Escape from Singapore

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This is a story based on historical events and dates although the main story is fictitious. I served in Singapore and I visited Rangoon in Burma shortly after the war, and saw for myself some of the atrocities that were committed by the occupying Japanese. I was in Singapore to see the Japanese loaded on to the ships to return to Japan. One ship I remember well was the SS Satsu Maru. We loaded the prisoners on until there was no more room. During the war the Japanese dropped small garrisons on to Pacific islands, and left them to live off the land. When efforts were made to repatriate them years later they could not believe that Japan had surrendered and very often attempted to fight their rescuers.

I hope you enjoy the story as much as I have done in writing it.

I joined HMS Squirrel a shallow draft gunboat working out of Singapore as the Leading Signalman in November 1941, which with other similar gunboats were engaged on regularly patrolling the East coast of Malaysia. I was very happy to come to Singapore as I personally was glad to get away from the continual Atlantic convoys, so a surprise drafting to Singapore was a lovely surprise. At the time it seemed like a golden opportunity to have some relief to get away from the nastiness of war, and the devastation caused by Hitler’s marauding U Boats on our convoys and the dourness of war time rationing, plus the nightly bombing of England. I had been slightly wounded in the fighting in Crete, and following my return to the UK and my subsequent promotion to leading Signalman, I had to leave my crack Tribal Class destroyer for this new posting, as I would have been surplus to the establishment.

The passage to Singapore on a trooper had been a sort of holiday in a way, seeing new places, meeting new people and not being tied down to watch keeping duties, but of course on arriving in Singapore, I soon found that the gunboat was a big change from a Tribal class destroyer, but after the initial shock I soon settled in, and began to enjoy the more relaxed life of coastal patrols, which included visiting local Malaysian communities, followed by a short rest periods in Singapore to refuel and reprovision, with the chance to enjoy the night life for a few days and then back again for another patrol.

Life in Singapore at that time was so different from the cold bitter winters of the Atlantic and escort duties, of seeing ships sink of losing friends and the bombing of the cities and food rationing. Half our crew were local Chinese or Malays, recruited locally. When the Jap’s attacked Pearl Harbour in December most British people were glad that America had at last joined in the war, but the partying and night clubbing in Singapore still went on, even when the Japanese invaded Malaysia, and Singapore came under threat they refused to take the war seriously. But the complacency of life was soon shattered as the Japs swept through Asia and down through Malaysia to the very doors of Singapore.

Life had been good for me in Singapore, as one of our Chinese ships company quite soon after my arrival had introduced me to his sister. His sister Lin was a very special lady, and it was not long before we became romantically attached, and started an affair. I went out with Lin whenever I could, her name in Chinese means ‘Beautiful Jade.’ Lin was a very pretty, and a very intelligent girl. She was a teacher at a local school, and she spoke perfect English with a slight accent, she was however extremely shy.

One night she said. “Tony will you be able to look after me if the Japanese come to Singapore.” I told her “Lin darling I think I am in love with you, and, if you marry me I think there is no doubt I can get you out on one of the ships for evacuees, if the worst comes to the worst they will surely arrange for garrison personnel’s families to be evacuated.”

Then she surprised me when she said to me the following evening. “Tony you really don’t think a Chinese girl would marry, or enjoy making love with an Englishman. Is that what you are frightened of, and is that why you have never made a pass at me. I love you too, but I don’t want to wait any longer I want you to make love to me please now tonight.?”

Without waiting for my answer she started to undress, looking at me for my reaction, yet she continued to undress until she was stood in front of me in nothing but a pair of snowy white panties. She had not been wearing a bra, I realised then that no-one would know as Chinese girls are not normally renowned for large breasts, and as she normally wore a leather jacket anyway, no-one could ever tell. She was beautiful, but I had appreciated her companionship and did not want to spoil it by making a pass at her and risking upsetting her. I was in no doubt that I loved her dearly.

When she was undressed she went and lay down on her bed, and as she lay on her back, her hands under her head just looking up at me. Her breasts were small but she had lovely firm güvenilir bahis nipples that seemed to be extraordinary long and hard. I quickly undressed and walked over to the bed. She just lay there, and I knelt down on the bed, and fondled her left breast, while my mouth went to her right breast. The nipple was hard , it was so different from anything I had experienced before.

As I did so, her hand grabbed my cock which was now in an advanced state of excitement. Then one hand went round my neck, pulling me away from her breast her tongue boldly started exploring my mouth, in a long exotic kiss.

She looked up at me. ” No need to rush darling is there, I presume that you can stay the night?”

“Of course I can! ” I said and went back to kissing her.

I was almost intoxicated by the perfume she was wearing, it was very strong and very erotic. Slowly I ran my hands down her beautiful body, pulling her close to me and covering her with kisses as I went. I barely got to licking her when she sat up, and pushed me back on to my back as she straddled my body. Her hand went down and guided my cock into her waiting pussy.

She gradually sat down on me and I felt my cock pushing up into her warm wet love tunnel. We started moving together, and I knew that I could not last very long. She seemed to have incredible muscle control and I felt as though I was being massaged and milked all in one. We came together in one long mix of passion.

“Well Tony dear that’s just for tasters . We have the whole night ahead of us.

For the few weeks after that, whenever I was in Singapore we had a regular and very satisfying love life. I asked permission from the Captain to marry her, and as I was over 21 the navy agreed, and I arranged through the padre to get her a passage to Australia in the event of Singapore falling. It was on the 11th February that the situation became so critical in Singapore that we decided that we should marry immediately and get her evacuated.

Our patrols gradually got involved in the war by ferrying troops or taking supplies in after dark to beleaguered garrisons. We had seen at first hand the atrocities that the Japanese had carried out in some of the villages that we had visited after the Japs had been there. Whole communities were butchered. Women were raped and then killed. Soldiers that had surrendered had been beheaded, so I was in no mood to let Lin stay behind.

I quickly arranged the wedding details with the padre, and that morning on a trip to GHQ I made a diversion and called at her school, to tell her the news of our impending marriage arranged for later that day. We were so happy that we were to marry, and I had arranged for passage from Singapore to Australia for her. We arranged that she should meet me later that afternoon for the ceremony, but fate took a hand and I had only just left her school and walked about fifty yards down the street when without warning of any kind, the bomb struck with a direct hit on the school. My whole world collapsed around me. My future wife Lin was dead, and I was devastated.

I was sent to the sick quarters at HMS Terror the naval base for initial treatment with a large gash in my arm, before being transferred to a military hospital at Changi. By then we knew the causeway had already been blown, but now, I had to begin to worry about my own situation. We soon realised the Japanese had found few problems in making it on to the island. On the Johore side of the island, they could virtually walk across to the island at low tide. I had also learned to my dismay that my ship had left without me during my absence in hospital which left me rather “pissed off” to say the least.

In the hospital we would gathered round the radio every day to listen to the news. But on the 13th of February we listened with growing alarm. The news of a possible surrender was now being mentioned. Many of the troops were very despondent, as they had already experienced the atrocities for themselves, and were now in fear for their own lives, which was also supplemented by the stories of wounded troops coming into the hospital, who were all saying that the radio was not telling the whole truth. The situation was much worse than the public were being told.

We were also being assured that in the event of a surrender the Jap’s had agreed to treat us according to the Geneva convention. As I stood listening to the news I was joined by an Australian Lance Corporal whose name was Trevor. He was due to go back to his unit shortly, but the talk of surrender had made him determined not to attempt to rejoin his unit, as he did not know where they were, or how many of them were left alive.

Trevor gave a cynical laugh as we listened to the news with the order that in the event of a surrender being negotiated, all resistance must be stopped immediately and all servicemen should lay down their arms. Assurances of good treatment for prisoners was not believed by any of the troops that türkçe bahis had been in action. “Like fuck they will treat you well. I have seen women that have been raped and bayoneted with their babies, and squaddies that have been beheaded after surrendering to the Japs up country. I’m going to make a run for it. I am not stopping here any longer to be butchered.” I too had already seen the results of Japanese atrocities and so I decided on the spot.

“I will come with you – you never know you might need the navy.” I told him. We stocked up on chocolate, fags and some packs of food from the hospital NAAFI with the last of our money and set out for the city. Trevor still had his rifle and some ammo, and we set off for the docks.

I was given a Sten gun and some ammunition by a soldier and so we set off. We managed to hitch a lift into the City and when we arrived it was a scene of utter devastation. The city was burning, and the news was telling us that talks of a surrender to the Japanese was now taking place, and that surrender was virtually inevitable within 48 hours.

The City was in utter chaos with shops and houses being looted, fires everywhere, while the police just stopped and watched or even joined in with the looters. Many of the police were wearing Japanese flags on their tunics, in the hope of appeasing their new masters. British servicemen were being abused by local civilians who thought that the British had let them down. In particular the Chinese were the most frightened, as it was common knowledge that the Japanese regarded Chinese people as being on a lower level than dogs, and if the stories from Manchuria were correct they could expect to be treated with little if any humanity. The rumours of atrocities were widespread, and news was filtering back of ships with evacuees being sunk or attacked with horrific loss of life, and the survivors being machine gunned in the water.

In the dockyard everything was in utter chaos but we found an old coal burning Paddle Steamer the SS Majestic which was just finishing some late repairs on the slipway on her damaged rudder being carried out by some Navy Engineers. The Royal Engineers, had also been helping in the repairs, in return for a passage out of the island. She was very old, and had been built before the first world war. She was built of wood which was rotting in places. There seemed to be about a hundred of us working frantically to get her stored, and loaded with coal wood and water for the boilers, all of us seeing her as our last hope for escape, or at least an attempt at escape.

We knew that it was a last forlorn hope, but anything was better than staying in Singapore to be butchered. About twenty Navy ratings plus two officers were given priority to join the party to work the ship, and I managed to get some Naval overalls for Trevor and a cap to get him a place on board this floating tomb. I did not think much of our chances of keeping this rotting pile of wood afloat in a rough sea, but we had no other choice, it was better than nothing.

Looking at the ship I suggested to the acting Captain that our best chance would be to go up the coast about 150 miles to the Talang river area and consider breaking back into Malaya where there were a number of islands and we could hide up. I knew the area I was talking about well. I thought that perhaps we could start some sort of resistance movement, rather than die on this floating wreck in the open sea. He basically agreed with me, but we lacked arms and to be quite honest our morale was at a very low ebb.

My arm was still in a sling, and I was getting some discomfort from it. Trevor and I were all for giving it a go, but the other passengers mainly civilians seemed to have more faith in this floating wreck than I did. However Lieutenant Forbes in command discussed it with me, as I knew the coastal area fairly well, and he said. “We will just have to see how we go when we get clear of the island into open water. I will make a decision then.” But like me he did not think that we stood much of a chance of staying afloat in rough seas, especially as we were so overloaded. But there was no way we could turn anyone away to face certain death.

Before we slipped we set fires in the adjacent workshops and damaged as much machinery as we could. We with the aid of the Sappers blew up a local power station. Singapore was burning fiercely as the SS Majestic slipped from the quay just after dark and chugged its way out towards the open sea loaded to the gills, with only about nine inches of freeboard. We were so badly overloaded that I suspected that any sort of sea would sink us.

My worst fears were soon realised a soon as we hit a small ocean swell, we stood little chance, we did not need the Japs to sink us, we could probably achieve that ourselves. I knew that as soon as we encountered any sort of rough sea we would not last long. The Captain turned the ship to follow the coast and kept to, shallower waters. Volunteers güvenilir bahis siteleri were manning the pumps, as the hull was leaking water badly. But I was not surprised when twenty hours after sailing and having made very good time in the calmer coastal waters that had helped us make progress, we had made quite good progress, but not long before sunset our luck changed for the worst, and we were caught by a lone Japanese aircraft which came out of the setting sun and machine gunned the ship, setting it on fire, and leaving nearly every one dead, or in the water, many without lifebelts, as it ruthlessly machine gunned the survivors. Our one hope of escape was now burning fiercely and sinking fast.

I had noted that we were in sight of some islands and I had hopes that I could somehow swim towards them, but I only had one fit arm, so swimming any distance was really not possible, but at least I had taken the precaution of wearing a naval issue life belt, and so that kept me afloat while I hung on to the side of an upturned life boat. I still had an army Sten gun slung over my shoulder which I had acquired in the hospital, and some extra ammunition that I had been given by a soldier in Singapore. I was debating ditching it when a Japanese Submarine surfaced on the far side of the boat, and started cruising through the wreckage, methodically machine gunning the few remaining survivors. Fortunately I managed to keep out of sight of the Submarine, which was the only reason I was not killed. I had lost touch with, my mate Trevor, and to my regret I never saw him again, but I decided to duck under the overturned boat in the hope that I could at least hang on and somehow survive.

I waited for a long time until after the firing had stopped before venturing out to have a look. The water was filled with bodies, and the wreckage was gradually dispersing in a stiffening evening breeze, and as far as I could see I was the only one left alive. Fortunately my upturned boat seemed to have suffered no obvious damage, but I was not strong enough to right the boat with one good arm, and then I thought that if I had, I would, or could, once again become a target from marauding aircraft. So I decided to wait until it was completely dark before I tried anything too adventurous. There was a pocket of air trapped in the overturned boat, so I hung on to a thwart with my one good arm and with the upturned boat to hang on to, I started kicking out for the nearest land with my feet. I could I thought, just see a tip of land on the horizon when I took a peep, and so I tried to head in that direction.

The drift fortunately took me in the right direction, and sometime later it may have been a day or two days, I don’t really know, but it was a long time, my dangling feet touched solid ground.. I roused myself, and wearily pulled myself ashore to collapse on the beach enjoying the warm sunshine as it beat down on my chilled body.

I woke up some time later to the sound of female voices, and I felt myself being lifted and taken to a hut somewhere away not far from the beach to the background sound of women wailing. I was given a hot drink by a young lady, and I felt myself being carefully washed, and ointment being applied to my wound which was redressed. Some time later I came to my senses from a deep sleep. I hauled myself to my feet rather unsteadily, and left the hut where I was met by a group of about thirty women and girls of all ages some with children . Initially the wailing stopped, and I was met by a brief silence as they all turned and looked at me, then as they obviously did not see me as a threat ,the wailing started again..

A young very attractive pregnant Malay lady came towards me, and in broken English she said. “Hello my name is Da. I have to tell you that the Japs are here on the island, they have taken all the men, and also taken three young girls with them. They are here to occupy the island we think. None of us are safe. Some of us managed to hide as soon as we saw their boat, but I think they will be back for more of us later to satisfy their carnal appetites when they have built their camp.”

“How long ago was this?” I said

“About four hours ago: She replied

“How many of them are there?

“About eight I think” Da said.

“Where are they now” I asked.

They are camped about half a mile away by the pier, they have set up camp and it looks as though they are here for a long time, they have a big boat and they are erecting tents.”

I thought about this situation quickly and after having a quick briefing on the island and the general situation. I asked Da

“If you can help me with my arm, will you show me the way to their camp after dark please?.”

Strangely apart from my shoulders aching my injury did not seem to be much worse for the wear and tear that it had suffered in the water.

I asked without really knowing why, but at the back of my mind there was an urge to kill a few Japs, or at least go down fighting.

“If they find you here they will probably kill us all as well.”

She said obviously terrified.

“They will probably kill you all anyway after raping you, but not if we can kill them first.”

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