In September 1964 the Regiment replaced the QRIH as the Far East Recce Regiment. 4 RTR (-) was at Paroi Camp, Seremban in Malaya, B Sqn had a half Sqn in Singapore and a half Sqn in Brunei, A and C Sqns rotated every six months between Seremban and Sarawak.
It was the time known as "Confrontation" in which Indonesia sought to annex Eastern Malaysia (Sarawak, Sabah) and Brunei from Kalimantan, and disrupt the Malaysian mainland by infiltration across the Straits of Malacca.
The Seremban Sqn was under command 28 Commonwealth Brigade based at Terendak. Tps were involved in coast patrols and follow-up operations when insurgents came ashore as for example sixty did at Molimau close to the Malacca/Jahore Border.
The Singapore Sqn worked for both Singapore District and 48 Gurkha Bde in Brunei.
The Sarawak Sqn was under command 99 Gurkha Bde (West Bde) based at Kuching with Tps at Sungei Tennang, Bau, Serian and in sp of 1/10 Gurkhas on border operations.
The Regiment had moved from sand to lush jungle, and operationally from the frying pan into the fire. Paroi Camp, just outside Seremban, was the base for 4 RTR (-) and was also a much used air strip. The Regiment had its own integrated Flight of Austers and later Sioux helicopters., The fixed-wing Austers and Beavers, when landing, had to pass over the officers mess at the far end of the runway at chimney top height and invariably clipped a tree alongside the mess!
C Sqn near Port Dickson on the West Coast, a favourite venue for insurgent infiltration across the Straits of Malacca.
The major event in September was the arrival of the first sixty families in Seremban and twenty five in Singapore. All members of the Regiment had been unaccompanied throughout the twelve months in Aden/Sharjah and most in the preceding months in Edinburgh.
The members of A Sqn had fared worst because they went to Borneo for the first six months unaccompanied. It says much for the quality of the families that these prolonged periods of separation, in some cases nearly two years, were borne so stoically.
It was a singular pleasure for 4 RTR (-) to serve under Brigadier Peter Vaux OBE as Commander Malaya Area. Those who have studied the earlier chapters will know how strong a part he had played in the Fourth's war-time history.
B Sqn based in Singapore with troops in Brunei and Sabah.
Lt Gen Sir Alan Jolly arrives to inspect B Squadron in Nee Soon Barracks, Singapore 1965
...and in the air.
4 RTR Air Sqn flew hundreds of hours, often over many miles of jungle where there was no possibility to let down in emergency. Here the OC, Major Lindsay Smith (4 RTR) climbs out of Dragon which flew 192,800 miles before replacement by Sioux.
4 RTR Sioux in action. Among the pilots was Capt David Mallam 4 RTR, later 2/ic A Sqn and, in due course, CO of an Army Air Corps Regiment...
In late October 1964 General Sir Alan Jolly KCB,CBE,DSO visits RHQ and C Sqn in Seremban as Colonel Commandant and as GOC FARELF. Here, accomapnied by Major Whitfield and the CO, he speaks with SSM Ansell.
Tprs Nicholls and Robinson
bogged on the road to Beaufort, Sabah
Patrolling went on in Sabah despite frequent flooding.
Cpl Richard Nichol’s Saladin at Sengitengi, Sarawak, on the Borneo border, with L/cpl Mc Donald (operator) and Tpr George Vevers (Driver)
In mid 1965 the Sarawak Sqn moved its centre of operations to Wompadon, and came under command 6 Inf Bde.
The only road linking Kuching (the capital of Sarawak) with Simmangang at the eastern end of Second Division (where the road ended) ran parallel with the border, so that the Squadron had the sensation of always being broadside on to any potential trouble.
The Duke of Edinburgh visits the Sarawak squadron and is briefed by Lt John Wright. Behind the Duke is General Sir Walter Walker, Director of Ops Borneo.
Cambrai Day 1965. The Regimental standard is trooped at Paroi Camp by S/Sgt (later RSM Mann), WO II Ansell and S/Sgt Smith.
Padre Lytleton receives the Standard from WOII Ansell. Behind him L to R can be seen the Area Commmander, Brigadier Peter Vaux OBE (partly obscured by the Standard) and Mrs Vaux, Mrs Cowgill and the CO, the two escorts to the Standard, and (extreme right) the 2i/c, Major Richard Vickers MVO, MBE, who went on to command the Blues and Royals and to become a three star General.
Captain Nick Cocking had been Adjutant throughout Aden, until handing over to Captain Simon Williams in Seremban in May 1966. He is seen here with RSM Smith, RQMS Ansell and the 1965 Cadre Course of which Richard Bellamy Brown, second from the left in the centre row, passed out top. He was eventually commissioned within the Regiment. Those in the front row are Cpl Clark, Sgt Smith, WO1 Smith, Capt. Cocking, WO2 Ansell, WO2 Hadley and Cpl Leftwich.
On 20 May 1966 in Seremban the Regiment celebrated the 26th Anniversary of the Arras Counter-attack. Lieutenant General Sir Alan Jolly KCB,CBE, DSO, Commander Far East Land Forces, Colonel Commandant RTR and a previous CO of 4 RTR, took the Salute.
Here he arrives with ADC Lt John Wright to be greeted by the 2IC, Major Richard Vickers MVO, MBE.
Brigadier Peter Vaux left Seremban before the Regiment did. We were therefore able to say farewell at Seremban station with a deputation including "Diligence".
Despite the disruption of the move from Malaysia to Herford the Regimental Team acquitted themselves very well at Bisley in June 1966. Team Captain, 2/Lt (later Lt Col) Colin Cheshire would go on to Captain the Great Britain Rifle Team five times in the 90s.
In August 1966 the Fourth bade farewell to Malaysia and to three years of operations.
L to R: Tpr Cook, Lt Henry Puren, Tpr Steel.
It was also time to get back to some serious recruiting in Scotland. Here the KAPE team includes Tpr Sim, S/Sgt Gibson, Tpr Townley, Tpr McDonald and Cpl Bryce.
Thirty years later the air strip was still there but the officers Mess looked as if a plane had finally hit it. The park bench was all that was left to recall that we had ever been there.