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Title:2ND BATTALION EAST LANCASHIRE REGIMENT ATTACK MOHNYIN [Allocated Title]
Film Number:JFU 119
Other titles:BRITISH ARMY OPERATIONS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR [Allocated Series Title]
Summary: The British 36th Division advances from India into northern Burma and various activities to aid the advance are carried out.
Description: Before the attack on Mohnyin a church service is in progress and is attended by white soldiers of the 2nd Battalion East Lancashire Regiment; many of the men are shirtless. The chaplain, Reverend Peter Mayhew of St Albans Parish, Manchester, wearing a jungle green surplice, leads the singing of "Abide with me". The men sing as they share hymn books. Holy Communion is taken by the men and wafers are placed in their mouths. A patrol walks past mules then through waist high grass; they carry Lee Enfield rifles. Men walk across a log which has been used to replace the blown span of a bridge. A cable is held up for them to hold onto. Troops walk towards camera with a river to one side of them. The troops cross another log. A large column of smoke rises in the distance from the village of Mgyingou, on the outskirts of Mohnyin, which was dive-bombed earlier in the day. Major-General Festing, General Officer Commanding 36th Division and General H C Stockwell, Commanding Officer 29th Brigade, walk through a wrecked railway station. Badly damaged rolling stock can be seen as well as bombed-out buildings. Festing climbs a ladder to a signal box in order to see the front line; he uses binoculars. A patrol passes wrecked rolling stock and buildings. A 3.7-inch howitzer is fired. A 25-pounder is fired several times. A fuse is attached to a shell; Bombardier Quayle gives the order to fire and drops his arm. The empty casing is ejected and another shell loaded. The muzzle is shown as the gun is fired. A jeep and trailer pass wrecked rolling stock which has fallen into a river. The jeep fords the river. British troops and a mule train cross the river. A bulldozer clears and smoothes a road; it is driven by a Sikh driver and directed by another Indian soldier in a bush hat. A group shot of white soldiers in front of their camp. A soldier uses a metal detector to search the road for mines. A large American Caterpillar-type vehicle is used to tow a truck through the jungle. A mule train passes through the jungle loaded with supplies.
Production Details: War Office Directorate of Public Relations (Production sponsor)
SEAC Film Unit (Production company)
Sanders, P A (Production individual)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: Mayhew, Peter (person)
Festing, Francis Wogan (person)
Stockwell, Hugh Charles (person)
Quayle (Bombadier) (person)
British Army, 36th Division (regiment/service)
British Army, East Lancashire Regiment, 2nd Battalion (regiment/service)
Keywords: Mohnyin, Burma (geography)
Mgyingou, Burma (geography)
Operations in Northern Burma 1943-1945, Burma 1942-1945, Second World War (event)
Burma 1942-1945 (theme)
British Army 1939-1945 (theme)
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 580 ft; Running time: 7 mins
Notes: According to the dopesheet the 25-pounder in the film had been left by the Chindits during one of their long-range penetration patrols as they were unable to evacuate it by air. The Japanese had discovered the piece and used it against advancing British troops but when they were driven out of Hopin they dumped it into a crater where it was discovered and repaired by 366th Field Battery Royal Artillery.
At this point 36th Division (commanded by Major-General F W Festing) was part of Northern Combat Area Command (NCAC) under the American Lieutenant-General Daniel Sultan. NCAC was a multi-national force comprising American and Chinese troops in addition to 36th British Division.
Major-General Stockwell gave an interview to the IWM's Sound Archive in 1979, which can be found under the reference below. See related items.
The IWM's Department of Printed Books holds a copy of a biography of Festing and a history of 36th Division. See related items.
For more footage of Mohnyin see related items.