By Maj Gen Gurbakhsh Singh
18 Sep , 2015
On the third day after the fall of Singapore, the Japanese were to take possession of the city on 17th February 1942. A day earlier, all white troops had gathered at Changi Camp in order to surrender. On that very day Lieutenant General A.E. Percival, GOC-in-C, promulgated his last ‘Order of the Day.’ In this order he announced some immediate gallantry awards. Two of the awards were DSOs (Distinguished Service Orders).
One of these was awarded to the Commanding Officer of the 5/11 Sikh Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Parkins and the other to me. Since this order could not be sent out of the camp or Singapore due to dislocation of all communications, it was nicely packed, sealed and put in a steel box and buried in the camp itself. It was made incumbent on the senior surviving officer among those who were present at the time to bring this box and the order contained therein to the notice of the Army Authorities when Singapore was re-captured. No news of the award had reached me.