Help 4 Forgotten Allies - Burma Hill Tribes

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by Jedburgh22, Oct 9, 2015.

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  1. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Earlier this week I was privileged to attend a presentation at the Army & navy Club on the work of a small charity that helps the Burmese Tribes people who loyally served the British cause during the Second World War - many serving alongside the Chindits and with SOE.

    The charity provides assistance to some 400 veterans who exist in very poor circumstances in both Burma and in refugee camps in Thailand.

    To quote from H4FA leaflet

    "H4FA has no staff, nor any ambition to compete with other larger charities. Our engagement is simple and practical and based on face to face meetings with those in need. The office is a laptop, all travel and other costs are covered privately by the Trustees, and how donations are spent is meticulously documented, with accounts overseen by out treasurer, checked by an independent examiner and available to the public via the Charity Commission website.
    100% of all donations go to the welfare grants and to our projects. Funds for H4FA and PSRB projects are kept separately.
    We now have six trustees and make visits annually"

    You can see more on the website

    www.h4fa.org.uk


    I would urge forum members with an interest in Burma to look at the website and give whatever you can to help

    Steven
     
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  2. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Thanks for this information Steven. I was interested to see mention of Lieut-Col. Peacock and of course Hugh Seagrim on the site. I will place a link on my website alongside the Gurkha Welfare Trust. Good to see help and recognition for these groups, who have suffered greatly under the military governments of Burma since independence in 1948.
     
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  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Thanks for the heads up.
    An aspect of the war that gets overlooked .
     
  4. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Some updates from H4FA, including an article about Major HP. Seagrim's new memorial plaque at Yangon Anglican Cathedral. The Chindit Society is hoping to forge closer links with H4FA in the near future.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Rothy

    Rothy Junior Member

    It was good to discover this, Steven. I've added a link from my website also.

    Rothy
     
  6. PackRat

    PackRat Active Member

    What a great charity. Not sure if many photographs of these allies were taken, but the war artist Anthony Gross made some sketches and watercolours of some groups in his 1943 "Battle of Arakan" series:

    large_000000.jpg

    Chins at War: Captain Braund and his Levies from the Kamhau Tribe

    Object description

    A bearded and uniformed Captain Braund stands on a hillside facing the viewer, holding a machine gun. Around him sit and stand the Levies, armed with rifles. Behind them are hills and mountains.

    Label
    Captain Braund was a senior officer in the Burma Frontier Force unit formed quickly in late January 1942 to assist in guarding the oil facilities of Burma. After the refineries were demolished in March, his part of the force joined the Levy operations in the Chin Hills, Myanmar. In 1943, Gross travelled from Arakan in Burma via Chittagong and Assam to the Naga Hills. As his party marched up the mountains on foot, they met the Chin Levies, 'dressed in uniforms of their own fancy - odds and ends of army equipment spread out through an entire village platoon, for the rest turbans and blankets of their own design, the whole capped with a feather, the sign of the levies.' ('India in Action', National Gallery, 1943)​

    More available at the IWM collection.
     
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  7. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Great link Packrat. I have Braund's book, Distinctly I Remember. It is a good account of his time with the Chin Hill Levies.

    Braund H. copy.jpeg
     
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  8. PackRat

    PackRat Active Member

    Thanks for the recommendation, Bamboo, that looks like a great read. My local library had a copy so I have picked it up to read over the weekend. Braund's dedication of the book seems appropriate to this thread:

    "To the peoples of Burma who gave me these years; and to comrades who did not survive"
     
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  9. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Let me know what you think of the book.
     
  10. Rothy

    Rothy Junior Member

    Braund's Burma Frontier Force unit was F.F.7. After the demolitions in March 1942, Braund's column from F.F.7 was evacuated by sea to Calcutta. He subsequently took the Chins from this column to join the Chin Levies. Part of F.F.7 remained in Burma and joined the withdrawal from Rangoon.

    For a history of F.F.7 please see: F.F.7, Burma Frontier Force
     

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