Japanese massacred British military personnel both patients and staff of Hospital on 14 February 1942 before British Surrender
Alexandra Military Hospital, Singapore, was meant for British military personnel from British Malaya, Singapore and the Far East. On 15 September 1971 the British handed the hospital to the Singapore Government. It is now called Alexandra Hospital. On 14 February 1942 Japanese Imperial Forces advanced through Kent Ridge down Pas Panjang Road to Alexandra Military Hospital. The British retreated west through the Hospital. They set up machine guns on the first and second floors to cover their retreat. A lieutenant carried a Red Cross brassed and a white flag to meet the Japanese. The Japanese killed him. Among the patients in the Hospital were a four Company force nicknamed the Plymouth Argyles who were survivors of the 'Prince of Wales' and 'Repulse' which were sunk by Japanese torpedo bombers off the coast of Kuantan, Pahang, on 10 December 1941. Japanese troops rushed into the wards and operation theatres and bayoneted a total of 250 patients and staff members. Before they could repeat their brutalities in other wards, an officer ordered them to assemble in the Hospital grounds. The troops, however, removed about 400 patients and staff and locked them up in a staff bungalow nearby. Next day these people were taken out in small groups and shot. The bodies were buried in a mass grave. Walter Salmon of the Royal Signals wounded by a mortar bomb was hospitalized on the top floor and had come to the canteen. He sat there a stunned witness of the abominable spectacle. On 15 February when Yamashita heard of the massacre in the Hospital, he went round the beds of the remaining patients and saluted them; he apologized profusely for the shocking conduct of his soldiers. He brought some crates of canned fruits and opened them with his bayonet and served the fruit to the patients. Later when he learnt that some Japanese soldiers were looting the Hospital he ordered them to be executed. After the Japanese Surrender in 1945 a book was kept in the Hospital. It contained the names of the victims who were massacred by the Japanese. The present location of the book is not known.
Some of the victims were known to me as former schoolmates at WNTS who served on the battleship HMS Prince of Wales as 17 year old boy seamen. Vest.
My eldest grandson soon to be twenty, to me seems so young and vulnerable although he is of stature much greater than I when at his age I had been in the Royal Navy for 4.6 years with 2.5 years of war service. Much more was expected of us those days. "Happy Birthday Dylan" Grand pa..
Vest Back soon.