Lost Footsteps
Lost Footsteps

Winston Churchill

When Australia changed Burmese history

On 21 February 1942, Australia changed Burmese history.  On 23 December 1941, the Japanese began the aerial bombing of Rangoon, then crossed the border from Thailand, seizing Moulmein at the end of January. The Japanese were then approaching Rangoon from Moulmein and would soon cross the Sittang River. On 15 February, Singapore, Britain's "impregnable" fortress in the Far East, fell and 80,000 Allied troops were captured. On 19 February, the Australian town of Darwin was bombed by the Japanese. By...

Read More

Cairo Conference 1943

The photograph is of Allied leaders President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, PM Winston Churchill, and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek discussing the reconquest of Burma at their summit in Cairo. Also at the conference were Madame Chiang Kai-shek (also in the photo), the new Allied Supreme Commander for South East Asia Lord Louis Mountbatten, and his deputy General Joseph "Vinegar Joe" Stillwell. The Chinese pressed for an aggressive invasion of Burma, by British, Indian, and American as well as Chinese forces, the early...

Read More

Labour Party's Election Victory Changed Burma's History

In July 1945, the Labour Party won a landslide victory over the Conservatives and Clement Attlee replaced Sir Winston Churchill as Prime Minister. Labour's election victory without a doubt changed the course of Burma's history. Clement Attlee was committed to decolonization and within a year reversed earlier policies and began moves towards Burmese self-determination. By 1949 the Attlee government had granted independence to India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon. A Conservative government under Winston Churchill would almost certainly not have granted...

Read More

UK's decision to quit Burma

On 20 December 1946, UK Prime Minister Clement Attlee informed the House of Commons of his government's intention "to hasten forward the time when Burma shall realize her independence, either within or without the Commonwealth". In other words, the UK had decided to quit Burma. We must remember that this was a time when Clement Attlee's Labour government were coping with severe and mounting economic challenges at home, and facing dire emergencies in India, Palestine, and Greece. Communal violence in...

Read More