There are a number of arrangements in place to enable people to work together. ELA also participates in selected European Commission research projects and enjoys a useful relationship with the European Commission generally, as a direct result of its unique position of independence from government or trade interests. It maintains both an EU Relations Committee and a passenger train to run solely on biogas.
Alec Walker-Love, a spokesman for the International Association of Public Transport in Brussels, also said it was probably a world first Sweden already has biogas buses and thousands of cars running on a mixture of petrol and either biogas or natural gas.
The biogas train is due to go into service in September on the 80km mile coastal stretch on Sweden's east coast between Linkoeping and Vaestervik. It cost Svensk Biogas 10 million kronor 1. An annual Awards scheme is also organised to encourage excellence and innovation.
For all its members, large and small, the European Logistics Association provides a valuable international extension to their work. I see the purposes of CILT and ELA as essentially complementary: both organisations are motivated by the primary intention of improving standards amongst professionals. Sweden has world's first train to run solely on organic waste — and it's painted green.
The first route to open was the Green Line, which carried its first passengers on 30 June, The total number of commercial passenger trips in the period 5 July to 27 June was 16,, According to the Railway Procurement Agency Luas is well on course to carry 20 million passengers in calendar year Friday 24 June was the busiest day so far, when 91, passengers were carried on the system as many thousands of U2 fans travelled to Croke Park by Luas.
The Park and Ride facility at Red Cow was totally occupied throughout. Luas has already carried many thousands of people to other big events — St. In June the average daily passenger numbers on Luas had risen to 65, As a result taxpayers could be forced to make up the shortfall for the London to Kent link, the NAO added.
In its latest report on the CTRL, the NAO noted that the first section of the line had been completed on time and slightly below budget, while construction of the second phase was running to time and slightly over budget. In addition, options to link up the two lines are being prepared and will shortly be presented for consultation. A number of other possible Luas routes are being evaluated. Exel will deploy its Engineering Response product to provide end-to-end supply chain solutions, including JIT just in time deliveries to around 2, Network Rail engineers across the country.
Exel will now handle the nationwide distribution of all materials. It will use its existing , sq. Exel will run a dedicated fleet of 22 crane-equipped commercial vehicles, and undertake both outbound transport and collection of surplus railway spares and repairable items. The increase was announced as the European Commission approved an extension to the payment of rail freight Channel Tunnel tolls.
The increase of 9. Growth EWS — which today operates most of the former British Rail freight routes — said it had facilitated this growth in rail freight by continually improving its service offering, ensuring it delivers its customers with reliable and punctual services that provide them with value for money.
Through this approach, new long term contracts have been won by EWS over the last year from customers in the construction, petroleum, aggregate, coal, intermodal and general merchandise markets. The operator said it had created an additional 4. The effects of the European working time directive and rising fuel costs have also seen EWS win long distance trunk haulage from the road network, with local distribution provided by road hailiers creates a new partnership between the two modes.
Future growth in rail freight is expected to continue by increasing services for bulk haulage, general merchandise and fast moving consumer goods. In a further boost to rail freight growth, the European Commission has announced its approval for the extension of the existing agreement between EWS International and the UK Government on freight tolls through the Channel Tunnel.
The company said this agreement, which will last until November , will encourage international freight traffic and pave the way for a long term charging agreement from December The growth in European rail freight will be facilitated by the operation of rail freight services in France under a newly formed company, Euro Cargo Rail.
European growth The new company is part of a strategy to grow international rail freight volumes, not only in Britain and through the Channel Tunnel, but also in mainland Europe, building on EWS's existing European expertise. Initial services will operate in France and interest from potential customers is high, the company reported. By operating efficiently and creating the right packages for customers more business has been won to rail. Tunnel tolls agreement until November is welcome news for our new subsidiary Euro Cargo Rail, which will drive rail freight growth on mainland Europe.
The decision also enables EWS to begin active discussions on the appropriate and realistic level of charging by Eurotunnel for freight services to use the Channel Tunnel after November During these discussions, EWS will continue to secure additional new tonnage to its European and Channel Tunnel operations. The government estimates this alone will mean a further 21, drivers are needed to cope with the existing workload.
THE TRUE costs of producing and transporting food to and from supermarket shelves are far greater than any checkout receipt suggests. In effect, Professor Pretty said, Britons are paying three times for their food: once at the supermarket till, twice in costs to the environment and the third time in farming subsidies.
This is an area where consumers are suffering from an information deficit. Each person makes, on average, shopping trips per year with an average length of 6. Other costs range from pollution to losses in soil and biodiversity, and costs in human and animal health, such as BSE and antibiotic resistance.
Until , agricultural subsidies mostly supported production that caused adverse environmental impacts. About Each Briton makes, on average, shopping trips a year, covering an average distance of four miles 6. Furthermore, there are significant shifts in the South African economy that warrant a closer examination of the supply chains necessary to support it.
The last decade has seen growth in road traffic, while rail traffic has declined, except on the coal and iron-ore export lines. The country needs to reduce logistics costs by a third to sustain its international competitiveness. Transnet is seeking to align its strategic focus with that of the South African economy.
By contrast, the majority of road haulage is for domestic distribution. To support the export strategy and economic growth for current key sectors, connectivity between inland transportation systems and ports is critical. Strategic corridors are therefore needed to create efficient export systems for growing sectors. The focus will be on improving key corridors and clusters. Transnet intends to follow an integrated transport strategy which will provide efficient, integrated transport services to the bulk and manufacturing sectors.
It must ensure that Transnet provides an efficient transport platform to facilitate trade growth in South Africa. Infrastructure custodian Transnet is the custodian of port, rail and pipeline infrastructures, and serves specific industries to leverage its strength in assets. Transnet collaborates with customers, to jointly design services and invest in areas that improve the performance of all parties. Within that milieu of separated operations and infrastructure, independent regulators will oversee the transport industry.
Within this context, the following initiatives would be launched: Redirecting business through corporate office restructuring, operational synergies and improved interfaces, customer focus, infrastructure development, and implementing Spoornet turnaround.
Strengthening corporate governance through a shareholders compact, redrafting the Memorandum and Articles of Association, establishing a performance management framework, and International Financial Reporting Standards IFRS. Enhancing risk management through legal and contract review, and an enterprisewide risk management framework. The following projects will spearhead the implementation: Spoornet Strategic Projects per corridor National Ports Authority strategic projects South African Ports Operations strategic projects Petronet strategic projects Pradeep summarised the concomitant Transnet investment as R16 billion sustainability projects, R17 billion expansion projects; as well as development projects R4 billion for Coega only, and R40 billion for the Blue Sky project This project is the thinking around a new rail link to Durban.
Nothing has yet been finalised regarding this and is subject to feasibility study which has not as yet commenced. The Ghanaian delegation presented a very attractive briefing on why Ghana should be given the priority to host the council meeting.
The presentation, which touched on all aspects of economy, environment and socio-political and cultural aspects of Ghana, impressed the entire council whose members gave the Ghana delegates a loud ovation at the end. The coordinators, Dr. Olupot and George Mboya, however have emphasised on the difficulty they face in marketing and really want to be assisted. The problem is Africa-wide and needs deliberate sensitisation as a first stage to attract patronage.
This is in addition to the funding problem that often defeats initiatives in this part of the world. A common solution must be found. The meeting was associated with a conference and a workshop, which focused on the new arrangements needed in Africa for education and training to replace the courses that were once delivered through CILT UK.
The meeting established the framework for strong regional collaboration with the intent to promote rapid growth in CILT membership through a sustainable approach to education and professionalism in the Africa logistics and transport sectors. The outcome of the meeting was a commitment undertaken by African countries to collaborate and work together towards establishing a common standard applicable to all. This in the interim will be achieved by utilising existing CILT instruments, in particular its certificate qualification.
David Maunder. Ibrahim Vandu-Chikolo. The Forum will therefore give formal report to council and its executive committee at every meeting. Committee on Transport, National Assembly Nigeria also attended the meeting and the workshop. Lucky Montana, deputy director general at the transport department in Cape Town, said: There are certain decisions that we have come across that we have to manage carefully. Issues about the pension of workers and all sorts of things, which are now part of Transnet.
The International Council approved the establishment of a secretariat for the Forum and asked the Director General to give financial assistance its passenger rail services, March 31 this year, had already been missed. Montana said the restructuring would have three components to it, namely commuter rail, a property arm and long distance passenger services. The first phase would address immediate problems, including arresting the decline in Metrorail's commuter rail services.
Council also approved the issuance of International Certificates of the CILT - International, which had been requested by the African Sections through the Chairman of the Forum, to candidates who successfully undertake its programmes based on prescribed standards. Panday Chairman Mr. Emerit Immediate Past Chairman Mr. Appadu ice Chairman Mr. Dawoodarry Secretary Mr. Seewoogoolam Assistant Secretary Mr. Lalsing Treasurer Mr. Bheenick Assistant Treasurer Mr.
Chung Mr. Peerbocus Mr. Ramkishore Members Ms. Caullychurn government and Metrorail were taken to court, the court instructed that they have to take reasonable steps to make sure the services are safe and protect people's lives. For example, the infrastructure is not right, the signalling system is old, in some instances it's non-functional. Montana said the second phase was on track to be met by the March 31 deadline. A new standard for the Advanced Diploma Programme was agreed by the Council, as it did before for its Certificate and Diploma Programmes.
In this regard, should accredited training providers, such as the NITT, desire award of the International Certificates for their graduates, they have to launch fully the syllabi under the existing standards. The ASG comprised members based in the UK who travelled widely and frequently to Africa, as part of their own employment activities, or those members who had an interest in Africa.
However, Kenya still needs to be addressed. Both workshops were well attended and proved useful to African Sections and helped bond the CILT members from different countries together. The Africa Forum was formally inaugurated in Zaria, Nigeria, in April during a two-day meeting attended by numerous members from throughout Africa.
This coordinated fight against piracy is a delicate matter, involving issues relating to national sovereignty and territorial integrity. Furthermore, the uneven distribution of attacks on merchant vessels — with the majority occurring in Indonesian During the second day, an Educational and Training workshop was held. He advised that the Forum would generally meet electronically, using the Internet, but that once a year it would physically meet — the next meeting being in Lusaka in March The Forum has already produced an excellent Newsletter, so has got off to a good start.
After analysis of the situation, the Joint War Committee of Lloyds has recently added the Malacca Strait to the listed areas where an increased risk for transiting ships is perceived to exist. Respondents were questioned on a number of issues, such as: the percentage of their business that is currently focused on the Asian market — and specifically the China market, key business expansion strategies, their operation model in China and the core benefits of operating as a jointventure, significant challenges for the transport and logistics industry in China at present and over the next 5 years.
Best opportunities are between China, America and Europe The best opportunities for transportation and logistics companies remain on a global scale. These activities are likely to be between China — North America and China — Europe outbound and inbound transport. A majority of international logistics companies believe that some of the best potential is in the intra-China market, but in reality there are only a few companies that actually have viable business plans for the Intra-China market.
This clearly indicates the high risks connected with doing business in intra-China and the lack of understanding of the same market. With regulations on internationally owned companies operating in China being gradually eased, and the government lifting previous restrictions a few months ago due to increasing demand for Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprises WFOEs , it appears that many global players have opted to set up independently.
This could reflect the practicality of doing business in a new territory — where a local understanding of how to operate on a day-to-day level is key to improving service, coverage and drive revenues. Key challenges for the transport and logistics industry In China, a number of recurring themes make transport and logistics networks — especially those being developed by international companies — a challenging business.
This becomes more evident when you compare with nearby countries, which have more advanced and well-run day-to-day operations. As for the next five years, most respondents did not acknowledge a great difference in the issues affecting their business in the future. However, this might be counter balanced by the fast pace of growth, developments and new opportunities. It appears that the overall conclusion for logistics companies operating in China could be that the potential is significant and the challenges are vast.
However, there are many international companies with successful Chinese operations so if the right decisions and the right knowledge is acquired the future will be bright. Market will exceed America in two years The market is also expected to grow very fast double-digit growth in the next 5 years at least , and is expected to be larger in size then the North American logistics market in the next couple of years.
Logistics companies who are serious about expanding in China can do so very successfully if they manage to explore a niche market segment and expand from there. On the downside, companies continue to acknowledge difficulties when working with the Government. Furthermore, issues such as cargo security and shipment tracking in China are way behind other countries.
Services such as security systems and technology to combat tampering, as well as increased supply chain visibility through GPS systems and tracking devices, have been popular and have provided good value in North America and Europe over the last few years. When will China be viewed as meeting the standard on these services and when will supply chains reach truly international standards? Infrastructure, especially road and air, is improving, although road, inlandwaterways, airports, and rail need to be upgraded, with heavy investment and rapid improvement necessary, especially in coastal areas, multi-modal, and national highway networks.
Fragmented market The situation is aggravated by the low entry barriers into what is a highly CHINA'S economy is showing signs of cooling, but acceleration risks remain and the government should be ready to raise interest rates again if needed, the World Bank says.
In a quarterly report on China's economy, the World Bank said that, despite higher-than-expected 9. The government's monetary policy and administrative measures taken to slow the economy last year were showing results, the bank said — ahead of the decision in July to allow the yuan to float against a basket of currencies, instead of being tied directly to the US dollar.
Licences and permits are required for nearly everything in China, and requirements differ from province to province. World Bank sees China growth risks "The risk of China's economy overheating has declined, as domestic demand growth and consumer price inflation have come down in the wake of measures taken to cool the economy," said the World Bank.
For , brisk global economic growth and trade, coupled with robust domestic demand growth, pointed to another strong year for the Chinese economy, the bank said. A final agreement is due to be reached soon. Under the new deal, Bombardier will build additional trains and set up a dedicated maintenance centre in Guangzhou in with sufficient capacity to maintain up to highspeed emus.
The railway ministry will provide the land and buildings for the maintenance centre, while Bombardier will equip it, supply spare parts, provide technical support, train staff, and manage the centre, reports the International Railway Journal. The pressure is now on the logistics industry to understand the realities and anticipate the challenges and obstacles that are part and parcel of setting up a profitable business in China. Another major issue is that China is way behind other countries when it comes to cargo security and shipment tracking.
This clearly indicates the high risks and lack of understanding connected with doing business in this market. China 'could trigger oil collapse' NOTED China-watcher and economist Andy Xie, who is the Hong Kong-based chief economist for Morgan Stanley in Asia, said in a commentary that global oil demand is weakening as the global economic cycle starts to turn down — with the likely trigger a sharp drop in China's crude imports. But Andy Xie said that the reason oil prices have kept rising this year in the face of weakening demand is the weight of speculative money betting on oil price moves.
As evidence accumulates over weakening demand and strong supply, I believe oil prices could collapse," he said. The Xinhuanet news agency said the move made Shandong the first province to admit foreign capital into the sector after China issued new management regulations on foreign investment at the end of These no longer restrict the in-flow of foreign capital. Previously, railways were considered as strategic resources and construction was solely funded by state capital in the country. Foreign investors can solely fund the six rail lines in Shandong, set up joint ventures or buy the property rights.
Xie said China's oil imports declined by 1. They will likely keep prices up until an oil market collapse. That day is not too far away, I believe," said Mr Xie. As China's second-largest economy at the provincial level, Shandong is in urgent need of all kinds of resources and expansion of the transportation capacity, especially the railway transportation.
The province requires an effective railway network to expedite its import and export channels and prop up its economy, said Li Chang'en, deputy director of the Shandong Railway Bureau. Essential Li said the six rail lines are an essential part of the province's railway network. The lines pass the resource-intensive areas where large state-owned coal mines and petroleum companies are located.
The lines serve natural resources, large coal mines and petroleum companies. The two governments have developed what they call a strategic partnership since the Soviet breakup, but trade and financial ties are small. China is the biggest foreign buyer of Russian arms and is eager to gain access to Russian oil and gas to fuel its booming economy. China also has endorsed Moscow's bid to join the World Trade Organization. Zhu Jutang, a director of the project, said the completion ensures that the railroad will be able to reach Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region and the end of the railway, this year.
The 1,km miles railway on the Qinghai- Tibet Plateau, known as the " roof of the world", extends from Golmud in Qinghai Province. The piers of the main body of the bridge resemble the legs of yaks, an animal native to the Qinghai- Tibet Plateau, and the piers of the bridge approach look like snow lotuses, a plant that only grows above the snow line.
Shandong plans to invest 5. The province also plans to accelerate the construction of major rail projects, including the second Handan-Jinan railway, the Heze-Yanzhou-Rizhao railway and the Dezhou-Yantai railway, as well as seven expressways to expand the hinterland for port development. Capable of accommodating 50, ton vessels and handling an annual throughput of one million tons, the facilities are scheduled to be operational in March It is estimated that tourism directly employs millions of people in the [South Asia] Region, representing roughly 2.
Consequently, many shippers are beginning to care less about rate increases and more about ensuring that their carrier, port and rail services are adequate to support JIT just in time supply chains. In practice, many programmes and policies either include a tourism dimension or have a significant impact on tourism-related activities. These Community schemes have an important influence on the development of the tourism industry, on the interests of tourists, on the development, preservation of the natural and cultural heritage.
Comparisons with Europe The European Union still maintains its leading position in world tourism. Through its eight million people directly employed in the EU tourism sector, tourism's direct contribution in And global supply chains are becoming increasingly fragile.
With more and more manufacturers and retailers sourcing components and products from overseas on a JIT basis, there is no margin for error. A broken link in a supply chain can result in stock-outs and bring a production line to a grinding and expensive halt. Speakers said that tourism promoted social values and led to economic prosperity, while transportation dealt with the safe on-time delivery of people and goods from one place to another to achieve this end.
They said that that there was a need to identify and rectify the loopholes in the transportation system within the existing tourism sector. Tourism is seen as a major opportunity for job creation over the coming years, in particular in less developed and peripheral regions.
Some sources estimate that travel and tourism jobs will increase by 2 million during the next 10 years. Tourism's economic contribution is not the only indicator of its beneficial impact. Travel and leisure activities are also social factors, since tourism is no longer an activity for the privileged few, but rather a widespread experience for the great majority of citizens.
Single currency essential Another essential issue for [European] tourism is the single currency. Since the tourism sector is largely characterized by crossboarder activities, it benefits greatly from the single currency. This has created an opportunity for industry players to deploy technologies that boost supply chain performance, improve reliability, help manage inventory at optimum levels, and provide shippers with end-to-end visibility.
Recognizing the important role of tourism in the economy, we have to get increasingly involved in tourism development. An important step recommended is the establishment of the Tourism Advisory Committee in the Region, the role of which should be to facilitate exchange of information, consultation and co-operation on tourism.
Tourism could make a greater contribution to growth and stability in employment in Regional tourism. The results of the survey can be downloaded from: www. If all stakeholders work together to determine what exactly they want out of tourism and how they want to package this, everybody stands to gain.
Tourism has an enormous potential to improve social development and economic growth; it is a key factor in the framework of intercultural dialogue and sustainable development. Similarly, the organisation had also lost its market share of freight. Mr Durrani said that PR was in a bad state of affairs, which meant tourists did not use this means of transport.
Provincial and local governments also had a critical role to play in promotion of tourism in Pakistan. Legislation for risk-free travel was needed, and there should be separate police for protection of tourists. The theme for the Conference is "Collaboration for Competitiveness". Mr Shafiqullah said that besides regular railway police, a support force of Khasadars law enforcers should be provided at the Khyber Steam Safari for protection of tourists.
Due to introduction of private airlines, fares have come down and left positive effects on domestic tourism, he said. Mohammad Iqbal Khatri, a consultant, highlighted transport and infrastructure issues in regional tourism. He said that tourism researchers believed that transport and infrastructure was responsibility of the state and private sector.
Tourism in Pakistan was a slow-growing industry and its potential for tourism, especially in the northern region, should be fully exploited, he added. The Conference proceedings will also consist of three workshops covering the following topics: 1. Distribution Strategy 2. The statement was released by the academies of the G8 nations, and was signed by scientists from 11 countries, including China and India, as well as the UK and USA.
Their statement read: "It is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities. The scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify nations taking prompt action. Action taken now to reduce significantly the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will lessen the magnitude and rate of climate change. The statements were made ahead of the G8 conference, in Scotland, where global warming was high on the agenda.
But progress was not great. Their loads were also spread over six axles, compared to the five axles of lighter lorries. No extra tax Prof McKinnon said that as they do not have to pay extra tax on the additional carrying capacity, many One problem with tonne lorries is that, with their sixth axle, they can be less manoeuvrable. This truck required 14 shunts to turn into the main road in this picture, holding up traffic for several minutes.
Before tonne lorries were permitted in the UK, some 2, bridges were strengthened, and other bridges were reduced to a single lane. In the rest of Europe, lorries up to 60 tonnes operate in Sweden, 53 tonnes in Finland and 50 tonnes in the Netherlands, but Prof McKinnon was not aware of studies of their impact.
But he said a case could be made for a further increase in the British weight limit, although he acknowledged that this would be "very controversial and fiercely resisted". We would want to see the impact monitored over a longer period. There will always be a case for lorries, but any moves to make road freight more economic, so more goods are carried by road rather than rail, are not in our longterm interests. The different forms of rail passenger services — commuter, light rail, intercity, etc.
According to a database of terrorist incidents, there were terrorist attacks on trains and rail-related targets worldwide between These incidents resulted in a total of deaths — of which were caused by one attack in Angola. Since then, however, there have been incidents in Madrid and London, which resulted in deaths, excluding the bombers.
Efforts include vulnerability assessments, emergency planning, emergency response training of personnel ideally in coordination with first responders such as fire, police and ambulance services , as well as purchase of communication and safety equipment. But who pays? Advocates of federal responsibility in the U. But as the recent attacks in London showed, those responsible were not foreign terrorists but U. There is also some argument that rail operators should meet some or most of costs of increased security and surveillance as many of the security measures have wider benefits, often in reducing other types of threat to passengers for example, from ordinary criminal activity and accidents.
In Britain, shortly after the London bomb attacks, a study published by the U. The NAO study was undertaken before the London attacks and found passengers were most unhappy with 2, smaller stations that had part-time or no staff. Risk Management There are several ways to manage the risk to passenger rail. One is to reduce vulnerability to attack e. Security efforts involve trade-offs in money and time.
One key policy issue is where to strike the balance between the desire for security and the efficient operation of the rail systems; another is striking the balance between the cost of security efforts in passenger rail and other political priorities, including security efforts in other areas. The pan-Himalayan rail project — which began in , eight years after Chinese troops invaded Tibet — is expected to be finished by the end of this year. Many climatologists considered the plateau a "magnifier" of global climate change and an indicator of warming trends across East Asia.
Winter and summer temperatures on the Tibetan plateau could jump as much as 3. The railway will span 2, km 1, miles from Xining in Qinghai province, to the capital of Tibet, Lhasa. Some observers, noting that the number of potential terrorist targets — such as passenger trains — are virtually limitless, question the value of efforts to make these targets more secure.
But such actions involve trade-offs too, and one of the trade-offs is that resources may be applied to activities with limited security value that might otherwise be applied to activities with greater security value. There is no easy choice. Picture courtesy of Yorkshire Post. International airport standards call for no plane to exceed 80 meters in length and width. The A has a wingspan of The new plane is so much larger than any other craft that most airports face the daunting prospect of making major design changes to accommodate it — or, as in Dubai, building a new terminal specifically for As.
After a year of test flights, the first passenger-carrying A is expected to fly in spring Plants in Britain assemble the wings, workers in Germany build the fuselage, and all these major sections are then shipped to Toulouse for final assembly.
Wing supply chain Of all the components for the A, the wings are considered the most crucial. The supply chain has been tracked by the Los Angeles Times. It starts in western Australia where miners dig up a reddish, clay-like material containing bauxite, the principal ore of aluminium, which makes up the basic structure of the A Bauxite is ground down and mixed with caustic soda and lime, then heated to a granulated state.
It is shipped to a smelting plant in Texas, USA, where it is poured into large pots and shocked with electricity to turn it into hard aluminium ingots the size of mattresses. The ingots are shipped to Alcoa Inc. Stretching 1. These aluminium wing pieces are so long that Airbus had to design a single-bed truck trailer that can extend out, like a telescope, to carry the metal plates to Baltimore, Maryland, from where they are shipped to Broughton in North Wales.
This is home to the world's largest wing assembly plant, with enough room for 12 soccer fields. Aluminium plates arrive at Broughton in the basic shape of a wing. The wing skins are treated in a chemical bath. Then a three-storey-high automated robotic riveting machine, the first of its kind, attaches the skins to a row of ribs made of composites and metals.
The machine uses more than , fasteners to attach the skins; any difficult-to-reach spots are riveted by hand. But each time we landed, when he led the way off the plane, he was once more the picture of sartorial correctness. And onwards, ever onwards, we flew, our yo-yoing canvas seat straps now, it felt, leaving their imprints permanently on our posteriors.
And, blessed relief, Singapore finally slid under our wings and we were released from our fifty-hour torment. It was late I think about hours and the warm, damp air enveloped us as we trudged our way to transport that took us to the Nee Soon Barracks where we were told that we could sleep until hours.
As it was hours by then this did not seem a generous offer. By hours we were each in possession of Sten guns, three magazines, ninety rounds of ammunition, ex-Indian Army khaki shirts, shorts, slacks, a camp bed of astounding complexity and other impedimenta. Then on to the day train to KL. I remember scarcely anything of that steamy, rattling journey. Like the rest, I dozed through the long, hot, sticky day. On the platform at KL we found our commissioner awaiting us.
Consulting his notes, he told us we were all going to the State of Pahang, where CT attacks were widespread and where general mayhem prevailed. We would be billeted upon rubber estate managers in pairs - an older man with a younger one. I don't remember how we paired off; it was rather like waiting on the playing field to be picked by opposing team captains.
My 'old' partner was aged 25 or so and had served through the recent war. Gray wished us well and hoped to visit us on our rubber estates before too long. After taking a degree in tropical agriculture, he had barely started work as an Assistant Manager on an estate in Johore when the Emergency began.
David's expertise as a marksman and weapons expert stood him in good stead when he joined the police in as an ASP. He has been a most enthusiastic supporter of Operation Sharp End. David Brent's description of the somewhat daunting range of duties, which he was required to carry out as a newly minted police officer, will perhaps surprise Britons of the 21" Century. The list represents the typical challenges faced by youngsters setting off in their first posting in the Colonial Service. We arrived young, probably with only military experience behind us, and almost certainly without first-hand knowledge of the territory.
Even without a full-scale Emergency to cope with, the responsibility was considerable. But, like military service, it was an experience that stood the survivors in good stead for life. We learnt on the job, supported generously by our Malayan colleagues. And the job usually gave a great deal of what, in modern management speak, is known as 'job satisfaction', which we all remember with pleasure fifty years on. Kuala Lipis was one of the largest police districts in Malaya, almost geographically dead centre of the country; it was the administrative town of Pahang and housed all the government head offices.
At the beginning of the Emergency most of the CTs had the advantage of experience of jungle warfare and of training as a result of their wartime service in the MPAJA. But the police force and the army were not jungle-train ed. The rapid improvisation of defence forces and offensive measures were greatly aided, however, by the fact that so many of the expatriates had recently left the British Army. The new intake of police officers and planters had nearly all been officers in the British Army and thus at least knew how to handle firearms and to command troops.
This accumulated military experience was not something that the MCP had factored into their plan s to launch a terrorist campaign, and the rapid reaction of civilians, must have caused the CTs some surprise. Bags of Bull by Dato' J. Dato' Raj, who joined the police in and finished asa Deputy Commissioner, saw a lot of the training process.
Initiation in the Depot was, indeed, a culture shock. On the second day we were marched onto the parade ground, shirtless and with a pair of baggy shorts and army boots. There were over a hundred recruits on the parade ground at various stages of training and in overall command was the Chief Drill Instructor, Chegu Panjang, my childhood friend.
Tall with an imposing figure and a thunderous voice, he struck fear into everyone. I felt that as an old friend there would be concessions for me. But for Chegu when on parade there was no such thing as friend or foe, senior or junior officer, everyone was equal in his eyes. He yelled at anyone making the slightest mistake and my friends and I had to do many punishment drills till we improved. Chegu Panjang was a perfectionist; he accepted no nonsense from any quarter. Off parade he was a perfect gentleman.
During my training period, the MCP had a strong hold on the labour unions, unleashed considerable strikes, many of which were militant in nature. The problems were countrywide, and the police were hard-pressed and short of manpower. There were times when the shortage of manpower was so severe that many of us, still training in the Depot, were sent to rubber estates to quell disturbances. It was a comic sight to see the manager, handgun in holster and carbine over his shoulder, playing the part of DriII Sergeant.
The APs did their best to respond to his English commands, but they did not understand him, so some marched forward, others backwards, some turned right and others left. I was able to help. Training has been an important part of the police force ever since its inception in Penang on March 25, There was much in common between training in the military and in the police, since the original British officers were from the British Army.
However, training was more or less similar and based on the common iron discipline. All police trainees were given thorough training in the use of firearms. During musketry lessons, trainees were trained to strip and reassemble Bren guns, Sten guns, pump guns, etc. They were trained to shoot to kill, or be killed, on operations. Parades were daily and rigorous, particularly marching and drill. These were in the mornings, followed by classroom studies in law, as well as Malay language lessons, followed by musketry.
The rapid expansion programme caused problems in leadership, training, organisation, management and communications. The strength of the police force rose from 9, police officers and 2, civilian staff in , to 76, regular police, and 80, APs making a total of , at the height of the Emergency!
The problem of recruiting such a colossal number was great, but the task of training them was as daunting. We had recruits who had never worn boots. The parade commands were in English, and the men had no idea of the language. It was an uphill task. Almost all were Malays and they learnt quickly and willingly. The same scenario was repeated in police training schools all over Malaya.
After training I was posted to a Sub-Depot at Tanjong Rambutan, which was next door to the government hospital for mentally retarded persons. The training took place near the patients who were locked up in large, airy, rooms with wire netting. Mentally retarded they may have been, but they soon picked up most of the commands - right, left - right, quick-march and all the swear words used by the drill instructors.
Night and day the 'loonies' yelled out the drill commands and the swear words, and whenever I passed by I received smart salutes from them, some completely naked. I returned the salutes meticulously. Having lived with the 'loonies' for two years, I am not sure whether part of their idiosyncrasies have not rubbed off on me! It was very tough at the Depot. I remember my first meal garnished with ant s, smelly fish, food barely fit for dogs.
The coffee tasted as if the cook had been using the Commandant's socks! Our barracks was as basic as any building could be. Every morning a bugler woke us at hours. Then we drilled breakfasted, and drilled again with musketry training until lunch.
The hardest part was the sessions on law and language in the afternoon, when we were physically too tired to concentrate easily. The day ended at hours. Then we took turns at Guard Duty. On Saturdays barracks and kit were inspected, and if any blemish was found, we were severely punished. The recruits were of all shapes and sizes, of various races. Only two out of our Squad of 52 failed. The squad was divided into two sections.
Mine was under a Sikh, ferocious on parade. The other section was under a Malay so fierce that he was known as 'Tiger'. The training was designed to produce strong and resilient officer s, and most of the trainees enjoyed the camaraderie, which contributed to esprit de corps in the future. The Manager, Ian Davidson, had endured a pretty frightful couple of month s under siege from marauding CTs and was delighted to have his 'Palestinians' , both for the company we provided and for the training of the estate's SCs.
We had three other estate s to defend, each with its complement of thirty SCs. We had to cope with shortages of arms, amunition and transport. Ammunition, however, was limi ted to five rounds per man, and was also of great age and often misfired. The dates on the rim of the rounds were mostly '34, '36 and '37 and, after a dozen years or so in the humidity of Malaya, it was an agreeable surprise when they fired, As for transport, we had none; sometimes we walked for five miles or more to our other estates, or sometimes hitched rides on the latex tankers.
To begin with our SCs never had an opportunity to fire their shotguns and rifles, except during CT attacks that were launched usually at night. After much insistence, we obtained ten rounds per man for training purposes and, despite misfires and hang-fires, this proved a great morale raiser. The SCs were almos t all young Malay lads from kampongs in the area.
An exception was a Chine se-owned estate that was four or five miles away from our base on Mentri where the thirty SCs were Kwongsai Chinese. These were, to a man, rabidly pro-Nationalist and anti-Communist. They tended to be large, tough fellow s who, to our untutored eyes, all looked alike.
They also shared between them only a very small number of surnames, and were related by marriage or 'clan' for good meas ure; even their given names, in Romanised form, were similar. Finally, just to ensure that we were driven to madness when trying to work out shifts, all of them being good Chinese entrepreneurs in addition to their SC duties, were also tapping rubber.
Several attempts to organise these celestials resulted only in ever greater confusion until finally, at the gentle suggestion of the manager himself a Kwongsai , we promoted to corporal the largest and most thuggish of the lot who, in short order, had three shifts up and running and posted on the duty roster board in Chinese characters which we could not read. All was well. One minor handicap of these Kwongsai lay in their inability to close one eye when firing their rifles.
We made eye patches which did the trick although making them look even more sinister and eventually some, but not all, learned the knack of closing the left eye. John had only arrived in Malaya in May Kulai Yong Estate was in South Johore: notorious bandit country. His tale illustrates admirably the enthusiasm and initiative with which the planters took up the cudgels against the CTs.
Even before the Emergency there had been considerable disturbing activity around the estate with unnerving comings and goings at night of sinister people. We had no arms, and were very relieved when a Gurkha platoon came to camp on the estate. We were less pleased when the next day our Chinese Hainanese cooks disappeared without warning, never to be seen again.
Bob Graver and Jock Sutherland, two ex-Palestine Police Sergeants, were sent to help and soon all three of us were hard at work training the young Malay SCs who had been recruited, mostly from local kampongs. I had already worked with the OCPD Kulai, Inche Yusuf bin Yanus, who, knowing that I had been an officer in the British Army, asked me to train his men in the use of the Bren gun with which he had been newly supplied after the CTs had attacked the local police station.
We set to with enthusiasm on the training task of which I had plenty of experience from army days, training National Servicemen. Drill, barrack room inspections, field craft and weapon training became the order of the day. We dug trenches in which the SCs stood to at dawn and dusk, the times when the CTs were most likely to attack. All this added interest to my work as a planter.
But, although our young Malay recruits became ever more proficient in their paramilitary duties, they had never experienced enemy fire, and we agreed. So we worked out a battle inoculation exercise. The plan was that I and Jock Sutherland would set up a Bren gun on a ridge above the estate and open fire, in Battle School-style, on a fixed line above the heads of a three section fighting patrol of SCs led by Sergeant Graver.
The patrol was to be spread out in battle formation, each section in single file, advancing along both Sides of the road beneath us. On D-Day I had some difficulty in finding a suitable spot on the ridge from which to find a clear field of fire for my Bren, so eventually decided to site the gun about five yards forward of the crest. Meanwhile Sergeant Graver's fighting patrol was advancing blissfully unaware that they were about to receive battle inoculation.
When Bob and his leading section appeared, I opened up with seve. Sergeant Graver blew his whistle, ordered a cease-fire, and explained that the live ammunition, which had passed over their heads, was part of an exercise, not part of a CT attack. I realised that I had made an error of judgement when I sited my Bren on the forward slope, I was delighted WIth the textbook performance that had been put on by our SCs.
Perhaps the state of efficiency of our SCs was the reason why the CTs never attempted a set piece attack on Kulai Yong; they preferred to indulge in cowardly ambushes against moving vehicles where they could be sure that they outnumbered their prey. He was appointed an Honorary Inspector. This account of a Terang Bulan bright moon attack on Prang Besar Estate captures the atmosphere of the times, when planters had to become soldiers again to beat off the CTs and train and lead the SCs.
The estate was some distance from the town, with a laterite road connecting factory, labour lines and managers' bungalows. For some curious reason, the CTs never cut the telephone wire that linked us to the outside world. The encircling rubber trees were between fifty and one hundred yards away from the buildings and strung with barbed wire between the nearest trees to form a serviceable perimeter fence. On the laterite road and round the managers' houses and the factory, there were gates and sand-filled gallon drums to provide strong points.
At night the perimeter fence and the strong points were illuminated. The resident estate labour force was Tamil; the guards, also resident, were Malay and Tami!. There were also some Malays working in the research station. Our relations with all of them were friendly. The remainder of the workforce, however, was Chinese Contract labour that was trucked in daily.
There was little doubt that there were Min Yuen - Communist spies - amongst them and their work gave them a perfect opportunity to spy out the land and report on our habits and defences. The Chinese made no secret of their hostility to us. Whenever we visited areas where they were at work, they would bang loudly on their latex collection pails as soon as they saw us, so that our whereabouts on the estate was always known.
This was unnerving but kept us on our toes. The nature of our duties, constantly visitina the working areas of the plantations, made us easy targets for the CTs. Having attended the dawn muster of tappers, and returned to the bungalow for breakfast, we would set out on foot or by Jeep, on our tours of inspection.
Although we had escorts, we were very vulnerable. We hoped that the Tamils were sufficiently well-disposed to warn us of any CT presence, but had no delusions that the Chinese contract force were on our side. The best we could do to make life more difficult for the enemy was to carefully vary routes and timings.
The estate weaponry was a quartermaster's nightmare. Understandably, the regular police got priority when modern weapons became available, and we had to make do with whatever Harrisons had been able to buy on the commercial market. Our weapons included small parangs and single-barrelled shotguns for the guards, and ancient.
There were also strange weapons such as Lanchesters and Reissing guns. Eventually we got some Colt. I was fortunate: I had my own private Colt. They had cached their weapons after the war and now brought them into use for their 'armed struggle'. Things looked up when the police sergeants arrived. We were issued with. MeanwhIle we strengthened our defences, putting shards of glass at the bottom of the drainage ditches which, following the contours of the hills, had been dug to prevent erosion.
My favourite escort was a TamiI, rumoured to have been a member of the Japanese Army. Whatever the truth of that matter, he was respected by the other Tamils. It helped that we both spoke fluent Urdu and he was good company. We tried to make sure that we were back inside the perimeter before 'Stand To' at dusk; that was the most.
Nights were disturbed by false alarms; sentries loosing off shots at fireflies, wrongly identified as a CT having a smoke, or at wild boar rooting about near the perimeter, and identified as a section of CTs forming up for an assault. But once we had 'Stood To' we could not stand down again until dawn, since we could not be absolutely certain that there was nothing sinister behind the apparent false alarm, so we lost a lot of sleep.
The CTs soon cottoned on to the idea that they could cause us a sleepless night at little cost to themselves by arranging 'jitter' parties, which would fire a few rounds from somewhere near the perimeter and then depart having brought us all out of bed for the night. Outside the estate, driving on the road to Klang or KL was a hazardous business; we had the choice of driving alone and fast, hoping that there would be no tree across the road, or waiting until a convoy could be organised.
The first, long-expected, attack came at dusk just before Christmas. There was a full moon to light up the scene and the SCs fired a near perfect volley at the CT targets, who were illuminated by the bright moonlight as they formed up outside the perimeter of the Manager's bungalow. Then all deteriorated into wild firing and chaos. I regrouped with my guards at the Manager's bungalow where we were able to move around in comparative safety behind the bullet-proof barricades, which we had built up to waist height, around the house.
We moved about calming the SCs while our imperturbable hostess, Mrs Wright, dispensed coffee and tea. The CTs did not press their attack and, eventually, the firing died down. We stayed on the alert until dawn. There had been no casualties on our side, but when we looked around outside we found plenty of bullets in the house and in the surrounding trees. We also found traces of blood in the ditches where the CTs had dived for cover when we fired our first volley, and landed painfully in our broken glass trap.
The CTs returned to the attack two nights later. This time, having been taught a painful lesson when they attacked during Stand To, they attacked after Stand Down, penetrated the perimeter fence and broke through between the houses and offIce and into the factory.
Once again firing was wild and confused, and again we grouped our guard force in the Manager's bungalow. We decided to mount a counteroffensive. The plan was to use our armoured lorry to charge through the CT position on the laterite road, where they had positioned themselves between the offices and us, and to chase them out of the factory. Our counter-attack went according to plan; we took the lorry charging through the CT party with the SCs firing at will at weapon flashes or movement.
When we reached the factory we debussed and hunted the CTs out. After that the CTs never came back. They provide a vivid picture of action on a rubber estate in the early days of the Emergency. This collection is a reminder of the constant danger of ambush faced by the police and, indeed, anyone required to travel around the winding, hilly, jungle-fringed country roads of Malaya. The CTs had every advantage: choice of site, target, time, was their prerogative and after a lethal fusillade from Bren guns, accompanied by a shower of grenades, the CT party would melt away into the jungle before a counter-attack could be mounted.
However vigilant and mentally prepared the traveller might be the odds were heavily in favour of the CTs. Most were fit only for beat duty; they were certainly not trained for search and rescue operations. One day in December , I was ordered to bring twelve constables and a sergeant major to escort three Japanese officers to Panching, where the police station had been attacked by the MPAJA. Our party squeezed into an old five ton lorry which we had commandeered; the Japanese officers in the cab, the sergeant major and I sitting on the sideboards.
We set off along a dirt track, and then along a road running between river and rubber trees. No one said much; each had his own thoughts about what lay ahead. About a mile from the village, the silence was broken by two bursts of automatic tire. The sergeant major and I jumped down,took cover under the lorry, and tried to locate the source of the gunfire.
The Japanese jumped down too. Suddenly the firing stopped. An eerie silence ensued and then I felt something wet and sticky soaking into my uniform. It was blood, trickling through the floorboards. The only sounds to be heard were the sobbing of one of the Japanese, the reproaches of his superior officer telling him to behave like a man, and the groans of the injured constables above me.
I awaited the MPAJA's attack, determined to make them pay a heavy price for their devilry, but there was none. After some time I crawled out from under the lorry, my men's blood sticking to my skin like red sweat. I found six of them had been killed.
As I looked at their limp bodies, I thought of their families, and felt a pain in my heart greater than any the men could have felt when the bullets smashed into their bodies. Later, when reviewing the circumstances of the ambush, I concluded that probably only one man had opened fire on us, aiming, with his automatic weapon, at the centre of the lorry, and that he had run off as soon as he had emptied his magazine.
I concluded that they were not ten feet tall! It was the largest estate in Malaya, a showpiece with its own polIce station and 84 miles of private estate roads. However, most of the estate roads were on the perimeter of the estate and the Lalang and secondary jungle that lay outside the perimeter, were infested with CTs. One day I was on the steps of the station talking to the crew of an armoured personnel carrier APC that was about to set off to escort a convoy of lorries carrying rice.
The convoy was going to a village nearby that was well known to harbour many Communist supporters, possibly volunteers but more probably conscripts. I was mulling over the situation and had just decided that I should accompany the convoy, when I heard the telephone ring and then saw the Station Sergeant coming out. He reported that Tuan OS PC was on the telephone and wanted to speak to me, so I signalled to the convoy to start without me.
I went into the office and picked up the telephone to talk to the OS Pc. Suddenly, while I was still on the telephone, the air was rent with the sound of rifle fire and the explosion of grenades. I rushed back to my quarters, which I shared with Major MacDonald of the Gurkhas, collected an escort and dashed off to investigate. When I arrived on the scene I found that the APC had been grenaded, killing the five men on board and the driver had been hurled out of the door, doused in petrol and torched.
It was a sad business bringing the bodies of these brave policemen back to the Bahru Police Station compound where they had been living with their families. And it is a tragic memory, which will remain with me all my days. Ken, an ex-marine and a media man, presented me with a complete set of his father's journals. Kampong Banggor reported that they had found a booby trap on the path leading to the village.
At news was received that a police squad heading south in two armoured vehicles, had been ambushed at the I gathered a squad and we drove down to the police post. The casualties were worse than the first report: there was one constable killed and six injured out of twelve men in the convoy party.
I took some men up onto the bank on the right hand side of the road. There I found a row of shallow trenches had been dug and concealed with foliage. The CT who set the ambush knew what he was doing. It had been well sited. At the end of the straight stretch the road did a tight left turn, with the bank following it around. Obviously, vehicles would have to slow down to negotiate this tight bend.
At this point were more trenches, from which the CTs had looked both directly onto and into the front of the approaching vehicles. Anybody diving out to the left to get into the ditch was the object of enfilade fire. I was able to unravel the sequence of events involved. The CTs held their fire until just the right moment, when the vehicles were closest to them and travelling at their slowest to manage the sharp.
When the firing started, some of the shots had plunged downwards into the armoured vehicles and struck some of the men inside the open-topped armoured box of one of the vehicles. Watching this disaster unfolding, the second vehicle came forward again and stopped on the verge alongside the one. The armoured car also now came forward agam, moving up the now clear road, and fired away with its Bren gun along the bank from which the CTs were engaging them.
Under this covering fire, supported by some of their own men firing over the side from inside the open top of their vehicle, the crew of the second vehicle swung their rear door open. At the same time the rear doors of the first GMC were also swung open. The survivors of the first vehicle now hopped out and in through the rear door of the other vehicle. These, fortunately, being at the rear of the vehicles, meant they were at least partially sheltered from view from the bank in front of the enfilade fire.
As a Bren gunner in the armoured car was busy firing from the seat in the turret, there was a loud crack and he suddenly jerked back with a startled gasp, letting the Bren gun go. The driver looked across and saw that the gunner was clutching his neck and that his hands were covered in blood as he had been shot through the neck. He was still alive, although in some distress and bleeding badly.
With the gunner incapacitated, the driver went into reverse. As a result of this incident police armoured vehicles were modified, with a steel plate erected behind the driver and extending the roof cover back a bit, so that the driver was in his own armoured box and cut off from bouncing rounds. Another result was a wave of volunteers at the station to replace the casualties of the squad, which had a good record in action against the CTs.
Another result was that Corporal Mohammad, the convoy commander, was awarded the CPM for gallantry for his steady action. The account gives a vivid impression of how courageously young police officers handled the 'incidents' that they came across as they travelled unescorted through the rural areas ofMalaya.
In he was sent to Klian Intan to take on the formidable gang of 'bandits' who were terrorising the area, operating from a safe haven across the border in Thailand. The gang had carried out murders, kidnappings, robberies, and extortion. On 17 June, a bandit gang of about twenty-five men armed with Stens and pistols had just attacked a bus on the road to Kroh, seriously wounding the driver.
Andrew, accompanied in his Jeep by a Sikh driver, drove round a corner to find himself face-to-face with CTs, a crowd of passengers in the middle of the road and, at the side of the road, the burnt-out bus. The bandits opened fire; Andrew ordered his driver to drive on and, as soon as they were clear of the crowd, jumped into a roadside culvert while the driver carried on round the corner.
Andrew, who was only carrying a revolver and nine rounds of ammunition, then opened fire on the bandits, with complete disregard for his own safety. The bandits retaliated with heavy fire from short range but somehow none of their bullets hit their mark. Andrew, despite his meagre supply of ammunition, managed to disable two of the bandits as they began to close in on him. His choice of target was made particularly difficult because of the presence of the bus passengers scattered all over the road, but his accurate shooting forced the bandits to take cover.
When he had exhausted his ammunition, Andrew crawled away under fire, along the culvert and round the corner. Since he had no more ammunition he took to the jungle to continue observation of the bandit gang. By the time a rescue patrol arrived on the scene the bandits had withdrawn. Arshad and I kept fairly quiet, listening idly to the conversation of our elders and betters in the front. It was a fine day, not too hot, with a clear blue sky overhead.
I kept looking back to see that the scout car was keeping station. It was. After about 30 minutes we reached Yong Peng and, shortly after passing through the village with the police station behind its barbed wire, we turned right along the Paloh Road, which ran through an area inhabited by pro-Communist Chinese squatters, and then through an area of jungle that had been the happy hunting ground of the CT Independent Platoon for some time.
In short, the road was unhealthy. Nevertheless, I started to doze between watching the rather uninteresting squatter and tapioca scenery flit by, and ruminating on the day's work that lay ahead. We were on our way to consider a large scheme for resettlement in the Paloh area and, thereby, to deny the CTs food, contacts and sources of recruitment. There had been no contact with the CT Platoon for some time, and we had been wondering where it would strike next.
We were soon to know. Saying "Selamat lalan" safe journey to Monty, who was on his way to Yong Peng, we continued northwards and shortly entered jungle. I lit another cigarette and agreed with the AO's suggestion that it was a perfect day for a picnic, and weren't the CTs a bloody nuisance.
We were now all wide-awake and kept our eyes on the jungle, which lined both sides of the road. Somehow that day it didn't look so dank and uninviting. Not that I minded the jungle normally, when on foot, but it really can give you the willies when travelling in a soft-skinned vehicle such as our American saloon. We sped along until the road started to climb and we slowed up a trifle to take a right-hand bend. Then it happened. A sharp report from somewhere to our right and front, and the car lurched over to the right side of the road, ending up below a four foot bank, which formed the inner curve of the bend.
Silence followed for a few brief seconds, and in those seconds all four of us must have realised what had happened. On the right our vision was completely blocked by the bank, and supposedly the CTs were in position along the top. To the front the road curved uphill to the right, so that the jungle was facing us. To our left and on the far side of the road, the jungle again reached to within a few feet of the tarmac. For the first few brief seconds, however, we saw no one. Then all hell broke loose, with fire coming at us from the front, ;and down from the top of the bank.
There appeared to be no bandits along the left side of the road. I turned to Arshad who was sitting to my right, I told him to open fire. He didn't move: he must have bought it in the first burst of CT fire. I flopped down on the floorboards as the CTs opened up again, and the air became filled with cordite fumes and dust.
Looking up I noticed that the rear window had been shattered, and suddenly in a fit of what I can only caU temper, I fired my Browning Automatic through the roof. It was a compl. However, I was doing something, and in a way helping to take my mind off our plight. I wriggled and twisted myself into a position where I could see Girdler through the 2-inch gap between the left-hand edge of the front seat and the side doors.
The din was terrific and bullets continued to smash against the car. Thanks be that it was a sturdily built model, or else we should all have been playing harps after the first burst. Good Luck," I shouted back, "I'll have a go after you. The firing stopped, and Girdler suddenly flung open his door and dashed outside with a "Here we go! Of the scout car also I had heard and seen nothing. In fact, I felt pretty lonely taking all in all.
But I started to pluck up courage to follow Girdler's example. As I slowly opened the door the whine of the bullets just outside made me hurriedly close it again. Hell, I thought, is thIS. I must take a grip of myself. Once agaIn I gently pushed the door open a few inches and saw the welcoming green of the jungle on the far side of the road, only about fifteen yards away.
Fifteen yards, it looked more like a mile to me. Taking a deep breath and flinging open the door at the same time, I sprinted across what seemed like an endless su:etch of tarmac. All I could see ahead was the jungle, its thIck green foliage waiting to engulf and protect me. I think the CTs opened fire on me. They were only ten to fifteen yards away as I left the car, so presumably they had a bash.
I was never a fast sprinter at school, but I think that I beat all known world records that day, and I must have proved to be a very fast movIng target. As I reached the jungle edge, after what seemed an eternity, I took a flying leap and ended up beside a large log, having passed through a thorny bush on the way. Picking myself up, I flung off my green jacket and belt for ease of movement.
My pistol fell on the ground somewhere but I did not pause to look for it. Not a very heroic and disciplined thing to do, but it had jammed in the car and going through that undergrowth I would need both hands. I was to put it mildly, in a panic. One thing only was uppermost in my mmd, escape, and the only hope that I had of getting away, was to run lIke a deer away from those little bastards, wearing their three star caps, khaki tunics and puttees.
I ran then as I have never run before. Stumbling through the bush. Meanwhile, bugles sounded behind me and whistles were blowing. Were they following me? I didn't know. I kept on running away from the road and deeper and deeper into the protection of the jungle. The words of Col Spencer Chapman came to mind, "The jungle is neutral. What a relief. The noise that it made, in the stillness of that place, must have been as deafening to an observer as Victoria Falls to Livingstone, when he first observed and listened to the giant cascade of water.
Whether I had been running due west or southwest, I hadn't the faintest idea, but one thing was certain. If I was to get back to the road I must travel east so, trusting a bit to instinct, I started to walk stealthily and pausing every minute or so to listen for sounds of cracking branches or voices.
Slowly my confidence returned and with it my breath and concentration. I had seen nothing of either FolIiott or Girdler. What had happened to them? Where were the Gurkhas? Had they heard the firing? I must be careful I thought, when I reached the road. If the CTs saw me I would certainly be a goner, if the Gurkhas, then they might easily mistake me at a distance for a CT and have a pot at me.
Once again my spirits fell. Was I going in the right direction? The sun by this time was nearly at its zenith and I had become more that a little doubtful about direction since I had calmed down and collected my thoughts. Suddenly, ahead of me, I saw that the foliage was thinner and, running forward, found the road. With a thankful prayer, I dropped down in the ditch at the roadside and looked around.
The road was straight at this point, so I must have struck it a good way south of the ambush. All that I had to do now was to wait for a passing vehicle to take me into Yong Peng. Five minutes later I heard the sound of a truck coming up the road. Oh wonderful, it was Monty with his Gurkhas. I rushed out into the road waving my hands and, with a squeal of brakes the leading small troop carrier pulled up within a few feet of me.
Monty jumped out and gripped my hands. Evidently, the police at Paloh heard the firing and came to your assistance. They found Folliott and Girdler in the bush and both are. They've been bayoneted with short Sten bayonets, and are now on their way to Kluang. Your Orderly was burnt inside the car and they seem to think that you are mati dead somewhere in the bush.
I'm bloody glad to see you're not. With a thankful heart at seeing friends again, I climbed inside the trooper and a grinning Gurkha handed me a rifle. We sped along the road and a few minutes later arrived at ambush corner. A number of men from the police jungle squad were prowling around and there, by the bank, was the car, a burnt out wreck. With an intense feeling of having somehow let Arshad down, I walked slowly over to the nearside door and looked inside.
There was nothing left of Arshad. I turned away sickened and, as I did so, Monty came up beside me and gave a smart salute. In my heart I thanked him. It was so typical of the man. He had already won two Military Crosses MCs and, though he said little, he had proved himself again and again to be a very able commander, a fearless soldier and a reliable and staunch friend.
The Brigade of Gurkhas was, indeed, fortunate to have the services of such a man. The Gurkhas spread out and prepared to follow up on the heels of the CTs. They had brought five days' rations with them and, in a matter of minutes, had picked up the trail. I turned once again to take a last look at the car and then got into a police truck that had just arrived. As we left the scene, some of the Malay Jungle Squad Constables, who were sitting behind me, slapped me on the back and offered me cigarettes.
I knew them all pretty well. They were glad to see me and I more than reciprocated their feelings. We said little, and I was soon half asleep, my eyes were heavy and I suppose shock had started. When we arrived at Kluang Police Station, I reported my return and then went straight to the hospital. Mrs Eileen Folliott was there, putting a very brave face on it all. She had heard from Y ong Peng of the ambush and had travelled right up to the scene with a police party, and had torn up her underclothes to use as bandages on her husband and Girdler.
She was a very brave woman. I was allowed to see Girdler first and found him lying on the operating table. He was conscious, and we talked Urdu to each other for a few moments. I noticed three clean stab wounds in his chest and a bandage covered his abdomen.
Words stuck. I went in to Folliott and found him surrounded with blood plasmas. His whole face was swathed with bandages. We could not converse so I left and went straight to the Post Office to send a telegram home. I remember its exact wording, Bloody lucky - don't worry - writing - Sandy. I learnt later that the Bren gun in the scout car had jammed and they had, therefore, driven straight through the scene of ambush to report and get help. Postscript I have always felt ashamed about the loss of my pistol, but at the time, escape was my only objective.
But my pistol was found and returned to me. Later, I was sitting at a dinner in Kluang with various Chinese dignitaries and our SB hosts informed me that the chap sitting opposite had been the CT Bren gunner in the ambush. Apart from these 6 firearms captured there were also more than 70 rounds of ammunition seized. The following is the story of the incident: On 15th March the enemies collected the Security forces consisting of to men to Iaunch an attack at the three points namely: at the 9th milestone on Paloh Road, the Hylam Village and at the 5th milestone on Ayer Hitam Road.
The last day of screening and combing the areas were carried on till the 19th March. Our army in mufti, acting on accurate information received, Iaid an ambush at the12th milestone on Paloh Road in spite of the continuous showers of rain. As the signal, firing a shot, was given, the enemy's cars had already reached within 30 metres of our firing range.
A volley of light machine-gun and Tommy gun fire poured down on the enemies. As a result of the firing the car in front over-turned on the side of the road, the armoured car behind was afraid to put up a resistance but only tried to escape out of our firing range. At this moment our vanguards were ordered to rush forward in two directions - one party gave chase to the two red-haired pigs, the OSPC and the Operations Officer who, by now, had thrown off their weapons and ran for their life.
The other party, which consisted mostly of our vanguards, swarmed to the side of the car where the AO and a Malay Sergeant were shot dead. After a ten minute engagement the battle eventually came to an end. The enemy's reinforcements arrived at the spot of the incident and began firing at random. All the people said that we had done a good job! He was so incensed that he wrote to his MP to stir things up and, of course, was severely reprimanded for not going through normal channels.
But, even if stores had been adequate, there would still have been a huge problem of training, particularly of the rural Malays, reared in peaceful kampongs, and now enthusiastic but totally inexperienced para-militaries. They reached the town of Kuala Selangor without incident and spent the night there. The following morning they were issued with weapons and given their instructions.
A Land Rover and an escort of four SCs arrived from the rubber estate, which was to be their destination, and they were sent on their way. Shortly after turning into the estate road, the party was skilfully ambushed by a large group of CTs that included a number of Tamil Indians. There was no escape. Quinn, who was driving the Land Rover, was killed in the first burst of fire, as were two or three of the escort.
Street, who was sitting alongside Quinn, was uninjured but covered in blood from his dead companion, and leapt out and made a dash for cover. As he did so, a bullet shattered his left kneecap and he collapsed on the road. The shooting eventually stopped and the CTs came out of concealment.
Street decided that his only chance was to play dead. Hardly daring to breathe, he shut his eyes and hoped for the best. His predicament was compounded by the fact that he was face down on the ground and could not, therefore, see what was happening. Having been in the country less than a week, he spoke not a single word of Malay, Chinese or Tamil and had no idea what the CTs were talking about. A group of CTs approached him, talking among themselves as they did so, and one, putting his foot under Street's stomach, turned him over so that he was face upwards.
Obviously deciding that his shirt was too bloodstained to warrant removal, one of the CTs proceeded to cut off his epaulettes, buttons and badges of rank, while administering the odd kick or two. A considerable amount of conversation went on between the CTs, and although he could not understand a word, Street guessed that they had some doubt as to whether he was dead. Terrified at the prospect of what would follow if they found out that he was alive, he breathed a silent prayer and concentrated on proving that, if not exactly dead, he was beyond all hope of recovery.
Then he heard the sound of a match being struck and a few seconds later he felt an excruciating pain as one of the CTs stubbed out a lighted cigarette on the bridge of his nose. Somehow or other he managed not to flinch. The CTs then picked up his body and deposited it with those of Quinn and the four dead SCs on the back of the Land Rover, set it on fire, and departed.
Street managed to extricate himself from the bodies on the Land Rover and fell onto the road beside the vehicle, unable to move. Some three hours later a police party, which had been sent out from Kuala Selangor to investigate why his party had not reported in at their destination, found him. He was taken to Bangsa Hospital in KL where, after a number of unsuccessful attempts to repair his knee, doctors amputated his lower left leg.
The formalities were completed with commendable speed but a shortage of aircraft delayed his departure by three weeks. I was posted to Perak almost immediately where I remember that all was in a great state of confusion, and equipment was seriously lacking. An MCS officer assisted by a Scots doctor ran the local jungle squad, but their 'kill' rate had not been impressive.
I took over their jungle squad. I was issued with jungle green. The mismatch between my 6'2" frame and the garments made for a WRAC 5'4" was bizarre, so I resorted to the local tailor. We had Ford vehicles made in Singapore, which were entirely unsuitable for fast operational debussing, and their unsuitability must have contributed significantly to our casualty rate, but the Singapore factory's tenders were, no doubt, the most competitive, and that presumably was all the Treasury knew about the matter.
I survived two road ambushes. The second was t. I suggested that there was no point in responding by taking out a fighting patrol, since it was probable that the CTs had opened fire to tempt a police patrol into a trap. The CT shooting was certainly not part of a serious set piece attack on the station.
My comments were ignored and so we set off in two vehicles with a motley collection of police. My superior and the Bren gun were in the lead vehicle. Unfortunately, my guess had been correct. It was a trap and halfway to the police station the trap was sprung; my superior and his driver were killed instantly and all the passengers in his vehicle were wounded.
Not a shot was fired from the lead vehicle and no one fired from my vehicle except me. I was down to my last four rounds when the CTs departed, carrying off with them all the arms and ammunition from the lead vehicle. The tragedy taught me an important lesson about the need to be forceful when dealing with inexperienced officers, however senior.
Coming from a colonial service background he had always intended pursuing that career path, and considered himself fortunate to have had that experience. Late one afternoon on the way back to my base in Labis after a rugby weekend in Singapore, I called in on Cha'ah Police Station. The Charge Room Constable reported that everything was allright but added, "I have just heard firing to the north east Which lasted for several minutes.
I told the constable to report the fIrinO" to Labis and that I was on my way to the incident. The Bekok road ran for eight miles out of Cha'ah before it stopped at a dead end. There were several small rubber estates along the road, all Chinese- owned, isolated and dominated by the CTs. I suspected that Chan Wing was the estate involved since it was the only one with a telephone line and the CTs had developed a tactic of cutting telephones lines, in order to lure.
We, however, had learnt to minimise the CTs chances of success by de-bussing some distance away from the incident and moving in on foot. I parked my car some way from the estate entrance and went in on foot through the rubber trees. All was deathly quiet and there was no sign of movement.
Then I saw a large vehicle, which I identifIed as the police three-tonner from Labis, slewed across the estate road. Next, I found some police survivors lying prone on the ground. They told me that, as the truck approached a defIle between two high banks an unmistakeable likely ambush point , the CTs had opened heavy and accurate fire from the top of the banks.
The scene in the police truck was awful; men, whom I had known well, lying dead riddled with bullets, blood everywhere and only one constable alive but badly wounded. Five of the escort had managed to jump out of the lorry but had been cut down by CT bullets; the driver and the NonCommissioned OffIcer NCO sitting beside him had been killed in their seats, probably in the first bursts of CT fire. The police had minimal chance to return fire. The survivors reported that the CTs had stripped the dead and wounded of their arms and ammunition.
The Gurkhas, who had arrived about half-an-hour after the ambush, were now following up the CT ambush party. I tended the wounded as best I could using the fIeld dressings, which were carried by each man, and identifIed the killed in action KIA This was a melancholy task.
I knew them well, not only as their OCPD but also in jungle operations with them the previous year. By now it was dusk with the curtain of night only minutes away. Then we heard the welcome sound of the engines of the rescue party: the police from Labis, the ambulance and a Public Works Department PWD repair vehicle from Segamat, thirty-eight miles away from the scene of the ambush. The Inspector who had been in charge of the District in my absence was beside himself with remorse.
I managed, with the greatest diffIculty, to persuade him that his reaction had been correct; the fault lay in the tactics of the Squad who had set out to investigate the incident; they had not followed our standard procedure for movement in suspect areas.
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