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Title:QUEEN'S OWN CAMERON HIGHLANDERS RESTING AFTER TAMU [Allocated Title]
Film Number:JFU 130
Other titles:BRITISH ARMY OPERATIONS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR [Allocated Series Title]
Summary: After the victory at Tamu, Burma, troops of 1st Battalion Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders retire to a rest camp where local Naga tribesmen help them to make the camp fit to live in despite the terrible monsoon conditions.
Description: British troops gathered with officers who address them. The troops cheer; all of them wear helmets with camouflage net. A column of British troops and mules march through the jungle; some soldiers carry Lee Enfield rifles and others carry Bren light machine guns. Smoke rises from a patch of jungle on a hillside. Another column of troops moves through the jungle. Naga people carry supplies. Explosion or smoke rises on the other side of a river. (Following footage is very dark). Men gather round to look at a map. A jeep moves along a very muddy road. The jeep drives into camp. General views of the camp; logs are laid down in the mud for the jeep to drive over. Naga people chop wood and build bashas (huts). Repairs are carried out on a Bren gun. Captured Japanese weapons and ammunition, including a Type 11 light machine gun, are laid out in an area with a sign reading "Intelligence Office"; there are examples of captured weapons and ammunition and also hand written information cards for the items. A bagpipe band march on an improvised square. Three men chat and laugh.
Production Details: War Office Directorate of Public Relations (Production sponsor)
SEAC Film Unit (Production company)
MacTavish, DuncanDuncan MacTavish, service number 378125, sergeant cameraman with No 9 Army Film & Photographic Unit, later promoted 2nd Lieutenant 6 September 1945 (see Supplement to the London Gazette, 11 April 1947). (Production individual)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: British Army, Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders (regiment/service)
British Army, 5th Brigade (regiment/service)
British Army, 2nd Division (regiment/service)
Keywords: Tamu, Burma (geography)
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: 453 ft; Running time: 5 mins
Notes: Dopesheet gives the location as a rest camp at Milestone 86 on the Imphal-Kohima road. 1st Battalion Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders was part of 5th Brigade, 2nd Division. The Official History gives the 2nd Division's camp as being at Maram, 25 miles south of Kohima; this may be the location seen in this film.
The capture of Tamu was an important stage in the Allied advance towards the River Chindwin. Tamu fell on 4 August 1944 and stands at the head of the malarial Kabaw Valley, which 11th East African Division then advanced down towards Sittaung on the Chindwin.
The Naga people are a distinct ethnic group of somewhat unclear ancestry but possibly mixed Mongol and Tibeto-Burmese. They live mostly on the Indo-Burma border in the Indian states of Assam, Manipur and Nagaland and on the border areas of Burma's Sagaing Division. Traditionally headhunters, the British paid the Nagas in salt for captured Japanese weapons or, rather gruesomely, for the decapitated heads of enemy officers. From the middle of the nineteenth century increasing numbers were converted to Christianity by the work of missionaries. During the war they proved helpful to the Allies, providing scouts and guides, and aiding Allied stragglers or crashed airmen. Film shot by the RAF depicting the plight of Naga refugees can be found at the reference below. See related items.