“We quickly realised that we were working with a retreating, not a fighting army. There were so many casualties – we operated for nine hours continuously until the Japanese were within minutes of our position. It was hectic. Those who hadn’t survived had to be buried. We had to wash down, clear up, repack and reload, and then move on as quickly as we could before the Japanese caught up with us. Then we’d start all over again.
“There were men who were so badly injured that they were going to die. What could we do for them? There was no way that we could leave them for the Japanese to bayonet. It was a terrible dilemma.”