Siddhesh Joshi

Archibald Paris

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Battles/wars  World War II
Battles and wars  World War II

Died  1942
Name  Archibald Paris
Rank  Brigadier

Allegiance  United Kingdom  British India
Commands held  12th Indian Infantry Brigade 11th Indian Infantry Division
Unit  Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
Awards  Distinguished Service Order, Military Cross

Service/branch  British Indian Army

Brigadier Archibald Charles Melvill Paris (28 May 1890 – 3 March 1942) was a British Army officer.


Early life and career

He was the son of Major General Archibald Paris, a Royal Marines officer who commanded the Royal Naval Division during the First World War, and of Lady Paris (née Melvill).

Paris passed out of the Royal Military College, Sandhurst and was commissioned into the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in 1909. He married Ruth Norton. He served in the First World War, and was awarded the Military Cross (MC) in 1917.

Although he is better known for having died during the events that followed the sinking of the Dutch ship Rooseboom off Sumatra in 1942, he was also one of the few British commanders that put up a good fight against the Japanese during the Battle of Malaya and the subsequent fall of Singapore.

Battle of Malaya

In December 1941, Paris was in command of the 12th Indian Infantry Brigade, part of the Singapore Garrison. When the battle started in northern Malaya, Paris's 12th Brigade was sent to protect the retreat of the Indian 11th Infantry Division, which it did successfully, to the extent that it surprised the Japanese, inflicting high casualties on some of their more overconfident units.

When Lieutenant General Arthur Percival sacked Major General David Murray-Lyon from command of the 11th Indian Division, Paris was given temporary command, until the disastrous Battle of Slim River, when Major General Billy Key took over and Paris resumed command of the 12th Brigade. Paris commanded the 12th Brigade throughout the retreat down Malaya and the subsequent battles on Singapore.


With Singapore about to surrender in February 1942, Percival attempted to save personnel who were successful at fighting the Japanese and Paris was one of the chosen. He escaped aboard the Dutch ship Rooseboom, which was sunk off Sumatra. Although he survived the sinking along with about 80 other passengers in one lifeboat, he did not survive the shocking 28-day ordeal of drifting 100 miles. There were only five survivors.

This account of the struggle for survival after the sinking of the Rooseboom was based on survivor and Argyll and Sutherland Highlander Walter Gibson's book The Boat:


Archibald Paris Wikipedia

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