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The Burma Star  11th Dec. 1941 to 2nd Sept. 1945

A star with six bevelled points.  In the centre the initials ‘GRI’ with a crown above and ‘VI’ below, partly circled by a band bearing the words ‘THE BURMA STAR’. 

Flat and plain. 

Approx. 38 mm across.

Medal and bar bronze.

Approx. 31 mm wide.  Dark blue with a central red stripe (approx. 10mm).  the resultant blue edges each have a central orange stripe (approx. 3.5mm).  The red stripe symbolises the British Commonwealth Forces which took part in the campaign and the orange stripes symbolise the sun.

The ribbon passes through a bronze ring (approx. 12 mm diameter) which is fixed through a loop at the top of the star.

All issued unnamed, but some have been engraved privately.

One.  A recipient who qualified for both The Burma Star and The Pacific Star and qualified for The Burma Star first was awarded The Burma Star and was entitled to wear the bar ‘Pacific’ attached to the ribbon.

A small silver rosette would represent this when medal ribbons only were worn.

For service in the Campaign in Burma between 11th December 1941 and 2nd September 1945.  The following qualifications apply to the Army only.  Service in Burma between the above dates qualified.  Also, service in Bengal and Assam between 1st May 1942 and 2nd September 1945; and service in China and Malaya between 16th February 1942 and  2nd September 1945.  Visits of over  30 days duration approved by one of the Commanders-in-Chief also qualified for the award. 

The Burma Star was not issued automatically, those who thought they qualified had to claim it.       

The King’s Own
2nd Battalion.
After active service in Egypt in 1940, in Syria against Vichy French forces in mid-1941, and in Libya at the siege of Tobruk during the latter part of 1941 the Battalion moved to Ceylon and then India where it undertook intensive training for jungle warfare.  In March 1944, as No. 41 and No. 46, Chindit Columns it was flown in from Imphal to ‘Broadway’ an airstrip in northern Burma, and operated behind the Japanese lines, where the arduous conditions were as much of an enemy as the Japanese army.

In late May 1944 both columns were involved in an extremely fiercely fought action at ‘Blackpool Block’, a defensive perimeter established south-west of Myitkyina.  In June, despite losses through casualties and disease, the Battalion took part in operations directed against Mogaung after which, in July, the survivors were taken by jeep to Myitkyina and flown out to India, having marched over 1100 miles through extremely difficult terrain supported entirely by the RAF.  The Battalion took no further active part in the war following this ordeal.

56th (The King’s Own) Light Anti-Aircraft/Anti-Tank Regiment Royal Artillery (Formerly the 4th TA Battalion The King’s Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster)). 
Following service as part of the British Expeditionary Force in France in 1940, and being involved in the defence of Dunkirk before being itself evacuated, this unit went to India in 1941 and fought in various parts of Assam and Burma between October 1943 and June 1945.

Burma Stars in the museum's collection


© 2007 Trustees of the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum