To honour those who served their country

“In this their finest hour”

Argyll and Sutherland-tn



Dugald Stewart


1917/04/03 - Born

1939/05/12 - Enlisted

Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

2nd Battalion



Basic Training at Stirling in Scotland.

Posted to India.

1938 to Waziriston, North West India frontier post where they stayed till September 1939.

The Battalion were then transported to the Far East  in where Lt-Col Ian Stewart prepared them for jungle warfare in Malaya, preparing them in the harshest terrain in tactics which gave them the nickname of ‘The Jungle Beasts’. They became part of the 12th Infantry Brigade.

On the 8th December 1941 the Japanese invaded the North of Malaya after landing troops on the South East coast of Thailand, they soon gained a foothold after ‘Operation Matador’ was not put into action.

The already battle primed Japanese Troops infiltrated behind the defending troops forcing them to fall back. The 12th Infantry Brigade gave rearguard action to the retreating 11th Indian Division, until eventually a stand was made at the Slim River on January 7th. The troops held until Japanese tanks arrived and turned the battle of the Slim River to their advantage. The Argylls were hit badly and it was left to every man to find his own way back to the safety of Singapore, later named the ‘Long Retreat’. Many Argylls found themselves trying to evade the Japanese and  survive in the jungle of Malaya.


1942/03/13 - WO 417/40, Casualty List No. 770. Reported ‘Missing’.


Posted as ‘Missing’, Dugald found himself with two Gunners and two Sergeants plus Lt-Col. Robertson's youthful batman, Pte John Bennett from Glasgow, 'a big quiet chap' , originally a driving instructor in the MT section. They joined the Chinese guerrillas in the Batu Caves area under the command of Sou Yung.

A Chinese fighter took a liking to the service revolver of the youngest of the Argyll junior officers, aged 19, when the Argyll was down with malaria. They got into a struggle and the Argyll was shot and wounded, eventually dying of the wound.

Only Bennett and Stewart survived the 300-mile trek south and the years of disease and danger, moving from camp to camp, frequently ambushed by the Japanese. Bennett became extremely ill, and, in June 1945, Stewart went down with dysentery to add to the effects of malaria and beriberi.

An emaciated Bennett had been smuggled out of a Muar hospital by members of Force 136 and handed over to an RAF Regiment unit. Evidenly  the MPAJA guerrillas were contemplating shooting him because he knew too much about them.

However, they both survived to emerge from the jungle near Segamat in September 1945.


1945/09/09 -  Rejoined the Allies for Repatriation.


1945/11/13 - WO417/99, Casualty List No. 1909. Previously shown on Casualty List No. 770 as posted Missing 15/02/1942 now reported Not Missing.


News Article

September 14th 1945

Scots Tarzans Lived In Malay Jungle

SCOTSMEN, Englishmen, and Australians who were determined not to surrender to the Japanese lived a Tarzan existence for three and a half years in the  jungles of Malaya.

This, one of the most fantastic  stories of the war, was told last  night by a British officer who has  just arrived in Singapore from-up-country Malaya, cables a correspondent.

Numbering 20- odd men, some of them of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, they have lived happy and natural lives, although vigilant all the time of the enemy, but they have been blissfully oblivious of world events.  They admit that their evasioil of  the Japanese would have been impossible without the 100 per cent. co-operation from Chinese guerrillas with whom they lived. Their main subsistence was sweet potatoes.

Speak Chinese

They speak Chinese as fluently as English. The Scotsman's first question was, "Are the King and Queen O.K ? " The Englishman's question was, " Has Germany packed up ? " and the Australians said, " We are not in a hurry to get home.  Priority must be given to prisoners of war."

These men did not have any radio news or any other kind of news during their years of hiding in the dense jungle. They were afraid to strike a match at night in case they were discovered. The men all look as fit as fiddles and have not lost any weight. They were in no hurry to go to Singapore, and even seemed reluctant to leave their jungle homes.

Most of them are bronzed, fine specimens of men. They wore only loin cloths. Their greatest difficulty was haircuts and shaves, and most of them had beards.

 In January 1946, Bennett featured in an article in the People's Journal, under  heading, 'Snake soup, monkey stew and elephant steaks — these were the food  that kept me alive in the Malayan jungle.'

Stewart also received press attention after his return to Oban and became known as the 'Malayan Tarzan'.


Liberation Questionnaire

Stewart-Dugald-Liberation Questionnaire




1939-1945 Star-tn

Pacific Star

War Medal

1939-1945 Star



Taken form

 John Bennett’s Liberation Questionnaire

Bennett-John-Albert-Liberation Questionnaire-Cut



Andrew Snow - Thailand Burma Railway Centre

(Andrew supplied with the Liberation Questionnaire as most interesting)

Jonathan Moffatt - Details on Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

Roll of Honour - John Bennett

KEW Files:- None


''Our Thanks are for being a Chapter in Life.''




Keeping The Candle Burning


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