This division orginally bound for the North African desert was diverted to Singapore when Japan entered the war. One brigade (53rd) was sent on ahead whilst the other two brigades 54th & 55th went to India before moving to Singapore. 53 brigade fought on the malay mainland but the rest of the division only arrived after the British withdrawal to Singapore Island. To make matters worse, the division was placed on a part of Singapore island that was "not" attacked by the Japanese. Many soldiers in this division found themselves being ordered to surrender on 15th February 1942 having seen very little or indeed no combat at all.