The Pingat Jaza
Like many of us in their dotting years
life’s bestowed on us many memorable
moments, moments of joy, some of tears,
one that easily springs to mind occurred
in 2010 but as for the why I must begin
back in another era, the nineteen sixties.
Back to a time when I was a young man
a radio mechanic in the Royal Air Force
posted to the Borneo Island of Labuan,
conflict was still raging with Indonesia
and several times during my tour of duty
I was sent to a small airstrip in the jungle.
It was just a clearing about a mile away
from the border a grass strip big enough
to land a Twin Pioneer when a clear day,
my purpose was to keep in contact with
the Gurkha patrols report enemy activity
stay in radio coms with other drop zones.
Quite an adventure for a 20 year old lad
controlling air drops coded messages and
the like, one of the best times I ever had,
after that tour of duty I was awarded the
General Service Medal with Borneo clasp
which later on I proudly gave to my son.
Sadly however, when I was in Oman in
the late seventies my son swapped it for
two carriages and a Hornby train engine,
I’ve often looked back on that first tour
of the Far East, so many stories I could
tell so many memorable moments to share.
At last I can return to 2010 and the why,
I missed my medal, decided to contact the
MOD for another, thought it worth a try,
they were unable to give me a replacement
but put me in touch with a veterans group
who managed to help me to obtain another.
Later on the veterans group contacted me,
said a Malay General was in Horsham and
asked me to attend a presentation ceremony,
along with other ex-servicemen I was given
The Pingat Jaza a Malaysian Service Medal
for active service in the Malaysian conflict.
Yesterday was Remembrance Sunday, I wore those medals
to church, sat in the pews next to other old codgers like myself
who wore their medals, sat with pride beside fellow brothers
in arms as we shared our silence, paid our respects to all the
fallen and the courage and sacrifice made by so many others.
In resonse to Denis's request