The Burma Campaign

Officers and Men of the Burma Army

A project by Steve Rothwell - full list available to members of the Anglo-Burmese Library.


The project lists primarily officers who served with units of the Army in Burma (Burma Army), Burma Military Police and the Burma Frontier Force.  A similar listing for the Burma Auxiliary Force and the Burma Intelligence Corps is under construction.  It excludes Officers serving with Indian and British Army units in Burma other than where such officers may have been seconded to posts within the Burma Army.

The list is not an attempt to provide full biographies of military service. Entries are instances where an officer is recorded in the sources as serving with a Burma Army unit.  For instance, an Indian Army Officers service with his Indian regiment prior to joining a Burma Army unit is not recorded.

To access the full list you will need to become a member of the Anglo-Burmese Library - please click here for details of subscription rates and an application form.

Here is a sample taken from the list - for best results view this page on a large screen device (i.e. not a mobile phone):

[Tip - pressing ctrl + f will open a search box on your screen, enter the name you are looking for - the results will be highlighted in the list below.  Pressing the "enter" key will find any other instances of the name.]

Date Surname Rank Forenames Corps Date of Secondment Role Unit Location Date of Appoint't Notes Source
Jan-38Pausa TangSubedar    1st Battalion, The Burma Rifles 01/01/1928 BA Jan 38
Jan-40Pausa TangSubedar    1st Battalion, The Burma Rifles   BA Jan 40
Oct-40Pausa TangSubedar    1st Battalion, The Burma Rifles   BA Oct 40
20/11/1944PaxtonLieutenant    The Chin Hills Battalion, The Burma Regiment   WO 172/5040
Jul-41Pe TheinJemadar    5th Battalion, The Burma Rifles  On probationBDS Jul 41
Oct-40Pe ThweJemadar    No.5 Garrison CompanyRangoon  BA Oct 40
Jul-41Pe ThweJemadar    No.5 Garrison Company   BDS Jul 41
Jan-38PeacockLieutenantD.H.Army in India Reserve of Officers      BA Jan 38
Jan-38Peake-CottamMajorH.RIASC Officer -in-Charge Supplies, Rangoon Rangoon25/09/1936 BA Jan 38
01/01/1942Peebles2nd Lt.Robert William HorsburghUnattached List  3rd Battalion, The Burma Rifles   WO 172/976
Jan-39PeelCaptainC.R.Coldstream Guards23/03/1938 3rd Battalion, The Burma Rifles   IA Jan 39
Apr-39PeelCaptainC.R.Coldstream Guards23/03/1938 3rd Battalion, The Burma Rifles   IA Apr 39
Apr-32PeffersCaptainJ.  Assistant Commandant1st Rangoon Battalion, Burma Military PoliceRangoon  IA Apr 32
Oct-32PeffersCaptainJ.  Assistant Commandant, on Special Duty at TharrawaddyBurma Military Police 17/02/1932 IA Oct 32
1933PeffersCaptainJ.  Assistant CommandantBurma Military Police   IOL 1933
Jan-38PeffersMajorJ.1st Battalion, 15th Punjab Regiment30/06/1937Company Officer2nd Battalion, The Burma Rifles 30/06/1937 BA Jan 38
Jan-39PeffersMajorJ.15th Punjab Regiment30/06/1937 2nd Battalion, The Burma Rifles   IA Jan 39
Apr-39PeffersMajorJ.15th Punjab Regiment30/06/1937 2nd Battalion, The Burma Rifles   IA Apr 39
Jan-40PeffersMajorJ.1st Battalion, 15th Punjab Regiment30/06/1937 2nd Battalion, The Burma Rifles   BA Jan 40
Apr-40PeffersMajorJ.15th Punjab Regiment30/06/1937 2nd Battalion, The Burma Rifles   IA Apr 40
Oct-40PeffersMajorJohn Crowe1st Battalion, 15th Punjab Regiment30/06/1937 2nd Battalion, The Burma Rifles   BA Oct 40
Jan-42PeffersMajor (temporary Lt. Colonel)J.15th Punjab Regiment30/06/1937 2nd Battalion, The Burma Rifles   IA Jan 42
Jan-30PellyMajorH.R.Supernumerary List Officiating Deputy CommissionerMagwe District 25/01/1914 IA Jan 30
Apr-30PellyMajorH.R.Supernumerary List Officiating Deputy CommissionerMagwe District 25/01/1914 IA Apr 30


Officers of the Burma Army

Before the separation of Burma from India in April 1937, army units were part of the Indian Army and officered exclusively by British regular officers of the Indian Army.  The Burma Military Police was also officered exclusively by British regular officers of the Indian Army.

With the separation of Burma from the Government of India in April 1937, The Burma Rifles regiment was transferred to Burma.  It continued to be officered by officers seconded from the Indian Army on a temporary or permanent basis.

From April 1937, officers for the Burma Rifles, the Burma Military Police and the newly formed Burma Frontier Force were found by the secondment of both Indian and British Army officers.  Service with the B.M.P. and B.F.F. was a tour of four years, extendable to five. Officers serving with the B.M.P. and B.F.F. served as Commandants and Assistant Commandants.

With the outbreak of war and the expansion of the Burma Armed Forces, officers for all units came to be found from the Indian and British Armies and from new schemes implemented since the start of the war. The Army in Burma also employed a certain number of officers of the Indian Regular Reserve and of the Special Unemployed List.

The Army in Burma Reserve of Officers (A.B.R.O.) was formed partly from the transfer to it of officers on the Army in India Reserve of Officers who were resident in Burma and partly by the acceptance of new entrants from amongst the European, and later, Burmese "gentlemen" living in Burma. A.B.R.O. officers were posted to wherever needed including the Burma Rifles battalions and the Burma Frontier Force.

In addition to this, further officer requirements were met by the creation of an Officer Cadet Training Unit (O.C.T.U.).  Under the provisions of the National Service (British European Subjects) Act, 1940, British subjects in Burma between the ages of 18 and 50, were required to undergo three months' military training.  In Burma, this was achieved by embodying the men into the Burma Auxiliary Force and by attachment to British Infantry Battalions in convenient batches.  At the end of these attachments, those considered suitable were selected for a four month OCTU course, with a view to appointment to Emergency Commissions in British service, in the case of Europeans and in the A.B.R.O. in the case of Burmans.  It was planned for the first batch of 60 officers coming from the OCTU to be available by about April 1941 (in fact 61 cadets were commissioned on 28th April 1941).  This was to be followed by further batches at six monthly intervals, although only one further batch was commissioned on 26th October 1941.  This approach was expected to produce more than 200 officers. Men who were not successful in passing O.C.T.U. remained members of the BAF, available for service if and when required in the event of an emergency.

Officers for junior staff posts, supply and transport and other services were commissioned direct from civilian life as Emergency Commissions and posted depending on what their training experience best suited them for.  Many of these were commissioned to the Burma Unattached List.

The recruiting pool for the Burma Auxiliary Force was enlarged by making eligible for service all British subjects in Burma.

After the retreat from Burma in 1942, all but the 2nd Battalion of The Burma Rifles were disbanded. Officers and men from the other battalions and from the B.M.P. and B.F.F. were included in the newly raised Burma Regiment, administered by India.  Others joined the various Levies, the Burma Intelligence Corps and Special Operations Executive (S.O.E.).  A number of British officers were posted back to the Indian and British Armies.

Note: Further biographical details of selected officers may be found throughout this web site, The Burma Campaign, included with unit histories, transcriptions of unit war diaries and recollections.

If you have an enquiry regarding an individual who may have served with the Burma Army or have additional details you would like to share, please contact me using the email address below.


17 November 2017