Archive / Papers / Wallace, D.B. Papers


Major David B. Wallace served as an officer with the Royal Engineers in India and Burma in 1942 and 1943-44. In 1944 his section was attached to the 3rd Batallion, 4th Prince of Wales Own Gurkha Rifles, 30 Column.

Given by Dr M.E. Wallace (wife).

  1. Two memoirs on the re-conquest of Burma in 1944 evidently written for the1986 issue of Major Wallace’s regimental newsletter:
    1. ‘With 30 Column 3/4 Group – 1944’ by Major Wallace. An account of 30 Column’s activities in Burma in the first half of 1944. The author describes training in India until January 1944 when the brigade moved to Cachar, Bengal. They then marched by the Bishenpur track to Imphal. On March 5/6 both 30 and 40 Columns were airlifted to the east side of the Irrawaddy river. For the next six weeks the column moved around the area between Wuntho and Pinlebu cutting the road and attacking reserve supply dumps.

      They were constantly on the move, supplied by air drops. At the end of April they moved north to support General Stilwell’s advance into North Burma. The writer describes the difficulties of evacuating casualties – by air, boat and raft. The brigade was ordered to support the Chinese by thrusting down from the hills to the Mogaung river valley. Finally they had to take the high point Pt. 2171. They succeded and held the ridge for a week until relieved on 19 July. After that the remnants of 30 Column withdrew to India. 6ff.

    2. ’40 Column in Burma 1944 – the lull before the storm’ by Major Donald S. McCutcheon. The writer describes a three week period in March 1944 in the life of a Chindit column. Their task was to join up with ‘Morrisforce’ about which they knew little. Some 400 men and 140 mules and ponies made the journey east from the Irrawaddy river. He describes the difficulties of receiving supply drops and of carrying their 80lb packs. They had little contact with the enemy until 6 April when “our idyll was over”. 7ff.
  2. Two diaries giving detailed accounts of Major Wallace’s experiences as an officer of the Royal Engineers in wartime Burmese operations:
    1. Volume 1 covers the period 13 March-29 April 1942.
    2. Volume 2, entitled ‘Chindit II – operation, “Thursday”‘, covers the period March-August 1944.
  3. Exercise book, consisting of passages which were to be the basis of a revision to the text of Volume 1 in item 2. 21ff.