This Day in History: 1943-03-02

No 2 Column of the 1st Chindit Expedition, based on B Company of the 3rd Battalion, advanced eastwards from the terminus at Yindaik with the intention of attacking the railway junction at Kyaikthin. They were ambushed by a large force of Japanese and after two hours’ fighting were forced to disengage and disperse. Only about half the column arrived at the rendezvous and they had lost all their mules, reserve ammunition, radios and medical equipment. This marked the end of the column as a viable force and on the orders of the Column Commander, Major Emmett, those that had arrived at the RV broke up into small groups. Some exfiltrated west back across Chindwin while others continued fighting the Japanese. Notable among the latter was Subedar Major Siblal Thapa who stayed near the battlefield and gathered up 4 young British Officers (none of whom spoke Urdu or Gurkhali), 70 Gurkha Other Ranks, 65 mules and 4 machine guns from No 2 Column, with which he eventually joined No 1 Column on 6th March.

Map from the Regimental history showing the area mentioned.

Subedar Major Siblal Thapa