On the 8th December 1941 [Pearl Harbour] Barry wrote to his wife Phyllis:
Darling Wife, very darling wife just now. War declared this am. You will have read all about it in the papers. Bombs on S’pore, landing in Kelantan. All safe so far…
27 Line Section continued to put up communications lines in Malaya for anyone who asked, but found themselves slowly retreating down to the Island of Singapore and eventually, in February 1942, to the city itself. The bombing was continuous but, as signalmen, they worked on through it. While most of them received only minor injuries, one unlucky man, installing a field cable on an airfield, was wounded and died in Singapore. The oil stores and dumps of raw latex were on fire, the reservoir pipeline had been breached, and over a million unarmed civilians were being bombed daily. Singapore fell.
Fighting actually stopped on the 15th February 1942. I remember it very clearly as I was up the top of a telephone pole trying to regulate and terminate a new section of open wire, while meantime a brief air raid was going on at ground level. This consisted of the usual small high explosive fragmentation bombs, which killed people and broke shop windows but did little heavy damage except for holes in the road. The bombing and shelling suddenly stopped and one of my NCOs [Non-Comissioned Officers] on the ground shouted, “I think the war is over”. And so it was.