World War II service in India and Burma

Scope and Content

Papers, plans and photographs relating to Percy Johnson-Marshall's World War II service in India and Burma:  

  • Percy Johnson-Marshall's war service record - official personnel file, personal files and CVs, 1942-1946
  • personal notebooks, diaries and papers, 1944-1947
  • lecture notes and course materials for British Army training courses on camouflage, military engineering, law and wireless operation (1940-1944
  • personal and peace time career related correspondence received while in military service in India and Burma, 1941-1946
  • World War II posters, including hand-drawn posters for lectures to troops, 1942-1945
  • army newspapers, bulletins, information sheets, 1942-1946
  • army education exhibition of an emergency factory built house, "the Portal House" and troop designs for "a weekend House", 1940s
  • Assam, India, rail, road and aeronautical maps, 1942-1945
  • notes for lectures, concerning Coventry's reconstruction and planning, given to troops by Percy Johnson-Marshall, 1944-1946
  • correspondence, reports and minutes for the Bengal Planning Group, (1946 )
  • research correspondence, research materials, drafts and final copies of 3 reports making up the "National Plan for Burma" by Percy Johnson-Marshall and William Tatton-Brown, 1945-1946
  • material concerning the implementation of the "Prome Development Plan", Burma, 1945-1946
  • material concerning the formation of the National Planning Association for Burma, 1945-1946
  • drafts and correspondence concerning publication of a booklet based on the "National Plan for Burma", 1946-1947
  • press cuttings concerning the World War II and reconstruction work, particularly in Burma, 1942-1956
  • general photographs of Bombay, Darjeeling, Calcutta, Kashmir, Burma, 1940s
  • album of captioned photographs of life in Burma, 1945-1946
  • aerial photographs of Calcutta, Poona and military installations across India, 1940s
  • aerial photographs of Burma, small scale and large scale, 1940s
  • Anti Fascist People's Freedom League of Burma - papers, publications, photographs of the leaders, photographs of a mass rally, 1945-1946

Administrative / Biographical History

Despite protests to the War Office by Coventry City Architect, Donald Gibson, Percy Johnson-Marshall was drafted, for active service in World War II, in  1941 . After basic training in England, during which time he gave lectures on planning to comrades, he was assigned to the Royal Engineers and posted to India, in  1942 , with a commission as Captain, later promoted to Major.

In India, Johnson-Marshall became General Secretary of the Service Architects' Organisation (SAO), later renamed the Service Arts and Technical Organization (SATO), and was extremely active promoting the cause of city and regional planning and reconstruction. This was done through a series of lectures to servicemen and Indian organisations, such as the Indian Institute of Engineers (Bengal) as well as articles for journals, such as the Journal of the Indian Institute of Architects, and radio broadcasts for All-India Radio, in Calcutta. In addition, as a response to the lack of training for effective reconstruction, he prepared a memorandum for the Viceroy's Executive Council, Proposed faculties of planning, design and technics for India (1944) . Most of his Indian output was included in a private press booklet Introduction to Planning (1944) .

Following the cessation of hostilities, Johnson-Marshall and William Tatton-Brown were seconded to the Government of Burma as advisors on planning and reconstruction. They submitted in three reports as A National Plan for Burma (1946) . This was also outlined in an All-India Radio broadcast "The Burma Scene" (1946 ) and an article in the Architects' Journal (May 1946 ).


This sub-collection has been assembled from the Percy Johnson-Marshall Collection material, but has not yet been arranged.

Access Information

This material is subject to access restrictions under the Data Protection Act, 1998.


Former reference numbers: Burma 1, Burma 2, FR22, FR24, FR52, FR64, SR6, SR27 SR28, SR29, SR30, SR31, SR33


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