| A Malaysian from Sarawak , Awang anak Raweh, with the Highest Decoration for Gallantry and Valor, George Cross by James Ritchie
| Tuesday, October 22, 2019
MALAYSIA’S sole George Cross recipient, Awang anak Raweng, never wanted the publicity that came with an act of valour in Johor 63 years ago, when he saved the life of a British private.
|Awang anak Raweh 2nd from Left with the Queen|
|With his two sons|
The incident occurred at about 9 a.m. on May 27, 1951 when the Iban tracker’s 20-man platoon was ambushed by a group of 50 Communist Terrorists (CTs) while they were seeking out the enemy in Kluang.
The 86-year-old “Tua Kampung” (headman) of Nanga Skrang recalled that in the first burst of gunfire three of his colleagues, including a second lieutenant, were killed.
|With Prince Charles|
“Three British soldiers were dead while two others were badly hurt,” he recalled. “When I realised that we were outnumbered, I ran across to the soldiers who were lying in the open. The CTs who were perched on top of a hill opened fire but the bullets did not hit me.”
Awang then dragged one of the injured privates, Griff Hughes, into the underbrush and stood his ground. While defending his position, Awang was shot in the thigh and arm.
He added: “How could I abandon Private Hughes? I was only 19 and he was hardly older. I told myself, and also somehow communicated to Hughes, that if we were to die, we would die fighting.”
Finally, after holding his position for almost six hours, the reinforcements arrived and the CTs had fled.
Within a year, Awang would become the only Sarawakian or Malayan to be awarded Britain’s highest civilian award, the George Cross, and with the formation of he Federation of Malaysia on September 1963, he would be invited to attend the biennial Victoria Cross and George Cross Veterans Day gathering at Buckingham Palace.
He is one of only nine George Cross and 20 Victor Cross survivors.
Meeting Queen Elizabeth in 2014 In a 2014 interview with Awang, he reflected: “After Malaysia was formed, the British government invited me to Buckingham palace every two years, where I would meet Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip and, more recently, Prince Charles.
“But the saddest thing is that while I was a guest of out former colonial masters, I was never invited to any Heroes Day event until very recently…I was very conveniently forgotten!”
Read it all here.....................
|posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 11:46 PM