This is an extract from a General's letter to all troops in Singapore on 10/2/42

"It is certain that our troops in Singapore heavily outnumber any Japanese who have crossed the Straits. We must destroy them, our whole fighting reputation is at stake, and the honour of the B.E.F.

The Americans have held out in the Bataan Peninsula against heavier odds. The Russians are fighting back against the picked strength of the Germans. The Chinese with almost incomplete modern equipment have held the Japanese for 42 years. It will be disgraceful if we yield our boasted fortress of Singapore to inferior forces.

There must be no question of surrender. Every unit must fight it out to the end in close contact with the enemy. Please see that the above is brought to the notice of our senior officers and to our troops.

I look to you and your men to fight it out to the end to prove the fighting spirit that won our Empire, and still insists to defend it.

There must be no thought of sparing troops, or the civilian population, and no mercy must be shown in any shape or form. Commanders and senior officers must lead their men, and if necessary die with them."

Singapore surrendered five days later on 15th February 1942


Double Scroll Sharp 


The following poem was written by a Pow later as a response to this letter


    Rattle, splutter, crackle, stutter, Lewis and Bren guns all around,

    Ack-Ack, Bofor, and mortar barrage, help to swell the hellish sound.

    Overhead the Japanese warplanes, fly the sky with angry roar.

    "Lie down flat, you silly bastard, this is what the world calls war."

    Men upon their bellies creeping, through the rubber and the palm,

    Parched and hungry, bereft of sleeping, knowing not a moment's calm.

    Wading through swamps and marshlands, clothing stiff with mud and gore,

    On they go those helpless victims, Sacrificed to the Gods of War.

    All around men are lying; Fathers, brothers, husbands, sons

    Some are dead and some are dying, victims all of bombs and guns.

    Gasping, crying, groaning, moaning, is this nature in the raw?

    No, it's simply bloody murder, history books just call it war.

    Blackened, bloated, stinking corpses, lie unburied all around.

    Ants and flies and loathsome maggots, use them for their breeding grounds.

    They have died to save the Empire, don't for God's sake ask who for.

    They were simply slain and butchered in this conflict they call war.

    While at home in London's club lands, see the ticker tapes flash in,

    'Sharp decline United Rubber, down five points Malayan Tin'

    'Damn it! I shall lose a packet, lucky I've got plenty more.

    Waiter, bring a double brandy, what a nuisance is this war."


Anonymous Hakodate Pow Camp Jap an 1943


Double Scroll Sharp