Letter: Sixty years since the Malayan Emergency ended

Dear editor,

On July 31 Australia will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of the Malayan Emergency. The Malayan Emergency was declared on 18 June 1948, after the Malayan Communist Party launched an insurgency against British colonial rule.

Australia's military commitment began in 1950 with Royal Australian Air Force transport and bomber assets provided to support the British. Australian Army units were involved from 1955, as were ships of the Royal Australian Navy.

While the Malayan government declared the Emergency over on July 31 1960, Australian forces continued operations against communist forces in Malaya until 1963, playing a key role in bringing the long-running insurgency to an end.

As the anniversary approaches, we recognise our defence personnel who served over the 13 years of Australia's involvement, in what was one of Australia's longest military commitments, and we pay tribute to the 39 Australians who died while serving in Malaya, 15 of whom were killed in action.

On these days Australia says 'thank you for your service' to all who served in the Malayan Emergency, and remembers those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Lest we Forget.

Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie

Photo caption: Private John W Gillan (left), 21, of Leeton, NSW, 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR), and Itam Bosu (right), a local tribesman, comparing an army issue jungle knife and a traditional Malay parang.

Itam Bosu is returning to his kampong (village) after visiting the local market place near the 1RAR company lines.

Photo courtesy of the Australian War Memorial.