In early 1943, 1st Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers engaged in fighting against Japanese forces in the Donbaik area of Burma. They sustained considerable losses.
Donbaik Area, 10th January 1943
C Coy move off – The coy is divided into two, one half under Coy Cmd moves along the upper slopes (by the same route as A Coy) and the other half under Lt. DOCHERTY along the lower slope.
No more than 18 men of A Coy have returned so far. No news of Coy Cmd or any of A Coy offrs.
Lt. Fairweather’s pl. take over C Coy’s protective role.
Lt. Docherty’s half-coy met strong opposition from H.G. post at approx. 652836 and was forced to retire.
Lt. Docherty in at Bn. HQ.
Capt. Robin with his half-coy report that they are within view of an H.G post and are going to attack it.
All offrs. of A Coy with 42 men unwounded, 8 wounded returned. 10 men are expected to return within the near future and 30 men are missing (probably killed). Lt. Andrews evacuated to ADS with NYD Fever.
Capt. Boyle arrived from HQ 14 DIV with orders for C.O. top withold attack until 1/7 RAJPUTS and COY JATS H.G. arrive in two days time. GENERAL WAVELL sends message of encouragement and thanks C.O. for work that we have done.
No news re return of CAPT ROBIN.
Donbaik Area, 10th January 1943 cont.
C Coy Activities from 0730hrs. C Coy moved off from their defensive pos. One half of Coy under Capt. Robin, the other under Lt. Doherty. This half coy started later as they had not so difficult a journey or so far to go. Capt. Robin made use of the old A Coy route. Lt. Docherty moved along the lower- slopes. The orders were to destroy the H.G. nests in DONBAIK area [?] were [?] us by crossfire and fixed line. Docherty was able to push forward until approx. 50 yds within view of the houses just east of DONBAIK village. At this stage Lt. Docherty made preparations for attack and was just about to put his plan into operation when mortar and H.G fire came down on his position. He engaged the enemy as best he could from all directions but in the face of heavy H.G fire was forced to retire. His casualties were 4 wounded, and 4 missing. Lt. Docherty reported back to Bn. HQ at 1330hrs. As for the other half coy under Capt. Robin, he was advancing in touch the whole time with the C.O. on the old A Coy line until about 1530hrs. He reported that he had heard the engagement between Docherty and the Japs but could not see anything as his position did not offer a good view.
Capt. Robin reported himself in view of a village but wasn’t sure where it was, but he had discovered a nest of some kind and was going to have a crack at it. This was the last that was heard from Robin for the rest of 10/1/43.
Fusilier Thomas Lyttle of Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh died on 10th January 1943 as 1st Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers engaged the enemy in Burma.
Fusilier William George McCullough of Derry~Londonderry died on 10th January 1943 as 1st Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers engaged the enemy in Burma.
Fusilier Ivan Philips of Lisburn, Co. Antrim died on 10th January 1943 as C Company, 1st Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers engaged the enemy in Burma.