Valour and Courage: Re-burial for one of our brave
Death or Glory
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The Courageous
Who Have Looked At
Death In The Eye
Stories Of Valour
No Atheists
In A Foxhole
“When you're left wounded on

Afganistan's plains and

the women come out to cut up what remains,

Just roll to your rifle

and blow out your brains,

And go to your God like a soldier”

“We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.”

“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.”

“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace,

for he must suffer and be the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

“May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't .”
“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.

“Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.

“Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man."
“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.
Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

The Soldier stood and faced God

Which must always come to pass

He hoped his shoes were shining

Just as bright as his brass

"Step forward you Soldier,

How shall I deal with you?

Have you always turned the other cheek?

To My Church have you been true?"

"No, Lord, I guess I ain't

Because those of us who carry guns

Can't always be a saint."

I've had to work on Sundays

And at times my talk was tough,

And sometimes I've been violent,

Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny

That wasn't mine to keep.

Though I worked a lot of overtime

When the bills got just too steep,

The Soldier squared his shoulders and said

And I never passed a cry for help

Though at times I shook with fear,

And sometimes, God forgive me,

I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place

Among the people here.

They never wanted me around

Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here,

Lord, It needn't be so grand,

I never expected or had too much,

But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was silence all around the throne

Where the saints had often trod

As the Soldier waited quietly,

For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you Soldier,

You've borne your burden well.

Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,

You've done your time in Hell."

& Infor
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Re-burial for one of our brave
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Mission: Bringing Remains of Iban Warriors Home

Nov 6, 2008
I was alerted a week before the launch of my book by the Chief Minister of Sarawak, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud. I prepared the necessary letters and documents that I wanted to hand over to him, including the shocking photographs of the grave. The Chief Minister was supportive of my suggestion to bring back the remains of the Iban Trackers and Sarawak Rangers and rebury them in a Heroes’ Grave in Kuching. However, there is a big BUT – All the next-of-kin (NOK) must give their written consent for the remains to be exhumed and reburied in Sarawak.

Nov 11, 2008
I emailed the list of Iban Trackers and Sarawak Rangers killed in action and the locations of their graveyards to the Head of Armed Forces Veterans Department, Sarawak Branch, for him to trace the relatives.

Nov 12, 2008
I extended a copy of the letter I gave to the Chief Minister to the Director of Veterans Affairs in KL and at the same time requesting for Ungkok's grave to be relocated to a more respectable location.

Nov 18, 2008
Mej Suhaila from Jabatan Hal Ehwal Veterans ATM (JHEV) called me this morning to say that they have received my letter. They were thankful and were surprised to see the grave by the roadside. They didn’t know anything about it and nobody had talked about it either. They will try to locate the next-ofkin and in the meantime, find out about relocating the grave to Taiping or Batu Gajah.

Dec 2, 2008
Apparently, the location of Ungkok’s grave was raised by the Malaysian Historical Society, Kedah Branch on April 17, 2006. In replying, Malaysian Ex-Services Association, Sarawak Branch gave the name of his nearest NOK to the society.

As I do not have access to correspondence thereon, I do not know what transpired between the two organisations.

Anyway, two years had gone by and the grave is still where it was.

Today, I called Major Suhaila of Jabatan Hal Ehwal Veteran ATM on the outcome of the letter I sent them earlier on. She told me they have located the nearest NOK, (the same name given to the Historical Society Kedah Branch two years ago).

They have instructed the Sarawak Veterans Affairs director, Major Monday, to contact the NOK and inform her of the situation and seek her approval to relocate the grave to a more respectable location. I had suggested Batu Gajah or Taiping, where his comrades were laid to rest. LCpl Ungkok died a bachelor.

January 6, 2009
I called a Veterans Affairs staff to check up on the progress...

The attempt to trace his NOK has hit a snag. The NOK identified by the Ex-Services Association of Sarawak could not be found.

I asked them what happens if no NOK is found? They said they will seek the advice of the Kedah State government on the next course of action.

So, it looks like LCpl Ungkok's case and the plan to bring back the remains of the Iban Trackers and Sarawak Rangers buried in Malaya and Singapore will take a long time to materialise.

Feb 3, 2009
I received an email from the Secretary General of Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA) sympathising and expressing their shock at seeing the graveyard of LCpl Ungkok ak Jugam by the highway in Kedah.

It is a most welcomed email from the right organisation. SADIA can apply more pressure on the Sarawak Government, JHEV and PBTM to take a more positive and urgent approach in solving and handling the case.

Feb 5, 2009
I received the good news today from Major Monday that he has obtained the consent letter from the NOK of LCpl Ungkok ak Jugam (Irene).

The letter has been forwarded to Headquarters in KL for further action.

I immediately called Major Suhaila, and told her that I would like to be around when they exhume the grave. She agreed.

I'm so glad the case is solved. The next course of actions are just procedural and administrative.

I felt a load off my shoulder.

Thank you Major Monday and Major Suhaila for helping out. LCpl Ungkok’s soul will finally find a respectable resting place where he could rest in peace.

About the Iban Trackers and Sarawak Rangers

In 1948, at the beginning of the Malayan Emergency, groups of Iban trackers were recruited to help in the defence against the Communist Party of Malaya. These Iban trackers were organised into a regimental formation as the Sarawak Rangers in 1953.

The Iban Trackers and Sarawak Rangers served with distinction during the First Emergency in Malaya, alongside the Commonwealth Forces. In 12 years of fighting the insurgency war, their casualties were exceptionally low – only 20 killed in action and 25 wounded. Their uncanny tracking skill and prowess in the battlefield had earned them worldwide recognition.

Their qualities and the number of bravery awards they received from the British Government spoke for them. They died fighting for a cause – helping the Commonwealth Forces fight the communist terrorists to prevent Malaya from falling into their hands from 1948 to 1960.

They served with distinction and displayed their uncanny tracking skill and unparalleled courage. They were acknowledged by Sir Gerald Templer as the world's best. Between them, they earned numerous bravery awards and medals, including the highest ever given to a civilian. Tracker Awang ak Rawang was awarded the George Cross, an equivalent of a Victoria Cross, for saving a British soldier in the face of enemy fire.

Their graves are scattered all over Malaya, with two in Singapore.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 5:14 PM  
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