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    Malayan Emergency stories

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    I'm writing a piece about the Malayan Emergency, and would be very glad to have any war stories from veterans of your experiences. If it turns into anything worthwhile, I'll post it here.

    I'll also post this in a couple of related fora to get better coverage.

    Many thanks for your help.


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    • 11 years later...
    Posted (edited)

    Dear Hugh,


    What about your piece? I'm interested.


    Did you read "The war of the running dogs" by Noel Barber?


    I love Malaysia. I read all the books by Somerset Maugham and the "Malayan trilogy" by Anthony Burgess.

    Not forgeting the classic "The jungle is neutral" by F.Spencer Chapman D.S.O. and the 2011 "Spy Master" by Boris Hembry.

    And more...


    Yours sincerely,

    No one

    Edited by No one
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    Hi Hugh,

    My father was a Captain in the Royal Engineers and was posted to Malaya in 1946. He had been brought up there by English parents and became an Engineer via Singapore University. At the time of the Japanese invasion in 1942 he was working in the Air Ministry as a 'camouflage engineer'. In the last few days before the fall of Singapore he was instructed to fly out to Java on one of the last surviving Brewster Buffalo aircraft. They got away but on reaching the Java airfield the Dutch anti aircraft gunners, obviously very twitchy because of the ever-present Japanes planes, opened fire on him. The plane was hit and crash landed, with father being quite badly injured. He was evacuated to Australia and slowly recovered, meeting my future mother in the process. After recovering, he joined the British Royal Engineers.

    Because he spoke Malay, Chinese and some native dialects he was assigned to finding and confiscating the many Japanese and Malay Communist partisan weapons and ammunition dumps throughout the country. Unfortunately he died in 1957 (in Australia), but mother who was newly married to him in 1946 often recalled one evening he had been invited to a northern town and decided to take her with him to meet with friends in that town. He was driving a jeep along a fairly basic road through dense junge, and had provided Mother with a sten gun as bandit activity was rife. His instruction was, 'I will be driving flat out, and if you see anything moving, just keep shooting at it until I get past. Except if it is an elephant, don't shoot at them!'.

    Wise words! They survived the trip, and several others like it. Interesting days indeed!


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    • 3 weeks later...

    What a nice series of stories to illustrate the history!  Sadly, I have long forgotten the piece  I was working on in my 2012 post.  I'm sure it must have been minor and easily forgotten.  I have read all the books listed in No one's post except for the Boris Hembry book. A good reading list for the period.   Got a particular kick out of dpk's post.  Sten guns and elephants.  Good title for the story.  


    Thanks to all.



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