2nd Burma War

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2nd Burma War
5 April 1852-20 January 1853
Chronological list of Wars and Campaigns
[[Image:|250px| ]]
Location: Burma
British and Indians Burma
Result: British victory
Medals: Indian General Service Medal, Pegu Clasp
Category: 2nd Burma War 1852-53
Battlemappic.gif See our interactive map of
2nd Burma War 1852-53
locations and routes on Google Maps

The 2nd Burma War, also known as the 2nd Anglo-Burmese War, was the second of the three British campaigns that led to the complete annexation of Burma.


Commodore George Lambert was sent to Burma to negotiate over a number of minor issues relating to the Treaty of Yanabo which had ended the 1st Burma War. Instead of resolving the problem Lambert provoked a confrontation which led to a declaration of war and a British Expeditionary Force under Lt Gen Henry Godwin attacking Martaban and occupying Rangoon. The British occupied Prome in October and announced the annexation of the province of Pegu on 20 January 1853. No treaty was signed.


Cause of the War - An Imperial View

"The future historian may write that the Second Burmese war was chiefly caused and prolonged by a few blustering Burmese officers, the representatives of a self-interested rabble, whose chief object was to fill the golden ear of royalty with false reports, that they might prop up a government fast falling to decay, and with greater vigour sow the seeds of ruin in these fertile and beautiful regions. He will then probably gladly tell how the British power came forward in time of need with that protecting hand which has been so often held forth in similar missions, and which we trust may be so employed until peace secures in her fair dominions the entire human family."
'Pegu' by Lt William Laurie

Expeditionary Force

Expedition Commander Maj-Gen Henry Godwin CB

Total 5,767 men

Reinforced Campaign Force

Commanded by Maj-Gen Henry Godwin CB''
Bengal Division
Brig-Gen Sir John Cheape KCB commanding

  • 1st Brigade under Brig Reignolds, The Royal Irish
  • 2nd Brigade under Brig Dickenson, 40th BNI
  • 3rd Brigade under Brig Huish, 37th BNI

Madras Division
Brig-Gen S W Steel KCB commanding

  • 2nd Brigade under Brig McNeill
  • 3rd Brigade


See Medals and Medal Rolls
India Office Records at the British Library L/MIL/5/52-54 Pegu 1852-53

  • L/MIL/5/52: Correspondence and nominal rolls. 1854-1855.
  • L/MIL/5/53 1855: Nominal Rolls for Bengal ships: Damodali, Fire Queen, India, Lord William Bentinck, Luckia, Mahanuddy, Nemesis, Nerbuddah, Phlegethon, Prosperine, Pluto, Soane, Sutledge, Tenasserim
  • L/MIL/5/54: 1854 :Correspondence and Nominal Rolls for Bombay ships: Berenice, Medusa, Moozuffor, Sesostris, with index

External links

Library.gif The FIBIS Google Books Library
has books tagged:
2nd Burma War Burma

Anglo-Burmese Wars Wikipedia
Map of British Conquest of Burma Google Books
2nd Burma War 1852-53 Wikipedia
Operations at Rangoon in 1852 by Lt William Laurie Google Books
Events in Second Burmese War Aug 1852 - Jun 1853 by Lt William Laurie Google Books
Medals of the British Army - 2nd Burmese War Medals of the British Army
Central Burma Map Digital South Asia Library
Map of British Conquest of Burma Google Books
Britain’s Wars in Burma (1824-1946) by Ross Dix-Peek. Lists the regiments taking part. 1st, 2nd and 3rd Burma Wars.

Historical books online

Includes 2nd Burma War, Indian Mutiny, 2nd China War, and war service in Africa. He initially was with the 80th Regiment of Foot.
Pegu, being a narrative of events during the Second Burmese War, from August 1852 to its conclusion in June 1853‬: ‪With a succinct continuation down to February 1854 by William F B Laurie, Lieut. Madras Artillery 1854 Google Books
Our Burmese wars and relations with Burma: being an abstract of military and political operations, 1824-25-26, and 1852-53, with various local, statistical, and commercial information, and a summary of events from 1826 to 1879, including a sketch of King Theebau's progress by Colonel WFB Laurie 2nd edition 1885 Archive.org