Today marks the 70th anniversary of the fall of Singapore, which Winston Churchill called “the largest capitulation in British History”. An article from The Telegraph writes that today’s ceremonies will “remember how 80,000 British and Empire soldiers were marched into captivity after surrendering to a Japanese force of less than 30,000 men…marking the anniversary of the loss of the Empire’s ‘impregnable fortress”.
John Tring, author of The Pacific War Uncensored, relays his grandfather’s experience during this historic event:
“My grandfather was only one of two British correspondents reporting on the Pacific War, the other being his friend, the late Patrick Maitland. My grandfather had to walk with a stiff right leg, which was the result of an accident during his naval career. He had to persevere with this disablement whilst reporting from the war front during the Pacific War. On numerous occasions my grandfather reported from areas that were ‘out-of-bounds’ for war correspondents, and came into conflict with army censors.
My grandfather challenged the British government’s strategy regarding the defense of Singapore both during and after the Pacific War. This led eventually to the subject being raised in British parliament, and questions being asked directly to Winston Churchill, who sarcastically dismissed all criticism, stating “Mr Harold Guard would be better suited to a chair in Whitehall than a reportorial desk in the United Press.” He escaped from Singapore/Java just before the Japanese captured these islands”
For more information about the Fall of Singapore, we suggest the following titles: