Norman Joseph Derrington

Norman Joseph (Derry) Derrington, 9/3/23 -- 27/3/01

QX 12327: WW 11, Malaya Campaign, 16 Platoon, D Co. 2/26 Battalion,
27th Brigade, 8th Division

1/400067 : Korean War, K Force, B Co. , 3 RAR,
27th British Commonwealth Brigade

FROM THE SHARP END OF TWO WARS: Malaya 1941-42 and Korea 50-53

Norman Joseph (Derry) Derrington (9/3/23-- 27/3/01)

- Survival's costly price -

I am stuck with the Foul visions of two wars Until the day I die

Part 1: Malayan Campaign

Derrington fought in the front line oftwo brutal, abortive wars:thehumiliating fall of Singapore that ended the British Empire in Asia and thestalemated Korean War that cost up to 5 million lives and left Korea stilldivided and still technically at war.

Whilst many World War 2 volunteers hadfought in World War 1, it would not be expected that a man would survive theSingapore prisoner of war camps and slavery on the Thai-Burma Railway and thenvolunteer again for another war. Derrydid, and the real reason became clear to him only at the end of his life.

In telling the Derrington story in thecontext of two campaigns, the aim is principally to further understanding oftwo different wars and most importantly give voice to Derry, a typical digger,viewing war from the sharp end, which became a motif in his writing. In war literature, we are repeatedlyreminded that the experience of war is incommunicable. For Derry there was the need to express whathappened, what haunted him. He found away with his pen. When he returned fromthe Korean War, he "deliberately and mentally walked away from war" to Europe,where he remained for 37 years. Consequently, unlike many veterans who attend reunions and tell andadjust their waries, Derry's memories remained, as he says, "untainted"from the influence of others' yarns. The "foul memories" and "bad nightmares" continued though. In Scotland, he bought a little boat, andtook up fishing to help him come to terms with his slow-to-diminish nightmares,which are a phenomenon now recognised as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While he was in Scotland, he engaged withhis sharp end memories and began shaping them into verse, a digger's sort of verse. With Derry's permission, his story istold, using his own words. His is a universal voice, bringing us in touch with the incommunicable - the horror and,lest we miss it, the exaltation.

Derrington, truly a symbolic digger,could have stepped out of the ranks of World War 1. In 1940, 17 year old Derry was desperate to become a soldier;he remembered, "I wanted to prove mymanhood. "His platoon commander, RonMagarry, told me that Derry's eagerness to go away with 2/26th madeit easier for him to "pull him intogear" for he was "a bit of a villain. "I think I detected a sign of emotion when Ron went on to say that Derrybecame "one of the best soldiers I ever served with. "Derry himself admitted that "I was not the regimental barracksquare type" which would be the boast of any self- respecting digger! He could have been aspiring to the heroic,like the Masefield image that "they [diggers] walked and looked like Kings inold poems. "The Anzac legend has thepower to inspire young, impressionable men."

From the back of Dingo, a place thatactually exists in Queensland, Derry enlisted in the AIF when he was only17. He was the youngest in theQueensland battalion, the 2/26th,of the 27th Brigade, 8th Division, AIF. Coming from the bush, underage, and keento fight are common markers of the AIF volunteers of the two World Wars.

The photo we see is the only one available of Derry in uniform in either of hiswars. It was taken in 1945, after hehad been freed and returned home. Hewears the campaign ribbons, and his 2/26th battalion's colourpatch. We should note the sling of hischin strap for that could alert us to a certain irreverence. His youthful face, though, belies thedeep-seated mental scars. Iquestioned Derry about the so-young face to hear, "I was not as mentally youthful as I looked."

Derrington thumbnail

The following anecdote furthers ourunderstanding of the soldier poet we are to follow through two wars. Always for the digger, in or out of uniform,there is the game to be played about nonconformity(or is it insubordination) especially with the British. During Derrington's absence overseas, oneday in Kent, his fishing prowess was called upon. He was instructing in the art of casting a line at a fishingschool. Who should turn up for instruction but the Prime Minister, EdwardHeath, with his bodyguard. Heath,failing to catch on, was told by the digger instructor, "That's not the bloodyway I showed you, was it?"Sir Edward,nevertheless, signed a photograph of the occasion.

To comprehend Derry's experience morefully, the Malayan Campaign (the 8th Division's embarrassing war) isoutlined to provide a necessary context. That Singapore fell in 70 days so shocked Britain that an enquiry wasdemanded. Churchill agreed to anenquiry but one never eventuated. Churchill, himself responsible for the flawed so-called "SingaporeStrategy," said it was Britain's "most humiliating defeat. "On December 8th 1941, concurrentwith Pearl Harbour, the brilliant Japanese Commander, Lt. Gen. TomoyukiYamashita, "the tiger of Malaya," landed his 30000strong force in Malaya. Then on 10thDecember, the Japanese sank the two Royal Navy ships Prince of Wales andRepulse. Alarmed, Churchillordered that the British defenders should "fight to the finish. "Supported by 180 tanksand Zeros, the Japanese, many taking to the roads on bicycles, began theirassault. They moved quickly on theconveniently well-built British roads and pressed the early-seized initiativeuntil Singapore fell. The Yamashitavictory is described as "one of the greatest, swiftest victories inhistory. "Though numerically superior,the British force of 85000 (comprising British, Australian, Indian Gurkha and Malay units) fought desperately but could not halt theinvaders. Singapore was jeopardisednot only by the defence concept but also by an incompetent High Command,fraught with internecine conflict:General Arthur Percival, the GOC, was at odds with both the Third IndianCorps Commander, Sir Lewis Heath, and the Australian Force Commander, Lt. Gen. H. G. Bennett.

By8th February,1942, the Japanese were securely on SingaporeIsland, and on 15thFebruary,Percivalcapitulated. Yamashita claims hebluffed Percival into immediate and unconditional surrender, by an ultimatumthat he Yamashita had the military power to destroy the British if they did notsurrender immediately. Yamashita'sgamble saved him. His situation wasperilous for his forces had run out of ammunition. So on 15th February, at 6. 10 pm, at the Ford MotorCompany,Percival signed anunconditional surrender for a cease fire at 10. 00 pm, losing an Empire and anarmy that went into captivity for three and a half years. Ironically, the British force itself wasalso out of supplies and water- onaccount of Japanese bombing and land action. Disorder had set in, as witnessed by one soldier, "no one knew where thefront line was. "It is unlikely theBritish could have saved Singapore if they had resisted further, for in realitytheir fate had been sealed long before 15th February. The Japanese battle losses were 10000compared with the British much larger loss of 138000 which does not reflectwell when defence is theoretically the easier to fight.

First, the fighting on the Malaypeninsular is outlined so that the Australian role is better understood. It is to be borne in mind that a Japaneselandward attack on Singapore was unprepared for. It was not only unforeseen but, according to Churchill in 1940,an improbability. The Britishunpreparedness, let alone the superior planning of the Japanese, left theBritish disadvantaged in the fighting in Malaya. For brevity's sake, some significant Australian battles foughtby the 2/30th Battalion (27th Brigade) and the 2/19th(22nd Brigade) and Derry's 2/26thBattalion, will be discussed. Thediggers' performance in these actions, all led by outstanding AustralianBattalion commanders, was inarguably exemplary and calls into question theBritish High Command's allegations of desertion and lack of "discipline. "

The Australians were positioned in theTranji area in Johore in January 1942, waiting and wondering what confrontedthem. Not surprisingly, Derry'swriting contains a strong vein of bitterness. Most of it derives from the prisoner experience; some from the gap ofunderstanding that exists between those at the sharp end and others, theuninitiated. Some of the others hesardonically alludes to as the"falseheroes .. the ones who shout the most andshoot the least. "The Malayan campaigngave reason for bitterness. It seepsthrough Derry's writing as in his, "the order for withdrawal came from behind. "

It was not until 14th January that the Australiansactually went into action, as the initial defence in the north was theresponsibility of the British and Indians. None could have anticipated the speed with which the Japanese overcamethe numerically superior British units. It was clearly a case of superior leadership. Yamashita seized airfields; wherever possible he confiscatedabandoned materiel; he used barges at sea and craft on rivers. On the main route, Japanese tanks andtroops (many on bicycles) relentlessly pressed the initiative by tactics ofinfiltration and encirclement. Having superiorZeros and control of the airfields, the Japanese could, unopposed, bomb andstrafe withdrawing troops necessarily bound to moving down the trunk road thatran through jungle and rubber plantations. Subject to such a juggernaut, the British were forced into a series ofwithdrawals that meant diminishing morale and the inevitable loss of the willto fight.

On 7th January 1942, the situation had deterioratedbadly at the debacle of the Slim River Battle where the 12th and 28thBrigades of the Indian 11th Division were "all but" wiped out. 3,200 troops surrendered and the Japanesebenefited from seizing vast amounts of supplies, and armaments includingartillery pieces. As a consequence,General Wavell who became Supreme Commander on 3rd January was"appalled" at the loss of central Malaya, and ordered a withdrawal toJohore. Indicative of the power of theJapanese unhalting advance, was the fall of Kuala Lumpur on 11/1/1942when the desperate defence by the Argyllsand the Gurkhas could not hold it.

Wavell, losing faith in General Heath atSlim River, put the withdrawal under the command ofLt Gen. Bennett who with the 8th Division waspositioned in the Johore State on a line from Segamat in the centre to Muar inthe west, in readiness for action.

The Australians entered the campaign,dashingly, in an action of attack and not defence in an army that was generallywithdrawing. Black Jack Galleghan's2/30th Battalion was given the task of setting up an ambush at theselected site of the Gemencheh River Bridge, near Gemas, in Johore State. On 14thJanuary "some 300 cycling Japanese" crossed the bridge. The hidden Australians- B. Co of 2/30th -- allowed them"into the planned 'killing zone' -- After another 500 cycled by, the Australians[blew] the bridge and in a furious action accounted for about 700 Japanese andthe destruction of several tanks. "Bylate evening, B Co "with 8 dead and 80 wounded" rejoined the battalion. This account is at variance with thatof2/30th Battalion Association'senemy dead as 300 and their own casualties as 17 killed, 55 wounded and 9missing. They had conducted in theMalayan campaign the only ambush,and inflicted the "biggest single setback" to the Japanese.

Another action, an "epic" feat, is illustrativeof the Australians' capabilities, especially when well led. On 18th January in the Muar area,the Australian 2/19th Battalion led by Lt Col C. G. W. Anderson wentto the relief of the endangered Indian 45th Brigade in the Bakriarea. Anderson set up a perimeter andgathered into it the remnants of the badly mauled Indian Brigade and theimperilled 29th Battalion (27 brigade). This group acquired the title Anderson force that, onceconsolidated, began a fighting withdrawal under punishing artillery fire andbombing attacks. Anderson himself,single-handed, extinguished two machine gun posts. When the formidable Imperial Guard charged the rearguard,Anderson brilliantly launched a counter attack during which the Indian BrigadeCommander, Brigadier H. C. Duncan was killed. On the 21st,"fullysurrounded," he faced a blocking force. Again, he boldly attacked just before nightfall to save thesituation. But while attacking he hadto deal with Japanese tanks that had breached his rear perimeter. He successfully called down artillery fire onthem. By this time Anderson force was at the end of its limit -- nearly out of ammunition and hampered by manyseverely wounded. On 22ndJanuary, still commanding exemplarily, Anderson ordered all materiel bedestroyed and issued a withdrawal plan of small parties, his only hope of histroops eluding capture. But for theColonel's skill and courage his force could have been annihilated. The survivors amounted to 271 from his own2/19th Battalion, 130 from 2/29th Battalion, and but afew survivors from the decimated 45th Indian Brigade. Lt Col Anderson (an MC winner in World War1) for his exhibition of courage, let alone leadership, was awarded a V. C. He was the only senior commander in theAustralian Army in World War 2 to be so honoured.

It is to be noted that a British unit failed to obey an order to go to the aid of the encircled AndersonForce. This controversial incident,that remains under examination, couldbe seen as an indicator of the breaking down of morale and the inevitability ofdefeat.

Derrington 's own story is picked upagain on 27th January with the 27th Brigade, according toorders, accelerating its withdrawal down the "main trunk road. "The 22nd brigade was in suchdifficulty it took "to the jungle" from which it is reported "less than 100 menand officers" made it to Singapore. The 2/26th (27 Brigade) earned praise for its "greatgallantry" on 29th January at the 31 mile peg of the road. Derrington reports that his 16 platooncommander, Lt RonMagarry "invited" hismen to attack a threatening Japanese held feature with the added exhortation,"somebody's got to stop them. "In anextended line with rifles and bayonets they attacked. After 25 minutes of vicious hand-to-hand fighting the objectivewas gained and 300 of the enemy were accounted for. Magarry, the 16 platoon commander, when asked for recommendationsfor gallantry could not single any out as "all were deserving. "Derry dryly reported,"The boss got an MC, Terry Parker got a DCMand I got a bloody stammer. "I canverify the stammer for he still had it in 2000. Derry also commented that Magarry's MC "should have been a VC. "

Derry, with aspirations of proving his manhood, learned only toosoonthe realities of war for the "poorbloody" infanteer who "walked alone except for his comrades"at the sharp end or "the arse end" as hewrote in a moment of bitterness. Therethe view is no larger than a section, and "fear tightens fingers on thetrigger, sets bowels churning. "Helearned, too, he was only"a small cogin a huge implacable machine" where one became "concerned only with safety andsurvival of self and mates. "

The British unable to halt the Japanesewere by 31st January at the Causeway. Those last across were 80 surviving Argylls, their two survivingpipers playing "Blue Bonnets over the Border"and the very last, their brave,renowned C. O. , Lt Col I. Stewart. Tohalt the Japanese, Indian sappers then blew a 70-foot wide gap in the Causeway,but unfortunately, at the same time, they cut the vital, main watersupply. On Singapore Island, Percivalhad to quickly come up with a defence plan as there were no fixed defences onthe north of the island to withstand the uncontemplated landward invasion. Again Percival was out-generalled. Falling for some Yamashita feints hehastily planned for a NE Japanese landing, whereas Yamashita had skilfullyplanned a surprise landing on the NW of the island. The Japanese main landingwest of the Causeway had the object of the airfield and supply depots. The Australians took the brunt of theJapanese assault and were commended for their fierce defence of that areabefore they fell back. Then the situation quickly fell apart, indramatic events, like the fatal bungling of Percival's vital contingencyorder. What Percival intended was thatin the event of the city centre being jeopardised, there should be an immediatewithdrawal. This unfortunately wasmisread and acted upon as an order for IMMEDIATE withdrawal. Consequently the British evacuated the westof the island, leaving it open to the Japanese, creating inevitable confusion,and the break-down of order.

The tragedy of Singapore can beascertained from these eyewitness accounts. A resident, Lin Chok Fu, reported that at Buket Timah, the site whereBritish vital supplies were stored and targeted by the Japanese, Chinese hadvoluntarily gone to the support of British soldiers being overwhelmed byJapanese. For revenge, the Japanese returnedto the village and massacred the Chinese community. Fu also reported how British soldiers "retreating down HollandRoad" were victims of an atrocity. "Their heads and legs were cut off, leaving only the torsos which werethrown into a drain. " Other soldiers were stripped, bayoneted and "hung ontrees" by wire. On the 25thFebruary, surrender day, the same witness saw many dead, "mostly Indian[soldiers] lying all over the place" [and] at least a few hundred Indian andBritish soldiers were killed behind [the Polytechnic]"

An even worse incident was reported by aBritish soldier, Daniel Fraser of the Royal Engineers, who saw the consequencesof the massacre of the staff and patients at theAlexandra Hospital, though it was flying the Red Cross.

Given the confused fighting, the absenceof a front line, let alone the atrocities being perpetrated, there is littlewonder that a lot of soldiers could have been detached stragglers who may havebeen mistaken for deserters. InElphick's book "Pregnable Singapore," many of British allegations of theAustralians' "desertion" are set out. Avicious one is that of British Major J. C. K. Marshall who alleged,"The Australians were known as daffodils --beautiful to look at but yellow all through. "Elphick, though, does report some who are without bias such as theArgyll's C. O. Lt Col Stewart who said there were as many British "earlygetaways" as there were Australian. Challenging the British bias are observations of Japanesecommanders. General, Fujikawa reportedin "F. Kichan" that as early as the 13th February there was a massivedesertion of Indian troops. And Simson records that Colonel Tsuji had observed howbravely the Australians fought, especially their anti-tank gunners.

There is evidence of Australian unitsthat remained intact. There could wellhave been others but Black Jack's 2/30th stood, and so did the 2/26. th Ron Magarry recently confirmed that themen of 2/26,even though they had losttheir revered C. O. ,Lt Col A. H. Boyes,a veteran of WW1, on 11th February,they remained at their posts, vowing to "fight to the last round and thelast man. "

It is known that 3000 escaped on the lastboats that left Singapore on the 13th February. After the surrender, though General Bennetthanded over command and secured his own escape (some reports saying by aconfiscated sampan and others by air), General Percival himself and most ofHigh Command became, along with the troops,prisoners of war. GeneralWavell, had on February 11th ordered the remaining British aircraftto be sent to the East Indies and at Percival's request he had by the 15threscinded Churchill's and his orders to fight to the last.

On 1st June, 1942 General Wavellreporting on the debacle, alleged that the Australians' desertion was a primarycause of the loss of Singapore. Thisreport was not released until 1992. Elsewhere, Wavell had expressed the British World War 1 perception thatAustralians were "undisciplined. " With that label, which had become myth, the appearanceof a few straggling diggers could easily and conveniently be made the agents ofdisaster or as it has been suggested, scapegoats. The truth is still to bedetermined, but a close look at the fighting record indicated above, and thebattle statistics, suggest that the Australians were fighters notdeserters. The 8thDivision constituted but 14% of the British force but it took 73% of the battledeaths.

Their arms laid down, their heartsleadened by their sense of "disgrace," the diggers joined the other captives tomarch for 36 hours -- to Changi.

So well has the media, and the heroicstories, like Weary Dunlop's covered the hell of captivity that there is noneed to repeat it. Derrington'smemories that became nightmares and the subject of his verse are of value. His themes get to the essence of thecaptives' experience:the barbarity ofthe Japanese; the physical suffering; but above all, the glow that surroundshis memories of diggers ready to lay down their lives for a mate. It could be this experience alone thatenables Derry - and many other diggers -to say, "I have no regrets. "

It is from the Thai-Burma site thatDerry's former "boxing weight" of 86 kilograms was reduced to 36 kilos, andfrom where his most searing memories come:

"Septic sores; Cholera vomit; No skin at all from calf tosole; Monsoon dimples; In knee deep mud; The fires flare; On cholera Hill; To burn the dead; And scar the souls; Of those Who did notdie; . "

From "Gloire de La Patrie"

As well, there are many images of the "brutal guards" the "brokenbodies and broken minds of the young men ageing " and the "wraiths of menstruggling through knee-deep mud" with excrement pouring down their legs. But what "stands bright and clear" is the"starving men who scraped some pitiful grains of rice to one side of theireating tin so a sickly feverish mate could regain some little strength andsurvive .. . "

One such sacrificial memory is of George,"Aboriginal George", once a stockman from the outback, who saved Derry's lifeby foregoing his couple of spoons of rice. Thereafter Derrington would find that his ghost appeared every time hesaw"dark" faces around "rusty shacks. " That is how memory works, ready to be triggered any time, any place, to returnthe past to haunted men.

Not all memories were bitter. One in particular was the kind that stood"bright and clear" for cherished mateship and "unbreakable bonds. "On 9th March, 1944, Derry'smates, mindful he had come of age, with a hammer and nail, forged a key from apiece of a downed Zero. This artefact ofsymbolic significance and, no doubt produced with a certain ironicsatisfaction, is to be seen on display at the War Memorial, Canberra.

Ingenuity, unselfish caring andindomitable spirit account for Australians' high survival rate. An incident given by a survivor of the 2/26thdemonstrates the Australian spirit and the digger style. In No. 1 Camp at the infamous rail sitewhere cholera had broken out, Dr. Bruce Hunt speaking from a tree stumpdelivered his famous speech: "Listen youbastards, never in the history of Australia have 1500 men been in a worsesituation than you are. I have bulliedthese little yellow bastards into giving us two days to clean up our camp. We must work like slaves, as this is ouronly chance for any of us to get out of here alive. Cholera has broken outand there is no vaccine for a few days. My plan is we must scrape everyinch of the top soil in this camp into heaps and then burn bamboo on each heapto kill the cholera germs. We must digreally deep latrines and make them fly-proof. You catch cholera by eating shit which is more often than not carried byflies. All water must be boiled, andeating utensils sterilised by placing them in the fire for a few seconds. Until the cholera vaccine arrives this isall we can do. " Dr Hunt is still remembered when the march"Sussex by the Sea" is heard, for Hunt usedto say,"They are playing that for me. " He, himself, died of cholera before vaccinearrived. His mates, out of respect,volunteered for his cremation party, but were hardly prepared for the shock ofseeing him "placed on the pyre. "

Derrington was one of the 2646Australians out of the 15384 who were to survive Japanese brutality. It could wrongly be thought that once thewar ended and the captives were freed the suffering would be over. Far from it. The anxious families at home first had to wait to learn where their loved ones were or whether they were still alive. Then what followed was not anticipated. Homecomings proved to be painfully difficult. Four years of absence and three and a halfyears of silence had formed an unbridgeable gap between those returning and allothers. None could comprehend thehorrors that changed the captives so profoundly. How could minds accommodate such memories of atrocities, ofshame, of death, of loss of mates and what was probably more painful in adifferent kind of way - the haunting yet uplifting memories of heroism and ofsacrifice, like Derrington's memory of George. To widen the gap were the devastating changes at home, like the girl whodid not wait. Not only loved ones had changed but Australia had alsochanged.

"Black Jack' Galleghan understood thathomecoming was the next battle soldiers had to face, and he understood the needto attend to their morale. First hesent a message home heralding their arrival in October 1945,"I want to say to the parents and loved onesof the troops I have commanded that they have men of whom they may be justlyproud. The men have borne hardship andoppression with a spirit that could never be broken. It is the spirit of their fathers of Anzac. "To the men he said, "You are not goinghome as prisoners, you will march down Australian streets as soldiers. " Galleghan's understanding was notenough to assuage their sense of being failed Anzacs. Their homecoming is a topic in itself. The recently published study of it by McKernan, "The War Never Ends," fully covers the diggers' battle as survivors who were to bear endlesslytheir physical and mental wounds and the shadow of shame.

On Anzac Day, 8th Divisionmarchers should stride proudly. Watchers may recognise the significance of their Gemas and Muar actions,and they may fill with sadness for their suffering;they could, too, draw inspiration from their indomitable spiritas fighters and as survivors.

Derrington left no written trace of hishomecoming experience. In 1950, hevolunteered for the war in Korea, the "forgotten war," the first war for theRoyal Australian Regiment. There, hewould serve in 3 RAR, which joined the Argylls and the Middlesex to form the 27thBritish Commonwealth Brigade.

Olwyn Green, widow of Lt Col Charlie Green, C. O. 3 RAR, who died of wounds 1/11/50,author of "The Name's Still Charlie"UQP,1993

Principal References:

Derrington:letters, verse andinterviews

Begbie, Richard, The Living Memory of Horror, " CanberraTimes"Occasion of opening ofre-modelled

WW 2 Gallery (date missingon cutting)

Cody, Les, Ghosts in Khaki:History of 2/4th Machine GunBattalion Hesperian Press, W. A. ,1997

Braddon, Russell, The Naked Island, Werner Laurie, London, 1952

Dennis, Peter et al (eds) The Oxford Companion to AustralianMilitary History, OUP,

Ebury, Sue, Weary: The Life of Sir Edward Dunlop, Viking 1994

Elphick, Peter Singapore: The Pregnable Fortress Hodder and Stroughton, 1995

Magarry, Lt. Col Ron The Battalion Story: 2/26th InfantryBattalion, 8th Division, AIF -- a unit history

Mant, Gilbert The Singapore Surrender Kangaroo Press (rep)1992

McKernan, Michael The War Never Ends UQP, 2001

Rivett, Rohan D, Behind Bambo,: An Inside story of the JapanesePrison Camps, Angus and Robertson, 1946

Simson, Ivan,Singapore, toolittle, too late,Leo Cooper, London, 1970

Note: Derrington'spoems have beenincluded in the 2001 RMC anthology The Warrior Poets: An Anthology of poemsby Australian Soldiers 1901-2001 available from History Protocol Cell, RMC,Duntroon ACT 2600

The photo was provided by Pam, Derry's widow who told me that it is the only one she has of Derry in uniform. He met and married Pam in England where he went soon after he was discharged from 3RAR in 1951.

Simson (p155)Figures come from Yamashita's diaries quotedin "A Soldier Must Die" byJohn DeanePotter. From the same source comesYamashita's revelation of his "bluff that worked" and how he faced odds of 3 to1

Simson (p. 148) quoting Colonel Masanobu Tsuji in "Singapore, TheJapanese Version" published by Constable London, 1962.

The Indian troops in particular have been described as ill-equipped and under-trained.

Sims (p 36)Brigadier Sim's book contains an excellent military analysis of the campaign. uk/Malaya_and_Singapore/html/body_chronology_of_malaya. htm The incident is under investigation so the name of the unitis deliberately withheld.

Simson (p. 108)

Simson p 151

Magarry, p. 238-9

McKernan, p. 132


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