National Service in the Far East

We were hanging on to an empire, they were fighting for independence

 

I did some of my National Service in the Far East, during the Malayan Emergency.  It was strange to think that, during the war, when we were fighting Japan, the Malayans were alongside the British as small guerrilla forces.  We helped to train them, and we got the best help from them.  It was a time when Churchill’s full attention was focused on the war in Europe.  He would deal with the war in the Far East later.

After the war, the National Service lads were there, in Malaya, but this time the locals turned against us, as they wanted independence.  The guerrilla forces we had trained now fought against us.  It was a hostile time for our lads and dangerous.  We lost National Servicemen to the guerrillas.  We were hanging on to an empire, they were fighting for independence.

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