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Category: Conflicts/Malaya

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Before we left

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Heli-borne assault British style using Westland Whirlwind choppers. Thankfully no one actually had to ride them into a hot LZ as they are difficult and slow to load and unload. With the Huey troops 'un-ass' 2 at a time 2 sides. In these  re-badged Sikorsky ships 1 digger at a time, 1 side. MEDCAP. The Australian Army, for all the time it was in Terendak took responsibility for the health and well being of everyone in a kampong (village) that came to be called Australian Kampong. MEDCAP is Army talk for Medical Civil Aid Program The Battalion is on the move on rubber through the rubber heading for the J again. We are being monitored by the Royal Malay Regiment scout cars. The Malays had a problem. They wanted us there for our money and fighting ability but they did not like having us in their country.

Beating the Retreat for 28 COMWEL INF BDE

Beating the Retreat is not retreating. Retreating in the face of the enemy is a shameful although sometimes necessary thing. Beating the Retreat is an ancient military ceremony indicating the end of hostilities for the day or the period. In the evening the band would march out with the drum beating and the buglers playing the call 'retreat'. The Colours would be there under guard to indicate that the unit was withdrawing as an orderly and controlled body of men who had not given up but were merely ending the killing for that day. The troops would retire to the ale houses and eat and drink until the prescribed time to go to their billets. It is now a Ceremonial Parade performed on specified occasions, as it was here, to mark the end of 28 Commonwealth Infantry Brigade. On that day the Brigade ceased to exist. It was replaced by 28 ANZUK Brigade which was made up of the same troops less the Malay component.

The British had maintained a presence in Singapore and Malaya for many years, and with the coming of the Japanese during the Second World War they were joined by Australian troops. After the world war another more protracted war began—this time against the communist terrorists—and British, Australian, and New Zealand servicemen joined together to fight the CTs in the jungle.

At this time Britain was committed to provide defence assistance to Malaysia and Singapore under the Anglo-Malayan Defence Agreement of 1957 with which Australia and New Zealand were associated. 

<< The Flag Party lower the 5 National flags for the last time.

As the insurgency and the "confrontation" between Indonesia and the newly formed Malaysian State tapered off it was obvious that Britain would reduce the numbers of troops stationed here.

 The British Parliamentary Labour Party began talking about cuts in 1966, then, in July 1967, the Labour Government announced substantial reductions. Of the 80,000 men and women working for and in the services east of Suez in 1967 only 40,000 uniformed and civilian men and women were to remain after 1970/71.
The Gurkha Pipe Band

This decision was not really surprising, but what did shock people was the announcement in January 1968 that Britain would withdraw completely by 1971. 

This immediately posed the familiar question "What will happen when the British go?" 

The first tentative steps towards finding an answer were taken by the politicians and diplomats at a Five Power (Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and the UK) Conference in Kuala Lumpur in June 1968  at which the Malaysian Prime Minister proposed that control and maintenance of the British bases become a joint Five Power responsibility after 1971. Although this suggestion came to nothing the British Conservative Party eventually decided to oppose the Labour policy of withdrawal, and Mr Heath began talking about a "new and equal partnership, between five Commonwealth governments".

Men of the 14th Light Regiment Royal Artillery fire the salvos that mark the end for 28 COMWEL INF BDE

In 1970, during "Exercise Bersatu Padu", an election occurred in Britain which returned the Conservative Party to power.

This led to a series of meetings which resulted in an announcement on 16 February 1971 that Australian, New Zealand and British troops would remain in Singapore and Malaysia under an Australian commander of "two star" rank. The land forces were to be stationed in Singapore and the Air Forces and Naval Forces would  operate in both countries.


Some we left behind.

Badcoe VC is one of many Australian and Allied servicemen buried at Terendak War Cemetery. It is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and is well looked after.

Badcoe was killed in action while serving as part of AATTV in Viet Nam in 1967 and was buried at Terendak by choice and with the approval of his family.


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