Me proud and smiling broadly as I cradled the Baton
The team from 47 Regiment RA had finally arrived in Malaysia bringing along the UBIQUE 300 Baton bearing the greeting message from HM Queen Elizabeth 2 , the Captain General RA.
A simple but significant lunch was organised by the Gunners Club. Many old Gunners attended the function and had the opportunity to touch and feel the Baton.
I felt proud to be part of the RA legacy after spending more than 35 years as a Gunner.
Below is the full text of the occasion by Major Rama :
Yesterday, a historic event occurred at the Warisan Cafe, Royale Chulan Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. A Baton bearing the message of greetings from the British Royal Artillery to the Queen who is its Captain General arrived in Malaysia on its global circumnavigation. The journey started in early 2015 and has passed Europe, India and now on its way through South East Asia and Australasia. Finally, it shall arrive in the UK on completion and shall be handed to the Queen on 26th May 2016. The Royal Malaysian Artillery was born out of the Royal Artillery in 1957, upon independence. Eighty nine pioneers crossed the causeway from Belakang Mati, Singapore and formed the 1st Field Battery Federation Artillery in Kajang, Selangor. They also incidentally fired the Ceremonial Gun Salute from the Victoria Institution field on declaration of independence. Such is the richness of our history and heritage, and this event on 13th January 2016 rekindles the everlasting bond between Britain and Malaysia. A team of mountain cyclists carried out mission "PENINSULAR PEDAL". These bravehearts from 43 Battery (Lloyd's Company), 47th Regiment RA did cycling stints around Kuala Lumpur and Selangor as part of the challenge of UBIQUE 300 (the reference to the Artillery motto "Everywhere" and 300 years in existence). The local host for these fine military men, led by Lt. Robbie Lee Knowles RA, was the Ex Artillery Association of Malaysia (Persatuan Bekas Artillery Malaysia). Its patron Lt. Gen. Dato'Jaffar Mohamed (retired), who is also the senior most Artillery Officer, received the baton as a token of respect and offered best wishes from the thousands of Malaysian Gunners on its onward journey. The ceremony was witnessed by a small group of Malaysian Senior Artillery Generals, Officers and the Association Committee, together with the the current Defence Attache of the British High Commission, Col. Stephen Hall. The team now carries the baton to Singapore.
Maj. A R Ramachandran (Retd)
Once a Gunner always a Gunner.