The Royal Norfolks were to become part of one of the biggest blunders in Britains military history. Three battalions were to be destroyed if not in battle but in the aftermath as Japanese prisoners of war. In battle they gave it their all but had very little chance to excel. They were put into an already dire position in Malaya and Singapore as the Japanese made an all out assault in the Far East, snatching the resources they needed for their aggressive intentions.

The towns and small villages of Norfolk with their fields of plenty, gave up their young men to three and a half years of torment and horror, working as slave labour, many dying on a starvation diet of rice. This is the story of the 15,000 men who made up the strength of these three Norfolk Battalions.


Enlisting , Training and Sailing 

Enlisting, Training and Sailing  (1938 - 1941)

Action in Malaya and Singapore 

Action in Malaya and Singapore (January 13th - 15th February 1942)

Prisoners of War 

Prisoners of War (February 1942-August 18th 1945)




The 18th Division

by Mary Michael
"For their country they did serve and recognition do so deserve"

On the William Sail they came
Proud and longing to fight with hearts aflame
To the Far Eastern Shores of Singapore
Where many a man would be the same no more

Oh how hard they fought
But victory was not to be bought
The Battle of Bukit Road raged
Til it was realized it just couldn't be saved

Young and brave the fear crept in
Why were we sent too late to win
For the men of the 18th this was their fame
Did they deserve to take history's blame

For they were trained for the desert not over here
Why they were there they sure weren't clear
The men of the 18th try as they might
There was no way they could win this fight

The fight over there sure wasn't fair
What's a Jap, what does he wear
How could they know about jungle warfare
This was their first battle but who did care

Alas no victory for the 18th would there be
Instead part of the Singapore surrender history
With all of the rest of the brave heroes over there
With no chance or hope to escape the Jap's brutal care

Why were our men left over there
With not a thought or a care
Where were the planes and rest of the supplies
Nothing appeared from out of the skies

In these words the truth can be seen
How unfair and unjust it all has been
Time now to honor and acclaim
And give these brave men finally their fame





This information was collated using

The Royal Norfolk Regiment by P.K.Kemps - 1919 to 1951 - Voume 3 

The Royal Norfolk Regiment by Tom Carew

To Singapore and Beyond by Neil Storey

Private 5776807 by Frederick Noel Taylor

Hell in Five by Jack Symon



In Memory of my Pop - Private 5776807 and the mates he left behind




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