The Burma Campaign

Burma Auxiliary Force, Disembodiment Certificate - 18th June 1946

The Burma Auxiliary Force was effectively a peacetime militia or territorial force providing a reserve which could be utilised to support the regular armed forces in times of need or conflict.  When such need arose, and before the men could be assigned to active duty, they had first to be formally mobilised or "embodied".  Upon completion of active service, the men were then formally "disembodied".

It is thought that nearly all members of the B.A.F. returned to Burma at the end of the war.  Being residents and citizens of the country, they would have been concerned with picking up their civilian lives and would have been eager to be released from military service as soon as possible.  Formal release or "disembodiment" was recorded using a form - a disembodiment certificate - an actual example of which is provided below (the subject's name has been blanked out to maintain privacy). 

The subject in question was a Gunner who had been embodied on 22nd February 1943 (unfortunately the date of enlistment is hidden by a fold).  This is an interesting detail in that the survivors of the Burma Army had been established in India since the summer of 1942 and therefore the subject must have been embodied in India, following the retreat.  Unfortunately no other details have been found for the subject of the document, so there is no explanation as to why he was not embodied earlier, in Burma in December 1941 or early 1942.

The signature on the certificate appears to be that of Lt. Colonel Richard Oswald Barnes Perrott, Royal Artillery.  As a Major, Perrott had been attached to the Rangoon Field Brigade, Burma Auxiliary Force (the artillery component of the B.A.F.) during 1940.  By February 1943, Perrott had become the Commanding Officer of the Burma Auxiliary Force Depot at Mhow, India.  Given what appears to be his signature on a document dated 1946, it seems that he remained in command into the immediate post-war period.

Disembodiment Certificate, Burma Auxiliary Force - June 1946.

Document by kind permission of Stephen Moon

30 June 2019