Paya Lebar

 

In a few minutes I was with the injured man, having covered about 300 yards ducking and running. The casualty was an airman. He was lying on his stomach and bleeding profusely. I tore off his shorts and exposed a badly lacerated buttock with a large lump of flesh missing. In a flash I realized that the man would bleed to death if I didn't do something about the bleeding immediately. There was no stop I knew of for this kind of injury other than blocking, plugging or packing to congeal the blood. I decided on a thick pack and tore open two shell dressings and placed them on the open wound. The man yelled out in pain but I soon had him bandaged and looked around for help. Everyone but my patient and I were below ground. Reaction was taking effect and I knew it would only take one carefully fired shell and we would both be casualties. I got panicky and began shouting for assistance. One of our men popped his head up and seeing my plight came to my aid. But two of us weren't going to do it. I wanted to get the casualty under cover, so I got the man to start a lorry and help me lift up the airman, who was in terrible pain and kept moaning the whole time. My helper drove the lorry to my dugout and I dashed over to get someone to give us a hand with the stretcher. When I arrived at my dugout I found it full of men taking cover from exploding shells. I don't think I have ever let go as I did then and I'm sure the names I called them lingered in their ears for quite some time. Captain Wadesley heard my blasphemes and ran over to see what it was all about. He saw in a moment what was going on and ordered the men out detailing four to carry the stretcher into the dugout. I then took another look at the injured man. He was rather weak from shock and loss of blood. I wanted to get him to an advanced field dressing station so I asked if some men could be detailed to get him there. Capt. Wadesley then took over and the patient was soon on his way to A.F.D.S. I never saw the patient again but I heard that he was evacuated on the last hospital ship to leave the island.

 

 

That evening an officer informed me that the Causeway had been blown up by retreating troops and we were now besieged. We were fighting to keep the Island Fortress from the Japs. I saw the futility in the officers' eyes and had visions of Dunkirk. Hard times were upon us.

 

 
Singapore2.jpg (24690 bytes)   The northern skyline of Singapore island as it was during the ten days before capitulation.

 

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