Ron - Arthur has started sending me Percival’s report as written after the war.
It is not so regimental as his dispatch, printed in the London Gazette:
Keith - >Arthur,
My late father was regular army, he stayed in after the war until 1951. Sometime after his return to the UK, he met Percival on a military site somewhere, and before the eve of a large dinner/banquet that had some connection with the war in
the Far East and Singapore. After my father introduced himself, the pair of them had a long conversation, as they were about to part, my father asked him if he was invited to attend the dinner. The reply upset my father for years after; "Sergeant Major, the British Army does not like loosers, you must always remember that".
Say what you like about the man, he stayed with his troops while others chose to leave, and he was given the chance.
Arthur's forward says it all.
Arthur - >Keith. I saw Percival three times. Once when our gun was trained on the Japs escorting him and the others to the Ford factory. Once more when we came home and he visited Chester Hospital when we came home and finally at a reunion in London 1950, I too was a regular, and I have always shown the greatest respect for the man. what he said however to your father, he also repeated on many ocasions.
In his memoir, he made the comment to Keith Simmons and others "I suppose we will take all the blame for this afterwards" he said it as if he knew that he would be comng home
Maurice - >Arthur
I have done a bit on the Fall of Singapore and the various reasons/excuses/accusations as to why it happened. The one thing I have wanted to ask, as I have already asked of my father. And since you have done a bit on Percival.
Did you/have you/now/or since heard of MATADOR? Maurice.
Arthur - >Maurice. Matador was a plan of operation created and set up by Percival ad one or two others.simply it was a plan to invade Thailand should there be any indication that the Japanese were about to start a war. The idea was that British troops would invade Thialnd and then should the Japs attack Malaya they would come down from the rear.
In fact when it was known, roughly eight hours before they invaded Malaya.
permsiion to instigate Matador was refused by the war master. as it would look as if we were the first to start the war. we woud be the aggressors.
Permission was given twenty four hous after the Jap invasion, by the it was too late.
As well as this disaster, Percival did not know that a party of around one thousand Japanese had invaded Malaya three or four days before the invasion, they had set up camp in the village of B?????? cant remember the name. Here they killed all the inhabitants to ensure complete silence on their movements.
Within two hours of the Japs invading on the east coast. this group had attacked from behind our bases on the west coast.
Matador the naked bullfighter.