Who Have Looked At
Death In The Eye
Stories Of Valour
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."
| An Army Legend Is Celebrated by Major A R RAMACHANDRAN (Rtd)
| Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Via WhatsApp : They say legends are born everyday, but few are remembered. It was a warm and humid evening in Lukut town where 31 of us gathered to celebrate the 89th birthday of Colonel Harchand Singh, on 12th April 2019.
Ably, and quite appropriately organised by Maj. Gen. Toh Choon Siang, who himself is currently on retirement leave. True to the Ranger Regiment cry of "AGI IDUP AGI NGELABAN", it was indeed a night of comradeship. Retired and serving members of the Armed Forces, Civilian friends from KL, and also local townsfolk who know the good Colonel were there.
Born in Kuala Kangsar Perak, in 1930 on 7th April, this ex ACS Ipoh pupil was in the pioneer batch of 24 cadets who started in Port Dickson, went to Eaton in the United Kingdom, and later commissioned as a 2nd Lt at The Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst (RMA) in 1953. He was even interviewed by Tun General Gerard Templer for a military career. In an illustrious career, he served in the Congo, Commanded various Ranger Battalions, and finally retired as a Colonel and Commandant of the Army Combat Training Centre (ARTCONCEN), now known as Pusat Latihan Tentera Darat (PULADA) in Ulu Tiram Johore.
A paratrooper, a flamboyant character and a dedicated leader of men is the best way to describe him. At the height of the Malaysian Emergency (1968 - 89), he was often in active operations hunting down the infamous Chong Chor (leader of an Assault Unit of the Malayan Communist Party in Pahang). Late night, in the deep jungle, in the light of a lowly lit Hurricane Lamp, he was seen pouring over military maps, and plotting the fate of the bandits with uncanny ability to predict their next move, like a Chess Master. That was the Colonel Harchand I knew from the seventies.
Today, frail, but hale and hearty, he repeatedly kept singing Besame Mucho, and You Are My Sunshine again and again, oblivious to the occasion. No, he has not lost his mind, but I believe we succeeded in rekindling some deep, lovely memories of the good old days. My sharpest salute to this Officer and Gentleman, and a Soldier's Soldier. Of course, next year we certainly would meet again to celebrate his Grand Ninetieth!
AGI IDUP AGI NGELABAN from a grateful Gunner.
MAJ. A R RAMACHANDRAN (Retd)
107 JALAN BUNGA RAYA 17,
TAMAN TASIK JAYA, SEREMBAN
Mob: 012 2060 160.
P. S. Attached are his career highlights and photos. This write up is done with the intent not to praise an individual but to inspire the younger generation of the trials, tribulations and sacrifices of the older generations. A nation is not simply born, but raised from the blood,sweat and tears of its people.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 5:11 AM