2nd Border Regiment

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by Pete Thomas, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Member

    Hi, does anyone know what the 2nd Border Regiment were doing on 2nd February 1945? One of our local men (and the father of a family friend), Lance Corporal Henry Harris, was killed on this date.

    Any help greatly appreciated.

  2. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    On the 2nd February 1945, 2nd Border Regiment fought in Satpangon on the northern side of the Irrawaddy River. Battalion assaulted Japanese position in the village with two companies, B and D, but after heavy losses, withdraw back to starting position. Satpangon was finally cleared next day. Very detailed description of this battle you can find in Cooper's "The Little Men".
  3. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member


    Something to keep in the back of your mind with this research would be the WO361 files at Kew.

    WO361/481 missing personnel from the Border Regiment in Burma. If Harry was not killed in the presence of witnesses, he might well be among the reports in this file. If he was, and I notice he has a grave at Taukkyan, then of course he might not.
  4. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Hi – just a few snippets that may put the events leading up to and including the date of his death in context. The best avenues for research will be the member’s service file and the unit history files held by Kew, plus the missing personnel file mentioned by B43 & the book mentioned by Sol.



    The 2nd Border Regiment were part of 100 Indian Infantry Brigade (Brigadier William Arthur Lester James) of 20 Indian Infantry Division under General Officer Commanding: Major General Douglas Gracey.

    The official history only really mentions operations by Brigade or Division level forces, it sometimes mentions specific battalions / regiments but I couldn’t see a mention of 2nd Border Regiment so I presume it mainly operated as part of the Brigade.

    Second Supplement to the London Gazette of Friday, 6th April, 1951

    The War Office, 1951


    Secretary of State for War on the 4th February, 1947, by LIEUTENANT GENERAL SIR OLIVER LEESE,
    K.C.B., C.B.E., D.S.O., Commander-in-Chief, Allied Land Forces, South-East Asia.

    The rest of 20 Indian Division (Major-General D. D. Gracey) had moved south from their concentration area at Htinzin and relieved 5 Indian Division at Kalemyo and Khampat. Divisional Headquarters and 100 Brigade then pushed on across difficult country and occupied Maukkadaw on the Chindwin, 17 miles south-west of Pyingaing, on the 25th December. Thence, following 32 Brigade, their advance was directed on Budalin, the important Japanese communication centre 54 miles south-east of Maukkadaw, flank protection being afforded by 80 Brigade .advancing west of the Chindwin.

    After the capture of Budalin, 20 Indian Division continued its advance with all three brigades up. On the right, 32 Brigade, directed on Monywa, there met with fanatical resistance. This important river port was captured on the 22nd January after three days fierce fighting. In the centre, 80 Brigade occupied Wadan, on the Ayadaw-Monywa road, and pushed southward. On the left, 100 Brigade, advancing from Ayadaw, made a lightning thrust at Myinmu, on the Irrawaddy, which fell on the 22nd January after bitter hand-to-hand fighting. An incident occurred here which illustrates the Japanese mentality: a detachment pinned against the river, formed up and marched straight into it, deliberately committing mass suicide by drowning.

    For the capture of both Monywa and Myinmu we received magnificent air support. The next three weeks were spent by 20 Indian Division in closing up to the north bank of the Irrawaddy between the Mu and Chindwin Rivers. The Japanese rear parties remaining on the north bank put up a stubborn resistance. While this area was being cleared, we pushed patrols out across the river. These operated with the greatest daring, not only reporting on possible crossing places, but in the words of the Army Commander, maintaining a reign of terror among the Japanese posts on the southern bank. The enemy responded by sending a small detachment round the left flank of 20 Indian Division; this detachment crossed the Mu River from the east bank, under an artillery concentration, and recaptured Nyaungyin, a village two miles east of Myinmu. They then split up into small harassing parties, which had to be hunted down and eliminated.

    (the next reference to 100 Brigade is for the 12th of February)
  5. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Member

    Sol, Bamboo, Dave, perfect, thank you very much.

  6. tango22a

    tango22a New Member

    hi pete

    my name is charlie skelton im ex 17/21 Lancers...

    i would like to tell you i have just arrived back from burma after visiting my uncles grave ,,,he and yr uncle were both in the same unit and are resting near each other, i admit i saw this online before i left but was just by chance so i took the opportunity and took a photo of his grave along with a few more if you would like a copy then i would be so happy to send up to you ....

    just let me know if yu get this info

    Attached Files:

    ritsonvaljos and Drew5233 like this.
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Well done Charlie - I would try sending him a private message just in case he misses this thread.
  8. Our bill

    Our bill Well-Known Member

    Wow you chaps never fail to amaze me loved reading all the comments on here and had another history lesson.I filled up when the photo of his resting place was put on here. You all have to be lovely kind people Elsie
  9. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Member

    Charlie, thank you so very much. I completely missed your reply to my post and apologise profusely for not replying sooner. I would love copies of the grave and will send them straight to Henry's son who now lives in Australia (one of my father's best friends).

    Thank you once again for being so considerate.


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