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Fighting in the Jungle

by Angela Ng

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Archive List > British Army

Contributed by 
Angela Ng
People in story: 
Robert Purvis
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15 July 2005

I am writing this on behalf of my father Robert Purvis who unfortunately suffers from Alzheimer’s. As a child my dad would often tell the family about the war against the Japanese in the far east. On one occasion my father and his friend Bill White were with their regiment trekking through the jungle. They were aware that the enemy were all around.

As they crept through the thick undergrowth they became aware of someone up ahead. They stopped and listened. Someone in the distance was shouting out a name
“Tommy, Tommy” something was not quite right here. As they advanced the voice shouted out again. They came into a clearing and as they entered a shot rang out. It had come from the direction of the trees to their left. They froze on the spot and stared at the treetops. Again the voice called out and they realised it was actually a Japanese sniper who was pretending to be British and calling out names that he knew would probably belong to one of the soldiers.

On another occasion their group was passing a small stream when they came across a crocodile on the bank. They decided there might be a meal here and they approached the animal. As they did so the animal moved and out popped a Japanese soldier. He had killed the croc and was hiding inside the skin waiting for unsuspecting Brits to pass hoping for a surprise attack and an easy kill.

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