World War 2 - Relics and Documents
Rare Battle Letter from British Officer Serving in Burma -- Outstanding Content
Item #: JMS-761
Rare Battle Letter from British Officer Serving in Burma -- Outstanding Content Rare Battle Letter from British Officer Serving in Burma -- Outstanding Content Rare Battle Letter from British Officer Serving in Burma -- Outstanding Content Rare Battle Letter from British Officer Serving in Burma -- Outstanding Content
Click on an image to enlarge
Absolutely AMAZING battle letter from a British Lieutenant with the 82nd West African Recce. (Reconnaissance) Regiment serving in Burma! This letter is fantastic. I normally don't buy letters from non-American personnel. I have the highest respect and deepest gratitude for ALL of our allies but because I don't always understand their language or -- in the case of the Brits, Aussies and Canadians, their military structure -- I tend to stick with Americans. That said, I just could not resist this incredible letter.
The condition is just very good -- it has a couple of tears (one very tiny one and another about an inch in length) but the document remains one whole and is not in pieces. There are eight wonderful India stamps on the front and some very fine censor cancellations. I cannot, for the life of me, make out the officer's last name. Can you? If you know, send me an email and I'll be most grateful. But really, what we DO know is what makes this letter so incredible. The author is a Lieutenant named Jack and he is an officer in the 82nd West African Recce. Regiment serving in Burma. He doesn't date the letter, but we know these men were shipped from Africa to Burma in 1944. They saw some of the most brutal, bitter combat in the Arakan campaign in both '44 and 1945. This is actually part of the reason I purchased this letter. Far too many people forget the hell that was Burma during World War Two. American, British, Chinese, Indian and African forces fought with incredible courage and were subject to the worst possible conditions of the war. We owe them everything, in my opinion.
In this instance, our officer is less than impressed with his African troops. He says, "I have been in the thick of things...several clashes with the 'yellow men'. So far, managed to keep a whole skin & hope I can continue. Had an exciting day on the 17th last. I was out on patrol with 30 Africans, who incidentally are not very good fighters. Met 50 'Japs' face to face in the jungle. My doughty warriors got the wind up & left me with only 5 Africans & 2 other Europeans. We had a real old battle lasting 3 hours & eventually had to withdraw. The 'Japs' had us cut off & knew it. It took us 2 days to get back to our HQ, normally a 2 hour trip."
There is other great content. He hopes to "get back to the tanks & shall keep on trying". (The 82nd had an armored component.) He also vows to stay near the rear on patrols in the future so that if his men run, he can get a head start.
Clearly, we know from history that the colonial African troops in the British Army were often extremely brave and courageous. However, in this instance, this officer had colonials who were less than enthused about fighting for their "masters" on an entirely different continent. The point of owning this letter is certainly not to make a case denigrating our African allies but rather, applauding the unbelievable courage of this particular officer and the few African men and 2 Englishmen who stayed with him to fight off quite a horde.
The letter might be a one of a kind for you World War Two collectors. If you can decipher this fellow's last name, even better. Did he survive the war? Did he make it back to the tank corps? Back to Britain? I'd love to know.
(or just ask a question about it) please email me directly at

Using the “Order Information” button right below the price USUALLY works, but not always.  I don’t know why, but it could have to do with spam settings on either end. The easiest way to order or inquire about an item is simply to email me directly.  Again, my email address is


Shipping Weight: 0.2 lb
Your Price... $130.00 USD

All firearms sold are pre-1898 and historic collectibles. They are not meant to be fired. Jim Stanley & Associates ( will not be liable for injury incurred due to any weapon or artifact purchased from this site. All artillery projectiles sold by Jim Stanley & Associates are absolutely safe and have been professionally and safely de-activated.