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1st Malaya Infantry Brigade
Malay Regiment at bayonet practice.jpg
Men of the Malay Regiment at bayonet practice
Active 1939-1942
Disbanded 1942
Country British Malaya
Allegiance British Crown
Branch Army
Type Infantry
Size Brigade
Part of Malaya Command
Garrison/HQ Singapore
Engagements Malayan Campaign
- Battle of Kota Bahru
Battle of Singapore
- Battle of Pasir Panjang
Last commanding officer Brig G.C.R. Williams

The 1st Malaya Infantry Brigade was a regular infantry brigade formed in 1939 with its headquarters in Singapore immediately after the outbreak of hostilities in Europe.[1] The Brigade participated in the Battle of Singapore against the Japanese until the surrender of the garrison in February 1942.

History[edit | edit source]

Formed on 3 September 1939,[1] the formation was initially known as the Malaya Infantry Brigade as part of the wartime expansion and reinforcement of Malaya Command.[2] It was re-designated the 1st Malaya Infantry Brigade when the 2nd Malaya Infantry Brigade was formed on 8 September 1940.[3]

Malayan Campaign[edit | edit source]

The 1st Battalion, Mysore Infantry served in airfield security duties during the Battle of Kota Bahru as part of the 8th Indian Infantry Brigade. With the collapse of the defences in Kota Bahru, the Battalion was withdrawn to Singapore and was joined with the Brigade on 18 December 1941.[4]

Battle of Singapore[edit | edit source]

All organised Allied forces in Malaya had retreated to Singapore on 31 January 1942. The Brigade was deployed as part of the defence of the Southern Area of Singapore under the command of Maj Gen Frank Keith Simmons together with the 2nd Malaya Infantry Brigade, the Straits Settlements Volunteer Force Brigade and the Indian 12th Infantry Brigade.[5]

The Brigade put up a stubborn defence during the Battle of Pasir Panjang[6] which included the famous last stand at Bukit Chandu led by a platoon of C Company of the Malay Regiment under the command of 2Lt Adnan bin Saidi.[7][8]

With the fall of the Pasir Panjang Ridge, the Brigade fell back to the defensive line established along Mount Echo in Tanglin to Buona Vista. The Brigade was disbanded with the general surrender of the Singapore on 15 February 1942.

Formations[edit | edit source]

September 1939[edit | edit source]

The following units were put under the command of the Brigade when it was initially formed as the Malaya Infantry Brigade in 1939:[9]

December 1940[edit | edit source]

With the formation of the 2nd Malaya Infantry Brigade, units were transferred to the new Brigade:[4]

December 1941[edit | edit source]

The following units were under the command of the Brigade during the outbreak of hostilities in Malaya on 8 December 1941:[10]

February 1942[edit | edit source]

The final order of battle of the Brigade prior to its surrender and dissolution:[4][10]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "1 Malaya Infantry Brigade - Unit History". Orders of Battle. http://www.ordersofbattle.com/Units/UnitHistory?UniX=6126. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  2. "Malaya Command (1930 - 1942) - History & Personnel" (PDF). British Military History. 2009-12-30. http://www.britishmilitaryhistory.co.uk/webeasycms/hold/uploads/bmh_document_pdf/Malaya_Command__1930_1942__History___Personnel.pdf. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  3. "2 Malaya Infantry Brigade - Unit History". Orders of Battle. http://www.ordersofbattle.com/Units/UnitHistory?UniX=6127. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Malaya Command Troops (1941-42)" (PDF). British Military History. 2009-12-30. http://www.britishmilitaryhistory.co.uk/webeasycms/hold/uploads/bmh_document_pdf/Malaya_Command_Troops__1941_42_.pdf. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  5. Percival, A. E. (1946-04-25). "Operations of Malaya Command, From 8th December 1941 to 15th February 1942 (Part 3 - The Battle of Singapore)". The London Gazette. His Majesty's Stationery Office. http://www.britain-at-war.org.uk/WW2/London_Gazette/Malaya_Command/html/body_p3s48.htm. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  6. Percival, A. E. (1946-04-25). "Operations of Malaya Command, From 8th December 1941 to 15th February 1942 (Part 3 - The Battle of Singapore - Section LIV: Events of the 13th February, 1942.)". The London Gazette. His Majesty's Stationery Office. http://www.britain-at-war.org.uk/WW2/London_Gazette/Malaya_Command/html/p3s54.htm. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  7. Sheppard, Mervyn Cecil ff. (1947). The Malay Regiment 1933-1947. Kuala Lumpur, Malaya: Malaya Department of Public Relations. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Blackburn, Kevin; Hack, Karl (18 June 2004). Did Singapore Have to Fall?: Churchill and the Impregnable Fortress. United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis Ebooks. ISBN 978-1-134-39638-2. 
  9. "Malaya Command (1939)" (PDF). British Military History. 2009-12-23. http://www.britishmilitaryhistory.co.uk/webeasycms/hold/uploads/bmh_document_pdf/Malaya_Command__1939_.pdf. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 "British and Dominion Armed Forces - Singapore Fortress 8 December 1942". World War II Armed Forces – Orders of Battle and Organizations. http://orbat.com/site/ww2/drleo/017_britain/41-12-08/singapore-fortress.html. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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