53 Brigade Group Singapore January 1942

Discussion in 'Higher Formations' started by Mike Selcon, Dec 23, 2020.

  1. Mike Selcon

    Mike Selcon Active Member

    I am trying to confirm the Order of Battle for 53 Infantry Brigade Group during the battle for Singapore. I have identified that 53 Infantry Brigade, 135 Field Regiment RA and 287 Field Company RE were split from the rest of 18th Division and sailed on the USS Mount Vernon as 53 Infantry Brigade Group from Mombassa to Singapore as part of Convoy DM1 and arrived in Singapore on 13/01/1942.

    I believe that 53 Infantry Brigade Group deployed to Johore on 17/01/1942 and were attached to and fought with the 11th Indian Infantry Division until withdrawn to Singapore on the 29/30th January. Back on Singapore they subsequently reunited with the rest of the 18th Division and fought during the battle of Singapore.

    My question is, did 135 Field Regiment form part of the 53rd Infantry brigade Group in Johore and if so did they remain in support of 53 Infantry Brigade after the withdrawal to Singapore and during the battle for Singapore?

    Thank you

  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  3. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    According to Farndale's History of the Royal Regiment of Artillery - The Far East Theatre:
    On 24 Jan 42 West Coast Force consisted of:
    15th Indian Infantry Brigade at Batu Pahat
    28th Indian Infantry Brigade at Pontian Kechil
    53rd British Infantry Brigade with 135th Field Regiment and a Battery of 155th Field Regiment at Benut.

    On 27 Jan a Special Force of 336th Battery of 135th Field Regiment (commanded by Maj CFW Banham) were ordered to break through to Seggarang and Rengit. The first gun came into action but they were massacred out of 112 men all but 18 were killed. They managed to get this gun back to Rengit. The second gun was saved by Bombardier Thompson. His driver was killed and two sergeants mortally wounded so he assumed command, unlimbered the gun, climbed into the driver's seat, turned the unwieldy tractor in the narrow road under fire, loaded the quad with wounded, hooked in his gun and drove back to safety. A most gallant action.

    Later on Singapore Island 135th Field Regiment was in Northern Area with 11th Indian Division (Farndale does not mention where 53rd Brigade were but they were part of Northern Area). 135th were badly hit but it's guns replied as best they could, controlled from an OP on Bukit Mandai.

    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  4. Mike Selcon

    Mike Selcon Active Member

    Thank you so much for this information. It has confirmed what I thought but it's great to get soem confirmation.

    Once again thank you and happy Xmas


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