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Proposed Itinerary for the 2nd in Series – “Malaya at War – The Final Retreat” 4th-13th September, 2020. Visiting Johor Malaysia & Singapore in 9 nights – 10 days.

Day 1 – Friday 4th September:

Local and International attendees arrive into Johor. International guests via Singapore Changi airport with “meet and greet” and direct transfer to the hotel property in Johor approximately 42 kms from Changi International airport Singapore.  Check-in to the property, settle in, then a free evening ready to commence the Seminar early AM the 5th .

“Amari Johor Bahru” 82C Suasana Iskandar, Jalan Trus Road, Johor Bahru City 80000, Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Phone:  +60 7 266 8888 – B & B (Bed & Breakfast)

Day 2 – Saturday 5th September:

Seminar: 09:00-13:00 presented by Professor Brian Farrell, acclaimed author and Professor of Military History from the National University of Singapore. 13:30 transfer to wharf for boat cruise from Johor area to view the Japanese points of embarkation from the Johor area onto Singapore Island, with buffet light lunch onboard 14:00-16:00 / 16:30 with briefing underway by Professor Brian Farrell (PBF).

“Amari Johor Bahru” 82C Suasana Iskandar, Jalan Trus Road, Johor Bahru City 80000, Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Phone:  +60 7 266 8888 – B & B + Lunch (afloat)  Guide /presenter Professor Brian Farrell

Day 3 – Sunday 6th September:

Full day battle sites tour of Johor Bahru, Bangunan Sultan Ibrahim (Yamashita’s Command Centre for the Invasion of Singapore atop Bukit Timbalan) overlooking the Straits of Johor.  Sultan Bakar Mosque, Istana Bukit Palace grounds, Johor Bahru Heritage area.  Lunch local restaurant Chinese style.  Afternoon post lunch visit Mawai for its many British Pillboxes from WWII.  Guide /presenter Professor Brian Farrell

Overnight“Amari Johor Bahru” 82C Suasana Iskandar, Jalan Trus Road, Johor Bahru City 80000, Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Phone:  +60 7 266 8888   B & B + Lunch basis.

Day 4 – Monday 7th September:

Full day retracing the tail-end defences of the Malayan Campaign southerly retreat through Johor. Mersing landing areas, Nithsdale Estate where 2/18th Battalion AIF ambushed the Japanese, Jemaluang – Indian Regiment in company with AIF 22nd Brigade ambushed Japanese Forces,  Ayer Bemban in Kulai.   B & B + Boxed Lunch  Guide /presenter Professor Brian Farrell

Overnight – “Amari Johor Bahru” 82C Suasana Iskandar, Jalan Trus Road, Johor Bahru City 80000, Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Phone:  +60 7 266 8888

Day 5 – Tuesday 8th September:

Breakfast (B) at hotel, depart by 08:00 to allow for formalities at causeway.

Depart from Johor Bahru for Singapore at 0800.  Subject to formalities at the Causeway, we expect to start at 10:00 on Singapore side of Causeway.  The Causeway was defended by the AIF 27th Brigade 2/30th, 2/29th and 2/26th supported by 2/10th Field Artillery Regiment and a Platoon from the 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion. Lim Chu Kang area adjacent Sungei Kranji. Visit Sebawang Naval Base to visit Memorial to HMS Prince of Wales HMS Repulse sunk off Kuantan 10th Dec 1941. Then we follow the line of advance onto-into SIN. The last Allied troops cross the Causeway on the 31st January 1941.  On the 8th February 1942 the first Japanese troops landed on Singapore – Sarimbum Beach – landings by Japanese, 22nd Brigade coastline from Sungei Kranji to Sungei Berih near Kampong Wak Dulah defended by the 2/18th, 2/19th 2/20th AIF, Kranji River where the 4th Japanese Imperial Guard sustained heavy losses from AIF Machine gunners early AM 10th February, Kranji defence line, 11th February.  Japanese troops capture Bukit Timah 13-14th February, Battle of Pasir Panjang Ridge, 14-15th February Massacre at Alexandra Military Hospital. 15th February GOC Malaya Lt. General A. Percival surrenders Singapore and Malaya to Lt General T Yamashita at the Ford Motor Car Factory. Guide /presenter Professor Brian Farrell

Singapore: Village Hotel Bugis # 390 Victoria Street Singapore 188061 Phone: +61 62972828. –  B & B basis + Boxed lunch ex Johor hotel.

Day 6 – Wednesday 9th September:

Orientation of new and old Singapore, starting with the Padang and the buildings that surround it from the Singapore Cricket Club, Municipal Building (City Hall), Old Post office building now the 5 star Fullerton Hotel on the Singapore River, Raffles statue, Merlion spouting water into the Harbour, Lim Bo Seng Memorial (a Force 136 operative), Indian National Army Memorial, The Cenotaph.  Lunch locally, included, local style food. Afternoon visit to “Little India” and “China Town” areas before Labrador Park, view the entrances to the tunnels discovered only a few years ago, but due to stability problems one can only see the entrance, unless the Park staff have opened the doors to access equipment. Past these doors, view and clamber over the fortifications that was once Fort Pasir Panjang.

Singapore: Village Hotel Bugis # 390 Victoria Street Singapore 188061 Phone: +61 62972828.  B & B basis

Day 7 – Thursday 10th September:

Subject to refurbishment, Changi Chapel and Museum – if still closed come September, subject to permission and clearance from Ministry of Defence Singapore (MOD), we will visit “Roberts Barracks” to view the original murals and chapel.  View the “Elephant House” gates of Changi prison, from the roadway, Johor Battery at Gosford Road (past Changi Chapel and Museum), Changi Beach site of massacre of local anti Japanese local Chinese – part of the “Sook Ching” cleansing by the Japanese. Lunch own expense locally at Changi Village shopping centre.   Afternoon with permission from MOD to visit “Selarang Barracks” – site of POW camp immediately after Singapore surrendered.  It also was site where more than 15,000 POW’s were crowded into the Barracks Square that pre-war held up to 800 men on parade.  Japanese wanted each man to sign a document promising they wouldn’t escape, after four days the leaders signed the document to save the men from further punishment.  It is known as “The Selarang Barracks Incident”.  There is also a small but very good museum in the Colonial building fronting the parade square. Guide /presenter Professor Brian Farrell

Singapore: Village Hotel Bugis # 390 Victoria Street Singapore 188061 Phone: +61 62972828.  B & B basis

Day 8 – Friday 11th September:

Keppel Harbour where POW’s were forced to unload and load merchant ships for the Japanese.  Off the wharf road (31-K Pepys Rd.) a visit to the “Opium Hill” overlooking the harbour, site of “The Reflections Museum” (Bukit Chandu War Memorial). The 1st Malay Infantry Brigade held off a fierce Japanese attack to the last man led by 2nd Lt Adnan Saidi. The area is surrounded by thick jungle and was originally a colonial era home.  Could be still undergoing refurbishment during September 2020 but worth the look (even from outside the wire), due to the fact of the heroic battle that raged around this site known locally as the Battle of Pasir Panjang.  Lunch locally buffet style (to be included).   Afternoon visit Fort Siloso on Pulau Blakang Mati (now known as Sentosa Island) and its fortifications from Colonial times through to WWII.  See “Force 136” rooms – they were otherwise known as Special Operations Executive – SOE (based in then, British India) where locals specialists were trained to re-enter Malaya and play catch-up with the Japanese from behind the lines.  One such hero was Lim Bo Seng.  There’s also the mock up of the Japanese surrender chamber that took place on the 2nd September 1945 before Admiral Lord Mountbatten took the official surrender at City Hall (now the Municipal Building) on the Padang on the 12th September 1945.  Between 1963-65, Fort Siloso was manned by the 10th Gurkha Rifles during “Konfrontasi” to deny the Indonesians any easy island hopping access into Singapore. Its main task was to defend Keppel Harbour from any form of seaward attack during WWII.

Singapore: Village Hotel Bugis # 390 Victoria Street Singapore 188061 Phone: +61 62972828. B & B basis   Guide /presenter Professor Brian Farrell

Day 9 – Saturday 12th September:

Today is the 75th Anniversary of the official Liberation of Malaya taken in Singapore by Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten KG GCB OM GCSI GCIE GCVO DSO PC FRS Supreme Allied Commander of South East Asia Command (SEAC) between 1943-1946. We will visit the Civilian Memorial this morning.  Affectionately known locally as the “Chopsticks”, as the four- sided tower rises some 65 metres into the skyline and looks like sticks rising into the air. They represent the four main ethnic races that were killed during the Japanese occupation – some 50,000 plus civilians.  There is one pillar for each ethnic group:  Malay, Chinese, Indian and Eurasian.  Below the four towers is a burial chamber where the remains from 40 mass graves of “Siglap’s” known as Death Valley have been exhumed and re-interred here at this Civilian memorial.  Each 15th February, a service is held at the memorial to remind the citizens of the sacrifice that was made during the Japanese Occupation. The Memorial was opened on 15th February 1967, 25 years after Singapore fell to the Japanese. Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew was the officiating representative.  The memorial was made a National Memorial in 2013 by the National Heritage Board of Singapore.  Visit the site marker where the Japanese murdered ten Australian Commandoes of Operation Rimau on the 7th July 1945 – just 36 days before the Japanese surrendered and 32 days prior to the Atomic bombs were dropped on Japan that ended WWII in Asia. In November 1945 their remains were exhumed from three graves on site and reburied at Kranji War Cemetery. Located between Avenue West and Dover Roads near Clementi Road University Town Known as U-Town.  Lunch locally buffet style (to be included).  Afternoon visit the “Battlebox at Fort Canning”, HQ for the GOC Malaya (Lt General A. Percival) for the last days of the defence of Singapore.  Late afternoon, visit Kranji War Cemetery to pay our respects to the 4,400 Allied soldiers buried here. At the top of the cemetery is a wall on which there are 24,346 names of men Killed in Action who have no known graves.

(Note: There are many other sites on Singapore that may be visited subject to time such as:  (a) Japanese Cemetery Park in Hougang founded in 1891 and was originally for the burial of “Karayuki-san” Japanese women brought to Singapore for prostitution – many died destitute. It also contains Japanese servicemen killed during WWII along with War Criminals executed at Changi Prison post WWII. It was closed to burials in 1947; (b) Japanese “Bukit Batok” Shinto memorial to the Japanese dead. The Australian POW’s were put to work building the Shrine, so they asked if they could also build a memorial on the same hill top, permission was granted so it became the hill with two war death memorials.  It was destroyed at the end of WWII by the British. The hill overlooked the Ford Factory where Lt. General Percival surrendered to Lt. General Yamashita; (c) Site where once stood the Kempei Tai tourture centre on Stamford Road  (d) Airfields various –  Tengah, Seletar, and Kallang.  Are all possibilities if time permits.

Singapore: Village Hotel Bugis # 390 Victoria Street Singapore 188061 Phone: +61 62972828.  B & B basis

Day 10 – Sunday 13th September:

Time for your personal shopping or visits to places you wish to see before returning home.  Breakfast in your hotel then the rest of the day is free until transfer to Changi airport for your departure flight. If you have a late evening departure you can have your room held up until 18:00 hours at an optional add on cost.

Village Hotel Bugis # 390 Victoria Street Singapore 188061 Phone: +61 62972828.  Rooms held until 18:00 hours on a day room rate basis.

End arrangements.

 

Malaya at War – The Final Retreat

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In August (10-19th) 2019 we held the first in a series of Conferences-Seminars on “Malaya at War” followed by an eight day battle sites tour visiting the Japanese landing site at Kota Bharu, and many historic WWII sites throughout the Malaysian peninsula such as Penang, Taipang, Sungai Siput, Ipoh, Papan, Batu Gajah, Kampar, Port Dickson, Gemas, Segamat, Muar and Parit Sulong.

The next in the series will be held in September (4th-13th) 2020 and cover the final days of defence of Johor then follow the line of advance of the Japanese onto Sigapore Island leading to the surrender of the Allied Forces at 17:15 Thursday 15th February 1942.

Professor Brian P Farrell – Professor of Military History at the National University of Singapore and a world expert on the Malayan Campaign of WWII will be the guest presenter at Johor on the week-end of 5-6th September.  He will be presenting the history of the final days on peninsula and the fighting that followed on Singapore before so called “Fortress Singapore” was surrendered by General Officer Commanding Malaya Lt General Arthur Percival  to Lt General Tomoyuki Yamashita of the 25th Imperial Japanese Army.

You may express your interest in this Seminar and post Battlesites visit by emailing battlefieldsoftheworld@live.com.au

Kenya & Tanzania Journey April 2015

Kenya & Tanzania Journey April 2015.

Release of daily WWII Battle of Britain-Bomber Command itinerary and cost

Hi everyone !

The release of the full itinerary and costing for this departure due on the 8th July. By a double click on the “flyer” you’ll be directed to a hyperlink in blue text entitled “battle of britain”, a click here will take you to a very detailed daily itinerary and the final page that gives you all the inclusions on tour.

Cheers Dennis

 

 

Tour Departure UK July 2013 – WWII Battle of Britain RAAF/RNZAF Bomber Command

In the early part of WWII when the war was raging over Europe, and when England stood alone against the Nazi War Machine, Australians flocked to recruiting stations to join the three services.  Britain needed airmen, and I had two cousins I never got to know who joined the RAAF.  They trained under the Empire Training Scheme, both became pilots and eventually joined their Bomber Command Squadrons in England and went to fight the enemy, neither survived the war, both being lost in the air war over Europe.

It is for this reason that this July (2013) between Monday 8th and Wednesday 24th I will lead a tour to the UK in dedication to those who fought in the Battle of Britain and flew with the RAAF and RNZAF Squadrons over Europe to take the war to Nazi Germany.

It’s an opportunity  for ex RAAF & RNZAF service personnel to trace their service’s history and for families to retrace their relatives’ war service.

Spitfire on landing approach RAF IWM Duxford

Spitfire on landing approach RAF IWM Duxford

The tour will visit the major Air Force memorials, museums , ex RAF bases from where our men flew, “The Flying Legends” Air Show week end at ex RAF Duxford, (now the Imperial War Museum Duxford) where the largest “War Bird” collection of flying military aircraft come together for a display of  historic aircraft;  a visit to “The Shuttleworth Collection” – a collection of early 20th century aircraft put together by a very well to do young man Richard Shuttleworth who was killed in a flying accident whilst training in 1940 to be a RAF Fighter pilot;  the  Group 11 Fighter Control bunker at ex RAF Uxbridge, and many other wonderful  historic RAF bases and aircraft museums such as the RAF Museum – Hendon,  ex RAF Elvington now the Yorkshire Air Museum, Ex RAF East Kirby now the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre and home to the Avro Lancaster “Just Jane”, as well as the opportunity to go for a “taxi ride” in her around the old airfield, then RAF Cosford (with its many static displays of war-time and current aircraft of the RAF) plus many more historic sites.   If you’d like to join the tour contact Dennis via email on:  dweatherall_eng@bigpond.com for the daily itinerary and cost.

Cheers “OSD Weathers”  (Dennis)

The International Guild Of Battlefield Guides

This is the badge of a qualified Battlefield Guide My Badge number is 34

This is the badge of a qualified Battlefield Guide My Badge number is 34

I thought I would start by introducing you to some passionate  military historians and battlefield guides who can spend weeks, if not months, of each year walking and guiding interested people across the battlefield sites of the world.  I was invited to join the Guild after having worked in association with a fellow member.  We were touring the Western Front with a Battlefield Study Group from ADFA – RMC (Australian Defence Force Academy – Royal Military College Duntroon Canberra) when I was invited to consider membership. Why may you ask ? Well it’s as simple as being tested and put through the hoops, and being qualified by your peers,  proving to yourself  you know what you’re talking about and can deliver it in the field to clients in a way that brings the battlefield alive, they feel it, touch it and can even smell the battles of old.  Many people visit battlefields for varying reasons – general interest,  to study history in the raw, or follow in their relatives’ foot steps.  What’s important is to do it with a professional battlefields guide.  The Guild’s website tells the complete story:  gbg-international.com   Cheers, Dennis – Old Sea Dog Weathers

A Quick Introduction

G’Day Folks,

Military Historian & Battlefield Guide

Military Historian & Battlefield Guide

Welcome to my little corner of the internet.  If you’re interested in military history you have come to the right site.

For now, we are still in the process of getting set up and prepared, but shortly you will be able to peruse the website where you shall be able to access a full range of our scheduled battlefield tours, one-off unique destination departures, individual battlefield tours, and news of upcoming projects and events.

All our tours are fully created, prepared and escorted by our knowledgeable and fully qualified international travel experts. We cover all corners of the globe, battlefields and conflicts from the last century and beyond, and believe in delivering a quality experience that will be remembered for a lifetime.

So, please hang on, keep checking back and watch as this page evolves .. Cheers, Dennis