Spotlight

A family finds its sepoy son

Print edition : December 08, 2017

Srikantaraj Urs' memorial at the Kranji War Cemetery Photo: Vikhar Ahmed Sayeed

A view of the Kranji War Cemetery. Photo: Vikhar Ahmed Sayeed

The inscription on the Kranji War Memorial. Photo: Vikhar Ahmed Sayeed

A montage of regimental insignias of Indian soldiers honoured at the Kranji War Cemetery.

Srikantaraj Urs, a sepoy in the 1st Mysore Infantry regiment of the princely state of Mysore, died fighting on the side of British India in Singapore, but his family found final closure 72 years later, on February 26, when they traced his final resting place to the Kranji War Cemetery in Singapore.

SOMETIME in November 1946, a two-sentence condolence message from George VI, His Imperial Majesty The King, Emperor of India, arrived at 29-30/5, 6th Block, Chamundipuram Mysore (now Mysuru). The message read: “The Queen-Empress and I offer you our heartfelt sympathy in your great sorrow. We pray that the Empire’s gratitude for a life so nobly given in its service may bring you some measure of consolation.”

The life so nobly sacrificed was that of Ramagiri Subramanyaraj Srikantaraj Urs, son of R.N. Subramanyaraj Urs and Devajammanni, a sepoy (Army No.1389) of the 1st Division of the Mysore Infantry. He died on February 27, 1945, while being held captive in a prisoner of war (PoW) camp in Singapore by the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) during the Second World War. He was 27 years old. It was not immediately clear where he had died or where his remains were, sparking a search that lasted several decades.

The search ended in 2016 following a serendipitous sighting of Srikantaraj’s memorial at the Kranji War Cemetery in Singapore. The Urs family finally found closure for their dead son when they performed a “Punya Shanthi” ceremony, an obsequial ritual, on February 26, 72 years after his death.

In the Mysore Infantry

Srikantaraj was born towards the end of the First World War in the princely state of Mysore, one of the better-governed native states in India, and joined the 1st Mysore Infantry regiment sometime in 1940. He must have been 22 or 23 years old when he wore his regimental uniform, scarlet in colour with yellow facings, for the first time. The headquarters of the Mysore Infantry was in Munireddy Palya in Bangalore (now Bengaluru) and his wages at the time would have been Rs.16 a month if he had been paid British Indian Army rates.

Considering that Mysore was one of the largest native states, it had a relatively small army. This must have been because of its geographical position as it was safely ensconced in southern India. A second reason was also that there were fewer “martial races” that met the stipulations of the British recruitment guidelines in the Mysore territory. Nonetheless, regiments of brave soldiers had been raised by the Mysore state since the beginning of the 18th century from the remnants of Tipu Sultan’s army.

By joining the state army, Srikantaraj was following a tradition among the Urs community whose members prided themselves as kshatriya warriors. The Urs constituted a small proportion of the population of Mysore and the ruling family of the Wadiyars, too, belonged to the caste. Members of the Urs caste, among them several relatives of Srikantaraj, had taken part in the First World War as part of the Mysore army and excelled in the distant battlefields of West Asia. One famous story is that of Jemadar Lingaraj Urs, of the Mysore Lancers, who died in hand-to-hand combat with Rizkalla Salim, an infamous Bedouin leader, during an attack on the Suez Canal in 1915.

By the time Srikantaraj joined the Mysore army, Britain, along with its allies, was already embroiled in the Second World War. India, the largest of the British colonies, was dragged into the war without the consent of the Indian people. The Indian National Congress wanted complete independence before it would support Britain. Britain disregarded the demand and imprisoned many of its top leaders for launching the Quit India Movement.

The British Indian Army was massively expanded to meet the demands of the war on various fronts. Guidelines such as the “martial race” theory for recruitment were relaxed and efforts were made to reduce racism and increase the number of Indian officers. Just before the start of the Second World War, the Indian Army comprised 229,000 personnel. By 1941, when the Indian Army was recruiting close to 50,000 soldiers a month, this number had swelled to a million. Between July 1940 and July 1943, the average intake per annum was 650,000. Towards the end of the war, the Indian Army’s strength increased to 2.7 million, and this was achieved entirely through voluntary recruitment. Indian soldiers served in West Asia, East and North Africa, Sicily, Italy and all across South-East Asia, from Hong Kong to Burma.

The armies of the princely states maintained a distinct identity as the Indian State Forces (ISF) and were separate from the British Indian Army. The ISF formed an easy and cheap military reserve for the Government of India as it did not have to bear the cost of raising and maintaining these armies. The princely ruler would offer his forces that were part of the ISF scheme to the Crown’s service in case of an emergency.

In 1940, His Highness Maharaja Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar Bahadur, the recently appointed ruler of Mysore, offered the only combat-ready battalion among the four battalions of the Mysore Infantry to the war effort. The 1st Mysore Infantry was a “Class A” General Service Unit (GSU) in the Mysore army. This meant that in fighting ability it was just one notch below the apex Field Service Units (FSUs) of the regular British Indian Army.

Departure for Malaya

Many of the regiments in the British Indian Army were fairly homogenous, but the Mysore Infantry, while drawing from the region of Mysore, had soldiers from different religions in its ranks. While south Indian Muslims were predominant in it, there were also Hindu and Christian recruits. Not long after Srikantaraj joined the Mysore Infantry, his battalion, consisting of four companies, was transferred to Jhansi for military training on November 11, 1940, and set sail for Malaya on March 8, 1941, in a large convoy of ships.

From his available photograph, the most distinguishing feature of Srikantaraj is his sharp angular nose and brooding eyes. His regimental cap, worn at an angle, seems at odds with his serious image. It is not known what this callow soldier would have thought as he set sail for a distant land that he may have heard of but not known too much about. Was he aware that as he sailed across the Bay of Bengal he was heading to the biggest battle the world had ever seen?

On March 16, 1941, another soldier, John Baptist Crasta, from Kinnigoli, a town near Mangalore (now Mangaluru), sailed for Singapore from Bombay (now Mumbai) and reached Singapore 10 days later. His ship, the H.T. Neurihor, had 15,000 men on board and was part of a convoy that included the 9th Indian Division.

Crasta writes in his book Eaten by the Japanese: The Memoir of an Unknown Indian Prisoner of War (co-authored by Richard Crasta): “Our first impression of Singapore was that of a dreamland—picturesque scenery, beautiful tiled buildings against a green background, wide cemented roads, trams, buses, and cars.... Life in Singapore was gay. Money was easily earned and spent. A Singapore dollar (worth one rupee eight annas in Indian currency) was worth nothing. The nightlife of Singapore presented several attractions.... The Chinese who formed the majority were a peace-loving people, as were the Malays. Malay music is sweet. Houses of ill fame and prostitution were rampant in Singapore.”

While Crasta was exploring Singapore, the command structure of the Malaya Command was getting clearer. The overall defence of British Malaya and Singapore, consisting of 130,246 personnel, was to be headed by Lieutenant General Arthur Percival. More than 50 per cent of these soldiers, around 67,000, were Indian. The Mysore Infantry was moved to Kota Bharu on the other end of British Malaya along with two other ISF units: the 1st Bahawalpur Infantry (Sadiq Battalion) and the 1st Hyderabad Infantry. The ISF units were put in charge of the defence of aerodromes that the British had built in this border area.

The Mysore Infantry was responsible for the Gong Kedak and Machang aerodromes. Srikantaraj’s daily rations would have consisted of flour or rice, pulses, ghee, tinned milk, onion, potatoes, other vegetables, sugar, salt, tea, chilli, garlic, ginger, turmeric and kerosene oil.

Srikantaraj was part of a diverse group of soldiers, including those from Hyderabad and Bahawalpur, a native state far away from Mysore. The Airfield Defence also consisted of Australian pilots who were white like their British officers but vastly different in temperament. It also had members of the local volunteer forces. The Mysore Infantry was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth H. Preston, a Londoner who joined the Indian Army in 1915 and rose through the ranks.

Considering that the Japanese attack was imminent, the Australian pilots conducted frequent air sorties, scanning the sea for any sign of Japanese ships, but when the attack came it was sudden, and the British Commonwealth soldiers were completely unprepared for its aggressiveness. The attack on Kota Bharu began early morning on December 8, 1941, almost simultaneously with the Japanese blitzkrieg on Pearl Harbour.

The Emperor of Japan had declared war on the United States and the British Empire.

Indian soldiers of the 3/17 Dogra Regiment defended the beach valiantly. Remnants of the pillboxes which provided convenient shooting locations for these soldiers can still be seen on the beach of Kota Bharu. While their fellow soldiers were being mowed down around them, the Japanese soldiers launched suicide attacks on the pillboxes and succeeded in capturing the beach despite losing a third of their force. As the action moved to the aerodromes at Kota Bharu, they began to be evacuated. It is unclear whether the Mysore Infantry was actually involved in any fighting at this point, but Srikantaraj was part of this ferocious and swift turn of events.

An event that will rankle the legacy of the 1st Hyderabad Infantry occurred at this point. With the sudden and massive expansion of the British Indian forces, it was clear that the soldiers who were eventually reaching Malaya were not first-rate and this was proved in the heat of the battle. As the Hyderabadis were retreating, Lieutenant Colonel C. Hendrick, the commander of the regiment, who was restraining them, was shot dead.

The Mysore Infantry retreated along with the rest of the British Army. For the British, this withdrawal was intended to be strategic, but for the Japanese, as events showed, this was just the first step they took for conquering Malaya—the attack culminated in the fall of Singapore.

British retreat

When the British Army realised that it was up against a superior force which was simply much better at jungle warfare, it tried various tactics to prevent or even slow down the Japanese onslaught. As it retreated, the British Army destroyed bridges at crucial points, but nothing stopped the Japanese. The IJA was also merciless as it slaughtered British forces in battle. Three of Srikantaraj’s comrades lost their lives in this retreat.

The topography of the region consisted of dense jungles, hills, swamps and mangrove forests teeming with leeches. Heavy rainfall occurred throughout the year. The role of long-range weapons and mechanised transport in such conditions was limited. There were strange animals and tropical diseases, and many of the soldiers, especially those from India, were recent recruits and not battle-hardened. Even the experienced soldiers had been trained primarily for desert warfare and were not prepared for the equatorial jungles of Malaya. Added to this, the Indian soldiers were exposed to Japanese propaganda.

Some soldiers led by officers such as Mohan Singh, second-in-command of the 1/14 Punjab Regiment, who felt that the British were exploiting Indian soldiers, took the Japanese message seriously and deserted. They were in contact with the Japanese “Lawrence of Arabia” Major Iwaichi Fujiwara. Mohan Singh had made his intention clear in early December when he stated to his friends: “I don’t know what will happen, but one thing is certain: I’m not going to die, and mind you, don’t be surprised if you see me as your liberator coming down fighting the very British whom I’m going now to defend.” He was joined by other Indian soldiers as well along the West Coast of Malaya in the jungles of Malaya, and they formed the core of Subhas Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army (INA).

The British had retreated to their island fortress of Singapore by January 31, 1942, after destroying the Johore causeway that connected Singapore to Malaya. They should have known that the kilometre of water that lay between them and the advancing Japanese would hardly deter the IJA. While Singapore was the largest naval base in South-East Asia, something that the British were proud of, it did not have the fleet to defend it. The attack across the Malayan peninsula was also something that Singapore was not prepared for. Add to it the low morale of the Commonwealth troops, made weary by the retreat, and it is not a surprise that Singapore fell. This is not as simple as it sounds as there were some valiant defences. The heroic resistance of the soldiers of the Malay regiment to the IJA on February 10-11 at Bukit Chandu remains etched in history as one of the most heroic battles of the Second World War.

Singapore is lost

On February 15, 1942, a day when 4,316 British Commonwealth soldiers lost their lives, the highest casualties of any day during the Japanese advance, Singapore fell. The 1st Mysore Infantry lost four soldiers on this day. On behalf of the British, Lieutenant General Arthur Percival surrendered his forces on the premises of the Ford Factory in the evening. The building, which has been converted into a museum chronicling Singapore’s brief existence as “Syonan”, as the Japanese named it, still stands in a quiet and expensive neighbourhood of Singapore on Upper Bukit Timah Road. Back in Britain, Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, conceded defeat. In his message on the radio, he said: “I speak to you all under the shadow of a heavy and far-reaching military defeat. It is a British and imperial defeat. Singapore has fallen.”

The Malaya and Singapore campaign of the IJA was its most successful battle campaign, a result of its superior tactics, and it bolstered the confidence of the Axis powers. The loss of Singapore, a city that was nurtured and built up by the British as a free port, severely affected the morale of the Allied forces. The myth that Singapore was impregnable was broken. Of the British Commonwealth forces, the largest number of soldiers who had sacrificed their lives were from British India.

A day after the surrender, the Indian soldiers were asked to gather at Farrer Park in the morning while the British and Australian soldiers were marched off to Changi prison. The exact number of Indian soldiers who would have been there that morning is hard to come by. The most reliable estimate says that around 60,000 soldiers were there that morning and they were addressed by Major Fujiwara. He told the Indian soldiers—among them Srikantaraj—that they (Indians and Japanese) “were fighting the common Anglo-Saxon enemy of the Asiatics”, and that theirs was a noble cause. “The Whites, who mercilessly exploited the Asiatics, must be driven out of the entire continent. The [Japanese] Emperor had commanded that all Indians be treated like their brothers”, and he hoped that Indians would themselves try to “throw off the yoke of slavery”. (The quotes are taken from Crasta's account.)

Promise of support

Fujiwara also promised support to the Indians in their fight against the British. After Fujiwara, Crasta writes that “Captain” Mohan Singh, later Major General, addressed the Indian soldiers at length and tried to convince the gathered soldiers there to join the INA.

The Indian soldiers were separated into seven different PoW camps manned mainly by the INA. Crasta was consigned to the Bidadare camp, and it is not known to what camp Srikantaraj was sent. At these camps, there were constant efforts by the INA to coerce the soldiers to join their ranks. While a lot of soldiers had been enthusiastic at Farrer Park when Mohan Singh spoke to them, eventually only around 25,000 Indian soldiers joined the INA, writes Crasta, who, like Srikantaraj, remained loyal to the British.

From among the ISFs, a few soldiers from Mysore and Bahawalpur ended up shifting over to the INA while none from Hyderabad went over. What were the motivations of people like Srikantaraj and Crasta to remain loyal to the British? The loyalty of the ISF regiments was primarily to their ruler, which in the case of Srikantaraj was Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar. A second level of loyalty was to the Emperor of India. Studies have shown that the primary loyalty of the Indian soldier during colonialism was to his regiment. There were also notions of honour and legacy linked to military service that would have influenced Srikantaraj. The welfare and incentives offered to soldiers would have also augmented his loyalty. A last reason could also be that many among the PoWs felt that the INA (along with Japanese support), which eventually aimed at entering British India from the East and driving out the British, was simply not strong enough to do this. While joining the INA would have meant that the conditions of the joiners would improve significantly, repatriation was not an option.

Overcrowded camps

The conditions of the camps in which the PoWs were held were bad. The Japanese were not formally bound by the Geneva Convention of 1929, which mandated how prisoners were to be treated and which allowed the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) access to PoW camps. While they did have regulations regarding how PoWs should be treated, these were regularly flouted. The PoWs occupied overcrowded dormitories and were provided depleted rations. No fresh vegetables were given and only a watery gruel of rice was provided. Added to this was the constant mistreatment by the INA soldiers who did not hesitate to beat the PoWs.

Thousands of PoWs were dispatched for the construction of the railway line between Thailand and Burma. This was called the “Death Railway” because of the high number of deaths of labourers who were building it. Others were sent to concentration camps in Papua New Guinea, New Britain, Bougainville and other remote islands of South-West Pacific, many of them not even on the map, on torture ships that were crammed to the brim. Few made it back from these camps. Crasta was one of 2,000 men aboard a ship and he had a space of 3 feet by 1 foot in the hold. Once they reached their destination after 50 to 60 days in conditions like this, there was hardly any food, and they had to forage for food in the forest. There are reports of Hindu soldiers being forced to eat beef and Muslim soldiers not being allowed to fast during the month of Ramzan. The PoWs were also used as subjects for medical experiments, particularly on diseases such as dysentery and malaria. They are also a few accounts of the Japanese cannibalising the Allied PoWs. The fortitude shown by the Indian soldiers was even more remarkable considering that the offer to move over to the INA or the Japanese side remained open throughout.

While the PoWs were in camps in Singapore, both the Japanese and the INA wanted to retain control over the camps. The alliance between the Japanese and the INA, which was forged in the jungle, was always an uneasy one. The INA always wanted to be recognised as an equal allied army which the Japanese were reluctant to do. Differences arose between Mohan Singh, who was heading the INA, and the Japanese, leading to Mohan Singh’s arrest in December 1942 and the disbandment of the “first” INA. The lull in this ambitious freedom army lasted only for a short time as “Netaji” Subhas Chandra Bose arrived on July 2, 1943, to take charge of the Azad Hind Fauj, or the “second INA”.

Death in a camp

Although it is clear that Srikantaraj died in a PoW camp in Singapore, one does not know how. Many PoWs perished due to depleted rations and excessive fatigue duty. Dysentery and beriberi, caused by a deficiency of vitamin B1, also took a toll on the prisoners. Considering that starvation deaths occurred among the general population of Singapore, provision of nourishing food for the PoWs was low among Japanese priorities. Why Srikantaraj decided to stay on in Singapore will remain a mystery. If he had stayed continuously in a PoW camp in Singapore without joining the INA or being taken away for fatigue duty to a remote island, he would have been among the very few. Was he too ill to be transported? Why did he remain loyal to the British even though the rates of death remained higher for the PoWs than for the soldiers of the INA? These questions will have to remain unanswered for now.

Kranji War Cemetery

What is certain is that Srikantaraj died on February 27, 1945, and this is clearly marked on his memorial at the Kranji War Cemetery. This was just a few months before the end of the war. By this time it must have become clear that the IJA was being increasingly pushed back from all its strongholds. The INA also suffered heavy casualties in its ill-prepared battle campaigns in Burma, Imphal and Kohima. One of the reasons for its defeat was also the lack of adequate support from the Japanese.

Srikantaraj’s memorial is located at the far end of row 33 when one enters the war cemetery, which is located at the site of a former PoW camp. The well-maintained resting place is in a quiet corner in northern Singapore and is dominated by the Kranji War Memorial on whose walls are inscribed the names of 24,346 Allied soldiers who perished in South-East Asia during the Second World War. There are 4,461 casualties who have been immortalised either through their graves or memorials in neat rows.

On a humid Singapore day a light breeze blew across the memorials. Tamil labourers from India were watering the grass while a British couple was searching for the grave of their grandfather. While almost all the Indian and Gurkha soldiers have been commemorated in the area behind the Kranji War Memorial, Srikantaraj finds space in front of it along with a handful of other Indians. Twelve of his fellows from the Mysore Infantry are spread all over the war cemetery as the commemorations have not been laid out regiment-wise.

After the war ended with the Japanese surrender on August 15, 1945, the PoWs were freed and repatriated. The remaining members of the Mysore Infantry made it back home; 157 of their fellows were dead or presumed missing. Records are available for the dead, but most of the missing soldiers have disappeared from the pages of history. The Allies’ victory can be mainly attributed to the vast numbers of soldiers that they could recruit from colonies, primarily India. Historians have written about how this aspect has been continuously neglected or marginalised when histories of the war have been written. It was soldiers like Srikantaraj who bolstered the Commonwealth forces and gave their life for the British Empire.

Meanwhile, back in India, the family of Srikantaraj, had not heard anything from him apart from receiving an occasional heavily censored postcard from the PoW camp, which also stopped coming towards the end of 1944. It was only in September 1945, when a relative returned to Mysore, that they became aware of his death. This news devastated R.S. Veeraraj Urs, his nephew who had been only eight when Srikantaraj set out for Malaya.

The Urs family was compensated for the loss of their son. In a government order dated September 16, 1946, Srikantaraj’s mother was given four acres of dry land and one acre and 20 gunthas of wet land in Byalam (sic) village of Nanjangud taluk under Military Concession Rules as the next of kin. Srikantaraj was a bachelor.

Renewed search

It was not until the late 1970s that Veeraraj Urs renewed his search for his uncle’s grave. He wrote to various authorities, including the British High Commissioner in India in 1992, when he was the Deputy Chief Security Officer at Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) in Bangalore. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) wrote to Veeraraj Urs in 1994 telling him that it had had no success with the Indian section of the British Library and the Indian Army Association in England. The Adjutant General’s Office in New Delhi and the Army Records Branch could not help either. The following words taken from a letter dated June 9, 1994, from B.J. Murphy, Records Officer at the CWGC, must have weighed heavily on Veeraraj’s heart: “It appears that we have now exhausted all the lines of enquiry known to us. I therefore regret to state that the position as it presently stands, in the light of the replies we have had from India, is that we are unable to add your uncle to your records.”

Veeraraj Urs continued to reach out to different authorities. He never stopped writing to the British High Commission in India and the Defence Ministry of India. He even reached out to the Ambassador of Japan in India. In a letter to the British High Commissioner dated June 25, 2008, Veeraraj wrote: “I would desire to appeal before you, that all our children, grandchildren and my siblings and relatives, are very eager to have a glance at the photograph of (the grave) of my late Uncle, who died as a martyr, for the cause of motherland. At least, if the mention is made on the gravestone, either in London or Singapore, any of us fortunate, can visit, and fulfill their life long dream” (sic).

It is strange that no one, including the CWGC, was able to track the memorial of Srikantaraj despite the fact that his name is listed in the register of the Kranji War Cemetery, a CWGC publication. In 2016, when a family friend visited Singapore, he was surprised to see an “Urs” on one of the memorials at the Kranji War Cemetery. Subsequently, Veeraraj’s son, Dr Vinod Urs, visited Kranji with his wife. A few months after his paternal uncle’s soul was finally accorded peace, Veeraraj also breathed his last. He died on June 21, 2017, after discovering the final resting place where his uncle has been immortalised.

Forgotten role

During the Second World War, more than 24,000 Indian soldiers were killed in action while a further 64,000 were wounded and 11,000 were never found. Around 70,000 Indians were held as PoWs in the various theatres of the war, most of them in South-East Asia, where the rate of death among the PoWs was much higher than it was in Germany and Italy. The Indian Army of the British Empire paid a heavy price for its loyalty to the Emperor of India. The story of the Indian soldiers who remained loyal to the British is not sufficiently well known in modern Indian history even though they played a huge role in the eventual victory of the Allied forces.

Colonel Russell Roberts, a British officer commanding Indian forces who was incarcerated by the Japanese, wrote in 1965: “The truth is that our Indian Soldiers had a double burden to bear. In addition to years of brutal treatment, semi-starvation and disease from which all prisoners of the Japanese suffered, they had to contend with prolonged attacks on their loyalty by persecution and persistent insidious propaganda. When continued unchallenged for years on end this must have had a telling effect, for how could they fail to feel that perhaps after all the British Raj was finished? Even for the unconvinced but faint-hearted it must have been a temptation to salve the conscience with the excuse of duress... thousands of loyal Indian soldiers stood firm. For some reason their story has never been fully told.... Their loyalty to their salt under such conditions is something for which no price can be too high.”

On the other hand, how does one treat soldiers like Srikantaraj in the heroic tale of Indian nationalism? They occupy a troublesome space and do not fit conveniently in India’s national narrative. How should one honour them in the pages of history when they did not ally with the INA and remained loyal to the British? One way to understand their role is by perhaps understanding that patriotism has various hues. Many of them could have been nationalists, but they may have not agreed with Bose’s methods and his alliance with fascist governments. On the contrary, the soldiers and officers who joined the INA had varying motives; it would be reductive to say that all of them were motivated by nationalistic fervour. Many of the INA soldiers, displaying frivolous loyalties, joined the Indian Army once again during the INA’s campaigns on the eastern borders of British India.

In imperial history writing, Indian soldiers and PoWs have been largely ignored and this trickles down to popular culture as well. The well-known film director Christopher Nolan was severely criticised for not depicting Indian soldiers in his 2017 film Dunkirk. Lately, there has been some recognition of Indian soldiers in Britain. In 2002, memorial gates were installed across the top of the Constitution Hill, London, to commemorate the services of the Indian sepoys in the two World Wars. Gurkhas imprisoned by the Japanese were eligible for monetary compensation by the British government in 2003 after a protracted legal battle, but by and large Indian soldiers of the British Army who became PoWs in Singapore remain largely forgotten. They are remembered only at sites like the Kranji War Cemetery.

The writer was in Singapore on the Asia Journalism Fellowship, a programme run by the Temasek Foundation International and the Institute of Policy Studies.

References

Eaten by the Japanese: The Memoir of an Unknown Indian Prisoner of War by John Baptist Crasta (co-author Richard Crasta) (Raffles, Singapore, 1999)

Escape from Singapore by Brig. Jasbir Singh (Lancer, New Delhi, 2010)

Indians in Singapore: 1819-1945 by Rajesh Rai (Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2014)

His Majesty’s Opponent: Subhas Chandra Bose and India’s Struggle Against Empire by Sugata Bose (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 2011)

India and World War II: War, Armed Forces, and Society, 1939-45 by Kaushik Roy (Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2016)

Indian National Army-A Documentary Study (5 volumes) by T.R. Sareen (Gyan Publishing House, Delhi, 2004)

Indian POWs in the Pacific, 1941-45 by G.J. Douds in ‘Forgotten Captives in Japanese Occupied Asia’ edited by Kevin Blackburn and Karl Hack (Routledge, London, 2008)

Jungle Alliance: Japan and the Indian National Army by Joyce C. Lebra (Asia Pacific Press, Singapore, 1971)

Sepoys Against the Rising Sun: The Indian Army in Far East and South-East Asia, 1941-45 (Brill, Leiden, 2016)

Singapore, A Biography by Mark R. Frost and Yu-Mei Balasingamchow (National Museum of Singapore, Singapore, 2012)

The Fall of Singapore, 90 Days: November 1941-February 1942 by Justin Corfield and Robin Corfield (Talisman, Singapore, 2012)

The Maharajas’ Paltans: A History of the Indian State Forces, 1888-1948 by Richard Head and Tony McClenaghan (2 volumes) (Manohar, New Delhi, 2013)

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