A Silver Cigarette Case

Contributed by Fiona E Smiley

A Silver Cigarette Case

The silver cigarette case was given to Tom Smiley, by my mother,on their engagement 18th April 1940.My father joined the R.A.M.C. as a doctor and left for Singapore a few days after.On 14/2/1942 a skeleton staff was left at the Alexandra Hospital in Singapore,while the nurses and other staff were evacuated before the capitulation of Singapore to the Japanese.My father and his team were operating when several Japanese burst into the theatre.He pointed to their red crosses and was shot at.The team were lined up and attacked by bayonets.The first bayonet thrust at his heart was deflected by the cigarette case, he then received 3 other bayonet wounds and feigned death.The Japanese massacred the rest of the team, including the patient.They carried on in a frenzy of killing and many Dr's and patients were locked in a small room and killed the following day. The number killed during the massacre is unknown(between 100-300)and the dead were buried in the slit trenches. Very little has been written about one of the most heinous massacres in military history and I would like this to be included in memory of all the people who were massacred and forgotten.My father survived but many didn't.

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