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Burmese Army Trekking Stick - designed by Sir Jeffrey Hillpig-Smyth

Whilst visiting Chiang Rai in northern Thailand we came accross a small sales brochure for a Burmese Army Trekking Stick that sounds quite useful for intrepid travellers.

Indispensable for safe trekking particularly when negotiating sharp inclines or fording quick-moving streams.

Originally designed by Sir Jeffrey Hillpig-Smyth for British Special Forces stationed at Mandalay in 1941.

Today the trekking stick is issued exclusively to Burmese Army rangers stationed on the north east frontier. Constructed of mature baby bamboo with a solid 'T' shaped row-boat handle. The MacDougall bolt and nut mechanism half way down the stem allows the 36" cane to rest in your knap sack when not in use.

After a few years of searching we found a UK supplier of the Burmese Army Trekking Stick - designed by Sir Jeffrey Hillpig-Smyth . The Heligan Gardens Shop* has a version of the trekking stick that includes the Heligan tree fern logo - Price
£16.99 (2011)

*NB - We are not agents for the Heligan Shop


A Brief Sketch of Sir Jeffrey Hillpig-Smyth

Born London 1910.

As a schoolboy - overweight, few friends, poor student, non-athletic yet polite, called Hillpiggy by the staff.

Harrow 1928.

Sent down from Oxford for indecency, 1930.

Unsuccessfully stood for parliament, as an independent from the small constituency of Looting on the Thames, finishing fourth in a field of three, 1934.

Alcoholic 1935.

Published at his own expense an angry and spirited collection of short essays entitled, Sticks and Stones 1936.

Alcoholic again 1937.

Published a second collection of short essays entitled Mudpuddles and Other Outrages 1938.



Joined Military Intelligence and Engineering; the elite I&E group, 1939.

Assigned to British Special Forces, Mandalay, British East India (Burma), 1940.

Recovering from a minor fall, designed the Military Trekking Stick 1941.

Disappeared while on a morning mini trek within the Special Forces compound. A search party was organised and diligently combed the 3 acre area for well over an hour, sadly to no evail 1944.

Queen Elizabeth II knighted Hillpig-Smyth in absentia, for contributions to British War Protocol 1953.

Officially still missing Sep 1992.

Unofficially, over the years there have been periodic sightings of Hillpiggy in the Burmese jungle.

The latest, as recent as the last monsoon, has Hillpiggy on elephant leading a small group of well disciplined guerrillas near Kuhn Sa's stronghold at Nam King. Further information is available by writing.

Find the Hillpig Society
8/1 Arrak Road Soi 7
Chaing Mai
Thailand 50000

The reward of 25 pounds sterling for information confirming Hillpiggy's status remains in effect.

enquiries to


TMUK apologise for the repetition of some place or proper names with different
spellings, but where this happens there is either no definitive spelling translation
of these words or the place is known by different names by different peoples.

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