Evacuation of Civilians from Singapore December 1941 - February 1942 Michael Pether has complied a list of Ships/Vessels carrying Civilian Evacuees and the dates of departure from Singapore. Allied Powers Arthur Percival (POW) (UK) Gordon Bennett (Australia) Lewis Heath (POW) (UK) Merton Beckwith-Smith (POW) (UK) Empire of Japan Tomoyuki Yamashita Takuma Nishimura Takuro Matsui Renya Mutaguchi , Japan's oil reserves were rapidly depleted by the ongoing military operations in China and by industrial consumption. If we send sufficient money to Ena perhaps she can look after them and get someone to help her with the house keeping. Many of those aboard the ships perished. Many of them suffered severe hardships and brutality similar to that experienced by other prisoners of Japan during the war. The Japanese then proceeded overland across the Thai–Malayan border to attack Malaya. 232 Squadron became operational on 20 January and destroyed three Nakajima Ki-43 "Oscars" that day, for the loss of three Hurricanes. RAF Kallang was the only operational airstrip left; the surviving squadrons and aircraft had withdrawn by January to reinforce the Dutch East Indies. While conventional British military thinking was that the Japanese forces were inferior, and characterised the Malayan jungles as "impassable", the Japanese were repeatedly able to use it to their advantage to outflank hastily established defensive lines. WW2 Air Evacuation. , A classified wartime report by Wavell released in 1992 blamed the Australians for the loss of Singapore. By this time, Kallang Airfield was so pitted with bomb craters that it was no longer usable. Civilian authorities began to fear that the water supply would give out.  In addition, it provided the Japanese with a firm foothold, giving them the opportunity to "build up their force unopposed". Japanese forces quickly isolated, surrounded, and forced the surrender of Indian units defending the coast. 232 Squadron RAF was formed and No. In particular the amount of passenger self-help required is explained as due to the crew being mostly Hong Kong Chinese, who refused to do much of their duties in protest against the poor British effort in protecting Hong Kong from the Japanese. , Numerous British and Australian soldiers taken prisoner remained in Singapore's Changi Prison and many died in captivity. Thyer and C.H. Categories & Ages.  Indeed, the lack of an effective air early warning system throughout the campaign meant that many Allied aircraft were lost in this manner during a series of Japanese attacks against airfields. We hold: 1. some records of those held captive by German, Italian or Japanese forces 2. some questionnaires which may reveal personal information as well as details of experiences in the prisoner of war camps 3. some individual reports which may reveal details about capture or escape attempts from prisoners of war camps in central Europe 4. selected records of Merchant Navy prisoners of war 5. documents which reveal information about some prisoner of war camps 6. records of enquiries into mis… We stayed, first, with the Nissen’s who were colleagues of my Father. Aunty Ena’s husband worked for a Bristol shipbuilding firm, and the house was given the luxury of a telephone for use as an emergency out-of-hours contact number for any of their ships (by radio-telephone). He may have enough without that one. Blowing up the causeway had delayed the Japanese attack for over a week. Evacuation in WW2 The evacuation of Britain’s children out of British cities during World War Two remains the biggest mass movement of people the nation has ever seen. Find out how you can use this. Tug ST BREOCK (810t) - Sunk by aircraft bombs off Sumatra. A high shot overlooking the dockside; two parked ambulances with former prisoners of war on stretchers being lifted out. He could only say: "The bloody bastards will never think of looking for me in the open, and I want to see a bloody plane brought down.  The two Australian brigades were subsequently allocated a very wide frontage of over 18 kilometres (11 mi) and were separated by the Kranji River. Kappe, concedes that at most only two-thirds of the available Australian troops manned the final perimeter.  A determined counterattack from Lieutenant-Colonel John Parkin's 5/11th Sikh Regiment in the area of Niyor, near Kluang, on 25 January, and a successful ambush around the Nithsdale Estate by the Australian 2/18th Battalion on 26/27 January, bought valuable time and permitted Brigadier Harold Taylor's Eastforce—based on the Australian 22nd Brigade—to withdraw from eastern Johore. My only memory is that in Singapore we stayed at a house with a child’s pedal car, a new and exciting experience! This gives a small set of letters written by our paternal Grandmother to
, British forces had planned to reconquer Singapore in Operation Mailfist in 1945 but, the war ended before it could be carried out.  The Japanese sought vengeance against the Chinese and to eliminate anyone who held anti-Japanese sentiments. With the Russians fighting as they are and the Americans so stubborn at Luzon, the whole reputation of our country and our race is involved. Then we sailed through the Sunda straits between Sumatra and Java, and on to Columbo, Durban and Cape Town. [Note 7], On 14 February 1942, the Japanese renewed their assault on the western part of the Southern Area's defences, around the same area that the 1st Malayan Brigade had fought desperately to hold the previous day. We travelled in the “Empress of Japan”, a large liner requisitioned from The Canadian Pacific Railways3. Bennett attempted to reinforce the 22nd Brigade by moving the 2/29th Battalion from the 27th Brigade's area to Tengah, but before it could be used to recapture Ama Keng, the Japanese launched another attack around the airfield, and the 2/29th was forced to assume a defensive posture. A friend got the full story from her on tape at the time. Internment in Hong Kong, Singapore and the NEI was immediate, whereas in the places where no fighting had occurred, it did not take place until late 1942 or the spring of 1943. WW2 Singapore Evacuation. Evacuation of refugees from the island started from the end of January 1942. They set off in a motor car bearing a Union Jack and a white flag of truce toward the enemy lines to discuss a cessation of hostilities.  Some of the Guards reached the shore and maintained a tenuous beachhead; nevertheless, at the height of the assault, it is reported that the Guards commander, Nishimura, requested permission to cancel the attack due to the heavy casualties his troops had suffered from the fire. In total, 13,000 Japanese troops landed throughout the first night; they were followed by another 10,000 after first light. This would see landings in Malaya and Hong Kong as part of a general move south to secure Singapore, connected to Malaya by the Johor–Singapore Causeway, and then an invasion of the oil-rich area of Borneo and Java in the Dutch East Indies. Gem said4, when she delivered us to our Grandparents, that it had been a nightmare journey home. This was because the airfields at Tengah, Seletar and Sembawang were in range of Japanese artillery at Johor Bahru. Cutting of Singapore-Hong Kong telephone cables 7/45. The evacuation of civilians in Britain during the Second World War was designed to protect people, especially children, from the risks associated with aerial bombing of cities by moving them to areas thought to be less at risk.. Operation Piper, which began on 1 September 1939, officially relocated 1.5 million people. However, it was very clear before December 1941 that Japan was a threat to the ... Singapore, the most important base … I have the vaguest of memories of life aboard ship, e.g. , Believing that further landings would occur in the northeast, Percival did not reinforce the 22nd Brigade until the morning of 9 February; when he did, the forces dispatched consisted of two half-strength battalions from the 12th Indian Infantry Brigade. There were about 2,000 of them that were killed. This list of mass evacuations includes emergency evacuations of a large number of people in a short period of time. The bombers struck the city centre as well as the Sembawang Naval Base and the island's northern airfields. , Allied losses during the fighting for Singapore were heavy, with a total of nearly 85,000 personnel captured, in addition to losses during the earlier fighting in Malaya. Each of the pages directly involving the Napper Family have a photograph at the front. During World War 2, millions of vulnerable civilians left the country's centres of industry and shipping for the safety of the countryside Discover the evacuees in your family with the 1939 Register On the morning of Thursday, August 31st 1939, news outlets across Britain were all reporting the same thing. At this time, Percival was advised that large amounts of water were being lost due to damaged pipes and that the water supply was on the verge of collapse. WW2 broke out in Europe in 1939. They have often asked whether they could do anything for the children. Nevertheless, the military supply situation was rapidly deteriorating. He has complied this list only for vessels knwon to be carrying civilians and vessels carrying only servicemen have not been included where known. With his assent, the remaining flyable Hurricanes were withdrawn to Sumatra.  The authority for this withdrawal would later be the subject of debate, with Bennett later stating that he had not given Maxwell authorisation to do so. An effective ambush was carried out by the Australian 2/30th Battalion on the main road at the Gemenceh River near Gemas on 14 January, causing heavy Japanese casualties. We were having a meal in the large dining room, which comprised two sets of long tables, edge on to the sides and with a passage between them down the middle of the room. The ship was shockingly
[Note 11] Thompson argues, however, that the 22nd Brigade was "so heavily outnumbered that defeat was inevitable", while Costello states that Percival's insistence on concentrating the 22nd Brigade's strength at the water's edge had been a serious mistake. The men were forced into a series of small, badly ventilated rooms where they were held overnight without water. Built in 1933 at Dundee, Scotland for the Singapore - Western Australia service.The ship was very active during WW2, taking part in the evacuation of Singapore ahead of the Japanese occupation.On many occasions she came under heavy attack by Japanese aircraft.  As parties of Japanese troops began to infiltrate the brigade's position from the west, exploiting the gap formed by the Kranji River, the 2/26th Battalion was forced to withdraw to a position east of the Bukit Timah Road; this move subsequently precipitated a sympathetic move by the 2/30th away from the causeway. ۱۴۶ پسند. Meanwhile, bypassed elements attempted to break out and fall back to the Tengah airfield to rejoin their units and in doing so received heavy casualties. Percival, to surrender. Written mostly by our step-mother, in her rather quaint English, they give a good feel as to how life was dominated by all the extra work required in the volunteer services. My sister Rosemary was born in 1934; I was born in 1937, but our mother Maude (who had a Ph.D. in plant diseases) never recovered from my birth, and died six months later. That was a sad day, but it did happen. The “Empress of Japan” arrived in Liverpool around March 19th. 1 -- [K.L., 1940] Brian, Piri, Rosemary. Her master's name was Capon and she had arrived in Singapore carrying supplies.  About 80,000 British, Indian and Australian troops in Singapore became prisoners of war, joining 50,000 taken by the Japanese in the earlier Malayan Campaign.  As such, a large portion of defence equipment and resources had been incorrectly allocated to the north east sector, where the most complete and freshest formation—the British 18th Division—was deployed, while the incomplete Australian 8th Division sector with just two brigades had no serious fixed defensive works or obstacles. It is expected that every unit will be brought into close contact with the enemy and fight it out . , Percival incorrectly guessed that the Japanese would land forces on the north-east side of Singapore, ignoring advice that the north-west was a more likely direction of attack (where the Straits of Johor were the narrowest and a series of river mouths provided cover for the launching of water craft). , The following day, the remaining Allied units fought on. [K.L. Within only four days, nearly 3,000,000 people were moved from the cities to the countryside to keep them safe from German air raids. Evacuation & Rescue Ships. The aim to is trace and record all the civilians lost during the Singapore Evacuation in order that they be recognized and memorialized. [Note 6], During the period 27–30 January, another 48 Hurricanes arrived on the aircraft carrier HMS Indomitable. [Note 9][Note 10] Indeed, the Kappe Report, compiled by Colonels J.H. Singapore News - A full-time national serviceman (NSF) who died of heatstroke in April 2018 was taken to a medical centre 40 minutes after he was seen with signs of … The papers included much information about the weakness of the Singapore base.  This was virtually simultaneous with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which precipitated the United States entry into the war. Rosemary remembers spending a lot of time carrying someone’s six-month-old baby on her hips, and being called ‘the Little Mother’!  Also under Bennett's command was the 44th Indian Infantry Brigade. Our family evacuated K.L. He has complied this list only for vessels knwon to be carrying civilians and vessels carrying only servicemen have not been included where known.  That evening, three Fairmile B motor launches attacked and sank several Japanese landing craft in the Johor Strait around its western channel on the evening of 9 February. [Note 4], At Bakri, from 18 to 22 January, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Anderson's Australian 2/19th Battalion and the Australian 2/29th Battalion repeatedly fought through Japanese positions before running out of ammunition near Parit Sulong. This perimeter would be used to block Allied attempts to regain the lost territory and defeat their will to fight.  Bennett blamed Percival and the Indian troops for the defeat, but Callaghan reluctantly stated that Australian units had been affected by the desertion of many men toward the end of the battle. , As the landing craft closed on the Australian positions, machine gunners from the 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion, interspersed amongst the deployed rifle companies, opened fire. I suggest the best thing to do is to send them to Mrs. Napper and leave it to her what to do with them. I knew that if I had to fight for long for Singapore, I would be beaten.  The remainder were bayoneted the following morning.  Operated by No. , Command and control problems caused further cracks in the Allied defence. As the first bombs fell on Singapore, after the invasion by the Japanese of northern Malaya on 8 December 1941, civilian families began to evacuate their women and children by ship back to England, India, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. , A deputation was selected to go to the Japanese headquarters. For the time being they can go to the same school as Pat and John till our financial position is more clear and we can decide whether we can send them to a boarding school. In the intervening three years we were looked after by a young Christian Malay Indian girl, Martha. A memorial project to trace families of those who lost their lives whilst on board the evacuation ships between December 1941 and February 1942. In Cape Town some of the refugees were invited to take a short holiday in Cape Town, and carry on to England on another boat. Tobruk Raid 9/42. World War 2 at Sea. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please click here. The infantry positions were reinforced by the recently arrived Australian 2/4th Machine-Gun Battalion. The Evacuation The Japanese invaded Malaya, in the North, on December 8th 1941, the same morning as the attack on Pearl Harbour 2. The evacuation of civilians in Britain during the Second World War was designed to protect people, especially children, from the risks associated with aerial bombing of cities by moving them to areas thought to be less at risk.. Operation Piper, which began on 1 September 1939, officially relocated 1.5 million people. included a green art-deco-style hair brush and clothes brush, a silver engraved serviette ring and a small empty scent bottle, from which she would have the occasional reassuring sniff to remind her of home! The Fall of Singapore represented the collapse of British influence in South East Asia, and severely diminished the British Empire’s Asia-Pacific clout. Created: Apr 23, 2020. pptx, 166 MB. ]rantic efforts were being made to evacuate women and children. Evacuation-TES. In the book it thinks the selection process was poor by only allowing officer cadets from certain schools. arrival at her house (2b).  They eventually made their way back to Australia, while between 15,000 and 20,000 Australian soldiers are reported to have been captured.  This order was subsequently passed on to Bennett, who allocated the ad hoc Australian 'X' Battalion to the task. Spotlights had been sited by a British unit on the beaches to enable the Australians to clearly see any attacking forces on the water in front of them, but many had been damaged by the earlier bombardment and no order was made to turn the others on. This page has been archived and is no longer updated. This project was started by Michael Pether of New Zealand. Peter Parkinson wrote:I think it boils down at the start of ww2 all the senior officers in all three services had to be replaced, I read a book about it and it makes for very somber reading. 1940] refers to pictures taken in K.L., probably in 1940, but possibly 1941. He felt it was a disgrace. I guess they were responsible for my last strong memory, that of crossing-the-equator rites (which I did not enjoy, whatever they were) organised by a group of men in white. Evacuation took place in several waves. and 3 nice frocks for the afternoon. Tug PENGAWAL - Sunk by aircraft Durian Straits, Singapore. The Fall of Singapore was the climax to the Malayan campaign in the Far-East which lasted from the 8th December 1941 – 31 January 1942. These units reached Bennett around midday, and, shortly afterwards Percival allocated the composite 6th/15th Indian Infantry Brigade to reinforce Bennett's force to move from their position around the Singapore racecourse. Evacuation-TES. 488 Squadron RNZAF, a Buffalo squadron, had converted to Hurricanes. AP shells were designed to penetrate the hulls of heavily armoured warships and were mostly ineffective against infantry targets. Though his mind had been gradually prepared for its fall, the surrender of the fortress stunned him. However, many of the Hurricanes were subsequently destroyed on the ground by air raids. This includes references to source material used in creating these pages, including books which specifically cover
Even at this stage, a counter artillery barrage as a response could have been mounted … [Note 5] Of this figure, 15,000 men were employed in logistical, administrative, or other non-combatant roles. The Jurong Line eventually collapsed, though, after the 12th Indian Brigade was withdrawn by its commander, Brigadier Archie Paris, to the road junction near Bukit Panjang, after he lost contact with the 27th Brigade on his right; the commander of the 44th Indian Brigade, Ballantine, commanding the extreme left of the line, also misinterpreted the orders in the same manner that Taylor had and withdrew.. The treatment of POW’s at Changi was harsh but fitted in with the belief held by the Japanese Imperial Army that those who had surrendered to it were guilty of dishonouring their country and family and, as such, deserved to be treated in no other way. An emergency evacuation is the movement of persons from a dangerous place due to the threat or occurrence of a disastrous event whether from …  The assault would be concentrated on the 2/18th and 2/20th Battalions; with each division allocated 150 barges and collapsible boats, the Japanese could move approximately 4,000 men across the strait at any one time. , The aerial campaign for Singapore began at the outset of the invasion of Malaya. , The opening at Kranji made it possible for Imperial Guards armoured units to land there unopposed, after which they were able to begin ferrying across their artillery and armour. In particular I remember being annoyed some times by two-year-old Hazel following me around, and calling out “Bun, Bun” (for Brian)! Another sad part of this is that when a group of British prisoners left Singapore on a transport ship to go to the prison camp, one of our subs torpedoed it. To compound matters, Percival had ordered the Australians to defend forward so as to cover the waterway, yet this meant they were immediately fully committed to any fighting, limiting their flexibility, whilst also reducing their defensive depth.  After Japanese troops entered the hospital they killed up to 50 soldiers, including some undergoing surgery. World War II - World War II - The fall of Singapore: Meanwhile, on February 8 and 9, three Japanese divisions had landed on Singapore Island; and on February 15 they forced the 90,000-strong British, Australian, and Indian garrison there, under Lieutenant General A.E. (before the invasion), and offered his services to the MAS again in Singapore. Mr and Mrs Phillips [whose address was given at the end] were friends of Maude and perhaps they may have a suggestion. We went first to Batavia, to repair minor bomb damage sustained at Singapore.  The withdrawing troops received harassing attacks all the way back. Another accountS1 reported that the passengers were anything but comfortable, and were sleeping in hundreds on mattresses on the deck and doing their own washing-up and cleaning in addition to many ship's chores.  A squadron of Hurricane fighters took to the skies on 9 February, but was then withdrawn to the Netherlands East Indies and after that no Allied aircraft were seen again over Singapore; the Japanese had achieved complete air supremacy. Total Australian casualties included 1,789 killed and 1,306 wounded. In addition to explaining the events leading up to the Japanese invasion, the book highlights the experiences of people living in Singapore … No. River gunboat GRASSHOPPER (625t, 1939) - Sailing from Singapore and sunk by aircraft bombs.  Even at this stage, a counter artillery barrage as a response could have been mounted by the British on the coastline opposite the Australians that would have caused casualties and disruption among the Japanese assault troops. 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