Royal British Legion Thailand remembers

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Each year members of the Royal British Legion Thailand make the journey to Malaysia to attend a series of Remembrances. This year a small group went with the chairman, Derek Brook, leading the group.

These are held as a Historical Remembrance for those who gave their lives in World War One and Two, the Malayan Emergency, Indonesian Confrontation & Prisoners of WWII & Forced Asian Labour who perished in the infamous Burma Death Railway 1941-1945. Dato’ R. Thambipillay, Superintendent of Police (Retired) DPMP, MBE, AM. (Or Pillay) is the organiser and gave us much support.

The Royal British Legion members at the Cenotaph.The Royal British Legion members at the Cenotaph.

The Remembrances are held in or around Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia, and consist of a series of Remembrances. Event no 1 is at the Cenotaph in front of the Railway Station; Event number 2 is at God’s Little Acre, Batu Gajah; Event number 3 is Gurkhas Remembrance at Second Royal Ranger Regiment, Tambun Road, Ipoh, and the 4th is Troops Night for those who served during the Malayan Emergency and invited guests, of whom we were invited.

Roll of Honour at Gods Little Acre.Roll of Honour at Gods Little Acre.

The party arrived in Ipoh direct from Penang on the Wednesday night and booked into the hotel, and as we do, went out to see the town. We found some very good places but being good, retired early, next morning. The next day was all about checking up on the Friday and Saturday, and for the rest in the group for discovering Ipoh. They also discovered the Royal Ipoh Club which has a very distinguished history, and also having many distinguished members. Incidentally the beer is also well priced and cold here.

Pipers lead in the guests of honour.Pipers lead in the guests of honour.

The next two days were to prove as expected, very busy. The Friday, however, is not as busy as the Saturday and included the Remembrance at the Cenotaph. For those who have been before, the Cenotaph area has been completely refurbished and is now quite splendid. Steve Ryan laid a wreath at the Cenotaph for TRBL, during this fine Remembrance, and afterwards we all went to the Town Hall for a cultural dance show. Snacks were provided and closing addresses were given.

Distinguished guests at the Cenotaph.Distinguished guests at the Cenotaph.

The Saturday was a very busy day. With our driver unsure of the route, we asked Dato’ R. Thambipillay DPMP, MBE, AM to be our guide, and as he is the man who organises the ‘events’, served throughout the Malaysian Emergency. He is 83; we were most honoured. Especially as we left at 0615 a.m.

This day is really what the whole trip is about, and all there know it is a little special. We start at the Service at the Holy Trinity Church and then go onto the Wreath Laying at ‘Gods Little Acre’. From all over the world come thoughts of Remembrance and the chairman, Derek Brook, was to lay a wreath for the Royal Marines Association that had been sent from the U.K. The laying of some 40 wreaths from all over the Commonwealth takes some time and is accompanied by music normal for such a time. S.K. Phillips laid the RBLT Wreath. Time is taken to ponder the wonder of those who gave up their lives for our future.

Steve Ryan at the Cenotaph.Steve Ryan at the Cenotaph.

On to the Gurkhas Remembrance as the Gurkhas were also a vital part of the Malayan Emergency and lost many men. The Gurkhas are much respected and the Cemetery of Remembrance is a lovely place, in a super background. Our Ron Smith laid a wreath for the RBLT.

At the end of a long morning it was back to the Royal Ipoh Club where final words were said and a fine lunch was laid on. The beer was also cold.

S.K. Phillips at Gods Little Acre.S.K. Phillips at Gods Little Acre.

The end of the day is Troops Night. This is strictly for those who served during the Malay Emergency and those specially invited. This is a ‘Fellowship of Veterans’ and we were honoured to be invited. This is an event that has been going on for many years and this year’s developed into a very good night. Very good indeed and the quality of whisky provided by ‘The Sponsors’ allowed the day to be nearly remembered.

The following day was back to Penang, and a few days’ rest. This also allowed the ladies to come to the fore and do what they really enjoy. Shop. It also allowed Keith to test out the Bicycle Cyclo Taxis around Penang. I am told the X-rays show no broken bones!

Chairman lays the Royal Marine Association Wreath at Gods Little Acre.Chairman lays the Royal Marine Association Wreath at Gods Little Acre.

The wreath layers at the Gurkhas Remembrance. Mr Ron Smith laid the RBLT wreath.The wreath layers at the Gurkhas Remembrance. Mr Ron Smith laid the RBLT wreath.

Ron Smith leads way into the Gurkhas Remembrance.Ron Smith leads way into the Gurkhas Remembrance.

Guard of Honour at Gods Little Acre.Guard of Honour at Gods Little Acre.

Mr S.K. Phillips receives a ‘Signed Book’ from Dato’ R. Thambipillay DPMP, MBE. AM at Troops Night.Mr S.K. Phillips receives a ‘Signed Book’ from Dato’ R. Thambipillay DPMP, MBE. AM at Troops Night.

Lunch also included refreshments for Steve and Keith at the Royal Ipoh Club.Lunch also included refreshments for Steve and Keith at the Royal Ipoh Club.

Troops Night guests.Troops Night guests.

Malaysian dancers.Malaysian dancers.