British officer served with 1st Bn Suffolk Regt in Malaya, 1952-1953
REEL 1 Background in West Ham and Sudbury, GB, 1932- 1950: family; education; awareness of need to do National Service. Aspects of training as private with Queen's Regt in Guildford, GB, 8/1951: reaction to sight of fellow recruits on arrival at Guildford; accommodation; adjusting to army life; pattern of basic training; cleaning of barracks; purchase of cleaning materials. Aspects of training with Potential Leaders Course at Canterbury, 8/1951-10/1951: move to Canterbury; reputation of Queen's Regt; character of troops attending course; fieldcraft; improving levels of fitness; boxing competition and route marches; attending War Office Selection Board.
REEL 2 Continues: Aspects of officer training at Eaton Hall in GB, 1951-1952: posting to Eaton Hall; pattern of training; character of specific officer training; assessment and examination; drill instructor; cross country running activities; question of choice of unit on commissioning; reaction to posting to Suffolk Regt and commissioning. Recollections of operations as officer with 1st Bn Suffolk Regt in Malaya, 1952-1953: in charge of draft during voyage aboard Empire Fowey to Singapore; attitude to service in Malaya; initial impressions of Malaya; armed guard on train; arrival at Kuala Kubu Bahru.
REEL 3 Continues: reception at unit; familiarisation patrol in jungle; character of basic jungle training; formation of patrols; method of dealing with encounter with insurgent patrol; use of signs; question of smoking during patrols; clothing worn; distance kept between patrol members; question of reliability of wireless sets; hardship for wireless operators; need to carry water; personal equipment and weapon carried; use of Iban trackers; types of terrain encountered; his method of removing leeches; health threats including jungle sores; distances covered during daily patrols; visibility in swamps; lack of civilians in jungle area.
REEL 4 Continues: situation in Malaya on his arrival; restriction of insurgent activity to jungle areas; question of potential actions if he had found large insurgent camp; taking command of 8 Platoon; relations with platoon sergeant; reasons for success of unit against insurgents in Malaya; reliance on platoon sergeant during early patrols; rarity of contacts; character of insurgent camps; motivation of insurgents; supply of insurgents; importance of Briggs Plan; attitude to detachment to rubber plantation; taking command of 6 Platoon in B Coy on detachment at Sungei Manggis; reputation of platoon; relations with police and question of reliability of intelligence information; discovery of insurgent food dumps.
REEL 5 Continues: importance of discovering food dumps; first contact with insurgent during ambush in rubber plantation; dealing with dead insurgent; importance of identification; reaction amongst platoon at success of ambush; lying in night time ambush positions; successful ambushing of two insurgents on jungle track; removal of bodies from jungle for identification; second ambush by platoon in which two insurgents had been killed; reaction to padre's comment on dead insurgents; change in status after 6 Platoon's successes; final contact with insurgent Tamil paymaster carrying money; number of insurgents killed by unit.
REEL 6 Continues: leaving Malaya and visit to cemetery in Singapore; return voyage to GB. Period as officer with 1st Bn Suffolk Regt in Trieste, Italy, 1953: posting to Trieste after ceremonial work in Suffolk; adjusting to peace time soldiering; leave in Vienna; question of taking short service commission. Attitude to having served with 1st Bn Suffolk Regt in Malaya, 1952-1953.