THE SECOND WORLD WAR
The 4th Battalion was formed in Abbottabad in March 1941 from drafts provided by the 1st and 2nd Battalions, the balance being made up of recruits. By October it was considered fit for war and joined 62 Indian Infantry Brigade at Ahmednagar.
The events that followed were similar to those experienced by the 1st Battalion. In June 1943, 19 Indian Division moved from Madras to start jungle training in Mysore State. Intensive training was carried out to prepare the Battalion for operations in Burma. By the end of October 1944 both the 1st and 4th Battalions were in Manipur where the Regiment had last served in 1891 as the 42nd Gurkha Rifles.
In November 1944 the Battalion crossed the Chindwin River and the next day shots were exchanged with some fleeing Japanese. The weeks that followed were spent pursuing the retreating enemy who was still a most formidable opponent as the Battalion’s casualties showed. The Irrawaddy River was crossed in January 1945 and the Battalion was involved in the subsequent actions to defend the bridgehead. It was not employed in the battle for Mandalay but continued on to the south where the next five months were spent mopping up the Japanese pockets of resistance and ensuring that the enemy was not able to break out eastwards.
After the Japanese surrender the Battalion moved to Pegu to join 99 Indian Brigade, and in April 1946 it returned to India. The cost of its service in Burma had been 5 Officers and 95 Other Ranks killed and 317 wounded. Decorations earned were:
- 1 MBE
- 9 MCs
- 12 MMs
- 5 IDSMs