Following the recent publication of the book Volunteers from Ceylon who served in the British and Commonwealth Forces during World War I (1914-1918) and World War II (1939-1945) …. I asked the assiduous compilers of this work to provide a convenient statistical summary of the number of personnel from Ceylon who decided to serve the British Empire in its hour of need (with all the political and cultural implications of these decisions in my ‘compass’).
So, Thuppahi can now present the statistics courtesy of Kumar Kirinde (ex-Trinity College and SL Air Force).
A NOTE FROM Kumar Kirinde ..… with page references to the Volunteers book
WW I – Volunteers from Ceylon 1,250. ………….. page 6
WW II – Volunteers for Ceylon Defence Force 14,900 ……. page 56
Volunteers for British Army 6,000 …… 2,000 served in Ceylon and 4,000 served overseas … page 57
Volunteers for Ceylon Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve 1,200 ... page 58
WW II – Volunteers for Ceylon Defence Force 14,900 …..page 56
Volunteers for British Army 6,000 …… 2,000 served in Ceylon and 4,000 served overseas …… page 57
Volunteers for Ceylon Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve 1,200… page 58
Volunteers who joined the RAF – 60 plus …. page 135
These Ceylon Volunteers belonged to two categories: British who were settled in Ceylon and the Ceylonese. The British element consisted of two types: those born and raised in Ceylon and those who were working or serving Ceylon in mercantile or other establishments …. vide page 54, para 3.
An EMAIL NOTE from Hiran Halangode
Kirinde et al: Volunteers from Ceylon who served in the British and Commonwealth Forces During World War War I (1914-1918) and World war II (1939-1945), Ragama, Naval Printing Unit, ISBN: 978-624-6207-01-4 … https://thuppahis.com/2022/09/02/fighting-dying-for-britain-during-the-two-world-wars/
Thuppahi Editorial Addition:
Arnold Wright (ed.) 1907: Twentieth Century Impressions of Ceylon, London: Lloyds’ Greater Britain Publishing Services, pp. 857-62 … a section entitled “Military and Volunteers.”
Punsara Amarasinghe 2022: “Two Distinguished Indians schooled by Trinity College, Kandy,” https://thuppahis.com/2022/02/16/two-distinguished-indians-schooled-by-trinity-college-kandy … reproducing the item listed below.
Punsara Amarasinghe 2021: “How Trinity College Kandy in Sri Lanka moulded two great sons of India?” Indian Defence Force Review, 8 October 2021,
JP Lewis 1913 List of Inscriptions on Tombstones and Monuments in Ceylon, first published in 1913 …with reprint in Delhi, 1993 by Navrang, with an “Introduction” by HAI Goonetilleke.
Samson Abeysooriya (compiler): Who’s Who of Ceylon, 1918-1920, https://www.worldcat.org/title/whos-who-of-ceylon-1918-1920/oclc/84001549
Samson Abeysooriya (compiler): Whos Who of Ceylon, 3rd edn [1929?] …. Copy with Michael Roberts (front pp missing)
Wikipedia: Geoffrey Bawa … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoffrey_Bawa