One Man War  The Jock McLaren Story

One Man War The Jock McLaren Story Z Force Operative

One Man War – The Jock McLaren Story by H Richardson

Robert Kerr "Jock" McLaren MC & Bar (April 27, 1902 - March 3, 1956) was a decorated Australian Army officer, who rose from enlisted rank and was noted for his involvement in guerilla operations against the Japanese during the Second World War. He enlisted with Z Special Force, later being assigned for overseas service and opted to transfer to the Australian Imperial Force.  He was assigned to the 2/10th Australian Field Workshops with the 8th Australian Division in British Malaya when Singapore fell to the Japanese army. At this time, he was thirty-nine years old.

He could not endure imprisonment and immediately organised an escape party. Escaping from the POW camp with two comrades, they successfully made it almost to Kuala Lumpur, often with the aid of Malayan Chinese and Chinese communist guerillas, before they were betrayed to the Japanese by Malays. It was during this escape that McLaren began to hate the Japanese as he passed the bodies of hundreds of Chinese men, women and children, who had been tortured, raped, and then killed by Japanese occupation forces.

Imprisoned once again, McLaren sought to escape from the Singapore prison camps. He managed to add himself to a contingent of prisoners being sent to Borneo to a labour camp. Once he arrived at Berhala Island, in Sandakan Harbour on northeastern Borneo, he began, with several other prisoners, to plan an escape. Hearing that they were to be sent to a more permanent camp at Sandakan with less opportunity for escape, they moved up their escape and, stealing a boat from a nearby leper colony, they set off to the Tawi Tawi islands were they were told other Australians were fighting as guerillas. On their arrival, they soon made contact with Filipino guerillas, who assisted McLaren and six others to make contact, in June 1943, with the guerilla organisation on Mindanao. Their escape from Berhala Island saved their lives as they then missed the early 1945 Sandakan Death Marches. He returned to Z Force and was group leader of a Service Reconnaissance Dept Allied Intelligence Bureau's pre-invasion of 4 operatives inserted by parachute behind lines north west of Balikpapan.

During the course of his service, McLaren was decorated with the Military Cross twice for his heroic actions, as well as being Mentioned in Despatches

This is his story...

Data sheet

Book Condition:
Dust jacket is tattered requiring supporting backing paper, boards Integrity is still very good. Inside all bright and very good
Outer Cover on Book:
hard boards with repaired dust jacket
Total Pages:

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