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7th Rangers: France remembers the Talalla brothers on Victory Day
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France remembers the Talalla brothers on Victory Day
Monday, May 10, 2021

The two Talalla brothers in a picture taken after they joined the Royal Air Force. (Pic courtesy of Going Places, Malaysia Airlines)

Free Malaysia Today : PETALING JAYA: For the Talalla family in Malaysia and other parts of the world, May 8 is a special day that brings much pride to them. It’s celebrated as Victory Day in Europe to commemorate the surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945 when World War 2 ended. Not known to many, two outstanding Malaysians contributed to the victory.

They were brothers Henry and Cyril Talalla, who joined the Malayan Volunteer Air Force in 1940. Their younger brother, who is still in Kuala Lumpur, is retired High Court judge Richard Talalla, 91. He was 11 when the two siblings left home. The Malaysian embassy in Paris, in a Facebook post yesterday, noted the achievements of the siblings. “On this Victory Day, we remember two outstanding Malaysians from Kuala Lumpur. The two brothers enrolled in the Malayan Volunteer Air Force in 1940.

“Cyril became the first Asian and non-European to pass the rigid Royal Air Force (RAF) entrance test — an achievement within the Commonwealth. This was followed by his brother, Henry,” it said. The embassy said World War 2 took a toll on the family, with its members in then Malaya being relentlessly tormented by the Japanese because of the brothers’ support for their “enemy”.  “On the European front, Henry died after his plane was shot by the Nazis as it flew over France on July 25, 1944,” it said.

We remember Najib's daddy

The French government decided to remember his sacrifices in 1996 by officially naming the route between Airan and Moult in France as Rue Henry Talalla. “A plaque was erected on a farm in Airan where Henry Talalla was found dead by the side of his Typhoon plane,” it added. The post said Flight Lieutenant Cyril Talalla and Warrant Officer Henry Talalla were part of the Allied forces liberating France from the clutches of the Nazi rule then.

“Today, the embassy of Malaysia in France remembers the Talalla brothers for their courage, which was witnessed by France more than 70 years ago.” The two were sons of business tycoon Hewage Benjamin Talalla who, according to reports, had encouraged his sons to join the RAF when the call went out for pilots in the British Commonwealth then. Cyril was a commissioned officer and Henry was a warrant officer.

According to reports, Cyril was eventually awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by the Queen. Cyril, who survived the war, died in 1973 at the age of 53 in Wales.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 3:30 PM  
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