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By Joseph Kennedy

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His injured arm was still very troublesome and he was sent, for the time being, to stay at a private house. After a few days he moved himself into the Cathay Hotel, where the restaurant had been converted into 'a sort of refugee camp'.

These views need at least to be put into the perspective of the immediate situation. First, there was no prior organisation for any kind of evacuation, let alone a wholesale large-scale affair. Secondly, the main town was depopulating quickly after the bombing and time for movement away from the island was short; a shock effect existed. Then there was the transport problem. The ferry linked to a mainland train service could move comparatively few people in the time, especially with the Japanese in control of the railway only some 50 or 60 miles to Heading South 23 the north.

Some had one escape from bombing and shipwreck, were marooned on an island only to be sunk and drowned during a second rescue attempt. Others survived shipwreck or other hazards only to be interned in Sumatra where, again, they worked with devotion in forbidding circumstances. Relatively few survived all the hazards of late evacuation from Singapore to continue their wartime professional service elsewhere. For the first two or three weeks of the Malayan Campaign Malacca had enjoyed a relatively quiet and peaceful time, though, of course, the local residents were following the pattern of the military movements as well as they could from news sources which were often little help.

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