Four miles further up the road from LENGGONG was the village of SUMPITAN and approaching it in strength were the Japanese.
The Commanding Officer of the Independent Company went forward to SUMPITAN to make contact with the Officer-in-Charge of the Argylls. When contact was made, just before dark, it was apparent that the troops were absolutely exhausted, sleeping on their feet.
From the 14th of December until the 18th of December a small group of 35 Argyll and Southern Highlanders bore the brunt of delaying the Japanese advance and were extremely tired when relieved by the main body Argylls and the Independent Company at Sumpitan.
One of the members of this small group said:
I’m not ashamed to say that I was greetin’ [crying] when I saw our armoured car, the Hydrabads, the Independent Company, and the Punjabis coming up…..I was greetin’ and I wasn’t alone. We were all the same. That bit of road from Kroh (on the border with Thaland now known as Pengkalan Hulu) to Grik (known as Gerik), where we were swapping round, I was completely knackered.
 Moon Over Malaya – P106
Despite the 1st Independent Company being mobilised on the 6th of December, it wasn’t until the 18th and 19th of December that the Company first experienced direct fighting against the Japanese.
As Major Fearon said in his diary, “Information given by a Japanese officer, after the fall of Singapore, was to the effect that here was the main line of advance of the enemy and actually two divisions (5th Infantry Division [Total strength 15,300] and 18th Infantry Division [Total strength 22,200]) moved down it, followed by the Guards Division.”This entry was posted in Uncategorized