The Burma Campaign

Documents and Photographs

This section contains transcriptions of official and personal diaries, narratives and accounts.  To access the index, either click on the headings below or on the expanded menu options ot the side of the page.

There are three broad groups of documents:

War Diaries

These are transcriptions of the official war diaries maintained by the individual units whose actions are recorded.  Unless indicated otherwise, all documents are held at The National Archives.

Many of the diaries of the Burma Army from 1941-1942 are reconstructions written to replace the official documents lost or destroyed during the retreat to India.  The events were recalled from memory or notes and written down, usually by the unit commander, during the months that followed the arrival of the Burma Army in India in 1942.

Official Documents

These are official or semi-official documents prepared to describe or report on some aspect of military operations, a specific action or engagement or the general background story of a unit, corps or arm of service.  They may also be examples of forms or certificates used in administering units and personnel. 

In the case of the 1942 campaign, a number of documents are taken from correspondence between the official historian, Lt. Colonel E.C.V. Foucar, and officers who had firsthand knowledge or experience of units, actions and engagements.

Personal Narratives

These are accounts written by participants either during the war or later.  Typically, they describe the individual’s experiences.  They may have been prepared with a view to publication and some have found their way into public archives, such as the Imperial War Museum or the National Army Museum.  Others form part of family archives and have been shared, kindly, with the author.


Photographs which merit additional explanation or discussion. They may originate from official sources or have been kindly shared with the author by family members and other contributors.

30 June 2019