Perspectives of Parit Sulong
The first documented massacre of Australian troops by the Imperial Japanese Army at Parit Sulong during the Second World War was a tragic chapter in the history of the Australian Defence Force.
In mid-January 1942 a small Australian and Indian force was cut off by the Japanese Imperial Guards Division around Bakri and Parit Sulong in Malaya (now known as Malaysia). The Australians and Indians doggedly fought their way out, losing almost half their men. Lieutenant Colonel Charles Anderson was awarded the Victoria Cross for leadership in this fight.
The Japanese, enraged by the losses they had suffered in the severe fighting over the previous week, massacred a group of 145 Australian and Indian wounded left behind at Parit Sulong before sunset on 22 January 1942. Of the 110 Australians, only three survived.
A different perspective to the well known artwork above. This is a contemporary Imperial Japanese artwork depicting their attack on Parit Sulong. It was made in early 1943 and printed as part of a series of Japanese victories against the Western Allies. Others in this series include the Landing at Kota Bharu and the Fall of Singapore.
Note the many similarities to the Murray Griffin artwork (which in the background shows these tanks advancing towards the Australians) and the amount fire being poured at them by the Australian and Indian troops. Source : personal collection.
Photograph taken immediately after the surrender of the Imperial Japanese in Malaya of the Parit Sulong battlefield depicted in the above images.
Portrait of one of the Australian victims of the Parit Sulong massacre, stretcher bearer Private Arthur Williams.
For further information on the campaign fought in Malaya and the massacre at Parit Sulong, I recommend the search engine of the Australian War Memorial website http://www.awm.gov.au/#search/all/?op=Search&format=list and the following :
Australian Army History Unit's publication 'Malaya' by Brian Farrell and Dr Garth Pratten http://www.army.gov.au/Our-future/Publications/Australian-Army-Journal/Past-editions/~/media/Files/Our%20future/LWSC%20Publications/AAJ/2010Winter/12-MalayaByBrianFarrellAnd.pdf.
The book "The bridge at Parit Sulong : an investigation of mass murder" and website of Australian military researcher, author and historian Lynette Ramsay Silver OAM - http://lynettesilver.com/research-projects/parit-sulong-west-malaysia/
Mant, G; Grim glory / with a foreword by H. Gordon Bennett (monograph, 1943) - http://www.awm.gov.au/view/book/7718/. Note that it was re-published several times post-war in addition to the 2/19th Battalion Association official "The Grim Glory" .
The Australia's War 1939-1945 website http://www.ww2australia.gov.au/japadvance/paritSulong.html
The 2/19th Battalion history (AWM website) https://www.awm.gov.au/units/unit_11270.asp
Welsh, R; It's turned out rice again - Wartime memoirs : 2nd/19th Battalion, 8th Division, A.I.F. 1940-1946. (Roy Welsh, 1995) https://www.awm.gov.au/view/book/31034/
2/19th Unit War diary - https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/awm52/8/3/19/