Lost Footsteps
Lost Footsteps

British Burma (1826-1942)

Burma in 1938

New quasi-democratic constitution and appeals for constitutional reform, more political freedom, hotly contested elections and political infighting, calls to 'protect race and religion', economic uncertainty and extreme income inequality, Buddhist-Muslim violence, increasing strategic importance between China and India, and the rise of extreme nationalism. The rest is history. Photo shows Rangoon harbor in 1938.

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In memory of Bo Aung Gyaw

On 20 December 1938, University student "Bo" Aung Gyaw was killed and dozens of other Burmese demonstrators against colonial rule wounded by police on Sparks Street (now Bo Aung Gyaw St) as they attempted to march around the Secretariat. He was the first 'martyr' of the nationalist movement and tens of thousands of people attended his funeral a week later (so many lined the route that it took four hours for the cortege to travel the half mile from Rangoon...

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HG Wells in Rangoon

H.G. Wells visited Rangoon in July 1939. He was then 72 years old and one of the most famous writers in the world. The author of such classics as “The Time Machine” and “The War of the Worlds”, he wrote nearly a hundred other books over his lifetime. He is today known (together with Jules Verne) as the father of science fiction. H.G. Wells believed deeply in the idea of a world community. He was a supporter of the League...

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Colonel Suzuki Keiji of the Minami Kikan

Japan's ties to the Myanmar armed forces go back to the very founding of the Burma Independence Army in 1941. The pivotal figure on the Japanese side was Colonel Suzuki Keiji of the Minami Kikan (南機関 - a sort of special operations directorate), who first recruited General Aung San and trained the now legendary "Thirty Comrades".
Colonel Suzuki and his Minami Kikan fellow-officers came to associate closely with Myanmar independence desires and were at times distrusted by their own Japanese...

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The last attempt to defend Rangoon

Armoured cars of the British 7th Armoured Brigade (the Jungle Rats) patrol Sule Pagoda Road.The 7th Armoured Brigade arrived in Rangoon in February 1942 from North Africa, where it had taken part in key battles against Nazi Germany. On 15 February Singapore fell to the Japanese. On 17 February the Australian government under Prime Minister John Curtin refused Sir Winston Churchill's directive to divert the 6th and 7th (Australian) Divisions to the defense of Rangoon. On 22 February the 17th...

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