7th (Indian) Division

The War Illustrated, Volume 10, No. 252, Page 684, February 14, 1947.

Colours: Yellow Arrow on Black Circle

Mobilized in the spring of 1942, this Division in 1943 received special training in jungle warfare, Major-General F. W. Messervy assuming command in July of that year. Later in 1943 it was operating in the Arakan with the 5th Indian Division. In February 1944 the 7th was surrounded in the region of the Ngakyedauk Pass, where it put up a magnificent fight until relieved by the 5th Division on February 23.

In the following month the 7th assumed the offensive, capturing Buthidaung, and took part in the repulse of the Japanese attacks at Kohima and Imphal. In December it began a march of 400 miles to the south, the leading troops crossing the Irrawaddy at Nyaungu on February 14, 1945. Pagan was seized two days later; and there was heavy fighting during the Japanese attempts to eliminate the bridge-head.

Its next task was the recapture of the oilfields in the Chauk and Yenangyaung areas, successfully accomplished during April. It was then engaged in intercepting parties of the enemy endeavouring to escape across the Irrawaddy. After the surrender of the Japanese the 7th was flowing into Siam, where it disarmed and concentrated 113,000 Japanese troops. It rescued and evacuated some 20,000 British and Australian prisoners of war and took charge of 25,000 coolies brought from Malaya by the Japanese.

From December 1944 to February 1946 Major-General G. C. Evans commanded the Division, whose composition was continually changing; but the infantry brigades were the 33rd, the 89th and 114th. The infantry, between August 1943 and December 1945, was made up at one period or another by battalions of the Queen's, King's Own Scottish Borderers, Somerset Light Infantry, South Lancashire Regt., Punjah Regt., Sikhs, Jats, Gurkhas and the 1st Burma Regiment

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