Gun Position, Somme Road, Singapore (1942)

Somme Road, Singapore, Gun Position, given to Lt J. FitzgeraldSingapore, Somme Road – Gun Position -1942

Des gave this sketch he did to Lt. Jack Fitzgerald in 1942.

The image was scanned and returned with thanks, July 2012 from: ‘Lt Jack Fitzgerald Archive, The Second World War Experience Ctr, Wetherby, West Yorkshire, UK’

‘We weren’t’ exactly told that our aircraft in Malaya and Singapore weer obsolescent, inadequate and no match for the Japs, but it became obvious very soon. And while those responsible for that state of affairs are, no doubt, smugly drawing retirement pensions, we are stuck with the consequences of their unbelievable incompetence. We take this very personally; we do not accept that it was unavoidable but are in fact convinced that it need not have happened. There was too much complacent political fooling around and refusal to look at facts, too much wishful thinking instead of determined resolve in the years before the war. And too much irresolution and plain disastrous strategy after it began.’

‘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 426, 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