Author Topic: Borneo Headhunters  (Read 136592 times)

Offline Robert Bonner

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Borneo Headhunters
« on: June 14, 2009, 05:38:44 PM »
I came across this very interesting site earlier today concerning one of the Ibans who served with 1st Manchesters in the jungles of Malaya in the 1950's.  They were a splendid group of men who later formed the Sarawak Rangers.  I have checked with Global Moderator George who confirms that indeed Maja anak Barak was one of ours and also that George has a photograph of himself with Barak which he will send on to the forum.  Watch this space.

http://pgbwarrior.blogspot.com


Robert
« Last Edit: October 31, 2012, 12:08:58 PM by george.theshed197 »
Robert

Offline george.theshed197

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Re: Borneo Headhunters
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2009, 06:29:40 PM »
That was the one  subject heading I did not expect to see however, that period of our history is one that needs to be included at last in the annals of our glorious past.
When I received the message earlier today I was flabbergasted and went hunting through my photographs of that period knowing that somewhere amongst all that rubbish I had a photograph of this Iban Tracker taken up at 'Butlins Holiday Camp Kroh' when we were off on one of our 'play-days'. I had always known him as Mangi - for the life of me I cannot remember the real name of his partner whom we always know purely and simply as 'quarter to three feet' for the very obvious reasons that was how he stood and walked.
Hopefully I have been successful in posting the photograph of Maja and myself taken prior to going out for a few days. If I have failed I will come screaming for help from those more familiar with the system. I do have a larger photograph of the entire Sarawak Platoon taken at Port Dickson, Malacca on the day I picked them up officially as part of the 1st Bn. but would imagine that will be far too large to go on this site. If anyone has any recommendations on that score please let me know because to the best of my knowledge this photograph has never been published in any of our histories.
No doubt there will be many comments re the subject matter but that is what they were renowned for tribally and during  WWII.

Cheers,
George.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2009, 06:32:34 PM by george.theshed197 »

Offline themonsstar

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Re: Borneo Headhunters
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2009, 07:43:36 PM »
George I take it that you are the one with the rifle and Mangi is the one with the SMG  ;D

Cheers Roy

Offline george.theshed197

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Re: Borneo Headhunters
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2009, 08:21:47 PM »
As expected Roy,
I usually get 'which one is the Iban?' and took some stick when I was posted to the Sarawak Rangers as the late Alf Lomas, then RSM, said to me when it came up in orders'Who have you upset George? Sounds as though you have been posted to a football team!!' which to a man who had always played rugby was a terrible insult.
One thing - this may bring out some of the old mob getting their own back.
Cheers,
George.

Offline george.theshed197

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Re: Borneo Headhunters
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2009, 08:29:26 PM »
Many thanks for that link Bob,
Now that I have had the time to go through the entire document (all 32 pages of it) I am curious - in the KIA casualty listings they have my Cpl Adrian (No. 11 on their listings), the one killed at the same time as 2/Lt Raingill, down as a Pte. Correct me if I am wrong - neither of their bodies were ever recovered were they and they were buried where they died out in the ulu.
Looking forward to more 'encouraging' comments in the future  ;D
Take care,
George,

Offline mack

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Re: Borneo Headhunters
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2009, 09:57:09 PM »
george/robert
cpl adrians name doesnt seem to be on the armed forces memorial

mack

Offline mack

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Re: Borneo Headhunters
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2009, 02:58:44 AM »
2/Lt raingills name,was added to his hometown war memorial at hale,cheshire.

mack

Offline Robert Bonner

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Re: Borneo Headhunters
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2009, 10:33:35 AM »
Mack.
Yes.  Max Raingill's name was added to the elegant little war memorial in Hale village by the local council at the request of the Regiment's Malayan Veterans Association.

Corporal Adrian will not be on the  armed forces memorial as he was not a British soldier.  He was, to the best of my knowledge  Malayan, ex Malay Regiment and served with the platoon of Sarawak Rangers attached to the Manchesters.  I should add, despite his modesty, that George played an important role when given the task of educating these magnificent jungle dwellers into a reasonable military unit.  In this he was assisted by Cpl Adrian who became a very popular member of the battalion.  Such was his personality that  his name is always included with those Manchesters who were killed in the fighting.
Robert

Offline mack

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Re: Borneo Headhunters
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2009, 07:00:51 PM »
thanks robert.
when george described him as MY cpl,i assumed he was a manchester.

mack

Offline george.theshed197

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Re: Borneo Headhunters
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2009, 09:46:33 AM »
Morning Bob and Mack,
Sorry for possibly misleading you Mack by referring to Cpl Adrian as 'My Cpl' - that is precisely what he was, one of my men, an excellent N.C.O. who during his service with The Malay Regiment and also alongside Aussies had developed military skills above and beyond what you would normally expect from his background. He had been educated in one of the Missionary schools and his command of the English language was of considerable help to me following my 'crash' course in the Malay language with the 6th Bn The Malay Regiment up at Pengkala Chepa, Kota Bahru, Negrie Kelantan ( out of interest this was the point where the Japs first landed back in 1942).To see him working with me on the square at Tapah you would have sworn he had done the 'Guards Caterham' course, he would have made an excellent 'drill pig'.
His jungle skills had been honed to perfection and I learned a considerable amount from him in that respect and also I must admit from most of the members of that platoon which served me in good stead; after our first operational venture which was somewhat unnerving for me at the beginning wondering 'What if??' I soon began to realize that any headache I might have would be if and when we made a contact with the terrorists - the Sarawaks were eager to fight and kill, that is what they had joined up for and they wanted their longhouses to be proud of them.
Unfortunately whilst we had many success in finding traces of the terrorists movements and many of their food and ammunition/weapon dumps we never had a actual contact but I understand that they put the fear of God into several of the senior ranks of Charlie company during Operation Sword when they did make contact whilst I was back in UK when my father died.
Cpl Adrian was killed alongside 2/Lt Max Raingill 23 November 1953 and due to difficulties of the terrain and location they were both buried in the jungle, may they rest in peace, I think of him frequently and offer my own silent prayer each time.
Ada banyak bagus Kepala Iban - 'satu lagi empat jalan'.
George.

Offline george.theshed197

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Re: Borneo Headhunters
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2009, 09:54:17 AM »
Cpl. Adrian Ak T. Sarawak Rangers K.I.A. 23 November 1953.

Help needed it would seem Mack.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2016, 06:52:51 PM by timberman »

Offline george.theshed197

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Re: Borneo Headhunters
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2009, 06:34:31 PM »
Final attempt to post this photograph of Cpl. Adrian, he is seated extreme right hand side of the front row and in case you don't recognise me I am sat second from the left front row, the Manchester Regiment Officer was 2/Lt. Schwarz, the Bn I.O. at that time.
George.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2009, 06:36:43 PM by george.theshed197 »

Offline Robert Bonner

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Re: Borneo Headhunters
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2009, 10:58:07 AM »
Just for general interest.  Here is a photograph of three of our Iban or Dyak  trackers taken in Kroh in 1951.  They are Entalang Anak Umpor, Nabay Anak Linggi and Jampi Anak Ngauh.  At this stage these splendid chaps rarely wore any uniform although in the photo Linggi is obviously proud of his Manchester Regiment badge. One of the most fascinating experiences was to watch them when they were not out on patrol quietly tattooing each others bodies in a blue dye .

« Last Edit: June 22, 2009, 02:56:45 PM by harribobs »
Robert

Offline Robert Bonner

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Re: Borneo Headhunters
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2009, 02:44:40 PM »
Since the last item on this subject I have been in touch with the originator of the blog that started this subject off and, for everyones interest, here is his response:

Oh! Great! I'm in the process of making my research on the exploits of the Iban Trackers and Sarawak Rangers which will finally lead me to write a book on them.  I'm now digging whatever I could find in the archives of Sarawak Museum. Sometime in October 2009, I will be going to London to do more researches. I know, the War Museum there have plenty of records.

As you can read from my blog, the Government of Sarawak has agreed with my plan to bring all the remains of the Iban Trackers and Sarawak Rangers back to Kuching.

                           Lt Col Robert Rizal Abdullah (Retd)  Ex- Malaysian Rangers.

As Moderator George is the expert on the Sarawak Rangers no doubt we shall be able to make some small contribution to Rizal Abdullah's research.

Robert

>
Robert

Offline george.theshed197

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Re: Borneo Headhunters
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2009, 02:09:21 PM »
Hi Bob,
 Very interesting to read this item but I am somewhat dubious about being called an 'expert' the old definition of such was if my memory serves me right was - 'x' = spot; spert = a drip under pressure - therefore ' X  marks the spot where a a drip is under pressure '   ;D correct me if I am wrong ::)
Cheers.
George.

PS Have found another photograph of our Kroh Trackers, will post it asap.