INDENTM.C. London Gazette 22.6.1932
Lieutenant Colonel Charles Malet Lane, M.C., born 1899, commissioned 2nd Lieutenant Indian Army, August 1918; Lieutenant 1919; Captain 1926; took part in operations in Waziristan 1921-22, Burma 1930-32 (M.C., Mentioned in Despatches 20.12.1932) and North West Frontier (Loe Agra and Mohmand) 1935 (Mentioned in Despatches 8.5.1936); Major 31.8.1936
The Retreat Through Borneo
In December 1941 Lane was the C.O. of the 2/15th Punjab Regiment with overall responsibility for British troops in Brunei, Sarawak, and Borneo. Their task was to destroy the oil installations and deny them to the Japanese. The Punjab battalion was the only regular force of fighting men in the area.
The Japanese, attacking in overwhelming strength drove the British into Dutch Borneo, where, by the 29th December, they had joined up with the Dutch. However in the fighting in Sarawak the 2/15th had lost 4 British Officers and 229 men.
Then began a long and desperate retreat in the face of irresistible odds with many hard fought rearguard actions. One such occurred on the banks of the Sambas river on January 28th 1942 and involved the Punjabi Mussulman company under their Subadar. After 11 hours fighting only 30 wounded and dying remained from the original 100 men of the company. The Japanese, furious at their own losses, massacred the survivors in typically brutal fashion.
By April 3rd what was left of this fine battalion, surrounded by the enemy, had no option but to surrender; the Dutch East Indies had fallen and no haven remained (This episode is given a chapter of its own in the Official History of the War against Japan). The P.R.O. holds Lane's 56 page "Report on Operations in Sarawak and Dutch Borneo 1940-1942" (CAB 106/43)
Lieutenant Colonel Lane was Mentioned in Despatches London Gazette 25.9.1947, "In recognition of gallant and distinguished services whilst prisoner of war in the Far East"