadaw on the evening of 6th July.  They arrived in the Nyaung Bingan area later than expected that night, owing to the guides being fearful and misleading the party.  The next morning, Nyaung Bingan was surrounded and two men were seen walking across a field towards the jungle.  When challenged both fled and were fired upon.  One escaped but the other was killed, having returned fire with his revolver.  He was identified as a Japanese major.  The Battalion party then returned to Ayadaw.  There then followed a relatively quite period for the two companies, with little information on Japanese stragglers being available.[52]

'A' and 'B' Companies had a busy if relatively peaceful July, being active patrolling their respective company areas.  'C' Company moved to Kyaukse on 1st July and remained there throughout July.  The Company had a very quite time which was spent on fatigues, training and rest.  'D' Company remained at Ayadaw and conducted several patrols and raids but with no success.  On 16th July, the company received orders from Headquarters 505 District to return to Shwebo and the move was complete by 20th July.  Four days later Major J. McLellan arrived to take over command of the company from Major P.G. Mathew who left for Mandalay the next day.[53]

During July 1945, Major R.A. Scoones, second-in-command of the 1st Burma Rifles, reported to the Headquarters, No. 552 Line of Communications Sub-Area.[54]  Scoones' role was to raise the 1st Burma Rifles in the Meiktila area.  He had been informed that he would be provided with 80 instructors (Governor's Commissioned Officers and N.C.O.s) from existing units, of which the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment was the most likely candidate.  Although no orders had been received by the Battalion, it was thought that no more than 25 men could be spared given the current commitments.  Clarification was sought from Headquarters 505 District.[55]

The situation on 1st August was:

- Battalion H.Q., H.Q. Company and Administration Company – Mandalay
- 'A' Company less two platoons – Mandalay
- Two platoons 'A' Company - Monywa area
- 'B' Company – Kyaikthin
- 'C' Company – Kyaukse
- 'D' Company – Shwebo
- 1st Reinforcements -  Meiktila.

On 1st August orders were received for Major G.E. Thunder to leave the Battalion to take command of the 3rd Burma Rifles which was to begin raising shortly.[56]  He left three days later.  Victory over Japan (V.J. Day) was celebrated by the Battalion on 15th August.  On 20th August orders were received that men passed as fit by No.s 1 and 3 Holding and Enquiry Centres were to be accepted by the Battalion up to war establishment and authorised reinforcement strength.  It was felt by the Battalion that these men would be a burden, for although they had served the British previously they had received no military training during the three years of the Japanese occupation.  The possibility of forming a special company for these men was considered.  On 24th August, the Commanding Officer and his company commanders held a conference to discuss the transfer of men to the 1st Burma Rifles.  Four days later, Major Scoones arrived to discuss this transfer to his battalion.  It was felt that the transfer of so many experienced G.C.O.s and N.C.O.s would have an adverse effect on the Battalion.  However, postings went ahead to the new 1st Burma Rifles, beginning on 4th August.[57]

On 5th August, the Battalion received a warning order for possible future operations against Chinese troops in the border areas of the Shan States.  Chinese troops had infiltrated across the border into the eastern part of the Shan States where they were causing hardship and suffering to the local inhabitants.  Whilst the Chinese government had been asked to remove these troops preparations were being made to deal with the situation should the request not be met.  The Battalion was therefore warned that it might be moved to the Northern Shan States later in September where it would operate in conjunction with the armed Police against any Chinese troops remaining east of the Salween.  On 18th August   the Battalion was advised that given the Japanese surrender, it should in conjunction with the C.A.S.(B.) now approach any Japanese stragglers and attempt to advise them of the cessation of hostilities.  Surrenders were still to be taken but all offensive operations against Japanese stragglers were to cease.  The focus of operations now switched to patrolling against 'dacoits'.  On the morning of 7th August Major E.R. Thomson left Mandalay to take over command of 'D' Company at Shwebo.[58]  He replaced Major Mitchell who returned to Mandalay, arriving on 10th August at Battalion Headquarters to take over the duties of Battalion Second-in-Command.  Throughout August the Battalion continued to operate against 'dacoits', patrolling and acting on information received.  Despite this activity few 'dacoits' were found and only small numbers of illegal arms and ammunition were recovered.  Leave parties were sent to Maymyo (today known as Pyin Oo Lwin).[59]

The situation with regards the provision of instructors for the 1st Burma Rifles had been clarified when on 6th August copies of correspondence and orders were received instructing the Battalion to make the necessary transfers.  In total 80 men were required and would be permanently transferred to the 1st Burma Rifles.  The first moves of personnel selected for transfer to the 1st Burma Rifles occurred during September.  On 14th September a letter was received from Major Scoones of the 1st Burma Rifles confirming a reduced requirement, the numbers for transfer being cut back from 80 to 70.  Those selected from 'D’ Company arrived in Mandalay on 22nd September and two days later the first party of instructors left for Meiktila to join the 1st Burma Rifles.  This party consisted of five G.C.O.s and 55 other ranks.  The original intention had been for all transferees to be Gurkhas however in order to make up the required numbers it was necessary to include a number of men of Kumaoni and Garhwali origin.  On 2nd October Subedar Mandhoj Chh and 13 other men transferred to the 1st Burma Rifles.[60]

During September 1945, the Battalion was concentrated at Mandalay in anticipation of a move to Lashio during mid-October.  At this time the northern border area was troubled by deserters and regular troops from the Nationalist Chinese Army.  It was hoped that diplomatic pressure would resolve the situation however troops were being assembled in case no peaceful resolution was achieved.  'C' Company was first to move, leaving Kyaukse and completing the move by 12th September.  Next to move was 'A' Company, arriving in Mandalay from Monywa between 24th and 26th September.  'D' Company arrived three days later on 29th September.  The next day 'A' Company was ordered to Tatkon to work with the 25th Gurkha Rifles against a gang of 'dacoits' operating in that area.  'B' Company, until now located at Shwebo, did not concentrate at Mandalay until 3rd October.  After a busy time with the 25th Gurkha Rifles, 'A' Company returned to Mandalay on the evening of 21st October.[61]

Operations on the Burma-China Border

In early October, the Commanding Officer, accompanied by the 'C' Company Commander, undertook a reconnaissance of Lashio.  They returned on 3rd October having discovered that the road was passable to 15cwt lorries.  On 15th October, Major Hopkins left the Battalion for return to the United Kingdom under the 'PYTHON' repatriation scheme.  On 29th October, orders were received confirming that the Battalion was to move to Lashio on 7th November.  Two days later, verbal orders were received to say that No. 25 Animal Transport Company was to be attached to the Battalion and would arrive in Mandalay around 6th November.  However the move to Lashio was postponed due to poor road conditions and a new date set of 13th November.  'C' Company and the Battalion Second-in-Command did indeed leave for Lashio on this date and reached the town two days later.  They occupied part of the old Burma Frontier Force lines.  After a difficult journey, the Battalion Headquarters and 'B' Company joined 'C' Company on 20th November.  'A' Company left Mandalay on the morning of 22nd November and arrived in Lashio two days later.  The Battalion now came under the command of 553 Line of Communication Sub-Area.  The Battalion area was found to be covered in thick undergrowth and littered with unexploded bombs.  Work parties were detailed to clear these.  'D' Company were held up in Mandalay due to a lack of motor transport and did not reach Lashio until 11th December.  Reconnaissance parties were sent out to get to know the area and contact was made with the local resident commissioners.  A start was made on assessing the situation and the presence of Chinese troops in the border areas who appeared to be acting as bandits.  Major Mathew returned to the Battalion on New Years Eve after completing his ‘LILOP’ leave in the United Kingdom.[62]

Early in January 1946, trouble flared up in the north of Burma on the Chinese border.  Bands of Chinese deserters continued to roam the countryside and Nationalist Chinese regular forces had established a few posts inside Burma on the pretext of rounding up these men.  The Chinese Nationalist government was approached via diplomatic channels by the Government of Burma with a request for the removal of these troops.  On 21st January, there were riots in Myitkyina and police and a platoon of the Kachin Rifles opened fire on the Chinese rioters.  Eleven Chinese were killed and 500 arrested, including 51 Chinese Army deserters.  Despite the round up, it was thought that there remained around 700 Chinese in the Bhamo-Myitkyina area and a further 800 or so, mainly deserters, in the Wa States between the Salween River and the Chinese border, in the area to the east of Lashio.  Here, the Chinese were exploiting inter-tribal feuds and disloyalty to the Burma Government to participate in the plundering and destruction of villages.  An operation was planned to deal with the latter, made up of three columns supplied by air.[63] 

In anticipation of the operation, the 2nd Battalion at Lashio began preparations to play its part in the expedition to deal with the Chinese.  Three columns were organised.   No. 1 Column (Armed Civil Police (A.C.P.)), consisting of around 170 armed police, was to operate to the north of the area of operations and march down to the south east to join up with No. 2 Column.[64]  The 2nd Battalion formed No. 2 Column, based on a detachment of two companies, 'A' and 'C'.  No. 3 Column, made up of around 100 A.C.P. and 400 Lahu guerrillas, was to operate in the Loilon and Vingnun area to the south of the area, below Mongmao.  'C' Company was sent on a three day march to test mule loads and equipment.  'A' Company was sent to Nawngleng where the most likely approach march to the troubled area, via Tahsaileng on the Salween, was reconnoitred.  The Company was later joined by the mule transport of No. 25 Animal Transport Company.  The Battalion Commanding Officer undertook several aerial reconnaissances over the target area for the expedition.  Signs of Chinese occupation were observed near Lufang and Mongmao.  'A' Company less one platoon moved to Tahsaileng on 23rd January and 'C' Company left Lashio for Nawngleng two days later. Wireless communication was established on 26th January between Battalion Headquarters in Lashio and Major Walker at Tahsaileng where supplies were being built up using animal transport.  On 30th January, the Battalion Commanding Officer took his tactical headquarters to Nawngleng.  The No. 6 Platoon of 'B' Company moved down to Tahsaileng to provide a guard for the base being established there.  Two days later the Tactical H.Q. and 'C' Company arrived at Tahsaileng.  By the end of the following day the whole force, Tactical Headquarters and 'A' and 'C' Companies, had crossed to the east bank of the Salween and the mule train was being ferried across the river.  The mules were made to cross the river by swimming alongside a raft whilst held by the mule leaders.  By evening, 176 mules had been ferried across, around 70 belonging to No. 25 Animal Transport Company and the rest being hired Chinese mules.  More mules were ferried across the next morning.[65]

Captain Young, the Deputy Resident for the area, acted as Political Officer for the expedition.[66]  On 3rd February, he received several reports indicating up to 300 well armed Chinese 'bandits' were moving from village to village around Mongmao, looting as they went.  The Chinese leader, Law Chung Ming, had his headquarters at Mongmao.  The No. 1 Column (A.C.P.), to the north, was also gathering information about the Chinese and on 31st January had sent a report to Captain Young that around 250 Chinese were in Lufang.  The A.C.P. now reported that their column had advanced to within seven miles of the Kunlong ferry on the Salween River and about ten miles from the Chinese border and to the north of Lufang.  The 2nd Battalion’s No. 2 Column ferried more mules across the Salween on 4th February while plans were made for its deployment.  It was decided that one company would move off on 6th February and the remainder of the Battalion column three days later.  In accordance with this plan, 'C' Company with 118 men and 95 mules of No. 25  Animal Transport Company left the camp at 08:15 on the morning of 6th February for Naoi.  This place was reached just after midday and found to have a large enough camping area and water for the whole column.  A small reconnaissance patrol was sent to Man Tong on to gather information and to buy fresh vegetables.  The party returned with the news that the Chinese 'bandits' were gathering at Mongmao.  A report was received from No. 1 Column (A.C.P.) that it had crossed the Salween and would camp at Hopang that night.[67]

The next day, back at the Salween crossing, final preparations were made by the balance of the 2nd Battalion column, including the laying out of loads for 550 mules.  The No. 1 Column (A.C.P.) reported it had reached Panglong, to the east of Lufang.  This column was then ordered to remain there and await further instructions.  On the morning of 9th February the balance of the 2nd Battalion column left camp, with 'A Company in the lead, followed by the Tactical Headquarters, then No. 25 Animal Transport Company and finally the Chinese mules.  The column headed for Naoi, following a good track and undertaking a climb of around 3,200 feet.  After covering a distance of about eight and half miles in just less than four hours the column advance guard reached Naoi.  As reported by 'C' Company the camp site was excellent and the village headman presented the column with some tobacco and fresh chillies.  The column set off again the next morning for Nawi with 'A' Company in the lead.  At around four miles from Nawi a Battalion mule fell down the mountain side.  The poor animal was fortunate that its fall was halted by a tree and with difficulty it was hauled back up on to the track.  By way of thanks it then promptly kicked its leader in the knee and the man became a casualty who was later evacuated.  The column arrived at Nawi at 13:00 where a gathering of the local Lahu tribes people welcomed the soldiers with a hymn, a rendition of ‘God Save the Queen‘ and presents of chickens and eggs.  That evening the Battalion doctor vaccinated a small number of children against smallpox while Captain Young questioned the local headman and some of his people about the Chinese.  The Lahus confirmed that there were 350 to 400 Chinese at Mongmao.  The Lahus had sent messengers to the area with gestures of peace but none of the messengers had returned.  They were very pleased to see the 2nd Battalion column and anxious to help.[68]

The next day, 11th February, the No. 2 Column set off again, this time for Nahkang, to the north east.  The country made for difficult marching, ending with a 2,500 feet descent to the Namkunlong River at Nahkang.  The descent was very steep, rocky and dangerous for the mules.  Nahkang was found to be deserted and a camp site had to be cleared.  Towards evening several messengers arrived with news of the Chinese, about 100 of whom had moved north eastwards along the track from Mongmao to Kanawng Hsang, possibly with the intention of opposing the column's advance.  No.1 Column (A.C.P.) reported an unknown number of Chinese around the village of Manhsiang.  This column was now ordered south from Panglong to Monghet.  The following morning, the 2nd Battalion column forded the Namkunlong River and marched on to Monghet two miles away.  Here the remainder of the day was spent resting, washing clothes and fishing in the river.  On 13th February, the column moved on again to the outpost at Man Khum, a march of nine miles involving a 3,000 feet climb.  From Man Khum the whole area could be seen and through binoculars three Chinese outposts could be seen at Mankui, Yungpang and Hpaktalin.  Late that afternoon 'A' Company was sent to capture the Mankui post and then to move on to Yungpang where it would be joined by the rest of the column which would leave Man Khum later that evening at around 23:00.[69]

At 18:30 on 13th February, 'A' Company came under fire from light machine guns from the first post at Mankui.  Two men were wounded.  Lance Naik Tulsi Ram Thapa suffered a bullet graze across his skull but Sepoy Tek Bahadur Rana received a very serious head wound.  It was during this action that Major Walker earned an O.B.E. for his actions in rescuing the wounded Sepoy while under fire.  The casualties were evacuated to Man Khum by Wa tribes’ people.  Given that 'A' Company was unable to advance, a detachment of mortars was sent from the main column to provide support.  At 23:00, 'A' Company was joined by the Battalion Tactical Headquarters and 'C' Company, less a platoon, and put in another attack.  Attacking up the only track to the post the Company was again held up by the fire of light machine guns and the Battalion Commanding Officer decided to postpone the attack until the next day.  A platoon from 'A' Company was left in position to observe the enemy.  At 03:00 the next day the Chinese were located and seen to be about 50-60 in number with four light machine guns.  Later that morning reports came in that there were around 300 Chinese at Motlong, 70 at Hpaktalin and 500 with mortars at Mongmao.  Given that the Chinese were blocking the only two routes to Mongmao with sufficient water and passable to mules, Headquarters North Burma Area was asked to relocate a planned airdrop from Mongmao to Man Khum.  Given the strength of the enemy, additional 3-inch mortar and small arms ammunition was also requested.  That afternoon No. 3 Platoon and a detachment of 3-inch mortars were sent out as a strong fighting patrol to harass the Mankui post and to get into position without being seen.  The mortars were then brought into action and scored several direct hits on the Chinese position.  Light machine gun and rifle fire was returned by the Chinese and the patrol returned having located many trenches and positions, all strongly built in the Japanese style.  That evening, Sepoy Tek Bahadur Rama died of wounds and was buried.[70]  

After dawn the next day, 15th February, 'C' Company took over and with mortars in support attacked the Mankui outpost.  The outpost was taken and 'C' Company under Major McLellan then moved on Yungpang which was occupied without opposition at around 20:00 that evening.  The next day reports indicated that the Chinese had concentrated in Mongmao so the Battalion prepared to mount a full scale attack at dawn the next day.  At 01:00 on 17th February, the column set out from Man Khum with 'A' Company less one platoon, Tactical Headquarters, 'C' Company less one platoon and two troops from No. 25 Animal Transport Company.  After a six hour night march the leading troops arrived at Mongmao and entered the village without opposition.  The Chinese had fled to China, telling the local Wa tribes people they were leaving because the Was did not love them.  At 10:30, the planned air drop took place at Man Khum.  Throughout the day many people from the local villages came in and all seemed very pleased to see the British return.  It was found that the Chinese had been well established in Mongmao.  They had built large bamboo barracks and storehouses.  The Chinese Commander's residence was well laid out with a lily pond and rock garden under construction.  First reports suggested that the Chinese had split into two groups, one moving north east to the border and the other to the south.  It was subsequently heard that the first Chinese party crossed into China but that the second had not made it.  This party had taken 14 Wa porters with them and then murdered these men rather than releasing them for fear that they would carry information back to give away their location.  The Was rose up and banded together to surround this Chinese party in a ravine across the Namma River where it seemed they were attacked by the Was.  The taking of Mongmao, some 30 miles east of the river crossing at Tahsaileng as the crow flies, represented the successful achievement of the objective of the expedition, to remove Chinese presence from the border area.  Attention now shifted to operations against Vingnun and Htakhting.[71]

Meanwhile the Battalion column rested and two air drops of supplies and ammunition were received at Man Khum.  On 19th February, a message was received from Headquarters North Burma Area asking if the column might be able to deal with bandits reported to be occupying Lufang, about 15 miles or so to the north.  The next day news was received that to the south, around 500 Chinese had entered Vingngun and driven the Armed Civil Police No. 3 Column back to Loilon.  This was the first news the 2nd Battalion had received of the No. 3 Column.  On 21st February, the Battalion signalled North Burma Area to propose that Vingngun could be dealt with but only if supported by airdrops.  Either Htakhting or Lufang could be tackled, but not both.  The next morning North Burma Area confirmed that the column should deal with Htakhtaing before returning to Lashio.  Air supply was thought to be unavailable however and that Lufang might be dealt with by a separate operation mounted from Lashio.  However, more discussion followed and whilst preparations were begun for the Vingnun operation, details of the aerial supply sorties needed to clear Htakhtaing as well as Vingngun were shared with Headquarters.  During the day, No. 1 Column (A.C.P.) arrived in Mongmao with instructions to establish a permanent post there.  On 24th February, Headquarters North Burma Area agreed to the requested number of sorties needed to clear both Vingngun and Htakhtaing.  That same day news was received that the Lahu guerrillas of No. 3 Column continued to fight the Chinese at Vingngun and had briefly reoccupied the village before being driven out.[72]

Having reached agreement on the number and location of airdrops the column, consisting of the Battalion Tactical Headquarters, 'A' Company and 'C' Company less one platoon and mule transport, left Mongmao on 26th February on the first stage of the trek to Vingnun.  One platoon of 'C' Company was left behind to receive the three airdrops planned for the 7th, 8th and 9th March.  As the march progressed messages were received that the Chinese were still in Vingngun and pillaging the surrounding villages.  The British were implored to hurry as fast as they could.  After a long march, as the column approached Vingngun on the morning of 4th March, news was received that 700 Chinese 'bandits' had moved towards the Mong Hka river across border into China just two hours before the Column's arrival.  By 18:30 that evening, all the Chinese posts had been destroyed and a camp set up in Vingngun.  As the men of the column rested the next day, they at last received first hand news of the activities of No. 3 Column (A.C.P.).  This column had been charged with clearing the area now re-occupied by the 2nd Battalion’s No. 2 Column.  After several fights with the Chinese, the No. 3 Column, made up of around 100 A.C.P. and 400 Lahu guerrillas, had been forced to withdraw to the south of Vingngun.  The Political Officer, Captain Young now ordered No. 3 Column back to Vingngun where the local leader, the 'Sawbwa', offered to feed them.  The 2nd Battalion column was unable to remain in Vingngun due to lack of supplies but there was still work to be done to restore the area to Government control.  With the return of the A.C.P. of No. 3 Column it was now possible to establish or re-establish the A.C.P. posts at Vingngun and Loilon and Captain Young gave instructions for the A.C.P. to contact outlying villages still under Chinese influence to bring them back under Government patronage.  The next day, 6th March, No. 2 Column left on the return march to Mongmao, arriving on 11th March, having once again been supplied from the air.  Upon arrival the column received signals of congratulations from General Briggs, G.O.C. Burma Army, and Brigadier Bright, Commander of North Burma Area.[73]

The No. 2 Column was now ordered to march north on Htakhtaing which had over a long period remained a centre of hostility to the Government and had recently co-operated with the Chinese.  The headman had resisted all summonses from the Political Officer, Captain Young but with the column now on its way back to Lashio it seemed hopeful that headman would at last attend to pay allegiance to the Government.  It was thought that he had agreed to meet the column on its march route at Mankhum but upon arrival there on 13th March it became clear that this headman had no intention of attending the meeting.  The next morning the column moved to Nahkang.  From here it was decided to send the Tactical Headquarters, 'C' Company and one platoon of 'A' Company to Yungpang for operations against Htakhting.  The remainder of 'A' Company, a section of 'B' Company and the balance of mules of No. 25 Animal Transport Company not needed to support the main column, were ordered to return to Tahsaileng on the Salween River.  On 15th March, the main column moved to the Yungpang from where that night 'C' Company set off for Htakhting.  Headquarters, 'A' Company and the mule transport set off the next morning.  At 08:15, the leading elements of 'C' Company entered Htakhting, taking the villagers by surprise and by 10:00 the whole column was established in the village.  Having defied the Government for twelve years the villagers of Htakhting were now disarmed and were finally made to submit to an oath of allegiance to the Burma Government, all without a shot being fired.  On 17th March, the B.B.C. news broadcast an account of the operations in the Wa States but incorrectly mentioned the Burma Rifles as being the unit taking part.  Having stayed a further day to provide additional demonstrations of firepower and Government strength the column returned to Yungpang on 18th March.  From there it retraced its steps back to Tahsaileng where the Salween was crossed on 24th March.  The next day the column arrived in Nawngleng from where the Battalion motor transport collected them the following day and brought back all personnel and mules to Lashio.  So concluded a successful expedition.[74]

During the period of the Wa States expedition, there was continued trouble in the Bhamo-Myitkyina area where there was ongoing infiltration by the Chinese.  On 28th February, orders were received by the 2nd Battalion Rear Headquarters in Lashio to send a company to Myitkyina to reinforce the partly trained 1st and 2nd Kachin Rifles under the command of 553 Sub-Area.  Two days later 'D' Company under Lieutenant Butcher left Lashio for Myitkyina.  Travelling by lorry via Muse and Bhamo the Company arrived at Myitkyina on the evening of 2nd February and reported to the Officer Commanding, 2nd Kachin Rifles.  Four days later, accompanied by the Assistant District Superintendent, Major M.E. Busk and some police, the Company set off on a day long patrol along the Irrawaddy River in search of Chinese 'dacoits'.[75]  The following day, No. 10 Platoon left by rail for Mogaung to relieve a platoon of 'A' Company, 2nd Kachin Rifles.  The town had been garrisoned since mid-January following a number of murders.  Company Headquarters and No.s 11 and 12 Platoons remained in Myitkyina until 11th February when they joined No. 10 Platoon in Mogaung.  The next day, all bar No. 10 Platoon left for Mohnyin by 'Jeep train'.  On 13th February, having discovered that a military presence was unnecessary at Mohnyin, 'D' Company went to Namma where house searches were undertaken and two Chinese deserters found.  The men returned to Mogaung that evening.  Two days later a full company operation was undertaken to capture Chinese deserters in Kanhla village.  During the morning, a total of 31 suspects were detained and that afternoon the Company returned to Myitkyina.  That night information was received that around 500 Chinese troops were approaching Myitkyina and the Company received orders to prepare to face them the next day.  The following evening more current reports were received that 375 fully armed Chinese troops were dug in astride the Ledo Road at Waingmaw, on the east bank of the Irrawaddy across from Myitkyina and site of an action fought by the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment in 1944.  The Company remained on high alert but the following day, it was reported that the Chinese were only 200 in number and seemingly with friendly intentions.[76]

The Chinese commander was told to leave and cross the border but replied that he had orders to arrest Chinese deserters and would not move.  The matter was referred to the Governor and on to London.  Meanwhile, Burma Army Headquarters reinforced the Myitkyina area with two battalions of Indian Infantry, the 21st/27th Field Battery, Royal Artillery and a partly trained battalion of the new Burma Army (presumed to be the 2nd Kachin Rifles).[77]  'D' Company remained on guard of the Irrawaddy bridge from 21st February and mounted patrols along the river for the rest of the month.  The first week of March was spent in similar fashion and in training until on 8th March the Company was visited by the commander of the reinforcements sent to the area, Lt. Colonel J.E. Fairlie of the Baluch (Baloch) Regiment.  He commanded 'FAIRFORCE' which now took command of all troops in Myitkyina.  Company patrols continued until 14th March when it was heard that the Chinese were leaving Waingmaw.[78]  Some days earlier the British authorities in Chungking, China, reported that they had received written assurance from the Generalissimo, Chiang Kai-shek, that orders had been issued for the Chinese troops around Myitkyina to withdraw.[79]

The No. 12 Platoon was ordered into Waingmaw the next day, accompanied by the assistant District Superintendent, Major Busk.  Later that morning the 6th Kumaon Rifles arrived and later marched off to Sailaw.  The following day the 21st/27th Field Battery passed through Waingmaw also on its way to Sailaw.  The next day, 17th March, 'D' Company left the Myitkyina area for Sadon, moving via Sailaw. and arriving the next day.  At Sadon the Company prepared defensive positions and mounted patrols and 'flag marches' throughout the surrounding area for the remainder of the month.  On 1st April Major P.B. Nicachi left Lashio for Sadon where he took command of 'D' Company from Captain Butcher on 8th April.[80]  The Company was visited by the 2nd Battalion Commanding Officer, Lt. Colonel Chappell on 11th April and Chappell did not return to Lashio until 16th April.  The Company remained in Sadon until early the following month when between 7th and 9th May it returned to Lashio.  One of the task it undertook while in Sadon was to train the local Armed Civil Police company.[81]

By 26th March, all but one company of the Battalion column involved in the Wa States operations had returned to Lashio, 'B' Company remaining in Nawngleng.  This situation continued throughout April, with  'B' Company undertaking patrols in the Tangyang area in the middle of the month and 'D' Company at Sadon.  On 20th April the Battalion held a holiday to celebrate the success of the Wa States operation and held an inter-company sports competition.  'B' Company  returned to Nawngleng from a 'flag march' to Man Peng on 25th April, having also provided escort for one 'lakh' of silver rupees for the Assistant Resident, the equivalent of eight bullock cart loads of silver.[82]  The Company eventually returned to Lashio on 2nd May and 'D' Company was fully reunited with the Battalion by 9th May.  The month of June passed quietly in Lashio.  In July, orders were received warning that the 2nd Battalion was to be placed under command of North Burma Area to undertake static guard duties.  The dispositions proposed were for the Battalion Headquarters and the Administration Company to be located at Mandalay, one company at Maymyo, one company at Myingyan to guard Chinese deserters and one company at Meiktila.  The target date for completion of the move from Lashio was set for 10th August.  Also in July, the 2nd Battalion was informed that during October it was to move to Rangoon where in December it was to begin disbandment, the process to be completed by March 1947.  Five former P.B.F. officers who had been attached to the 2nd Battalion for training were posted to newly formed battalions of the Burma Rifles on 2nd August.  'A' Company was first to move from Lashio, arriving in Myingyan on the evening of 1st August.  On 5th August, one platoon of 'C' Company set off for Maymyo as the Battalion Advance Party.  The next day orders were received detailing 'B' Company and the Battalion 1st Reinforcements to move to Sumatra where they were to join the 1st Battalion, The Burma Regiment.  They left the next day.  'D' Company left for Maymyo on 13th August and Battalion Headquarters left Lashio to join them on 20th August, arriving the next day.  'C' Company left Maymyo for Mandalay on 23rd August.  Meanwhile 'A' Company provided an escort detachment to transfer Chinese prisoners to Rangoon, the party returning to Myingyan on 24th August.[83]

On 1st September, the 2nd Battalion was disposed as follows:

- Battalion Headquarters, Headquarters Company, Administration Company and 'D' Company – Maymyo
- 'A' Company – Meiktila
- 'B' Company – Sumatra
- 'C' Company - Mandalay.

Maymyo suffered sever earthquake tremors on 12th September but no damage was caused in the Battalion lines.  On 29th September, Captain Thapa reported back to Maymyo having been relived as Commander, 'C' Company by Major McLellan.[84]  In early October, the Company provided guards for all trains from Mandalay to Naungkhio.  The earlier notification of possible relocation to Rangoon was cancelled on 6th October and the 2nd Battalion remained in its current locations.[85]

[The 2nd Battalion war diary ends here, 31st October 1946.]

'B' Company, 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, attached to the 1st Battalion since August 1946, with which it had served at Palembang in Sumatra, returned to the Battalion on 12th March 1947.[86]

It had been planned to disband the remaining battalions of the Burma Regiment prior to independence.  However, at the last minute the then Prime Minister-in-waiting, Aung San (prior to his murder in July 1947) decided to retain the 2nd and 4th Battalions of The Burma Regiment.[87]  Despite this reprieve it appears the 2nd Battalion went ahead with at least some preparations for disbandment for in November 1947, the Battalion drums and bagpipes were sold to the Chin Hills Battalion.[88]  By the end of 1947 the 2nd Battalion was composed entirely of Gurkhas.[89]

The Battalion was handed over to the new Government of Burma at independence on 4th January 1948.[90]

It seems that the 2nd Battalion was however disbanded sometime during 1948 or early 1949 for a new 2nd Burma Regiment was formed at Maymyo in early 1950.[91]

[1] IOR L/WS/1/1313 British Library

[2] IOR L/WS/1/1313

[3] Hereward Chappell born, 21st April 1898.  Educated Wyggeston School, Leicester.  Enrolled as Cadet in the Saugor Military Academy, India, 1916.  Commissioned as 2nd Lt. to the Unattached List, 18th April 1916.  Appointed as 2nd Lt. (AI 847) to the Indian Army, 39th Royal Garhwal Rifles (18th Royal Garhwal Rifles from 1921), 27th April 1916.  Served Iraq, 20th March 1917 to 28th September 1918.  Served Salonika and Turkey, 25th October 1918 to 11th November 1918.  Served Waziristan, 1919-21.  Mentioned in Despatches, gazetted, 5th June 1919.  Promoted to Captain, 18th April 1920.  Inspector of Messes, Waziristan Force, 17th May 1922 to 2nd October 1922.  Staff Captain, 5th December 1923 to 24th February 1924.  Served North-West Frontier of India, 1930.  Served Burma (Saya San Rebellion), 1930-32.  Seconded to and served as Assistant Commandant with the Burma Military Police from 7th August 1931.  Promoted to Major, 18th April 1934.  Transferred to the Special Unemployed List, Indian Army, 1st November 1935.  Officiating Commandant, Northern Shan States Battalion, Burma Frontier Force, 1937.  Commandant, 2nd Rangoon Battalion, Burma Military Police, 1938 to May 1942.  Commanding Officer, the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, early/mid-1943 to September 1943.  Joined the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1943.  Commanding Officer, the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, September 1943 to 22nd October 1946.  Promoted from Major (temporary Lt. Colonel) to Lt. Colonel, 18th February 1946.  Retired, 6th June 1948.  As substantive Lt. Colonel, Officer Commanding the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, awarded O.B.E., 12th June 1947, gazetted, 20th August 1948.  Died, 28th December 1978 ("War Services of British and Indian Officers of the Indian Army 1941", Savannah (2004); British Army List; Indian Army List; London Gazette; Private Papers of Lt. Col. I.C.G. Scott (IWM); WO 172/7802; WO 172/10320; WO 373/82/281).

[4] Indian Army List, “Report of the Burma Military Police by Maj. H. Chappell”, WO 203/5693; “Burma Frontier Force by Lt.-Co. G.C. Pryce”, WO 203/5697

[5] IOR L/WS/1/1313

[6] 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).

[7] Richard Caunce Walker born, 14th August 1916.  Married Isobel Douglas.  Worked as an assistant for Rowe & Co., 416 Dalhousie Street, Rangoon, 1st January 1941.  Emergency Commission as 2nd Lt. to the General List (189632), 28th April 1941.  As 2nd Lt., served with the 6th Battalion, The Burma Rifles, 1941.  War substantive Lieutenant, temporary Captain, 15th November 1941.  Served with F.F.7, Burma Frontier Force, February 1942.  Commanded the Hukawng Valley/Fort Hertz Detachment, 10th Burma Regiment, March/April 1943 to August 1944?  As Captain, Mentioned in Despatches, gazetted, 5th April 1945.  As war substantive Captain, temporary Major, the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, awarded the M.B.E., gazetted, 14th November 1946.  As Manager, Rowe & Co., sailed from London to Rangoon aboard the S.S. "Derbyshire”, departed, 10th December 1947.  Died, 29th November 1971 (Burma Army List 1943; Burma Defence Services List July 1941; “Burma Bde and Regt”, WO 203/974; WO 203/118; FindMyPast; Stewartry Monumental Inscriptions; London Gazette; Thacker's Directory; WO 203/5697; WO 373/103/179).

[8] "Burma Regiment and Brigade", WO 203/974

[9] “Burma Army Reorganisation”, WO 203/503

[10] IOR L/WS/1/1313

[11] WO 203/503

[12] WO 203/503

[13] War diary 2nd Burma Regiment,1945, WO 172/7802

[14] WO 172/7802

[15] John McLellan, born 3rd August 1917.  Emergency Commission, Indian Army, as 2nd Lieutenant (EC9026), attached to the 18th Royal Garhwal Rifles, 28th May 1942.  Acting Captain, 28th November 1942 to 2nd March 1944.  War substantive Lieutenant, 28th November 1942.  Temporary Captain, 3rd March 1944.  Acting Major, 23rd December 1944 to 22nd March 1945.  As temporary Captain, joined the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 23rd December 1944.  As Captain, temporary Major, Commander 'C' Company, 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment until evacuated to India from Indainggyi, 21st January 1945.  Temporary major, 23rd March 1945.  War substantive Captain, 28th March 1945.  As Captain, temporary Major, returned to the Battalion and assumed post as Commander 'D' Company, 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment until evacuated to India from Indainggyi, 24th July 1945.  As Major, 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, ordered to stand by for movement orders to proceed on release from the Army, 13th October 1946.  Briefly served as a member of the Unit Selection Board, Burma Land Forces Emergency Commission, 16th October 1946.  As temporary Major (EC9026), 18th Royal Garhwal Rifles, Indian Army, for service as part of the Wa States operation with the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, recommended for the Military Cross, awarded M.B.E., gazetted, 14th February 1947.  Died, 1971.

Recipient Name: McLellan, John

As war substantive Captain, temporary Major, awarded the M.B.E., gazetted  14th February 1947, his citation follows:

Brigade:            North Burma Area

Unit:     18th Royal Garhwal Rifles, attached to the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment

Date of Recommendation:           22nd July 1946           

Action for which recommended :-           During the Wa States operations at Man Khum on 15 February 1946 Major J. McLellan was sent forward with a rifle company which he was commanding to capture a position on a hill which was held by 150 Chinese bandits and Was who had delayed the advance of the column with LMG and rifle fire.
There was only one path to the enemy position and this was covered by enemy fire.  On both sides of the path there was tall pampas grass and Kaing grass and once in it no view of the enemy position was possible.
In spite of the difficult nature of the ground and lack of visibility in the grass this officer most skilfully led his company round to the flank and rear of the enemy forcing him to vacate a very strong position which would have cost many casualties had the advance up the path been continued.
Again on 15th March 1946 this officer was ordered to capture the Wa village of Htakhting whose chief had always defied Government and into whose territory no column had ever succeeded in penetrating before.
Making good the crossing of the Namkunlong River during the night 15/16th March 1946 he continued his advance after the arrival of the remainder of the column in the early hours of the morning up the steep slopes of the hill on the top of which was Htakhting village some 1,500 feet above the river.  So skilfully and quickly did he advance that he took the enemy completely by surprise and entered the village before the enemy could man his defences.  By his magnificent leadership this village was captured without casualties when many had been expected.  The surrender of the Chief with all the armament of the village was thus effected without loss.

Recommended for the award of the Military Cross (later amended to the M.B.E.) by:  Lieut-Colonel H Chappell, Comd. 2nd Bn The Burma Regiment;  Lieut-General H.R. Briggs, G.O.C.-in.C., Burma Command

Signed By: Lt-Gen. M.G.N. Stoppford, C.-in-C., Allied Land Forces SEA.


 (FindMyPast; Indian Army List 1945; Indian Army List 1946; LG 37880 749; WO 373/103/1054; War diary 2nd Burma Regiment, WO 172/7802; WO 172/10320).

[16] Norman Mitchell, born, 2nd January 1916.  Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant, ABRO (ABRO 94), 7th March 1940.  Served with the Burma Military Police from March 1940?.  Promoted to Lieutenant, 2nd November 1941.  Served with the Mandalay Battalion, Burma Military Police, February 1942? to May 1942?.  Served as company commander, 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 16th May 1945 to 1946.  Served as Second-in-Command, 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1946 to 9th April 1946.  Left the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment and proceeded on release from the Army, 9th April 1946.  As Lieutenant, war substantive Captain, temporary Major, the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, awarded the M.B.E., gazetted, 6th June 1946.  Died, January 2001.

As Lieutenant, war substantive Captain, temporary Major, awarded the M.B.E., gazetted  6th June 1946, his citation follows:

Brigade:  552 Line of Communication Sub Area
Division: 505 District
Corps:                XII Army
Unit:       2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment

Date of Recommendation:         20th August 1945          

Action for which recommended :-           Throughout the period under review 16 May – 15 Aug ’45 this officer has continued to do excellent work while commanding a rifle coy of the Bn in rounding up dacoits and in ye collection of unauthorised arms and amn in the Shwebo District.  During June and July 1945 he took part with is Coy in the operations in the Monywa Dist when his coy was responsible for shooting two of three Japanese Officer Intelligence agents.  His success in raids ins due to the care[sic] preparation and trouble he always take sin making a sound plan.  Previous to the period this officer did excellent work in the Kawlin Dist in rounding up dacoits and an operation conducted by him later in the Shwebo Dist resulted in the killing of the Dacoit leader Shwe Si who had long been wanted by the Police.

Recommended by:  Lt. Col H. Chappell, Comd, 2 Burma Regiment; Lt. Col J.E. Fairlie, Officiating Commander, 552 L of C Sub Area; Major-General A.H.J. Snelling, Commander 505 District.

Signed By: Lieutenant-General Sir Montagu George North Stopford, G.O.C.-in-C., Twelfth Army; General M.C. Dempsey, C-inC Allied Land Forces SEA

 (“Burma Invaded 1942”, Enriquez C.M. (2013);; Burma Army List October 1940, 1943; Burma Defence Services List July 1941; War diary 2nd Burma Regiment, WO 172/7802, WO 172/10320; WO 373/82/281).

[17] WO 172/7802

[18] Peter Gerald Mathew born, 12th September 1920.  Served with rank of Gunner until commissioned, 9th September 1941.  Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant, Indian Army (EC3663), attached to the 5th Battalion, 16th Punjab Regiment, 10th September 1941.  Acting Captain to 30th April 1942.  War substantive Lieutenant, 1st May 1942.  Temporary Captain, 1st May 1942.  Served with the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment as company commander, 9th January 1945 to 1946-47.  Acting Major, 2nd February 1945 to 1st May 1945.  War substantive Captain, 2nd May 1945.  Temporary Major, 2nd May 1945.  As temporary Major, awarded M.B.E., 17th January 1946.  Died, 2016?

As war substantive Captain, temporary Major , awarded the  M.B.E., gazetted  17th January 1946, his citation follows:

Division:   505 Line of Communication District
Unit:     16th Punjab Regiment, attached 2nd Burma Regiment
Date of Recommendation:           5th June 1946  

Action for which recommended :-           During the period under review, 16 Feb 1945 – 15 May 1946, this officer was in command of a Company of this Bn in the Pakokku District in an internal security role.
Throughout the whole period the Company was actively engaged against dacoits and earlier in the period against parties of Japanese as well.
This officer has been tireless in his efforts to rid the District of the dacoit menace and has shown determination, energy and initiative of a high order in carrying out this task.
More than a hundred and thirty dacoits have been killed or captured by his Company during this period and large quantities of arms and ammunition have been recovered.
This officer’s efforts have resulted in accelerating the return of the Pakokku District to normal conditions.

Recommended by:  Lt Col. H. Chappell, COMD: 2 Burma Regiment
Signed By: Maj. Gen H.H.J. Snelling, Comd 505 District; Gen W.J. Slim, C-in-C Allied Land Forces SEA

 (Indian Army List October 1945; London Gazette; WO 373/81/290; War diary 2nd Burma Regiment, WO 172/7802, WO 172/10320).

[19] WO 172/7802

[20] The Civil Affairs Service (Burma) or C.A.S.(B) came into being in February 1943, with the appointment of a Chief Civil Affairs Officer (C.C.A.O.).  The role of the C.A.S.(B) was to conduct on behalf of the Supreme Allied Commander, South-East Asia Command, the military administration of the civil population in all the territories of Burma which were then occupied, or might at any future time be re-occupied Anglo-Indian forces.  The Burma Civil Police came under this organisation.

[21] Samuel Gordon Arnaud Scott born, 25th October 1914.  Assistant Superintendent, Burma Civil Police, 1939.  Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant, A.B.R.O. (ABRO 988), 12th April 1944.  Posted as Senior Civil Affairs Officer (Police), Katha District, December 1944.  Posted to Nyaunglebin, 1945.  Posted to Tavoy District where he was wounded in action against the 'dacoit' leader, Po Nyein, late 1945.  Relinquished commission in the A.B.R.O. and granted honorary rank of Major, 20th January 1946.  As war substantive Captain, temporary Major, awarded the M.B.E., gazetted, 6th June 1946.  Awarded the King's Police and Fire Services Medal while serving as District Superintendent of Police, Kyankpyu, gazetted, 1st January 1948.  As "Government officer" sailed from London to Port Said aboard the S.S. "Mooltan", departed, 26th August 1948.  Married Gabrielle Mary Gardner, 1950.  As member of the U.K. Foreign Service, sailed with his wife from Tanjung, Indonesia to Plymouth aboard the "Willem Ruys", arrived, 21st April 1953.  Working in "Foreign Service", sailed with his wife Gabrielle Mary, from Southampton to Penang aboard the S.S. "Canton", departed, 24th July 1953.  As "British Government Official", residing in Malaya, sailed with wife and daughter aboard S.S. "Giengyle" from London to Penang, departed,  23rd March 1956.  As "Government Official", sailed with wife and daughter from Penang to Southampton aboard the S.S. "Glengarry", arrived, 21st November 1957.  Died, 1991.

As temporary Major, awarded the M.B.E., gazetted 6th June 1946, his citation follows:
            Unit:     A.B.R.O.
            Date of Recommendation:                     1st November 1945

Action for which recommended :-           Major Scott was posted to the charge of Katha District in December 1944.  Notwithstanding shortage of supplies and equipment of all kinds, he quickly organised an effective police force which had immediate success against the many dacoit gangs of the notorious Katha-Shwebo border area.
With the liberation of the Pegu District, he was posted to the charge of the most criminal area in Burma.  There, in Nyaunglebin, his success was positively striking.  Dacoit gangs were quickly broken up and their firearms seized.
Recently, in the Tavoy District, Major Scott organised a successful action against the renowned dacoit leader Po Nyein and his gang who, with the connivance of the Japanese, have terrorised a portion of Tavoy District for many months.  Po Nyein and two of his followers were killed while Major Scott was wounded.
Major Scott by his keenness and example was in all these areas principally responsible for the considerable success the Police have had.

Recommended by:        Chief of Police, CAS(B);
Signed By: Lieut.-General Sir Montagu Stopford, G.O.C.-inC, Twelfth Army; General Sir Miles Dempsey, C-in-C Allied Land Forces SEA

(; Anglo-Burmese Library; FindMyPast; WO 373/82/330).

[22] Alan William Herbert.  Emergency Commission, Indian Army as 2nd Lieutenant, 16th January 1944.  War substantive Lieutenant, 16th July 1944.  Acting Captain, 1st December 1944 to 28th February 1945.  Temporary Captain, March 1945.  Served with the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1944-46 (Indian Army List October 1945; War diary 2nd Burma Regiment, WO 172/7802, WO 172/10320).

[23] WO 172/7802

[24] WO 172/7802

[25] Kenneth Charles Hopkins.  Commissioned from Cadet as 2nd Lieutenant (219903), Durham Light Infantry, 6th December 1941.  War substantive Lieutenant, 1st October 1942.  Company Commander, 'B' Company, 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1945.  Left the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment for return to the United Kingdom under the 'PYTHON' repatriation scheme, 15th October 1945.  As temporary Major (219903), Durham Light Infantry, mentioned in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Burma, gazetted, 19th September 1946 (British Army List; London Gazette; War diary 2nd Burma Regiment, WO 172/7802).

[26] WO 172/7802

[27] WO 172/7802

[28] Arthur Alexander Donald born, son of Duncan, Assistant Superintendent of Police, and Isabelle Annie, residents of Amarapura, India, 1st April 1900.  Baptised at the Roman Catholic Cathedral, Mandalay, 10th April 1900.  Commissioned into the Indian Army Reserve of Officers as 2nd Lieutenant, 7th June 1918.  Appointed District Superintendent, Burma Police, 5th June 1920.  Resigned commission as 2nd Lieutenant, Indian Army Reserve of Officers, 7th July 1920.  As member of the Indian Imperial Police, resident of Sandoway, married Kathleen Margaret Bacon at St. Francis Assisi Church, Pegu, 1st February 1926.  Divorced, 1936.  As member of "Imperial Police", sailed from Southampton to Colombo, en route to Burma, aboard M.S. "Indrapoera", departed, 26th March 1937.  Served as District Superintendent, Burma Police, 1940.  As District Superintendent of Police, Burma, awarded the King's Police and Fire Services Medal for distinguished service, gazetted, 1st January 1941.  As Major, of the "Burma Police", ordered to report as advisor to the 1st Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment, 10th March 1942.  Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant, A.B.R.O. (ABRO 518), 15th March 1942.  Detached from the Burma Regiment[sic] to serve with 'V' Force.  As Major, temporary Lt. Colonel, commanded 'V' Force in the Arakan Area, 15th September 1942 to 30th June 1943.  As acting Major, A.B.R.O., mentioned in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Burma during the period December 1941 to May 1942, gazetted, 28th October 1942.  As Major (temporary Lt. Colonel), The Burma Regiment [sic], awarded the O.B.E., gazetted, 16th December 1943.  As Major, temporary Lt. Colonel, A.B.R.O., mentioned in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Burma, gazetted, 19th October 1944.  Served in Shwebo area as Senior Civil Affairs Officer (Police), March 1945.  Relinquished commission as 2nd Lieutenant, ABRO and granted the honorary rank of Lt. Colonel, 20th January 1946.  As Major, temporary Colonel, Burma Army, Commands and Staff, mentioned in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Burma, gazetted, 19th September 1946.  Described as "Soldier", sailed from Southampton to Trinidad aboard the S. S. "Golfito", departed, 1st June 1950.  Died 1962 [??]

As war substantive Major, temporary Lt. Colonel, awarded the O.B.E., gazetted 16th December 1943, his citation follows:

Division:  26th Indian Infantry Division
Unit:     Burma Regiment att. “V” Force

Date of Recommendation:         23rd July 1943  

Action for which recommended :-           ARAKAN OPERATIONS 1 Jan ---- 30 June.  Lt. Col. Donald commands “V” Force in the Arakan Area.  Throughout the operation he has rendered invaluable and devoted service.
He has organised his agents and their activities in the most efficient way and has ensured the greatest possible degree of assistance to the Military Commanders.  The information and services rendered by ‘V’ Force under Lt. Col. Donald’s personal direction has been of very great military value and the activities of his force have done much to maintain the loyalty and the morale of the inhabitants of the Mayu Peninsula.
His personal example of untiring energy and determination has been of the greatest assistance not only to the military command but also to the civil administration.
The services of this officer, in my opinion, fully merit recognition by the award of the Distinguished Service Order.

Recommended by:        Maj. Gen. C.E.N. Lomax, Comd. 26 Ind Div.
Signed By:  General G.J. Giffard, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Army

("British Military Administration in the Far East 1943-46", Donnison F.S.V., HMSO (1956); WO 373/79/360;; Anglo Burmese Library; Burma Civil List 1942; FindMyPast; London Gazette; TNA J77/3622/2272; War diary 2nd Burma Regiment, WO 172/7802; War diary 17th Indian Division, WO 172/475).

[29] WO 172/7802

[30] J.H.P.McD. (also listed as J.H.P.M.) Gilchrist.  Regular Army, Emergency Commission, The Seaforth Highlanders, as 2nd Lieutenant, 25th February 1940.  War substantive Lieutenant, 25th August 1941.  As 2nd Lieutenant, attached to the 12th Frontier Force Regiment, serving with a Garrison Company, 1943.  War substantive Lieutenant, acting Captain, 1943.  Served with the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1945.  As Captain, left the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment for H.Q. ALFSEA, 5th May 1945.  Appointed to the Malayan Corps of Guides, May 1945.  Relinquished commission as Lieutenant, war substantive Captain (121225), and granted the honorary rank of Major, 3rd October 1953 (British Army List April 1943; Indian Army List October 1943; London Gazette; War diary 2nd Burma Regiment, WO 172/7802).

[31] WO 172/7802

[32] K.J. Chand.  Commanded the 1st Reinforcements, 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1945.  As Captain, posted from the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment to the Burma Regimental Centre, 9th August 1946 (War diary 2nd Burma Regiment, WO 172/7802 & WO 172/10320).

[33] Reported by the war diary to be Sepoy Jagat Bahadur Mall (No. 65287).  The Commonwealth War Graves Commission web site has no date of death for this soldier.

[34] WO 172/7802

[35] WO 172/7802

[36] 505 District, WO 172/7233

[37] WO 172/7802

[38] WO 172/7802

[39] John Lawder Heenan, son of John Alexander and Rebecca Florence Heenan, born Khairatabad, Hyderabad, India, 21st April 1896.  Attended Trent College School, Long Eaton, near Nottingham, 1908-1914??  Served in the Royal Naval Reserve, 1st September 1914 to 20th August 1919.  District Superintendent, Burma Police, 7th February 1921 to 1942.  Appointed to the Army in India Reserve of Officers, as Captain, 23rd October 1928, with seniority from 24th March 1928.  Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant, A.B.R.O., 12th October 1944.  As Major, Senior Civil Affairs Officer (Police) at Pakokku, 9th April 1945.  With occupation given as "Police", sailed from Rangoon to Liverpool with his wife Mary aboard the S.S. "Worcestershire", arrived, 15th April 1947 (; Anglo Burmese Library; FindMyPast; London Gazette; War diary 2nd Burma Regiment, WO 172/7802).

[40] WO 172/7802

[41] WO 172/7802

[42] WO 172/7802

[43] N.S. Pal.  As Lieutenant, acting Captain, Emergency Commission, Indian Army (EC4778), posted to the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 5th April 1945.  Arrived with the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 26th April 1945.  Served with the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 26th April 1945 to 1946.  Major (temporary?), 1946 (War diary 2nd Burma Regiment, WO 172/7802 & WO 172/10320).

[44] WO 172/7802

[45] WO 172/7802

[46] WO 172/7802

[47] WO 172/7802

[48] WO 172/7802

[49] Hubert Maxwell Butcher.  Son of Hubert John Butcher and Elizabeth, born, 22nd May 1924.  Sailed aboard the S.S. "Matiana" from Lourenco Marques, Mozambique for London, arrived, 18th March 1932.  Emergency Commission, Indian Army as 2nd Lieutenant (EC 14725) , attached to the 4th Gurkha Rifles, 6th August 1944.  War substantive Lieutenant, 6th February 1945.  As Lieutenant, joined the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment from the 4th Battalion, 4th Gurkha Rifles, 31st May 1945.  Company Commander, 'D' Company, the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 29th January 1946 to 8th April 1946.  Left the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment to proceed on Class 'B' Release, 4th May 1946.  As "Missionary", sailed from Southampton to Bombay aboard the S.S. "Carthage", departed, 20th April 1954.  Died, Prince George, British Columbia, Canada, 6th November 2007 (; Indian Army List October 1945; War diary 2nd Burma Regiment, WO 172/7802 & WO 172/10320;

[50] WO 172/7802

[51] WO 172/7802

[52] WO 172/7802

[53] WO 172/7802

[54] Robert Anthony Scoones, born, 15th September 1915.  First commissioned, 29th June 1938.  Employed by Steel Brothers, 1939 to 1941.  Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant, ABRO, 7th March 1940.  Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant, ABRO (ABRO 36), 29th September 1940.  Served with the 5th Battalion, The Burma Rifles, October 1940 to 1941-42?.  Acting Captain from 2nd March 1941.  Temporary Captain from 2nd May 1941.  As Major and second-in-command, the 1st Burma Rifles, arrived in Meiktila from Hoshiarpur to begin raising the new battalion, 24th July 1945.  Commanding Officer, 1st Burma Rifles, August 1945.  Died, Sedgemoor, Somerset, 1999 (; Burma Army List October 1940; Burma Defence Services List July 1941; Burma Army List 1943; London Gazette; Thacker's Directory; War diary 2nd Burma Regiment, WO 172/7802; War diary 1st Burma Rifles, WO 172/10324).

[55] WO 172/7802

[56] Gerald Edward Thunder born, 26th August 1913.  As Gentleman Cadet, Commissioned from the Royal Military College to the Unattached List for the Indian Army as 2nd Lieutenant (IA 291), 1st February 1934.  Arrived in India, 16th February 1934.  Appointed to the Indian Army from the Unattached List as 2nd Lieutenant, attached to the 1st Battalion, 15th Punjab Regiment (291 AI), 18th March 1935.  Served with the 2nd Battalion, 20th Burma Rifles, 18th March 1935 to 1st April 1937.  Promoted to Lieutenant, 1st May 1936.  Officiating Quartermaster, 2nd Battalion, 20th Burma Rifles, 1936 to 1937.  Seconded to the Burma Defence Forces, 1st April 1937.  Served with the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Rifles, 1st April 1937 to June 1942?.  Acting Captain, 19th August 1940 to 18th November 1940.  Temporary Captain, 19th November 1940 to 31st December 1940.  Acting/temporary Captain from 10th January 1941.  Promoted to Captain, 1st February 1942.  Acting Major, 1st February 1942.  Temporary Major from 1st January 1943.  As Captain, temporary Major, served with the 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1942? to May 1944.  While serving as second in command, 4th Battalion, The Burma Regiment, evacuated sick to India, May 1944.  Served with the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1945 to 4th August 1945.  While serving with the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, ordered to take command of the 3rd Burma Rifles, 1st August 1945.  Left the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment at Mandalay for Simla, prior to taking command of the 3rd Burma Rifles, 4th August 1945.  Commanding Officer, 3rd Burma Rifles, late 1945.  Promoted to Major, 1st February 1947.  As Major, Special List (ex Indian Army) British Army, retired with the honorary rank of Lt. Colonel, 28th May 1948.  Sailed aboard the S.S. "Strathmore" from London to Sydney, occupation listed as merchant, departed, 24th August 1954.  Died, 1999 (British Army List; Burma Army List 1938; Burma Defence Services List 1941; Burma Army List 1943; FindMyPast; Indian Army List 1935, 1936, 1937; London Gazette; Private Papers of Lt. Col. I.C.G. Scott (IWM); War diary 2nd Burma Regiment, WO 172/7802; War diary 4th Burma Regiment, WO 172/2656).

[57] WO 172/7802

[58] Edward Riddell Thomson, born, 1st April 1917.  Emergency Commission, Indian Army as 2nd Lieutenant (EC 9731) from the ranks (Corporal), 29th October 1942.  War substantive Lieutenant, 29th April 1943.  Served with the Indian Armoured Corps from 29th April 1943.  War substantive Captain, 5th March 1944.  Acting Major until, 5th March 1944.  Temporary Major, 5th March 1944.  Served with the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1944? to 16th March 1946.  Left the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment for Rangoon to proceed on release in the United Kingdom, 16th March 1946.  As Captain, Royal Deccan Horse (Indian Armoured Corps) mentioned for gallant and distinguished services in Burma, gazetted, 9th May 1946 (Indian Army List October 1945; London Gazette; War diary 2nd Burma Regiment, WO 172/7802 & WO 172/10320).

[59] WO 172/7802

[60] WO 172/7802

[61] WO 172/7802

[62] WO 172/7802

[63] “The War Against Japan, Volume 5, The Surrender of Japan”, Woodburn Kirby S., H.M.S.O. (1969)

[64] When Britain reoccupied Burma in 1945 it re-established the old civil police force and created two new paramilitary forces to help restore law and order, replacing the pre-war Burma Military Police and Burma Frontier Force.  These were the Armed Police and Frontier Constabulary.  At independence in 1948 the new Government of Burma reorganised these to create the Union Military Police ("Burma's Police Forces: Continuities and Contradictions", Selth A., Regional Outlook Paper: No. 32, 2011, Griffith Asia Institute).

[65] War diary 2nd Burma Regiment, WO 172/10320

[66] Captain Young has not been identified.

[67] WO 172/10320

[68] WO 172/10320

[69] WO 172/10320

[70] WO 172/10320

[71] WO 172/10320

[72] WO 172/10320

[73] WO 172/10320

[74] WO 172/10320

[75] 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, 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? to November 1943?  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;; British Army List; FindMyPast; London Gazette;; War diary 2nd Burma Regiment, WO 172/10320; War Diary 7th Burma Rifles, WO 172/979 (War diary 7th Burma Rifles); War Diary of the 2nd Burma Rifles, WO 172/2658).

[76] WO 172/10320

[77] “The War Against Japan”

[78] WO 172/10320

[79] “The War Against Japan”

[80] Paul Byron Nicachi.  Son of John Constantine Nicachi and Alice Elizabeth (Judith), born Calcutta, 1923.  Emergency Commission, Indian Army (EC 8506) as 2nd Lieutenant, attached to the 7th Rajput Regiment, 20th September 1942.  Served with the 7th Rajput Regiment from 20/9/1942.  War substantive Lieutenant, 20th March 1943.  Posted to the Burma Regimental Centre, 1943 or 1944?  As Lieutenant, posted from the Burma Regimental Centre, arrived to join the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 2nd April 1945.  As Captain, 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, returned from 'SLICK' leave, 6th March 1946.  As Major, took over command of 'D' Company, 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 8th April 1946.  Left the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment and proceeded to Rangoon on release, 6th September 1946.  Married Mary K. Seabourne, Portsmouth, 1947 (; FindMyPast; Indian Army List April 1943; Indian Army List October 1945; War diary 2nd Burma Regiment, WO 172/7802 & WO 172/10320).

[81] WO 172/10320

[82]Lakh’ – an Indian word denoting the number 100,000.

[83] WO 172/10320

[84] B.S. Thapa.  As Lieutenant served with the 2nd Battalion, The Burma Regiment, 1945 to 1946.  (War diary 2nd Burma Regiment, WO 172/7802 & WO 172/10320).

[85] WO 172/10320

[86] War diary 1st Burma Regiment, WO 268/160

[87] “Epilogue in Burma, 1945-48”, McEnery J.M., Spellmount (1990)

[88] The Chin Hills Battalion, Mss EUR E250

[89] “Epilogue in Burma, 1945-48”, McEnery J.M., Spellmount (1990)

[90] “Building the Tatmadaw: Myanmar Armed Forces Since 1948”, Maung Aung Myoe, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (2009)

[91] The First Quarterly Report of the British Services Mission,31st March 1950, DEFE 7/866