Sketch by Jack Chalker

Post War Britain

Memoirs of Douglas Morris

Post War Britain - It was at this time in the first year after our return (June 1946) that good brother Terry was to marry the girl of his choice Margaret Fyfe whom he had met in Singapore before the war where she was living with her family. She escaped and was to serve in India and elsewhere under Lord Mountbatten’s command with distinction. The marriage, a lovely London event, saw the start of a new career for Terry to be seconded under the Colonial Office and serve for some thirty years in various African Colonies. He was to see the well-deserved award of an OBE before he retired. However his story he has I know succeeded in telling in greater ability than mine and at greater length and it is not for me to enlarge on but just to mention in its proper place.

Life progressed happily although we were on quite strict rationing of both food and petrol. I got a posting to Bulford which was pleasant and we had a good quarter. It was soon after this that life in Malaya was quickly returning to normal under British rule again. The Malay Regiment was reforming with old soldiers returning to serve out their time with the Colours. They were urgently in need of officers. Those of us who had survived the war and were fit again were few so Among those also was Colonel Toby Andr who was to be promoted Brigadier. There were other friends who we knew who were also returning among them Jack and Veronica Masefield. He was to rise to Deputy Head of the Malayan Police before they finally retired. Joanie, bless her, was happy at the prospect, so we made no effort to try to alter this and obeyed orders, sailing in a P&O liner for Singapore in the spring of 1947, fully restored and equipped.

One matter was increasingly concerning us and that was our overriding desire to start a family. I was beginning to think that with what my body has suffered as a PoW, the fault might well be mine. I went to a doctor and sought verification on this matter and was declared absolutely normal. Poor Joanie then sought advice and was told that her fallopian tubes were blocked. The medical treatment was to “blow them clear”. She underwent two operations for this but without success and she was told sadly, “you must face the fact that you will not be able to have children”. It was a bitter blow and devastating for poor Joan. However, we faced it and made up our minds it was something with which we had to live.

We did and it brought us even closer together.

From 1948 to 1952 Malaya was to be torn by hard and determined communist terrorists, all Chinese, who operated successfully from their jungle hideouts. It was officially called “The Emergency” and it kept quite large forces of infantry battalions penetrating deep into jungle areas countrywide to seek out the enemy. It was in 1952 that General, later Field Marshal, Sir Gerald Templer was posted as C in C and High Commissioner to Malaya. By 1954 the “Tiger of Malaya” had the situation in hand. He had won the confidence of the Malayan people and had the country safely on the road to independence. However during this period the British Army together with the Malay Regiment battalions, including the Guards and the Ghurkhas, and also a greatly enlarged Police Force were to suffer over 2,000 killed and a large number of wounded.

 

Next Chapter

Malayan Emergency

 

 

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