Burma Star Association
Burma Star Association

36th British Division

The original badge of this unit was the geometric design of a "trident", for the Navy, "sword" for the Army, and "wings" for the Air Force, this badge was chosen because they were part of an amphibious unit.  it was consequently used as the badge of the 33rd Indian Corps.

 

It was decided to create their own badge which was done by amalgamating the badge of the 29th Independent Brigade (which joined the 72nd Brigade in central India after taking part in the invasion of Madagascar) with that of the 72nd British Brigade. The Badge of the 29th Brigade was a white circle on a black rectangular background, the badge of the 72nd Brigade was a red circle on a black background, (this was obtained from the Central India Command of which they were part of at the time) these were intertwined on a black rectangular background to make the badge of the 36th British Division.

 

The Division was formed in 1943 as the Army component of the Combined Training Centre in India, in 1943 the 29th and 72nd British Brigades were allocated to this formation, although all the other units were Indian, at this time they were under command of the Indian Expeditionary Forces, and called the 251st Tank Brigade.  The Division took part in the Arakan Operations in 1944, in support of the 5th Indian Division in the Jungle covered hill country around the Ngayadauk Pass and the Mayu Tunnels Area.

 

In May 1944 they were withdrawn from the Arakan Front.  After a short rest at Shillong they were then moved up to the Ledo Road area the Terminus of the Burma Road, where the came under the command of General J. Stillwell's American- Chinese Forces (they had by this time had the Indian Units withdrawn) they were now "The 36th British Division", and saw much of the hard fighting around Myitkyina and Mogaung, where they took over from the remains of the Chindits.  

 

After the capture of Myitkyina Airfield in December 1944, the 26th Indian Infantry Brigade ( ex 6th Indian Division Middle East) was flown in to join the Division.

 

In January 1945 the Division crossed the Irrawaddy and came under the command of the Fourteenth Army and saw much of the Hard Fighting that led to the final operation that broke the last Japanese resistance in Burma,

 

The Division was returned to India in June 1945 and was disbanded.

 

They were Commanded by Maj/Gen FW Festing (CB CBE DSO).

 

 

Divisional Structure

 

Divisional Commander

Maj/Gen  FW Festing  (CB OBE DSO)

 

Headquarters Brigade

2nd Btn Manchester Regt (M/Gun) 1 Coy

8th Btn Gurkha Rifles (1Coy)

 

Divisional Artillery

315th 316th 494th Bty's 130th Field Regt (Royal Artillery)

168th 321st 402nd Bty's 122nd A/Tank Regt (Royal Artillery)

122nd 366th 516th Bty's 178th Field Regt (Royal Artillery)

3rd Medium Regt (Royal Artillery)

12th 17th 26th Bty 32nd Indian Mountain Regt (Indian Artillery)

 

26th Independent Infantry Brigade

1st Btn Royal Scots Fusiliers               

1st Btn Royal Welch Fusiliers

2nd Btn East Lancashire Regt

Commanded by Brig HC Stockwell (OBE DSO)

 

72nd Independent Infantry Brigade

6th Btn South Wales Borderers

9th Btn Royal Sussex Regt

10th Btn The Gloucestershire Regt

Commanded by Brig AR Aslett (DSO)

 

26th Indian Infantry Brigade

2nd Btn Royal East Kent Regt (The Buffs)

1st Btn Hyderabad Regt

2nd Btn 8th Punjab Regt

1st Btn 1st (KGO) Gurkha Rifles

1st Btn 9th Gurkha Rifles (The Malaum Regt)

Commanded by  Brig MH Jennings (CBE)

 

Royal Indian Army Service Corps

23rd 81st Animal Trt Coy's (Mule)

90th 91st 169th GP Trt Coy's

21st 55th 56th Indian Composite Issue Coy's             

26th Indian Infantry Brigade Trt Coy

 

Medical Services

IMC RAMC IMD IAMC IFH                     

34th 69th 154th Indian Field Ambulances

 

36th Division Provost Unit

36th Division Signals Unit

 

Indian Army Ordnance Corps

Divisional Sub-Park

 

Indian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

102nd Indian Mobile W/Shop Coy

 

Indian Engineers Sappers and Miners

10th Indian Bridging Coy

15th Indian Engineering Btn

10th 58th Indian Field Coy's

236th Field Coy (Royal Engineers)

324th Indian Field Park Coy

 

Intelligence Services

9th Plt Burma Intelligence Corp

29th Field Security Unit

 

Postal Service

56th 77th 148th Indian Field Post/Office                       

183rd 478th 601st Field Post/Office

When you go home

tell them of us and say,

For your tomorrow,

we gave our today

Lt Gen Slim at Fort Dufferin, Mandalay, in March 1945 Lt Gen Slim at Fort Dufferin, Mandalay, in March 1945
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