Archive for November 4th, 2011

letter from a soldier of the Burma campaign

November 4, 2011 in Uncategorized | Comments (1)



Bagan, 1996


Dear Mr. Ghosh,

I am writing to you to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your book, The Glass Palace.

Having volunteered for the army in 1943, thinking I would be fighting the Germans, as soon as I reached the age pf 18 years I was sent abroad to India.   After some jungle training I journeyed to Shillong in Assam to become a member of the 36th British Division.   From Ledo we flew into Burma, landing at Michikinia airport.

Marching down the railway line in the Mogong valley, via Mogok, we ended up in Mandalay, camping by the moat that surrounded Fort Duffrin.   I had, on occasion, to go one top of the Fort and had to go down the steep slopes to explain to the locall residents that rice for them would be distributed as quickly as possible.   As we only had mules for transport, we marched approx. 400 miles.

Having been on active service in Burma for nine months, we were flown out for leave.  I chose Bombay and had occasion to see Mr. Jinah at a hill station 50 miles out of town.

After a stop-off in Poona, we went south to Madras to join an invasion fleet to land at Port Swettenham in Malaya.  Luckily for us, before this invasion took place, the Americans dropped two atomic bombs  on Japan, and the enemy surrendered.

My unit, The 9th Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment, were sent to Butterworth to distribute food to various towns, such as Ipoh.

Having left school at the age of 14 years, and very ignorant of the world, I ended up seeing India, Burma and Malaya – receiving three shillings and sixpence a day for my trouble.

It was easy to understand the various Movements wishing  to gain freedom from the British Empire, and your book vividly showed how the other half lived during the British retreat and the invasion of the Japanese Army.

Yours truly, a fellow human being.   Gerald Shindler


ucuz ukash