Souvenir, silk folding fan. In original box posted from Malaya, mid-1950s.
Folding fan with plastic guards, veneered in mother of pearl, with white metal loop through the head. The fan's leaves are of thin black silk and once opened display a floral illustration. Around the outer edge is inlaid mother of pearl. The black plastic sticks feature a red and gold pattern. The reverse is plain.
The fan is wrapped in off-white tissue and contained within an oblong brown cardboard postage box. Box has a central band of brown adhesive tape. Two Malay stamps ($2 and 10c) each bearing the portrait of Raja Yussuf, Sultan of Perak. Addressed on top and bottom to "Miss J M Rugman". A self-declaration customs label on the reverse.
This fan, a common type of souvenir brought home by personnel serving in the region, was purchased in 1955 in Ipoh in the Malay State of Perak by Trooper Michael J Rugman as a Christmas present for his younger sister Judith. He served in Malaya from March 1955 to September 1957.
In 1954, as he approached the age of National Service, Rugman enlisted for regular service so as to enable him to choose his unit. His choice of the XV/XIX King's Royal Hussars was based on his desire to travel - unavailable to him in civilian life. Rugman was aware that when he enlisted in September 1954 the KRH, an armoured vehicle unit, had just arrived in northern Malaya on board the EMPIRE CLYDE for operations during the Malayan Emergency. In March 1955, following basic and trade training Rugman joined Technical Troop, HQ Squadron at Ipoh in the state of Perak as a driver / signalman of armoured cars.
Rugman served twelve years in the British Army service (1954-1966), which included a three year period in the reserves (1957-1960), and a further period of overseas service in Munster, Germany as part of the British Army of the Rhine. During this time the unit acted as nuclear escort regiment for Corporal missile equipped Royal Artillery regiments.