HT This Day: September 7, 1945 -- British reoccupy Singapore

Updated on Sep 06, 2022 11:48 PM IST

The occupation of Singapore began early yesterday when Indian and British troops of the famous Fifth Indian Division began landing in the Singapore harbour. Closely in the wake of Admiral Power’s naval force which has been in Singapore for the past two days, the biggest convoy of ships of all kinds which this Far Eastern naval fortress has ever seen steamed into port on Wednesday morning.

HT This Day: September 7, 1945 -- British reoccupy Singapore
HT This Day: September 7, 1945 -- British reoccupy Singapore
By, Singapore

The occupation of Singapore began early yesterday when Indian and British troops of the famous Fifth Indian Division began landing in the Singapore harbour. Closely in the wake of Admiral Power’s naval force which has been in Singapore for the past two days, the biggest convoy of ships of all kinds which this Far Eastern naval fortress has ever seen steamed into port on Wednesday morning.

Indian assault troop led the way when British and Indian forces at 12-30 p.m. (I.S.T.) re-entered Singapore, three and a half years after its surrender to the Japanese.

Singapore Radio announcing this news added: “There were no incidents and landings were effected with great smoothness.”

In a series of bulletins and official announcements broadcast throughout the day, the Radio which described itself as radio station of the British Military Administration gave these additional details.

The initial landing was made by a combat task force of Indian assault troops, disembarking from small landing craft at the main wharf of the empire docks All laws and regulations promulgated under Japanese military rule have been abolished with immediate effect. Japanese still roaming in Singapore have been ordered to assemble at the City’s football ground, where thousands of Japanese were expected to be in British hands by nightfall. A curfew has been imposed on all civilians and all persons contravening this order are liable to arrest. Fort Canning, in the centre of Singapore has been declared a forbidden area to civilians. Leading members of Chinese, Indian, Malay and Eurasian communities in Singapore have been summoned for a meeting on Thursday morning. All people in Singapore have been asked to retain their Japanese-issued ration cards, identity cards and registration documents.

As troops began marching into the town. the citizens accorded the maddest and merriest welcome. The Chinatown wore specially a festive appearance. Kalan, Singapore’s main airport, is in a very good condition I and there were number of Japanese aircraft aground.

Business and residential quarters of Singapore are bright and clean, a correspondent said and he saw practically no damage.

Two days before the surrender, two British midget submarines penetrated the heavily mined Johore strait between Singapore island and the mainland and sank the Japanese cruiser, Takoa unobserved.

King George VI in a message to the people of Singapore broadcast to them by Singapore Radio stressed that “the ties which unite my people everywhere will now be fully restored. I know full well that these ties of loyalty and affection between myself and my Far Eastern people never have been broken. The time has now come when their strength and permanence will again be displayed in calm before the whole world.”

It is officially stated that there are 15,000 Indians in prisoner-of-war camps at Singapore. When Allied forces capitulated in 1942 there were 52,000 Indian soldiers in the area. No accurate casualty list of these men is available. However, it is common knowledge that large numbers from them joined Subbas Base’s Indian National army.

Singapore fell to the Japanese on February 15, 1942 after they had swept southward through Malaya. After desperate resistance by British and Australian forces. Lt.-Gen. Arthur A. Percival. was forced to surrender.

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