We were able to get in contact with John Tring, author of The Pacific War Uncensored: A War Correspondent’s Unvarnished Account of the Fight Against Japan. He was kind enough to relay his grandfather’s recollection of hearing about the attack on Pearl Harbor while working in Singapore.
“My grandfather, Harold Guard, was working as a war correspondent in Singapore when the attack on Pearl Harbor took place. The first news that he got about the Japanese assault was in the early hours of 8th December 1941, after he had been awoken in the night by a phone call from his Malayan office staff and informed that the teleprinter in the news office had broken. When he inquired how it had become broken the answer came back that it had fallen off the table after a Japanese plane had dropped a bomb.
Alerted by this significant news my grandfather made his way into town by foot, as he was unable to find any means of transport at 4 a.m in the morning. An air warden who was passing by in his car stopped and gave him a lift, and even though searchlights were sweeping the night sky, he could not believe that the attack was actually real. There was no doubting the fact though as they arrived in town to find a large crater in the middle of Battery Road just outside the news office. My grandfather made his way into the office, and after the teleprinter was reinstated the news of the attack on Pearl Harbor came through, heralding the start of the war in the Pacific.”