Forgotten History: Battle of Slim River

A family on a motorcycle

Continuing my stroll down main street, I met this family on a bike. The mother is dropping the kids in front of P.K.Mohamed Mastan & Sons.

I learned that the Indian-Muslim grocery shop was founded before World War 2. They stressed their grandfather settled here before the Japanese Occupation; perhaps as a reminder of the turbulent history the town went through.

The Battle of Slim River was fought here in 1942. Some 500 soldiers from the British Indian Army lost their lives fighting the invading Japanese Imperial Army. 3,200 men were captured.

The assault force using tanks was commanded by Major Toyosaku Shimada. The British commander was Acting Major-General Archibald Paris.

Indian soldiers were from the Hyderabad, Gurkha and the Punjab Regiment. The experienced Punjabis set fire to a few tanks with molotov cocktails.

Destroyed tanks caused a bumper-to-bumper tank crawl on Federal Route 1. That left the enemy exposed and vulnerable but unfortunately artillery units did not arrive on time.

Staring at the road, I made a silent salute to the brave and unsung men who defended Malaya. Read more on the fierce Battle of Slim River on Wikipedia (

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f4, 1/250 sec.

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