Sunday, October 25, 2009

SP Guns?

Rama invited me to contribute to this blog and I quote him. “I wait with abated breath to read your exploits. Don't forget the sufferings ,honour ,humour etc. of service as gunners.”

I am not sure if I can live up to his expectations as I really do not have that many exploits during my career over a span of 36 and a half years. Nonetheless I’ll try to post as many of my personal (Arty and non Arty) experiences and thoughts as possible, given that age is catching up on me and that I probably would have not remembered the full details of each episode.

I have been quiet for a while not knowing where and when to start. So many things came to mind. So where do I start ?

Perhaps I’ll pen my thoughts about something current like the issue of new medium regiments. I hear there are talks and musings of new purchases involving medium SP guns. The new firepower is basically to support our Mechanized Brigade. We hear of either the French Caesar (Wheeled) or the Korean K9 (Tracked) are in the pipeline.

My two sens worth of my thoughts stems from my trials conducted on maneuverability and mobility in the early Sixties. Yes during the Sixties. I had just returned from my YO course in Larkhill, UK. Fresh and a full fledged Gunner. And I had said at that time “SP ? Sure we should look at the Abbot 105mm SP gun”. It was THE SP gun then which would be the most suitable for our terrain. Taking into account gross weight and the requirements for high angle fire. My Mat Salleh BC, Major John Lane was not too impressed and replied “ Let’s do some local trials first. So we did. See photo above.

I have no qualms about SP guns, wheels or tracked except that they are expensive and would have a whole lot more logistics and maintenance problems. Gaya is for sure. I am all for more medium guns, any modern makes and types with 52 mm caliber. BUT TOWED. Mobility is an essential element in maneuverability. Towed guns have more flexibility in mobility and are lighter in weight than SP guns. What about air portability, jungle, swamplands, highlands and bridges? OK, so a pair of two cowpower cows cannot tow medium guns, maybe six to eight ‘cows’ (read crew).

But I digress. I actually know there would be more criteria and factors involved in the evaluations and considerations. I wish the Corps the very best in the acquisition plan. We do need more medium regiments, SP or otherwise. Good luck.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Happy Deepavali

A very Happy Deepavali to all our Indian Gunners friends.

From Peggy and Allen Lai

New Contributor

I must thank Rama for giving me an opportunity to contribute to this blog. I have already started the ball rolling by creating a photo gallery in support of this blog. Do visit the web album and add on with your old photos.
I'll try to contribute some of my experiences while in service as I shall try to post in the near future. I'll need some time to sort memories out. I may have left the army, but the army had not left me. Once a Gunner Always a Gunner, albeit fading away fast.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


It was a pleasant occasion today. I dropped by to attend Brig Gen Dato' Haniff's open house in Seremban. His delightful hospitality, and Datin Maznah's gentle demeanour always impresses me. Our families go way back in terms of relationship.Here was an opportunity of a lifetime. We easily mingled; past and present officers and men. There was a significant international presence, as Staff College foreign students (some with families) were there to taste the Malaysian spirit of Hari Raya. The good Dato' is the Commandant of the College, and in my opinion, has done great diplomatic service to include the foreigners in our local traditions. Well Done Dato'!! I was certainly taken aback to bump into George Edward Keyworth,a retired Sargent Major from my 3 Arty days. We talked of the good old days, and he managed to jog my memory a bit of past personalities and events. Such events are a melting pot of our culture and they developed over the years. I wonder if our future generations will continue? Or just discard it as a waste of time. Finally, I must say the food was "C├ęst Magnifique".