On the Sunday morning the pitiful remnants of our units were resting in Bariani Gam just south west of Lardak. I had a platoon of Argylls, under Major "Mudda" Taggart, and 3 Argyll Lanchesters which Lt. Frank Burnside had managed to bring back in working order, a platoon of Punjabis, and a platoon of the Hyderabad's, neither of which inspired confidence, and two 2 pounders under a welsh corporal with an unpronounceable name. Further up the road by the river, in Pasembor there were a couple of armoured cars from 3rd Indian Cavalry, and a rather odd `Independent' platoon –a mix of Indians and Australians- the Australian part of which had liberated several crates of the Amber Nectar from an unguarded quartermasters truck and were trying hard to drink the evidence!
At about 9.30 we heard some shooting from Pasembor and at first thought the Aussies were throwing their empties in the river and trying to sink them, but soon realised that it was the Japs coming over the river.
I gathered up Taggart and his Argylls and set off up the road to Pasembor. At the same time I received an order from Brigadier Morse to send the Welsh 2pdrs. and the Hydrabad platoon to Lardak as the Japs were attacking there too. Since the Hyderabad's had no transport I sent them off in the Argyll's trucks, a decision I was to regret later. I told Captain Jericho and the Punjabis to stay put and dig in in Bariani Gam as a last line should we need to fall back As we splashed our way up the road, we were attacked by Japanese aircraft, which damaged one of the Lanchesters, though thankfully not too seriously and it was soon repaired and able to catch us up. When we reached the edge of Pasembor it was clear a major enemy attack was in progress and that the Aussies were in danger of being outflanked. I tried to get the Lanchesters into the village, but the road was blocked by the Indian armoured cars which were engaging the enemy on the road in the hamlet so I ordered the Lanchesters to pull back slightly and support the Indian cars.
Meanwhile I sent the Argylls off the road to form an ambush for the Japs who were trying to outflank the Aussies. Sure enough, they came charging across our front, trying to take the independents from behind, and we caught them in a lovely ambush from the flank, after which they weren't so keen to come to grips.
Unfortunately the Japanese also launched a frontal Banzai attack on the hamlet and killed the Australians to a man- they wouldn't leave their stash , and evicted the Indians from Pasembor. At this point someone had called for Artillery support and a wonderfully accurate barrage began to land right on the advancing Japanese. God bless the Royal Artillery. The Japs now launched a Banzai attack against the Argylls which we threw back with heavy losses, this stopped the little yellow chaps in their tracks and it started to look like we might turn the tables on them.
At about this point the enemy finally destroyed the Indian armoured cars, which had been doing great execution in Pasembor and the artillery support stopped. The Argylls were now starting to take some serious casualties and we were being outflanked so I ordered them to fall back by bounds towards Bariani Gam. The Japanese were now outflanking us in the jungle though despite the best efforts of their air force, the Lanchesters were keeping our left flank on the road clear as every time they tried to attack across it their MG's would cut them down. Sadly we now had several wounded men and eventually we had to leave a section of four men too badly wounded to be moved as a rearguard (much to Jim Taggarts disgust, I don't think he'll ever forgive me). They were last heard shouting "Come on if ye think ye're hard enough" at the enemy who were not enthusiastic about finding out.
The Japanese had now outflanked us on both sides of the road and suddenly erupted out of the jungle right beside Burnsides Lanchesters in a human wave attack, which resulted in the destruction of two armoured cars, and the third finally succumbed to fire from a machine gun platoon which had infiltrated through the jungle and which it had been pinning down. I reached Biriani Gam with Jim Taggart and the surviving section of Argylls just in time to see the last of the Punjabis legging it into the jungle and a solid wall of Japanese coming down the road. We took out quite a few before they overran us. I came too later that night, and with Sergeant Boon, who had also survived, made my way to the coast where we managed to bribe a fisherman into taking us to Columbo, where I write this.