Preparation of the Defences of Singapore

The Island of Singapore is about 27 miles wide and 13 from north to south. The town and harbour are in the south of the Island. A causeway 1,100 yards long crosses the Straits of lohore in the north to connect with the mainland.

Map of Sinapore Island


After a day's rest, in which the British Battalion was re-armed and re-equipped to a certain extent, they were moved to an area on the north coast, close to the Naval Base. The coast was not prepared for defence in any way, so the Battalion worked hard, digging, wiring and patrolling their sector. On 31st January the Causeway was blown up, and the whole of the British forces, numbering some 70,000 fighting men and a large number of administrative units, was now contained in the Island. It was recognised that the great Naval Base could not be defended, and on 2nd February it was evacuated. The enemy had air superiority and daily bombing raids were now taking place.

The British Battalion was taken out of the line on 4th February and sent to a camp outside the town for a few days to re-organise and re-equip. The 6/15th Brigade now became Malaya Command Reserve under the command of Brigadier Coates of The Queen's Royal Regiment. Singapore was now being shelled as well as bombed throughout the day.


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