proposed for amalgamating the six battalions employed in the Myingyan, Pakokku, Minbu, Magwe, Lower Chindwin, and Sagaing districts into three battalions, thereby effecting a reduction of ten and a half companies, by which another regular regiment was to be constituted. These changes were carried out during the year, but owing to the tranquility enjoyed by the country during 1890, military police detachments were only called out twenty-eight times on active service. The Mogaung battalion being again conspicuous for its services.
General Stedman took furlough in March,
1891, preparatory to resigning his appointment, and Captain Peile, who had been for some time Deputy Inspector-General of Military Police, vice Major Graves, who had been left to raise a regiment in India, was appointed to officiate as Inspector-General of Police, with the local rank of Major. Advantage was taken of the peaceful state of the country to thoroughly re-organise the Lower Burma Military Police. All the civil Indian police in the districts were either eliminated, or, if'fit, were amalgamated into the Lower Burma battalion. It was decided that the force to be employed in Lower Burma should number 3o2A men, distributed as follows :a
Rangoon Battalion ... ... 2,005 Toungoo Battalion ... ... 1,320 Arakan Hill Tracts Battalion 195
The Rangoon provincial reserve of ten companies and the Karen battalion of four companies were to form the nucleus of the two battalions; the Gurkha police in the Arakan hill tracts remaining unchanged. The 1,755 men still required to bring the battalions up to strength were to be obtaineda
[) By selection from the civil Indian police in Lower Burma.
() By the enlistment of Karens.
It was anticipated that the Toungoo battalion would eventually consist of about half Indians, and half Karens. The Chief Commissioner stated, with reference to the Karens :aa The work of developing them into well-trained soldiers is one of much importance as it is the first step towards the formation of a frontier force, composed of members of the various savage or semisavage races, Chins, Kachins, Karennies, and c., which inhabit the borders of Burma.a
The work of reduction in strength of the force in Upper Burma, with its consequent economy, was steadily continued, and upwards of one thousand men were reduced from the force in 1891 ; the scope of the force had, in the meantime, expanded, the
Though dacoity had been practically stamped out in the southern and eastern districts, the central and northern still harboured a few outlaws, and the latter division especially was subject to raids and disturbances. The Wuntho rebellion, followed shortly after by the Manipur disaster, called into requisition the services of the military police, and proved the force to be capable of acting well in great emergency, and to be extremely mobile. On the 15th and 16th February, 1891, respectively, the posts of Kyoukpintha and Kawlin were attacked by the VVuntho rebels. Kawlin was attacked in the middle of the night, and the garrison had been so weakened by furnishing escorts and guards to railway and survey parties, that only fifty-two men remained in the
fighting. He arrived there at 4 p.m. on February 19 with twenty-nine mounted men, and, after a severe fight, in which he was assisted by the Madras troops, finally dispersed the enemy, and pursued them the following day, until the neighbourhood of Kawlin was clear. For this he was accorded the Distinguished Service Order. Subadar Prakasa Roy, who had accompanied Captain Keary, took a handful of dismounted sowars and captured a strong position at the top of the hill, sabring such of the enemy as remained to resist him. At the same time, Captain Hutchinson, of the Yeu battalion, with 154 men, accompanied by Captain Pond and Mr. Annesley, marched 011 the village of Moona, which was strongly held by the enemy, and eventually dispersed them after
peaceful districts being left with only sufficient men to form an efficient reserve, carry out Treasury guards and other civil duties, while the majority of the force was garrisoned on the northern frontier. The following table will, perhaps, show this development better
than any written description. There are
four Commissioneras divisions in Upper
Burmaathe northern, eastern, central, and
southern ; the districts comprised in these
divisions lie roughly to the north, east,
centre, and south of Upper Burma.
Northern Division , ... 34 56
Eastern a ... 30 11
Centre a ... 31 24
Southern a 21 18
Each company is 113 strong.
post, of whom twelve were in hospital at the time of the attack. The rebels, some five hundred or six hundred strong, and armed with guns, effected an entry into the post, burnt the sub-divisional officeras house, and set fire to the hospital. The post was too straggling to be capable of defence by such small numbers, but Subadar Najib Khan rallied his men at the quarter guard, and, after firing some volleys at the enemy, eventually drove them out. For the next three days Kawlin was practically in a state of siege, even though Lieutenant Nisbett, with one hundred Madras troops, had arrived on the scene. The rebels secreted themselves in the jungle and buildings around and fired into the troops and police. In the meantime Captain Keary, Commandant of the Shwebo battalion, hearing of the disaster, was making his way by forced marches to the scene of
MILITARY POLICE, CANTONMENTS, RANGOON.