In the Jungle – POWs 3

The CBI Theater of Operations is rarely heard of and Hillary’s posts on the subject deserve attention_________

Green Writing Room

Barry and the men of 27 Line Section, arrived in Singapore in the Autumn of 1941. They spent very little time in that teeming, multicultural city, before being posted into mainland Malaya as an independent unit.

This picture shows some of the men in a very relaxed state in Kota Tinggi. Barry and his Lieutenant were familiar with life in Malaya and unfussy about uniforms and the men adapted quickly to the climate and the work.

27LineS1941_1

They did encounter occasional problems. Barry remembers:

So in late 1941, based at Kota Tinggi in Johore, No. 27 Line Section went on with their job of building telephone lines between the many small headquarters, unmanned but established, “Just in Case”, and the small air strips in Johore and Pahang. I don’t remember much in detail of this period just before the invasion but one incident vividly comes to mind. I was with a small party…

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on September 10, 2014, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. Indeed, the CBI was no cake walk. Nice reblog!

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  2. What a interesting story. I am also allergic to hornets, bees, etc…. Glad that the hornets didn’t get in!!

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  3. This is quite a footnote to all we’ve been hearing about the feared Asian Hornets that are harming modern humans.

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  4. Hornets; that takes me back. We often had hornets in the hedges of my childhood garden. I was always terrified of being stung. Fortunately I never was but my father and brother were both stung.

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  5. The little bits that my father shared about his time in the south Pacific makes me thin that we don’t really have a good appreciation of “men adapted quickly to the climate…” I recently spread a good day’s worth of work across three different days because it was hot and humid. Oh, and no giant wasps in my yard.

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    • The climate was difficult for most. This early in the war there was no jungle training and even those who lived in areas such as FL, LA, etc. had no concept of these tropics. Thank you for making that point, Dan.

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      • This group of men were luckier than many others because both my father and his subaltern, Sutherland Brown, were born in Malaya and Brown had been a rubber plant manager. They were much more comfortable in the environment than most other British officers. My father also spoke Malay, so communication with the local people was eased.

        Thank you so much for this re blog, it has brought a lot of people to my site and maybe someone out there will connect up with my men and their families. I really will publish this story. I have spent since April getting to know the ropes of self-publishing again, for this very purpose. While I would still prefer mainstream publication. I won’t hang about.

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        • I have to admit I had dual purposes here, Hillary. One was to fill in a background for a part of history (the CBI) that many seem to forget was in the war and Two, to try and bring different exposure to your quest. Thank you for sharing more information.

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  6. Such an interesting but sad story. Your readers have to read all she wrote about her father. What she wrote would be part of a book if she ever finds a publisher interested with that story.

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