Author Topic: Borneo Headhunters  (Read 136307 times)

Offline rafboy

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Re: Borneo Headhunters
« Reply #30 on: June 30, 2009, 04:39:39 PM »
Cliff P Son of 3525679 Sgt Arthur Phillips 1st Bn Manchester Regiment and RAPC

Offline rizalbob

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Re: Borneo Headhunters
« Reply #31 on: July 06, 2009, 01:11:47 AM »
Dear George,

In your earlier posting you mentioned the date of the contact made by a sub unit of The Manchesters Regiment where Tracker Adrian and 2/Lt Max Raingill were killed was 23 November 1953. In the "Dead of the British Forces in the Malayan Emergency 1948 - 1960" it is mentioned as 27 November 1953. Please refer to http://www.britains-smallwars.com/malaya/ROH/ausarmy2.htm

Altogether, 21 Trackers and Sarawak Rangers were killed in the Emergency. I am compiling the contacts that led to their deaths. Can you send me the detailed story of the contact that involved Tracker Adrian and other trackers if any, in your Regiment?

Rizal

Offline Robert Bonner

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Re: Borneo Headhunters
« Reply #32 on: July 06, 2009, 10:22:51 AM »
Rizalbob.
27th November 1953 is the correct date, as shown on the list which you mentioned.    2nd Lieuteant Max Raingill commanded 5 Platoon of B Company.  Both he and Corporal Adrian of the Sarawak Rangers were killed during an assault on a terrorist camp in the Sungei Inas Forest in Kedah. During the assault one terrorist was killed.
Robert
Robert

Offline rizalbob

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Re: Borneo Headhunters
« Reply #33 on: July 07, 2009, 08:56:50 AM »
Bob,

Thank you for the information.

If I go to London to make some research on the Iban Trackers & Sarawak Rangers - their enlistment lists, which units they attached to and the contacts that led to their deaths - where do you suggest I go to? Please advise.


Rizal Abdullah

Offline rizalbob

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Re: Borneo Headhunters
« Reply #34 on: July 09, 2009, 03:37:50 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,

Thank you George for pointing out that Adrian ak Tandang was a Cpl and not a private as listed in my list which I took from: http://www.britains-smallwars.com/malaya/ROH/ausarmy2.htm/   

Another point that I would like to ask: Tracker Maja ak Barik (Mangi?) told me The Manchester Regiment was redesignated as The Green Jacket. Is that true?
Can you verify the story I wrote about Tracker Maja ak Barik in my blog
http://pgbwarrior.blogspot.com/?

Rizal

Offline george.theshed197

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Re: Borneo Headhunters
« Reply #35 on: July 12, 2009, 01:43:58 PM »
Good afternoon Rizal,
I have been offline for the past week on a trip up to Manchester to see some of my wife's family and also to meet up with some of my former comrades of the Manchester Regiment at The Turning of the Leaves last Wednesday 8th July in the Regimental Chapel in Manchester Cathedral. I am very glad to have been able to get Cpl Adrian's true rank corrected in your details, he was an excellent NCO as I have said on previous occasions. I am also very glad that Bob has been able to give you the details of the action because I was already on my way back to the UK  as a member of the Advance Party to take over Harrington Barracks Formby for the Bn's return in 54 when that incident occured. I think that Maja may have been thinking of another Regiment when he refers to the 'Greenjackets' - they were if I remember rightly the Rifle Brigade units - KRRC etc. The Manchester Regiment did wear Bottle Green Facings on their No. 1's and also on their Mess Dress along with a Green Patch behind the Fleur de Lys on their berets but never had the title of 'Greenjackets'.
I will have to rebrowse your article on Maja again later today before I can give any responses to that query as I am still trying to sort out all the emails in my inbox when I opened up again this morning.
Trust that you are well,
take care.
George.

Offline george.theshed197

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Re: Borneo Headhunters
« Reply #36 on: July 12, 2009, 05:41:25 PM »
Back again Rizal,
Maja's details or memories are slightly adrift I regret to say, the only time I or any other sections of the Manchester Regiment were stationed in Johore was when we first arrived there and did our familiarisation Jungle Training at Khota Bahru, the Jungle Warfare School of that period staffed pimarily by Australian Military personnel most of whom had seen WWII service in Papua New Guinea - in fact our Sgt had seen action on the Kokoda Trail up in the Highlands. After six weeks there we went by train to  Prai (Butterworth) from there by road up through Baling and into Kroh where we took over from C Company of The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and inherited all the Iban Trackers  including Maja who had been operating with them. I think all in all there were something like twelve of them some of whom have already had their photographs posted on here. I must dig out that old box of mine which is up in the loft where I should have more photographs of that period.
The only contact action that I can recall was on my first (area familiarisation) patrol with the KOYLI was when we went out to Ayer Hitam Police Post which had come under sustained attack but by the time we arrived there the terrorists were long gone and althought we did a follow-up for three days nothing materiliased, they had nipped over the border into what we knew then as Siam (Thailand).
Will have another think and see what else if anything the old grey cells can come up with.
Cheers for now, my evening meal is ready, adda banyak makan.
George.

Offline george.theshed197

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Re: Borneo Headhunters
« Reply #37 on: July 12, 2009, 06:50:13 PM »
One other occasion that Maja might recall was when we were doing a search of the Kwak Valley, again very adjacent to the Siamese border and Maja picked up a very strong and very recent track, we immediately went into Red Alert mode and Maja was off with my leading scouts right behind him. The track led us through some former cultivation areas then onto higher ground, round a large outcrop into really rugged terrain. Maja gave us the halt and listen sign and we could hear chopping sounds within possibly a hundred yards or so so again I moved alongside Maja to give him protection if necesary with my M2 and we moved along - Maja giving me the high sign that we are very close when sudenly my left leading scout stumbled and discharged his Owen Gun, just one round but we heard the clatter as the terrorists grabbed their weapons and gear and took off up the re-entrant in which they had constructed their intended overnight accomodation. We chased up the climb as best we could but I called it off, dusk was closing in, maybe half an hour's light left if that and withdrew back to where the remainder of the patrol had been casting around to see what if anything they could find, the basha was great as also was the cooking pot and its contents left behind by the three possibly four terrorists we had disturbed. Maja was fuming but eventually calmed down and stopped berating the leading scout who had accidently fired his weapon. We were only supposed to be out for the day, had emergency rations of a 24 hour pack between two in the event of something along this line happening and although we did a thorough search and follow the following morning we had to call it off and return to base camp in Kroh where following the de-briefing during which I lost my temper and finished up pulling a 'severe rep.' from the Coy Comdr for '...rubbishing the system and powers that be in K.L. which prevented us from following up across the border into Siam.' That was the major problem in that corner of Negri Perak and why we had so little success in kills there.

Apologies for any lamp swinginmg that may be implied.
Cheers.
George.

Offline george.theshed197

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Re: Borneo Headhunters
« Reply #38 on: July 14, 2009, 12:04:24 PM »
Hello again Rizal,
Since writing my last emails I have been doing some checking up on my history of other regiments and advise that - in 1968 1st Bn The Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry became the 2nd Bn Light Infantry (LI), then in 2007 the LI merged with the Royal Green Jackets to form a new regiment The Rifles and the former 1/KOYLI/LI became the 5th Rifles. So to some extent Maja's naming of the 'Greenjackets' is in fact correct in the long run.
Is this yet another example of the possible Extra Sensory Perception that I used to detect in the Ibans/Dyaks on odd occasions which they generally referred to as 'Bad Dreams'?? and in many instances would trouble them so greatly to such an extent that the individual concerned was sometimes 'dodgy' on operational activities and I had to keep a close eye on him??
Regards,
George.

Offline rizalbob

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Re: Borneo Headhunters
« Reply #39 on: July 18, 2009, 03:48:00 PM »
Hi George,

The Ibans of the old days were great believers of the supernaturals, good and bad spirits. They strongly believed in dreams. The warning cry of a certain bird would command immediate respect and they would never leave the long house until the spirits had been appeased. You must had seen the bundles of talismans and amulets these Iban Trackers were wearing around their wastes and necks. They have full faith in them too. Many modern Ibans still cling to these beliefs today.

Rizal

Offline george.theshed197

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Re: Borneo Headhunters
« Reply #40 on: July 18, 2009, 08:17:57 PM »
Yes indeed Rizal,
Their amulets and little bundles hanging around their necks were a very familiar sight and I used to enjoy evenings with them when we were back in main base camps watching them extend their tattoos and listening intently to the explanations of what the various markings meant.  They tried for many months unsuccessfuly to have me tattoed and were very reluctant to let me get away without any markings whatsoever.  I did wear a bracelet of hair they had plaited for me on my wrist and when it eventually succumbed to age, wear and tear I burnt it and spread the ashes to the wind as had been explained to me when it was first put on my wrist.
Whilst I was up in Manchester last week I met up with a couple of the lads who had served with us in Keroh (Kroh as it was on our maps in those days) and told them about you and your book and the intended Memorial and return of the remains of all Iban Trackers back to Sarawak  but neither of them are computer minded so sadly they will not be joining us on the Forum.
I have not as yet found any more photographs as I have been quite busy elsewhere doing some research for one of my great nieces who is over in France and Belgium this week and next on a school trip to the Battlefields of WWI including giving her some of the names of relatives who are included in many of the Memorials and one or two of the cemeteries over there. I will be interested to hear her comments upon her return.
Otherwise take care Ranger,
George.

Offline rizalbob

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Re: Borneo Headhunters
« Reply #41 on: July 19, 2009, 03:09:15 AM »
Hi George,

It astounds me how you communicated with them. I don't think they knew a word of English or Malay. May I have your permission to use some of the photographs you had posted in this site?

Rizal

Offline george.theshed197

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Re: Borneo Headhunters
« Reply #42 on: July 19, 2009, 09:45:37 AM »
Morning Rizal,
My contacts were basically via Cpl Adrian acting as translator/interpreter, along with the other NCO's who had attended Mission Schools, and some pigeon English etc which I had developed  over the years whilst serving in the Middle East and East Africa, quite interesting in the very beginning when many errors and misunderstandings occured but as time passed we began to understand one another very well and I began to pick up the odd words here and there of their dialect as also did some of them pick up some of my 'expressions' in English which could be quite 'entertaining' at times.
You may use any of my photographs which you may find useful and also if you like you may quote me if I have given you any information you may find useful. I enjoyed my days with the Rangers they were wonderful people in their own right and I just wish it could have be much longer, however, circumstances as such are beyond the control of us mere mortals.
Take care,
George.

Offline george.theshed197

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Re: Borneo Headhunters
« Reply #43 on: July 21, 2009, 11:49:39 AM »
Second try with this photograph Rizal,
Taken at Kroh mid 1951, L - R - Dana, Tampi and Gani - behind them are the Medical centre, Sick Bay and Signals H.Q. for B Company; away to the left of the shot is the Officers Mess .
Fingers crossed this time again.
George.

Offline rizalbob

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Re: Borneo Headhunters
« Reply #44 on: July 21, 2009, 12:19:55 PM »
Dear George,

It is amazing you still keep this photograph in good condition -  even after 58 years!

Can I have your permission to use them in my write ups?

Kroh is now called Pengkalan Hulu (translated as Interior Base). It has grown into a township now, catering mostly to the cross-border trades with Thailand.

The place where your camp used to be is now a sprawling Border Regiment camp. I'll post some photographs when I visit the place the next time.

Selamat malam (it is about 19.30 here now)

Rizal