AFTER World War II, and before the Korean War, Australian troops were part of the Malayan Emergency policing action.
In a world of growing unrest the threat of communism was increasing.
Australia’s Involvement began in 1950 with units involved until 1963.
Today, veterans of Malayan, and Borneo unrest remembered all who served, and those who failed to return, in a wreath-laying service at the RSL in Havilah Road, Bendigo.
Major ‘Jack’ Balsillie served for 40 years with the army, signing up at 16 in 1945.
He saw service in Vietnam, but before that saw action with the 101st Field battery in Malaya.
“We fired barrages to where we suspected the communists were hiding,” he said.
“When they went on the run, the troops ambushed them.
“The British were particularly ruthless with the aim of cutting off supplies to the enemy, a scorched earth policy really.”
Major Balsillie said villages were surrounded with barbed wire to prevent communist troops gaining access.
“We were victorious in our aims in Malaya, it was a proud claim,”
Major Balsillie’s wife, Greta, is secretary/treasurer of the Malaya and Borneo veterans.
“August 31 is the day the conflicts are remembered,” she said.
“Our club has about 15 members.”