Herbert Cecil Duncan

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Herbert Duncan
Born (1895-08-19)19 August 1895
Died 20 January 1942(1942-01-20) (aged 46)
Buried at Kranji War Cemetery, Singapore
Allegiance  United Kingdom
 British India
Service/branch  British Indian Army
Years of service 1914–1942
Rank Brigadier
Commands held 45th Indian Infantry Brigade (1941–42)
Battles/wars First World War
Second World War
Awards Mentioned in Despatches (2)

Brigadier Herbert Cecil Duncan (19 August 1895 – 20 January 1942) was a British Indian Army officer who commanded the 45th Indian Infantry Brigade during the Battle of Malaya. During the retreat from the Muar River in Malaya on 19 January, Duncan was badly concussed during an air attack on his headquarters. The following day, during an attempt to break out of a Japanese encirclement in concert with Australian forces, he was killed while mounting a counter-attack against a Japanese attack on the brigade's rear.[1] Duncan is buried in the Kranji War Cemetery in Singapore.[2]

Commissioned a temporary second lieutenant in 1914, he got his permanent commission in the British Indian Army as a lieutenant in 1918. His service in the First World War earned him a mention in despatches. Having the 13th Frontier Force Rifles as his maternal unit, he eventually served from 1931 onwards as a General Staff Officer in various gradations. He took command of the 45th Indian Infantry Brigade in June 1941.[3]


  1. ^ Thompson, Peter (2008). Pacific Fury: How Australia and Her Allies Defeated the Japanese Scourge. North Sydney, New South Wales: William Heinemann. pp. 229–230. 
  2. ^ "Kranji War Cemetery Roll of Honour: Du". Roll of Honour.org.uk. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  3. ^ "45 Indian Infantry Brigade: Command Appointments". Orders of Battle.com. Retrieved 22 December 2012.