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Malaya Historical Group :: MHG
Aviation and Military Archaeology may cover almost any form of research into or collecting of artifacts connected with the history of aviation and military relics.

If you have any information about any war relics and air wrecks in our country, please send an email to me malayahg@gmail
 

 

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Negeri Sembilan Gemencheh Bridge - Gemencheh Ambush

On 14th January 1942, Australian troops make a first battle contact with Japanese in a successful ambush attack on *Mukaide Force of the 5th Infantry Division near Gemencheh River which connected Tampin and Gemas trunk road. They were literally wiped out from the Australian ambushed but due to quick action by General Yamashita to reinforced the situation by sending fresh troops from 5th Division which resting in Kuala Lumpur to Gemas.

The ambush were laid by New South Wales 2/30 Battalion, backed up by Queenslanders carefully were detailed prepared by Lt Col. Galleghan. The forwarded company covered 7 miles east of Gemencheh River and was 3 miles in front of the main battalion HQ position. The bridge were laid by demolition charges.

 

At 1620 hrs, Captain D J Duffy Officer Commanding `B' Company 2/30 allowed 500 Japanese cyclist to passed the bridge where they will arrive at the killing zone and start to blown out the bridge. Then the firing started from both side of the road and some 400/500 Japanese soldiers were killed. Mortars, grenades, Bren gun, automatic rifles all joined up to struck the enemy.

The accuracy fire from soldiers who manned Bren guns and Thompson automatic sub-machinegun positioning themselves in a concealed position inflicted high casualties among the Japanese cyclists. After a successful breakaway, most of the ambush team retreat to their main battalion position were they were readied to make some counterattack near Gemas town.

But a platoon under Captain Duffy had a difficult time reaching their main battalion. Being cut off by Japanese who positioning themselves between them and Gemas, it took 2 days for the party to return with 1 killed and several wounded.

Now the area was called Kelamah River and authorities put some memorial plaque near the battle site. The remnant of the blown bridge still remained in the river which another new bridge was built a few yards nearby.

 
A memorial of Gemencheh ambush erected near the demolished bridge.   The area where Japanese cyclists were cut down. Captain D J Duffy Officer together with his Forward Observation Officer occupied the hill on the right side of this photo.

* Mukaide Detachment from 5th Division straight from Kota Bharu landing campaign.
 

      Gemas - Tanks roadblocks

The main position occupied by main forces of 2/30 Battalion AIF 3miles south of Gemencheh ambush area of Gemas-Tampin trunk road. A roadblock made up of concrete cylinders  were set up at the road cutting where high ground were on the left and right of the roadblocks which tanks would not penetrated it easily. This area were occupied from 12/1/1942 to 15/1/1942 after a fierce engagement with larger Japanese forces.

     

On the right side of the roadblock where C Company positioned themselves in the rubber estate. On the left area were occupied by A and D Company supported by B Company who returned from Gemencheh ambush reaching railway lines down to Gemas. All these position were reinforced and covered by anti-tank and machineguns.

In the morning hours, 4 Japanese tanks make their way into C Coy positioned but were turned back. Another sharp engagement were held by D Coy and later D Coy were sent forward to counterattack Japanese position north of their position which inflicted heavy casualties among Japanese troops.

Later a larger Japanese forces estimate at least a brigade was forming up to attack the main position of 2/30 Battalion. With mortar and heavy artillery barrage swept down into 2/30 position together with Japanese bombers raining down on them, 2/30 Battalion had to leave their position and withdraw south to Batu Anam.

 
A forward positon of C Company of 2/30 Battalion which overlooked Japanese area.   The road cutting where concrete cylinders were set up as a tank roadblocks.
     
 
In this sector of rubber estate where Japanese tank tried to overrun C Coy position   A single cylinder concrete was found near the main area of 2/30 Battalion.

Gemas Town

Major town connected by two railway lines from north and east coast of Malaya to south and Singapore. After a battle at Gemas tank roadblock 3 miles north of Gemas, it was abandoned and most of Australian troops were withdraw south to Batu Anam 10 miles south of Gemas. A road bridge at the border of Negeri Sembilan and Johore was demolished to slow down the Japanese advance.

 
Abandoned during war, it was never repaired and another new bridge was built nearby   An old bridge sign show speed limit to enter Johore state

 

      Tebong - Tebong Railway Station

Tebong railway station was located 20miles north of Gemas. Most of retreating British forces were using train to go south.  A remnants of 137th Field Regiment which beaten up at Jitra, Kampar and Slim River successfully board a last train from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. At Tebong, the train stopped to took some water when a handful of Japanese dive bombers attack the stationery train. From the ensuing attack, 10 British soldiers were killed together with some civilians. They were buried in hasty shallow grave near the station and the train make further move down to Gemas.

After war, British recovered most of the graves but could not recovered 3 graves which underneath the main track. From the help of Mr Arthur Lane, most of the missing graves were located but not recovered.

 
Tebong station board   The old station was demolished but missing graves were located on the middle track opposite the old station.

 

       
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

   

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