25 Pounder Gun Crew Ready for Action, Morib, Malaya



Action close to Morib by 88th Field Artillary, TA:

‘Luckily the Japanese tanks were held up by the damaged Kuala Dipang iron bridge and the five bridges further down the road to Kampar. The strong British artillery made up of the powerful 25 pounders and the mortars kept the Japanese from repairing the dynamited bridges. For the first time in the campaign, the British artillery bombardment frustrated the Japanese advance. During the daytime from 30th December 1941 to 2nd January 1942 the Japanese planes bombed and machine-gunned the British positions on the two forward ridges.
To the west of Kampar, 1/14th Punjab Regiment, 2/16th Punjab Regiment and 3/16th Punjab Regiment held the railway line from Malim Nawar to Tronoh Mines. This area now known as Bandar Baru was strongly covered by the British artillery of 25 pounders and howitzers (88th Field Regiment RA). To the east of Gunung Bujang Melaka (4070ft) was the 28th Indian Brigade of 2/1st, 2/2nd and 2/9th Gurkha Rifles supported by the strong 155 Field Regiment RA.
The main road defense position were covered by the British Battalion and 6/15th Brigade reserve the Jat/Punjab Regiment. From 30th to 31st December 1941the main defenses of the British Battalion were attacked by Japanese infantry and many Japanese died in their unsuccessful bonsai charges on the forward slope of Thompson Ridge. The eastern flank failed because the Japanese underestimated the tough fighting of the Gurkhas and many Japanese died when the gallant men from Nepal used the deadly kukri with success. On the west the Japanese were caught in the heavy saturation bombardment of the 88th and 122nd Field Artillery RA. The Japanese were caught in the swamps and deep mining pools and many died by drowning.’

Source: http://www.spiritofmalaysia.co.uk/profiles/blogs/battle-of-kampar-in-defence-of-malaya

‘We are not in disgrace for letting Singapore be captured so easily, as we have feared we might be. Possibly it is now accepted that we were never given a chance to fight properly, never had the weapons and support which we should have had. To that we would add that political interference and ineptitude, coupled with military incompetence at high level in certain places, is a combination which the ordinary soldier cannot overcome. All he can do is fight and die or, as in our case, become a prisoner, while those responsible retire on undeserved pensions.’
Source: One Fourteenth of an Elephant, by Ian Denys Peek, 2005, Pg 490

Extracts from One Fourteenth of an Elephant by Ian Denys Peek reprinted by permission of Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Ltd. Copyright © Ian Denys Peek 2003

“When, before the war, a Government official, now Lord Llewellyn, queried Major – General Dobbie about the complete absence of fortifications on the north coast of Singapore, though the east and the west and the south bristled with armaments, the General replied simply: ‘The north needs no fortification. No one could get through the jungle that leads to it’
Unfortunately, the Japanese were never informed of this fact!”
(Sir John Dill, May 6th, 1941)
Source: The Naked Island by Russell Braddon; 1955 edition Pan Books Ltd, Pg 284