The Burma Campaign

Transcribed from National Archives File WO 172/984, War Diary 12th Burma Rifles by:  Steve Rothwell - The Burma Campaign web site.

The history of the 12th (Lower Burma) Battalion, The Burma Rifles can be found here.


W A R   D I A R Y

12th Burma Rifles




8 Feb 41.

Bn provided Rly bdge gds, 1 pl each, at KABAUNG (T’GOO)  PYU, SHWELE (PEGU), TOGTAUNGALE (PAZUNDAUNG – CREEK).

1 Mar 41


Bn. provided gds at local V.Ps[Vital Points], MDON-R.D.F. Station Mdon A’drome; M.S.D. GYOGON; R.E.B. Park, TADAGALE; YEGU Pumping Stn; W.T. Receiving Stn, Cemetery Rd; W.T. Transmitting Stn, Prome Rd; M.E.S. Pumping Stn; HLAWGA LAKE VALVE outlet.


Bn. provided gd a Govt. House, RGN.

1 Apr 41

Bn. officially embodied for service.  Strength increased to 5 Coys.

May 41

1 Coy detailed for defence MDON A’drome, manned static posts inside the perimeter, guarded gates etc.

Jul 41

1 Pl provided as gd Rly bdge MOKPLAIN, SITTAUNG R [sic].  Gds provided at A.V.G.[1] Assembly points near MDON A’drome.

Nov 41

No. 12 I.M.T. Sec[2] was equipped with 3 ton lorries and left for TAUNGGYI, on 12 NOV 41.  Second Burma M.T. Sec to be ready and the first 3 tonner to go on independent duty.

15 Dec 41

1 Coy took over defence of Z (ZAYETKWIN) A’drome.

23 Dec 41

MDON A’drome bombed by Japs, 2 casualties, wounded.  Extensive damage to men‘s barracks.  Subsequent to this frequent bombing by Japs.  Defences later moved to outside perimeter.

Jan 42

Japs bombed Z A’drome.  casualties, 2 killed, 2 wounded.

15 Jan 42

Owing to increased duties in MDON gds on ration, amn etc. dumps, 11 Burif took over Rly bdge guards.

12 Feb 42

1 S.G.O. and 50 B.A.O.Rs detailed to recce and intelligence duties, Rly line THANATPIN – THONGWA and eastwards to SIATTAUNG R., to report any infiltration by Japs.  Co-operated with W. YORKS[3] and 3/7 G.R.[4]

15 Feb 42

Bn. took over Station tpt with 6 B.A.O.Rs trained by M.T.T.C. and civilian drivers, latter most erratic.

Feb 42

MDON A’drome defence Coy took over also defences JOHN HAIG A’drome.[5]

21 Feb 42

Emergency depot formed and sent to MAYMYO.

Feb 42

Villagers cleared from area Z A’drome and action taken against leaders.

25 Feb 42

Z A’drome Coy evacuated, and Coy moved with R.A.F. to HMAWBI (HIGHLAND QUEEN).[6]

1 Mar 42.

Notorious village near HMAWBI surrounded and three dacoit leaders shot.  Much Indian jewellery recovered.

2 Mar 42.

160 Offrs and B.A.O.Rs of 2 GAR BN joined to assist in A’drome etc duties

Mortars, M.Gs, Brens and all spare rifles handed over to H.Q. A in B [Army in Burma], for reequipping units from the SITTAUNG R. action.

5 Mar 42.

Reports of risings in and near RGN of Burmese led by Japs.  Bn. stood to and manned road blocks North & West of MDON.

6 Mar 42.

Bn received orders to leave MDON.  Q.M. Stores and Q.M. buildings were destroyed by burning.  Bn. plus personnel of 2 GAR Coy left in 23 lorries etc etc, salvaged under unit arrangements.

Bn held up at about 18 M.S. Prome Rd. owing to Jap Rd block North of TAUKKYAN X Rds. on Prome Rd.

Provided flank protection to B Echelon, 7 Amd Bde [7th Armoured Brigade] and patrolled in direction HLAWGA LAKE.  Intermittent firing during the night.

7 Mar 42

Three attempts by Japs to bomb the concentrated tps and vehicles were driven off and after the rd block was cleared the Bn. proceeded to THARAWADDY, picking up the food dump gd at TAUKKYAN X-Rds on the way.

At THARAWADDY received orders to proceed to PROME and return vehicles to TH’DY.

Spent night bivouacked at 115 M.S. PROME Rd.

8 Mar 42

Arrived Prome and contacted A’drome Def. coy from HMAWBI.

12 Mar 42

This coy moved with R.A.F. to MAGWE.

Bn was employed on patrols and intelligence duties SOUTH & S.E. of PROME.

17 Mar 42

4 S.G.Os and J.G.O attached to INSKGS[7] for interpreter duties.

Mar 42

Personnel of 2 GAR Bn. returned to their unit. 1 S.G.O. attached to 2 GAR BN.  1 S.G.O. and 25 B.A.O.Rs returned from duty East of PEGU, after having shot up and killed 50-70 local pro-Japanese inhabitants and some of their Japanese leaders.

18 Mar 42.

Bn left by boat from MAGWE and greatly reduced in numbers through Burmese desertions in PROME.

Comd. 12 Burif, appointed Comd. MAGWE and came under Central Area, Y’GYAUNG.

19-20 Mar

MAGWE A’drome heavily bombed on 4 occasions.  R.A.F. departed.

A’drome Def Coy rejoined unit which took over anti-parachute duties for A’drome and approaches.

Bn re-equipped itself with tpt, salvaged items of R.A.F. equipment, petrol etc, eventually destroying items unsalvaged.

24 Mar 42.

Offrs employed on interpreter duties PROME rejoined the unit.

While in MAGWE the Bn became Corps tps, Burcorps, on 13 Apr 41 and Div tps, 1 Burdiv [1st Burma Infantry Division], on 15 Apr 42.

15 Apr 42.

1 Coy att to CAMERONIANS[8] for protective duties South of MAGWE.

17 Apr 42.

Bn joined MAGFORCE, composed of 5 Mtn Bty, CAMS, 7 Burif & 12 Burif plus 200 Indian reinforcements, mostly Gurkhas, landed at MAGWE and unable to rejoin their units. Also att to 12 Burif were local B.M.P. [Burma Military Police] Comd and some B.M.P. tps.

Records and rations were sent on ahead to North of Y’GAUNG in 3 lorries (contacted later).

The Bn was then composed of Bn. H.Q., 2 Coys (Karens), 2 Coys (Indian reinforcements) and B.M.P. personnel.

MAGWE was burned at 1100 hrs.

Night 17/18 Apr spent as part of MAGFORCE rearguard to 1 Burdiv.  Bn was posted in area 8 Miles from MAGWE on MAGWE-NATMAUK Rd.

18 Apr 42.

Bn marched to Y’GYAUNG with MAGFORCE, ferried as far as possible in unit M.T.  On finding Japs were in Y’GYAUNG the Bn. helped form a protective screen at high ground NYAUNGHLA.

Night of 17/18 Apr employed as protective tps at N.O.C. Workshops on left bank IRRAWADDY R, South of NYAUNHGA.

19 Apr 42.

MAGFORCE attacked Y’GYAUNG.  Role of Bn to consolidate position gained by CAMERONIANS, who were followed by 7 Burif who were to carry out the attack.  The Bn arrived at position gained by CAMERONIANS, on bluff North of B.O.C. Hospital, NYAUNGHA.  Jap snipers and mortars were holding up the attack.  D Coy attacked the buildings containing the snipers but were held up by thick inter-compound fences.  The Indian Reinforcements (now only 1 Coy strong owing to straggling) followed up D Coy’s attack but failed.  Of D Coy 1 S.G.O. , 1 J.G.O. and 4 B.A.O.Rs came out of the attack.[9]  The Indian re‑inforcement Coy failed to rejoin Bn. H.Q. and presumably drifted away.  1 B.O. of the latter was killed.

In the withdrawal of MAGFORCE the remaining Coy covered its flank from the river side, it being reported that enemy boats were on the river trying to land.

The Bn reached the Oil Fields By-pass Rd without further loss.

Night 19/20 Apr spent on protective duties.[10]

20 Apr 42

Bn. under orders 13 Bde (Brig. FARWELL[11]) employed on protective duties.  At midday marched across country via PINCHAUNG to the Y’GYAUNG-KYAUK PADAUNG Rd, forming as far as possible protection to the Bde.  In this march men were lost through straying into Jap hands or through exhaustion.

Night 20/21 Apr, protective duties with 7 Burif.  Certain B.A.O.Rs who had been captured or cut off rejoined the Bn.  1 S.G.O. missing.

21 Apr 42

Bn proceeded by M.T. to area Mt. POPA.

22 Apr 42

Bn left in M.T. for MDLY.

Depot and Rects from MAYMYO were attached to 11 Burif, MDLY.

Records and heavy kit sent by special goods train to MYITKYINA.  Not recovered as Bn. did not reach M’KYINA.

23 Apr 42.

Bn arrived at MDLY.

24 Apr 42.

1 S.G.O. missing from Y’GYAUNG reported arrival after being kept by Chinese as a spy.

25 Apr 42.

Comd 12 Burif appointed Comd SAGIANG and left on 26 Apr with 2 S.G.Os, B.A.O.Rs and followers.

26 Apr 42.

Under orders H.Q. L of C MDLY, the Bn. under command Comd 11 Burif left with latter for MYITKYINA, to implement a scheme for defensive duties there.  Strength approx 150 all ranks.[12]

1 May 42.

Bn arrived KATHA.  Baggage party remained there, being given pay to date.  One B.O. evacuated by train to M’KYINA (subsequently arrived in ASSAM via HUKAWNG VALLEY).

2 May 42

Bn. such as was left of it, arrived NABHA.  1 S.G.O. deserted and apparently others went with him, though under the circumstances the desertion may be considered technical as they knew that Comd 11 Burif was going to give them their discharge, if they wished, under Sec 9A (?) B.T.F. Act.

4 May 42

The remainder of the Bn. arrived INDAW.

5 May 42

The few remaining were paid off under Sec 9A(?) B.T.F. Act as being Territorials, they would not normally be required to service out of BURMA.

The Jem H.C. marched out to ASSAM via HOMALIN.




Lieut. Col P.C. Watson[13] and Party.

29 Apr 42.

Left SAGAING on its being taken over by 17 Div.  Spent night 29/30 Apr 42 at SHWEBO.  Unable to rejoin Bn owing to no trains running and I.F.C. boat detailed for party to proceed to KATHA being sunk.

1 May 42

Left for KALEWA.

6 May 42

Lt. Col. P.C. Watson with att. personnel, including 1 B.O. 3 Burif, and 1 S.G.O. 12 Burif, under orders of L. of C. formed a staging camp at YAZAGYO, 41 miles up from Kalewa on KALEWA – TAMU Rd.  Remainder of SAGAING Party which had become separated rejoined at YAZAGYO.

14 May 42.

Left YAZAGYO and proceed[sic] via TAMU to KANGLA TAWNGBI (ASSAM) and 51 Rest Camp (West of Imphal) reaching there on 17 May 42.

20 May 42.

Lt. Col. P.C. Watson evacuated to Hospital.

22 May 42.

Jem. H.C., who had marched from INDAW with 4 Burif rejoined the unit.

4 Jun 42.

The party with Gar Bn and other details proceeded successively to MANIPUR Rd, TORI, KURU Camp; and joined the Burma Army Details Camp HOSHIARPUR on 22 JUN 42.

At HOSHIARPUR offrs and B.A.O.Rs who had been on courses in India rejoined.  The remainder of the Bn present in India totals:-[14]

B.Os.           S.G.Os.              J.G.Os.             B.A.O.Rs       Followers        Total

    2                  3                       3                       22                    12                42


12th Bn The Burma Rifles for the month of February 1942


Hour, Date, Place.

Summary of Events & Information.



The Bn was stationed at MINGALADON, with a strength of Bn H.Qrs and five Rifle Coys and 70 recruits under trg.  One Coy each at MINGALADON and ZAYETKYIN Aerodromes provided for the fixed defences and anti-sabotage measures on the landing grounds.  The remainder of the Bn was employed in guarding V.P.s in MINGALADON Area.



During the month recces were made of the PEGU District with a view to placing posts which might provide early intelligence of enemy infiltration from the SITTANG River.  As the existing communications were very poor and the distance to the bank of the river was large it was decided to establish posts along the PEGU-THONGWA Rly line and install a mil. phone wire at THANATPIN, KAMASK, YITKAN and ONHNE where there was already an inter-station phone and to lay a line to THETKALA.  Inf was to be brought to these posts by runner or horseman from intermediary points 7-10 miles East of this line which were a similar distance from look out posts established on the river bank to the East.  Each of these points were manned by 3-5 men and the Dett numbered in all 50 men was under the command of 2/Lt BA TUN[15], who liaised with the British Infy Bn at the time in the area.  (A report of events in this area is appended to the March War Diary [now lost]).



5 secs were posted in the PEGU District at KAWA, THETKALA, YITKAN, KAMASK and ONHNE for intelligence purposes.  The men were dressed in mufti and were under the command of Jem[adar] YAN GYI AUNG[?].



A recce of PEGU District was carried out by C.O. 1 W. Yks accompanied by Capt W.P.G. MACLACHLAN[16]



Intensive trg of B Coy in Bren Gun was started on a 10 days programmed consequent upon the receipt from the A.V.G. of 12 Bren guns.



Under the supervision of Mortar Offr 1 W.Yks the Mortar Pl fired live rds and despite their short trg showed good results.



2/Lt MYA MG[17], Sub[edar] SAN WIN, and 3 B.A.O.R.s proceeded to INDIA to attend Infy School at SAUGOR.



During this period MDON Aerodrome was very heavily attacked by enemy aircraft, but this Unit suffered no casualties.



1350 Rfm KO GYI was tried by S.C.M. under B.A.A. 31(B) and 34(c) and was sentenced to undergo 9 months’ R.I., to forfeit all public monies due to him, and to be dismissed from the service.



On the completion of the Mily telephone line two signallers were posted at each of the following places to relay inf brought in by look-out posts on the bank of the SITTANG River THANATPIN, KAMASK, YITKAN, ONHNE, THETKALA. One section was posted at TONGYI on PEGU-RGN Rly line to check infiltration from the NORTH towards RGN.



504 Rfm TUM HMAIN was tried by S.G.C.M. under sec 30(d) B.A.A. and was sentenced to 2 years’ R.I.

President  Lt-Col R.L. SHAW[18]  M.T.T.
    Members  Cpt Pe Thein[19]          12 Burif
                    Capt Thein Mg          I.M.S.



Road block at 36th m. PEGU Rd was taken over by this Bn from 1 W.Yks – strength 1 Pl.



Guides were provided to direct an incoming Bde to Camp site at TAUKKYAN 19 m. PROME RD.



374 Rfm NGWE WIN was tried by S.C.M. under sec 29 B.A.A. and was sentenced to 1 year’s R.I., to forfeiture of all public monies due to him at the time of his dismissal and to be dismissed from the service.



1433 Rfm MG MLA was tried by S.C.M. under sec 29 B.A.A. and was sentenced to undergo 1 year’s R.I., to forfeiture of all public monies due to him at the time of his dismissal and to be dismissed from the service.



By personal contact the Commanding Offr was presented with 24 new recce vehicles from surplus “Lease and Lend” stocks.  These “Jeeps” were handed over to Rgn Area who distributed them amongst units under its command.



Adjt made an inspection and recce of the area in which tps of this Bn were situated.  It was particularly noted that communication over the 20-24 miles which separates the river bank from the telephone line was very slow the best time being 3 hours by a horseman, but more likely double this time by a man on foot.  The villages of YITKANGALE, NATYEKAN and KYWEDWE were visited



O.C. 12 Burif joined the Adjt in recce and the following places were visited:-  MILAUK, PINKALAINK, AUNGPONGYI-ATHIN, and KATHITKON.

Jem[adar] WAN MG O.C. Mortar Pl supervised the range firing of KOKINE Bn. B.F.F. Mortar Pl.



Sanction was obtained for the formation of a Depot for this Unit at MAYMYO and the following were sent there by road:- Jem H.C. ABDULLAH KHAN, 2 clerks, 3 Rfm, and 1 follower.



Inf was received from Rgn Area that MDON might have to be evacuated and that tpt would not be available to remove this Unit.  Vehicles were therefore salvaged from departing units, firms and private persons and from the roadside.  They were repaired by men of this Unit and bodies were attached to 7 chassis.  Sufficient tpt to convoy 370 tps was eventually collected and drivers were trained to drive them.  Preparations were made to evacuate the Unit’s areas in 72 hrs.



During this period, desertions, at all times high in this Unit, increased.  The causes of this were several – the lack of control and panic of the civilians in RGN being mainly to blame.  During the general evacuation from RGN the tps saw cars passing Northwards in large numbers, and knew that they themselves had no tpt to evacuate them when the time came.  It is thought that the remarks of their friends may have led them to believe that the cause in Lower Burma was lost.  On this day also the jails and lunatic asylum were opened and their inmates moved out of the city northwards.  Apprehension was felt by the men for the safety of their families and the stories of the departure of the police and looting and excesses committed near their homes confirmed this fear.



All Secret, Security and Confidential documents were destroyed by fire.



A Gd of 2 and 20 as placed on rations dumped at TAUKKYAN 22 m  PROME Rd.

A Gd of 20 men was placed on JOHN HAIG Aerodrome 4 miles NORTH of TANYINGON.

Gds were withdrawn from all dumps with the exception of the Ammn. dump, 16th m. PROME Rd.



On the departure of the R.A.F. from ZAYETKWIN Aerodrome A Coy accompanied them to their new station at HIGHLAND QUEEN near HMAWBI 28 m.s. PROME RD to perform the duties of defensive and anti-sabotage tps.  The road block at 36 m PEGU Rd was withdrawn to guard stores on Z. Aerodrome.



To help this Unit with its defence on Aerodromes during a critical time for 4 days before the expected arrival of reinforcements the following tps were placed under command of O.C. 12 Burif – 12 Garr Coy and 5 Garr Coy totalling 160 men.  These were attached to Aerodrome defence tps.  It was considered that during the next four days the enemy might attempt to take the aerodrome with parachute tps.  To provide a hard hitting mobile reserve the M.M.G.s and L.M.G.s of the Bn were mounted in Jeeps and manned and driven partly by offrs stood by each night on the aerodrome.[20]



A Gd of 1 and 6 was placed on M.T. Vehicles at WANETCHAUNG.  The GD Cdr of this Gd shot a looter during his stay here.



On the move of RGN Area to RGN Lt-Col P.C. WATSON became O.C. Tps MDON.



Arms of men A.W.L., 4 M.M.G.s, and 10 Lewis M.G.s were handed over to Lt Col WHEELER[21], A.H.Q. for distribution to tps of 17 Div.  Units in Mdon were also supplied with surplus rifles.



Rects under trg – 55 from 12 Burif, and 44 from 5 Garr Coy were sent by road to PROME for disposal under Capt PE THEIN.



Under orders from MGN Area Gds were withdrawn from local V.P.s in Mdon.



Capt PE THEIN arrived from PROME with lorries which had taken recruits.






W.P.G. Maclachlan

2 Mar 42


Adjutant 12th Bn., The Burma Rifles B.T.F.


[1] American Volunteer Group.  The American Volunteer Groups were volunteer air units organized by the United States government to aid the Nationalist government of China against Japan in the Second Sino-Japanese War. The only unit to actually see combat was the 1st AVG, popularly known as the Flying Tigers (Wikipedia- American Volunteer Group).

[2] Indian Mechanical Transport Section.

[3] The 1st Battalion, The West Yorkshire Regiment.

[4] The 3rd Battalion, 7th Gurkha Rifles.

[5] Several of the temporary airfields around Rangoon were given the names of well-know whisky brands of the time, two of these being ‘John Haig’ and ‘Highland Queen’.  The airfield was used by the A.V.G. and was also a training base for the Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF).  Known to the RAF as the Chinese OCU, the 9th Air Regiment was based at 'John Haig', a satellite field of Mingaladon. It was basically a conversion unit, where existing ROCAF veterans trained new pilots who had passed through basic and initial flight training in India. At John Haig, they were converted on to P-40 ‘Tomahawk’.

[6] Highland Queen – Hmawbi, a Royal Air Force airfield.

[7] The 1st Battalion, The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers which had flown in as reinforcements from India to Magwe airfield between 9th and 14th March 1942. (War Diary 1st Inniskilling Fusiliers WO172/863 War diary 1st Inniskillings).

[8] The 1st Battalion, The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles).

[9] The Commonwealth War Graves Commission database lists the following men of the 12th Burma Rifles.  Where date of death is known this is given.  Note that several of the records shows deaths after May 1942 when the 12th Burma Rifles was disbanded.

Subedar ADALAT SINGH               

Recruit   MAUNG MAUNG GYI     

Rifleman  MG DOE 26 July 1942

Rifleman  RICHARDSON 16 March 1942

Subedar SAW GEORGE SAN TAW 16 July 1942

Recruit   SAW HAN TIN   

Rifleman  SAW HAN TIN

Rifleman  SAW KALA 16 November 1942

Lance Naik  THEIN HAN.

[10] ‘Magforce’ was dispersed on the afternoon of 19th April 1942.

[11] Gerald Alexander Leith Farwell born at Dehra Dun, India, 11th November 1895.  Commissioned to the Unattached List as 2nd Lt., 1st October 1914.  Appointed to the Indian Army as 2nd Lt. (AI 638) and attached to the 122nd Rajputana Infantry, 16th December 1914.  Attached to the 26th Punjabis from 16th April 1915.  Promoted to Lieutenant, 1st October 1915.  Served Iraq, 3rd January 1916 to 12th April 1918.  As 2nd Lt., appointed acting Captain while commanding a company, the 26th Punjabis, from 29th June 1916 to 29th November 1916.  Served as acting Captain, 11th February 1917 to 3rd April 1917.  Served as acting Captain, 22nd April 1917 to 14th May 1917.  As Lieutenant, appointed acting Captain while commanding a company, attached to the 26th Punjabis, from 6th June 1917 to 30th September 1918.  As Lieutenant (acting Captain), Mentioned in Despatches for service with the Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force, gazetted, 15th August 1917.  Mentioned in Despatches, gazetted, 15th August 1917.  Served North West Persia, 12th April 1918 to 29th April 1919.  Promoted to Captain (substantive), 1st October 1918.  Served Iraq, 30th April 1919 to 3rd November 1919.  Married Doris Lilyan Dixon at Naini Tal, India, 25th May 1920.  Awarded the Military Cross, gazetted, 12th July 1920.  Served Waziristan, 1921-22.  Attached to the 15th Punjab Regiment, 16th April 1922.  As Captain, Mentioned in Despatches, gazetted, 20th July 1923.  Served Burma (Saya San Rebellion), 1930-32.  Served as Assistant Commandant, the Bhamo Battalion, Burma Military Police, 25th November 1931 to 1933?.   Promoted to Brevet Major, attached to the 2nd Battalion, 15th Punjab Regiment, 1st January 1932.  As Captain (Brevet Major), promoted to Major, 1st October 1932.  Served as Assistant Commandant, Burma Military Police, 1933.  Served North-West Frontier of India (Loe Agra), 1935.  Promoted to Lt. Colonel, 1st December 1937.  Served as Assistant Commandant, Junior Commanders' School from 25th November 1940.  Commanding Officer, the 1st Burma Infantry Brigade, 13th July 1941 to 20th June 1942.  Acting Brigadier from 13th July 1941.  Commanding Officer, the 106th Indian Infantry Brigade (formerly the 1st Burma Infantry Brigade), the 39th Indian Light Division, 20th June 1942 to March 1943.  As temporary Brigadier, Mentioned in Despatches for gallant and distinguished services in Burma during the period December 1941 to May 1942, gazetted, 28th October 1942.  Promoted to Colonel, 18th November 1942, with seniority from 1st December 1940.  As Colonel, Indian Army (9305), retired with the honorary rank of Brigadier, 11th June 1947.  A farmer in Northern Rhodesia (Zambia), post-war.  Died Salisbury, Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), 24th November 1960 ("Loyalty & Honour: The Indian Army, September 1939 - August 1947, part II", Kempton, C, Military Press (2004); “War Services of British and Indian Officers of the Indian Army 1941”, Savannah (2004);; British Army List; FindMyPast; India Office List 1933; Indian Army List 1919; Indian Army List October 1932; London Gazette; British Library IOR/L/MIL/14/11138; Indian Army List; London Gazette).

[12] According to the war diary of the 11th Burma Rifles, a warning order was received around 20th April 1942 ‘for move to Myitkyina where 11TH and 12TH Battns were to be amalgamated (War Diary 11th Burma Rifles, WO 172/983 (War diary 11th Burma Rifles)).

[13] Percy Charles Watson, born 16th January 1895.  In ranks 1 year 327 days (mobilised Special reserve to 21st January 1918 – 1 year 118 days).  From Special Reserve commissioned, Leicestershire Regiment, as 2ndLt., 26th June 1917.  Appointed to the Indian Army, 2ndLt., 22nd January 1918.  Promoted Lieutenant, 26th June 1918, Captain, 18th June 1921.  Awarded Military Cross, gazetted 19th April 1919.  In 1921, attached 89th Infantry.  Promoted to Major 18th June 1935. Seconded to Burma Army, 2nd Battalion Burma Rifles (by October 1939) (Indian Army List; British Army List; Edinburgh Gazette).

[14] The Commonwealth War Graves Commission database lists the following men of the 12th Burma Rifles.  Where date of death is known this is given.  Note that several of the records show deaths after the 12th Burma Rifles was disbanded.

Recruit  MAUNG MAUNG GYI      

Rifleman  MG DOE  26 July 1942

Rifleman  RICHARDSON  16 March 1942

Subadar  SAW GEORGE SAN TAW  16 July 1942

Recruit  SAW HAN TIN    

Rifleman  SAW HAN TIN

Rifleman  SAW KALA  16 November 1942

Lance Naik  THEIN HAN.               

[15] Ba Tun, possibly a misspelling, cannot be identified.  Most likely to have been commissioned ABRO 1941/42.

[16] William Patrick Gawain Maclachlan, born in Dublin in 1918.  After school and University in Edinburgh he joined the Burma Oil Company and sailed to Burma (or India) to begin his service.  Commissioned 2nd Lt., (ABRO 052), 10th November 1939, promoted to Lieutenant, 10th May 1941.  After the Japanese Surrender in 1945 he was hospitalised to recover his health.  In 8th February 1945, at Calcutta, he married Lavender Joy, daughter of Herbert (later Sir Herbert) John Todd, Resident Eastern States Political Service. As Captain (temporary), The Burma Regiment, Mentioned in Despatches, 5th April 1945 (Anglo-Burmese Library; London Gazette; My Broun / Brown, Wyld, Stewart, Lang Ancestry).

[18] Reginald Ladbrooke Shaw, born 23rd January 1897.  Commissioned to the Unattached List as 2ndLt., 15th November 1915.  Appointed to the Indian Army as 2ndLt., 19th November 1915 (acting Captain 28th July 1916 to 17th August 1916).  Promoted to Lieutenant, 15th  November 1916 (acting Captain, 21st April 1918 to 25th April 1918 and 1st May 1918 to 9th May 1919).  The 1st Battalion, 48th Pioneers, attached to 1st Battalion, 61st Pioneers (1921).  Promoted to Captain, 15th November 1919 and to Major, 15th November 1933.  As Major, permanently seconded to the Burma Army, in 1939 was with the 4th Battalion, Burma Rifles (British Army List; Indian Army List; London Gazette).

[19] Pe Thein, commissioned 2ndLt., ABRO, 15th April 1942, which is too late for the Captain Pe Thein listed in this diary (Anglo-Burmese Library; London Gazette).

[20] On 24th February 1942, Jemadar Abdulla Khan and 5 B.A.O.Rs with two Followers, reported to the 10th Burma Rifles their arrival in Maymyo to form a Depot for the 12th Burma Rifles (War Diary 10th Burma Rifles, WO 172/982(War diary 10th Burma Rifles)).

[21] Lyndon Grier Wheeler, born 31st December 1900.  Commissioned to the Unattached List as 2nd Lt., 17th December 1919.  Admitted to the Indian Army as 2nd Lt., 18th April 1920, attached to the 3rd Battalion, 70th Burma Rifles.  Promoted to Lieutenant, 17th December 1920, to Captain, 17th December 1926 and to Major, 17th December 1937.  As Captain, mentioned in despatches for distinguished services rendered in connection with the operations in Burma during the period December 1930 to March 1932 (the ‘Saya San Rebellion’), gazetted 20th December 1932.  On Special Employment in India from 1st April 1933 to 15th April 1935.   In 1939, as Major, was Deputy Director, Defence  Bureau, Burma, attached the 1st Burma Rifles.  After the break up of the 3rd Burma Rifles in February 1942, was redeployed to Burma Army Command H.Q., and, as temporary Lt.Colonel, is mentioned in this war diary as being employed at Burma Army H.Q., where he organised the re-equipping of men without arms following the Sittang Bridge disaster.  Later, as Temporary Lt.-Colonel, 16th Punjab Regiment, attached to the 2nd Burma Rifles; killed 4th April 1943; awarded DSO 16th December 1943, dated from 3rd April 1943 (the recommendation for this award is available to view at the National Archives in file WO 373/31/115).  After the retreat to India, Wheeler became the CO of the 2nd Burma Rifles and commanded the battalion as part of the first Chindit operation.  While with No. 5 Column, Wheeler was killed on 4th April 1943 by a stray bullet at the village of Zibyugin.  He achieved the rare distinction of being awarded a posthumous DSO (Commonwealth War Graves Commission; British Army List; London Gazette; Anglo-Burmese Library; Indian Official History, Reconquest of Burma Vol 1, p. 131; War Diary 3rd Burma Rifles, WO 172/976(War diary 3rd Burma Rifles)).