Burma Railways Volunteer Corps

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The Burma Railways Volunteer Corps were an auxiliary regiment in Burma.

"In the case of an outbreak of hostilities, the special work of the Burma Railway Volunteers would be to ensure that the railway communications were undisturbed, and to hold the stations....one of the regulations of the Burma Railway Company is that all their European and Eurasian employees shall undergo the necessary military training to make themselves efficient members of it." [1]


  • 1879 raised 18th April (by GGO 370, 2nd May 1879)[2]
  • 1899 designation altered to Burma Railways Volunteer Corps (by GGO 730, dated 30th June 1899)[2]
  • 1906-1908 numerical statistic = c 850 men. [1]
  • 1st April 1917 reconstituted as an IDF Unit with designation 21st Burma Railways Battalion[3]
  • 1st October 1920 designated The Burma Railways Battalion [3]


Detached companies

In 1901:[2]


In 1901: Khaki drill[2]

In 1911: "Sanction has been accorded for the Maulmain Volunteer Rifles and the Burma Rifles Volunteer Corps to wear drab instead of scarlet for the full dress uniform, The old uniform was dark green serge when those two corps were embodied in 1877" [4]

In 1921: Uniform - Full dress (Officers only) Drab
Facings - Maroon
Working Dress – Khaki drill.[3]

Muster Rolls

Muster Roll of 1884-1885 Rangoon Volunteer Rifles is found at The Anglo Burmese Library website

The earlier Muster Roll of 1879 Rangoon Volunteer Rifles on the same page designates "E" Company as the Railway Company


  1. 1.0 1.1 Wright, Arnold (Ed) ‘’Twentieth Century Impressions of Burma (1910) – Burma Railway Volunteers, page 263. Website of Cornell University. Section discussing the history and activities of the Corps.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Indian Army List 1st Sept 1901
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Indian Army List April 1921, page 810-811
  4. The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser 18 September 1911, Page 4

External links

“Burma State Railway Volunteer Corps. Lieutenant Colonel W. Innes was corps commander. The photographer was P. Kilien, of Rangoon. Date 1893 Call Number: Photo Lot 131”
Copies may be ordered
A different catalogue entry describes the photograph as “Burma State Railway Volunteer Corps in Uniform and in Formation; Lt. Col. W. Innes (Traffic Manager), Commanding 1893” with the photographer as P.Klier