Lieutenant Colonel Jasper Maclaren

Lt. Col. Jasper Duncan Alexander Maclaren, 2nd Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He died in hospital in Bangladesh on 20th April 1944 aged 39, of wounds suffered in action in Burma. He had been born in Colchester to Thomas and Mabel Maclaren of Fordel, Melrose and is buried in Chittagong War Cemetery, Bangladesh. He had been educated at Winchester College and then Sandhurst before being commissioned into the K.O.S.B. in 1925. He then served in Egypt and Hong Kong before becoming Adjutant in the Battalion Depot in Berwick-upon-Tweed. He was promoted Captain in 1938 and Major in 1941 before becoming Colonel in 1943. He went to Burma with the Battalion in September 1943 and was with them in the Battle of the “Admin Box” against the Japanese in February 1944. The Battalion was part of the 89th Indian Brigade under General Crowther which was part of the 7th Indian Division under General Frank Messervy. The Division had been cut off by the Japanese HA-GO offensive and had formed a defensive area called the “Admin Box”. The troops were supplied by air and after severe fighting fought off the Japanese who were forced to retreat having suffered heavy casualties. Lt. Col. Maclaren was wounded during the battle and air lifted to hospital in Dacca where he died. (The photograph shows a rare picture of the Admin Box during the fighting). His Headstone is inscribed ” I Have Fought A Good Fight, I Have Finished My Course, I Have Kept The Faith”.

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