The Burma Campaign

Major Philip Lynton Hope

Philip Lynton Hope served with the Kachin Levies between 1943 and early 1945.  He was born in Chorlton, Lancashire on 31st July 1917.

Philip Lynton Hope

Philip Lynton Hope, thought to be in 1945. The cap badge on the pith helment appears to be that of The Burma Regiment. (Hope family)

Having completed his education, he started work as a mercantile assistant with Steel Brothers.  Leaving the United Kingdom on 7th October 1938, he travelled to Burma to take up his post, sailing from Liverpool to Rangoon on board the S.S. Yorkshire.

After the war started in Europe in September 1939, he continued to work for Steel Brothers.  However, as part of the British plan to expand the armed forces in India and Burma, in 1940 he was taken into the British Army.  His training as an officer cadet was conducted in Burma.  He first undertook basic training and assessment as a member of the Militia Company, Burma Auxiliary Force, which he would have joined in around November 1940.  Having made the grade, he was then sent to the Officer Cadet Training Unit at Maymyo from where he received an Emergency Commission to the General List, British Army, as 2nd Lieutenant, on 28th April 1941.  He was posted to the Southern Shan States Battalion, Burma Frontier Force.

Following the start of the Japanese invasion of Burma, Philip Hope served with the mobile columns formed by the Burma Frontier Force.  He served as the Column Commander of No.2 Column, F.F.3, Burma Frontier Force, between May 1941 and April 1942.  As a Lieutenant, he was then appointed Adjutant and Quartermaster with F.F.4, Burma Frontier Force.

Having survived the British defeat and withdrawal to India, it is most likely that Philip Hope was sent to Hoshiarpur where the survivors of the Burma Army were being collected and reorganised.  He was promoted to war substantive Lieutenant on 10th July 1942.

By December 1943, Hope had joined the Northern (Kachin Levies) and served with them as Adjutant throughout 1944.  By now a Captain, he left the Kachin Levies when he was posted to the Burma Regimental Centre, Hoshiarpur, India, on 5th January 1945.  He later served as a Civil Affairs Officer with the Civil Affairs Service, Burma – C.A.S.(B) – at Henzada and then Rangoon.

Silk map of Upper Burma

A silk map of Upper Burma (northern Burma) belonging to Major Hope. (Hope family)

Kachin newspaper announcing the victory at Myitkyina

A newspaper printed in Kachin by the Americans announcing the victory at Myitkyina. (Hope family)

For his service with the Kachin Levies, he was mentioned in despatches for gallant and distinguished service in Burma, gazetted, 5th April 1945.

Certificate of MiD and shoulder flashes

The certificate issued to Major Hope following his mention in despatches, together with the shoulder flashes he wore. (Hope family)

After the war, as war substantive Captain, he relinquished his commission and was granted the honorary rank of Major on 6th August 1946.  By now, he had returned to his employment as a mercantile assistant with Steel Brothers.

Campaign medals awarded to Major Hope

The campaign medals awarded to Major Hope. Note the oak leaf which signifies the award of a mention in desptaches. (Hope family)

I am grateful to the family of Philip Lynton Hope for giving permission to publish his story together with images of photos and documents kindly shared with the author.

25 April 2022