Pajam Rubber Estate, Mantin, Malaya (December 1941)

Pajam Rubber Estate, MantinMantin – Pajam Rubber Estate , Malaya

‘The 88th Field Regiment disembarked from the Empress of Canada at Singapore on 28th November 1941. The majority of the 88th now boarded a train for Mantin camp which lay 210 miles to the north. A party of 40 men stayed behind for the longer job of unloading stores and guns; and these would rejoin the main body  by road, setting out on 6th December for a two stage hop to Mantin.

Despite the novelty of the Far East many of the young Gunners of the regiment were less than excited about the corner of the world in which they now found themselves. As Driver Jim Pemberton wrote back to his mother explaining: The camp is situated in the centre of a rubber plantation miles from anywhere. It’s OK only there’s nothing ut rubber trees to look at. Don’t expect any letters from here because I’m not going to have anything to write about. The weather is not so good, one minute the sun is shining and the next it it pouring with rain, it’s so hot all the time and there’s not a breath of wind, everywhere is damp and clammy. The mosquitoes and flys are a bit of a pest, they are always flying around and taking lumps out of me. It’s a hard job getting any sleep at nights there’s all sorts of noises going on all night. There’s plenty of company in this hut too, what with large spiders, centipedes and rats running over everything.’

Source: Lancashire Gunners at War by Stephen Bull, pg 49

On our arrival in Singapore, in November 1941, we entrained up country to Mantin. The unit, the 88th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery became part of the 9th Indian Division, and the three batteries were sent to Ipoh, Alor Star and Kuantan, where the Repulse and Prince of Wales were sunk.

Source: Des Bettany