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An extremely rare named United States Bronze Star Medal with archive to a Burmese (Karen) Nurse who 'Walked-Out' of Burma with 'Vinegar-Joe' Stilwell in 1942: Nurse Ruth, Seagrave Hospital Unit attached United States Army, China Burma India Command

- USA Bronze Star Medal (Ruth Inchboard 1943). With slot brooch. Cased
- Photograph Album (1): Containing more than 200 b/w photos 'all WW2'
- Photograph Album (2): Approx 134 b/w photos some WW2, inc pre/post 1945
- Gurkha officers private purchase 'Kukri'. Sheath with IA 15 Corps badge
- Burmese 'Dah' knife. With maker marks on blade in bamboo sheath

Note: Due to import restrictions / weight, we will not send 'knives' (antiques or otherwise) to overseas buyers. If an overseas buyer wants to have the knives they will have to make their own arrangements to collect those particular items

Important: All 19 x Burmese Nurses of the Seagram Hospital Unit who served in the First Burma Campaign and 'walked out' of Burma, with General Stillwell, including Nurse Ruth, were retroactively awarded the Bronze Star Medal by Presidential Orders (Instituted in 1944 awards of the Burma Star Medal were made retroactive to 1941)

The photograph albums, especially the first listed, consititute an important period pictorial archive of the Burma Campaign, and in particular the famous 'Burmese Nurses' of the Seagrave Hospital Unit. The WW2 photos include many of the 'Stilwell Escape Party', including Stilwell, Seagrave & the Burmese Nurses. A number of portrait photographs are included, some annotated with names of other Burmse Nurses, other photographs are of the Nurses in Assam. The second album has some military photographs, but is mostly from pre-war & post-war Burma (including a picture of Ruth with Karen head-dress, holding the 'Dah' knife offered with the lot) Ruth's family, and her family in-laws in England

Nurse Ruth (born in 1921) and by ethnicity a Karen, was like most of her race, a Christian of the Baptist faith. Prior to the start of the Pacific War, she was working as a Nurse at the American Baptist Mission Hospital, Namkham, Federal Shan States, Burma - a hospital that still stands in use in Burma in 2019

After the outbreak of the Pacific War, Dr. Gordon Stilfer Seagrave, (a.k.a. 'Burma Surgeon'), who was in charge of the American Baptist Mission Hospital, at Namkham, was commissioned asa LieUtenant-Colonel into the United States Army Medical Corps. As a Lieutenant Colonel. Subsequently, Seagrave and his hospital team, including 18 x Burmese Nurses (mostly Karen), were attached to the American Staff serving in Northern Burma, with China Burma Command. In 1942, shortly after witnessing the take-off of the last transport aircraft to evacuate personnel from Burma, Lieutenant-General Joseph Stillwell (Vinegar Joe), together with Seagrave's 'Burmese Nurses' made an epic escape to British india 'by foot. The unlikely escape party comprised only an estimated 114 x multi-national souls and sexes, including; Americans, Burmese, Indians, 8 x British 'Quaker' members of the Friends Ambulance Unit, a White Russian, and most odd of all South African of Tamil ethnicity, who prior to the Pacific War had served as a stunt-man motor-cyclist in the Rangoon Circus. Between 6-20 May 1942, the small 'Stillwell' group, tramped almost 14 miles a day on weary foot, wading through rivers, and scaling dense upland jungles - while being harried by the advancing Japanese - before reaching sanctuary in British India

Throughout the Stilwell 'escape' Nurse Ruth (born, Burma 21 September 1921) was one of the Burmese Nurses present. In the very same, small, multi-racial escape group, Ruth was destined to meet her future husand, Eric Ronald Inchboard (born 3 December 1919) a 'Quaker' & pre-war Liverpool Univeristy engineering student, who like his father before him during the Great War, was a conscientous objector, but who by late 1941 was serving the cause of humanity in Burma as a member of the Friends Ambulance Unit. Ruth and Eric were bethrothed during the war, being married in, Shillong, Assam. In 1944, Eric Inchboard, was commissioned as an officer (Lieutenant) in the Army of Burma Reserve of Officers (ABRO), as a Lieutenant. Appointed a Transport Officer, Lieutenant Inchboard was entitled to 4 x un-named British war medals, vis 1939-45 Star, Burma Star, Defence Medal and War Medal. Nurse Ruth, a civilian, who served attached to United States forces, did not receive any war medals from the British Colonial Government for her voluntary wartime exploits & services - albeit but she did receive a paper commendation from the Governor, as did all the Burmese Nurses who walked out of Burma in the Stilwell group. Such was the quality, and perceived low value of the commendations, that Colonel 'Daddy' Seagrave, recorded in his book, 'Burma Surgeon', that most of the Burmese Nurses showed little interest, or inclination to keep their commendations received. Post-war, Ruth & Eric Inchboard, returned to Burma for some years, but left permanently in the 1958. On his return to the United Kingdom, Eric Inchboard, resumed his career as an architect. Eric Inchboard is recorded as having died in England on . Ruth Inchboard, later died in Norwich, Norfolk, England, sometime during the last quarter of 1997

There is an extremely rich variety of on-line resources (and far too many to cite here) pertaining to; Stilwell Escape Group; Seagrave Hospital Unit; 'Bumese Nurses', and the 'Friends Ambulance Unit'

An emminently researchable, extremely rare and highjly desirable lot, to a Burmese (Karen) Nurse, and then British Colonial Subject who had been born in Burma when the country was still administered as a Province of British India


Postage quote reflects additional costs involved with sending heavy & large photograph albums, Kukri & Dah (we cannot send knives to foreign buyers, and buyers would have to arrange collection of the knives by alternative means)

The photographic albums with marks and wear, contents all sound. One album with photos all taped-in at edges (WW2 photos) other album with all photos pasted in. The blades on the Kukri & Dah with signs of campaign use (see picture attached), and hilt on Kukri reinforced with tape for grip, otherwise the archive in good used condition

Condition: Medal About EF

Code: 19448