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."
| The Dass legacy: Soldiering on By Adrian David - June 14, 2021 @ 12:43pm
| Thursday, November 11, 2021
|Flying Officer (Rtd) David Samuel Dass in his Royal Air Force uniform
during War War I. - Pic courtesy of Brig-Gen Dr Alexander Amaradran Dass|
From the New Straits Times : KUALA LUMPUR: "No one is a man, until he has been a soldier." This is one adage the Dass family firmly believes in - for four of
them have collectively clocked an impressive 110 years of service for
Their foray with the armed forces began with their patriarch - Flying
Officer (Rtd) David Samuel Dass who had served with Britain's Royal Air
Force (RAF) during World War I . Then, David's son Warrant Officer II (Rtd) William David Dass continued the family's tradition with the Malaysian Army.
In later years, William's sons Maritime First-Admiral (Rtd)
Christopher Ravindran Dass and Brigadier-General Dr Alexander Amaradran
Dass donned the uniform. Dr Alexander, who is due to retire on May 4 next year upon reaching
60, was promoted to a 'one-star' general recently and is serving as the
maxillofacial surgeon and department head at the 94th Armed Forces
Hospital at Terendak Camp in Malacca.
|Warrant Officer II (Rtd) William David Dass flanked by his sons Capt
Christopher Ravindran Dass (right) and Colonel Dr Alexander Amaradran
Dass after laying a wreath on Warrior’s Day at the cenotaph in Penang in
2011. - Pic courtesy of Brig-Gen Dr Alexander Amaradran Dass|
He is just among a handful of medical specialists in the discipline with the Armed Forces. Dr Alexander told The New Straits Times that it was the wishes of his
grandfather David to have at least one 'son' in each generation of
their family, to serve with the armed forces. "There was no force and we took it upon ourselves to put our foot
forward, when the nation really needed able-bodied youths during the
difficult and trying years," said Dr Alexander, who hopes his nephews or
grandchildren would continue with the tradition.
Recalling David's service, Dr Alexander said his grandfather had
served with the RAF's 63rd Squadron as an officer from 1916 to 1920. "He saw action in the Mediterranean and against the Turkish Army in Mesopotamia (Iraq). "His foray earned him the British WW I 'Victory Medal' and a 'British War Medal'.
"David opted out of service after his stint with the RAF and went
into business, before moving to Malaya in 1930," said Dr Alexander, who
is married to Khasturi Bhai Muniswaran, a former CIMB banking executive. William had joined the Police Volunteer Reserve as a 16-year-old.
In 1954, he became a Junior Civil Liaison Officer (JCLO) and was
posted with the First battalion Royal Malay Regiment based at the
Lintang Camp in Sungai Siput, Perak. "He was tasked with gathering information on the movement of the Communist Party of Malaya's (CPM) movement in the area. "Dad often related to me his encounters with the CPM terrorists deep in the jungles of Malaya.
"Among his tales were how he had to sleep with the bodies of his dead
comrades, until they were safely retrieved to be given a burial with
honours," said Dr Alexander. In 1955, William was among those from the Royal Armour Regiment who
were deployed during the 'Baling Talks' in Kedah, between the Malayan
government and CPM leader Chin Peng.
During the First Emergency period of 1948-1960, William was tasked
with tracking down and monitoring the movements of another CPM leader,
C.T. Perumal. In 1962, William was chosen to serve under the United Nations peace-keeping mission in Bukavu, Congo. In 1970, William also served as the chief staff assistant to the
Malaysian defence adviser at the high commission in London, Britain.
He retired as a Warrant Officer II, after 29 years of service in 1980. Dr Alexander said his elder brother Christopher had initially joined
the Royal Malaysian Navy in 1980 and rose to become a commander.
"In 2005, he was among the pioneer batch of officers and men in the
newly established Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), starting
off as a captain.
|Warrant Officer II (Rtd) William David Dass (second from left) with his
fellow comrades and British expatriate children in Congo in 1962. - Pic
courtesy of Brig-Gen Dr Alexander Amaradran Dass|
"He went on to serve as commandant of the MMEA Academy in Kuantan,
Pahang before retiring in 2019 after almost 40 years of service," said
Dr Alexander, who had completed Form Five at the Penang Free School in
A few years later, he earned a Public Service Department scholarship
to pursue a bachelor of dental surgery degree at the University of
Punjab in Lahore, Pakistan. He was cited on the Dean's list and was the first Malaysian to win a
gold medal there, for his excellent results upon graduation in 1991.
Upon his return, Dr Alexander was seconded to the Ministry of Health
and served at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah for
about two years. "In 1993, I chanced upon the opportunity to serve with the Armed Forces Royal Medical Corps as a dental officer. "I accepted a commission as a captain and was duly posted to the 2nd
Battalion Royal Ranger Regiment at the Tambun Camp in Ipoh, Perak," he
Five years later, he attended a staff officer's course in Port
Dickson, Negri Sembilan and won the commandant's prize for his thesis on
total quality management. "In 2000, I was offered to purse a four-year post-graduate degree in
oral maxillofacial surgery at University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur.
"In late 2005, I was the facial trauma surgeon with the Armed Forces
team despatched on a humanitarian mission to the earthquake mission in
Battagram, Pakistan," he said. In 2009, he was the Malaysian Medical Commander (MMU-7) with the
United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (Minurso),
tasked with assisting and treating military observers and land mine
"Part of my job entailed me to undergo an airborne course to complete
the compulsory eight static-fall parachute jumps off an aeroplane. "With Terendak Camp as the home of the Army's 10th Para Brigade, my
14 years there helped me to better understand the stress and strain of
the soldiers," said Dr Alexander, who earned the unique maroon beret
worn by elite commandos who are a key element of the Armed Forces' Rapid
He added that to earn the maroon beret, he had to undergo a myriad of
strenuous exercises and trainings for about two solid months. "These included the 'Pegasus' survival exercises which were tough ordeals both in the jungles and at sea. "My first airborne jump over 2,000 feet in 2007 was truly an
exhilarating experience, as I managed to avoid hitting the ground like a
sack of potatoes," he said.
Dr Alexander was also exposed to joint military exercises with
Indonesia, Australia and the United States' armed forces, apart from the
regular combat exercises with the 10th Para Brigade. "Having the opportunity to train with foreign armies was always a
unique experience as it allowed me to share and exchange knowledge with
I realise that this country of
ours is a land of prosperity and generosity, of strength and unity, of opportunity and work," he said.
|Brigadier-General Dr Alexander Amaradran Dass with his wife Khasturi
Bhai Muniswaran. - Pic courtesy of Brig-Gen Dr Alexander Amaradran Dass|
"It also certainly strengthened our camaraderie," said Dr Alexander,
who has special interests in dental implantology, laser and facial
trauma. Owing to his vast experience, Dr Alexander was roped in to initiate
diploma courses for dental staff assistants at the Armed Forces Medical
Institute in Malacca, as well as ensuring that the 94th Terendak
Hospital was of an international-class medical facility to adequately
for soldiers. He paid tribute to the gallant officers and men of the Armed Forces who toiled to safeguard the sovereignty of the nation.
To improve his communication and leadership skills, Dr Alexander is actively involved in Toastmasters International. "I owe an incredible debt of gratitude to the Armed Forces leadership
for their confidence and trust in me to fulfil my responsibilities as a
doctor and an officer.
"I am privileged and fortunate enough to be given an opportunity to further my studies and career. I have no regrets donning the uniform as it had provided abundant opportunities
and possibilities to advance myself.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 2:05 AM