Chinfen, Lloyd Beresford (Oral history)

Catalogue number
  • 12785
Production date
Subject period
  • whole: Duration 135, Number Of Items 5
Alternative names
  • object name: Oral history
  • object category: IWM interview


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Object description

Chinese civilian in Hong Kong and China, 1941-1943; served with Force 136 in India and Malaya, 1943-1945

Content description

REEL 1 Background in China and Hong Kong, 1925-1941: family origins; education. Aspects of period as civilian during Japanese invasion of Hong Kong, 1941-1942: witnessing Japanese attack on Hong Kong, 12/1941; sight of Japanese march into Hong Kong; family's decision to leave Hong Kong for China, 2/1942; decision to return to Hong Kong after period in parental village of Kwangtung; narrow escape from execution by bandits on Hong Kong border; personal attitudes towards Japanese; Kuomintang guerrillas near Kwangtung; being cross-examined by local Kuomintang guerrillas; move to Kweilin; failure to get into Chinese Air Force at Kweilin; being robbed during journey to Chungking. REEL 2 Continues: aid from friends in Chungking; life in Chungking; being offered job in India by British Consulate in Chungking, summer 1943; plane journey to Calcutta; orders to go to Meerut. Recollections of period with Force 136 in India and Malaya 5/1945: training with Force 136 at Meerut and Poona; reaction to being told of nature of Force 136 rôle; further training in Ceylon; transfer to China Bay, Ceylon, 5/1944; voyage on submarine HMS Tantalus to Malayan coast, 9/1944. REEL 3 Continues: HMS Tantalus's operations against Japanese shipping; failed attempt to land in Malaya; voyage in submarine depot ship HMS Maidstone to Fremantle, Australia; period at US naval base, Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia; training in disembarking in rubber boats from submarines; near fatal training accident; problems with outboard engines during training; voyage in submarine HMS Telemachus to east coast of Malaya; problems in making landfall 15 miles north of Singapore; failure to re-contact HMS Telemachus by walkie-talkie; size of Force 136 team; team's lack of rations; recollection of group leader, Major Paddy Martin; setting up training camp further inland; making first radio contact with Ceylon; arranging air drops from Consolidated Liberators. Reel 4 Method of dropping supplies into jungle including supply drops without parachutes; winning confidence of local guerrillas; uniform worn by local guerrillas; death of Major Martin in Japanese raid on camp; improvisation with radio codes to Ceylon after security breach; taking over of temporary command by Australian, Captain Syme; further hunting of team by Japanese; new recruit to team - Major Wiley, ex-Malayan CID; problems with wireless work; team's daily life in jungle; passing information to Ceylon of Japanese troop dispositions; issue of cyanide tablets; orders to go to Singapore after VJ Day; rest at Palace of Sultan of Johore. Reel 5 Visiting Changi POW Camp after VJ Day; personal code-name 'Bambi'; reaction to being agent in Johore jungle including periods of fear.

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