Archive / Papers / Rose Papers


Small Collections Box 20

Given by Mrs. D. Rose

Bengal, Kashmir, Burma, Assam 1942-1946

  1. Letters from Mrs. Dorothy Rose in Calcutta, to England.
    • 30 December 1944: The dirt and disease in Calcutta. Leave in Kashmir after her husband had got out of Assam after the siege of Imphal. No hope of demobilisation for two years.
    • 27 August 1945: Has moved outside Calcutta in a temporary job. Adjustments and uncertainty after the war – job, getting home etc. Leave again in Kashmir.
    • 22 September 1945: To her cousin Joanna Skipwith. Uncertainty of immediate future for her husband and self. Has been working with returned POWs from Singapore. Comments on their wonderful spirit – and on the years of the Japanese occupation.
  2. Copies of extracts from The Statesman, 20 August, 1946.
  3. Original TS of Mr. Alistair Rose’s trek out of Burma, January-June 1942:
    • Flew on 21 December, 1941, from Sydney to Moulmein, leaves his wife in Sydney. Arrives after diversions in Moulmein on 2nd January, 1942. Boards his launch and finds that Army Officers have commandeered his bungalow and they travel together. Describes small forces available to defend Tenasserim timber yard. Continues business as far as possible (teak trade). Air-raids begin. Description of type of bombs. etc.
    • 19 January: Hears Tavoy battalion routed. Closes mill, disperses staff and elephants. Eventually an air raid sets fire to town and causes complete evacuation of southern and central part of the town. Does not destroy timber yard and plant as believed R.A.F. would disperse Japanese attempts to ship timber. No idea Indian troop resources inadequate. Eventually is only person left on site so decides to go to Rangoon by train with the firm’s books. Complains that civilian population kept ignorant by army of events in the war: Indian civilians left behind unnecessarily on evacuation of Mergui. Fall of Moulmein and reasons. Description of the confused movements and activities before final evacuation, and fall of Burma.
    • Decides to leave by the Chaukan Pass route.
    • Rose and Anderson start the trek along with hundreds of other refugees. Gurkha families, Anglo-Indians, and probably Bishop Strachan’s school, all of whom died. At Myitkyina scraps possessions down to minimum, and food to one week’s supply. Joined by Stapleton with pony and mule. At Maingkwan they are able to load up with rice. March in torrential rain. Arriving Sinbwiyang – plentiful food from air-dropped rations. Europeans if possible distribute to prevent looting. This area enabled thousands to continue after food for a few days. Parts from Anderson and Stapleton, who rest further. Wait for official party, and hope for Naga guides for unused Naga route. Only I.C.S. used it eventually. Anderson died. Joins three other officers and has bunch of Lushais loosely attached, who were very useful in camping. Party splits into two. Mule dies, they catch bullocks. Magnificent work of the Assam Tea Planters’ Association in relief measures. Arrive at a railway and is taken to hospital and eventually reached Calcutta, having walked 109 miles.
  4. A shortened duplicated version of the above, duplicated and bound with maps, with a history of the firm of T.D. Findlay and Son, Ltd. entitled: ‘A short history of T.D. Findlay and Son Ltd., East India Merchants, and An account of Alistair Rose’s route out of Burma in 1942’. 17pp.