Since my last statement on the Madagascar operations our Forces have continued to advance southwards, hampered by road blocks and obstructions. On 2nd October there was a sharp engagement approximately 70 miles south of the capital, as a result of which Antsirabe was occupied. The local populace gave our troops an enthusiastic welcome.
The Vichy resistance was next encountered about 130 miles south of Tananarive, but as a result of vigorous action by our Forces, Ambositra and Ivato were occupied on 19th October. The last organised resistance north of Fianarantsoa, which is the chief town in the south of the island and is approximately 180 miles to the south of the capital, was overcome on 29th October, and the town was occupied on the evening of the same day. Upwards of 1,000 prisoners were taken during this period.
The advance southwards continued, but a French emissary arrived at our forward brigade headquarters on 5th November and asked for an armistice. At 2 o'clock in the afternoon hostilities ceased. The armistice was signed at midnight on 5th–6th November, and everything is proceeding very smoothly.
Between 10th September—when further operations in Madagascar began with the assault on Majunda—and 17th October we lost only 17 killed and 45 wounded. Since 17th October our casualties have been extremely light, but details are not known.
All the fighting material that is taken in the course of action falls into our hands, but I have no doubt that some of it will be used for the French Forces who under the French flag will take charge of the island in future.
No, Sir. My recollection is that prisoners of war are in our hands, but it may be that arrangements have been made for repatriating some to France and others may wish to join the Fighting French Forces.