Saturday, 16 June 2007
What happened to the flags on Percival's car?
Thank you to Mike Stein who shared a photo of of the flags that were removed from the mudguards of the car of British Lt-Gen. Arthur Ernest Percival, the officer in charge of Allied forces at the fall of Singapore on February 15, 1942. According to the recounts by Mike Stein's father Jack - on that day as surrender became imminent Percival ordered that as many vehicles as was possible be driven into the harbour to impede the Japanese fleet from an easy berthing and to stop the vehicles falling into Japanese hands.
An Australian Singapore Harbour Board employee, Jack Stein, took the opportunity to remove the flags from Percival’s car for posterity before pushing the car off the wharf as he had been instructed.Later that day Percival surrendered to his Japanese counterpart Ganeral Yamashita at the Ford Motor Factory on Bukit Timah Road.
Jack Stein then with other Harbour Board members escaped to Java and that story will be documented further in this website. The historical flags are now framed and hanging on display in Western Australia.