Friday, 17 August 2012
Hugh Pilkington, Volunteer in Malay States Volunteer Rifles ( MSVR) and FMSVF
Hugh Pilkington ( Left) during his years a rubber planter in Negri Sembilan, Malaya
FMSVR training on a Vickers Machine Gun - Pilk , seated, is the gun loader
Hugh Pilkington, Rubber Planter and volunteer in the Malay States Volunteer Rifles (MSVR)
Pilkington (Pilk) joined the Malay States Volunteer Rifles in 1927. He was with the force for 10 years since then and the Malay States Volunteer Rifles would have amalgamated with the Malaya Volunteer Infantry to form the Federated Malay States Volunteer Force (FMSVF) when he returned to England in 1937. Although it was not compulsory to join, it would not be comfortable if not. As volunteers, they were not paid but their petrol for travel to training would be reimbursed. Pilk often claimed over $20 per month in the late prewar years – a fair sum given reimbursements of 20 cents per mile.
Pilk attended the often casual meetings of the volunteers and the weekend camps. Above picture showed him training with a WW1 Vickers Machine Gun as a loader. Standard uniform was a pith helmet with flash, wearing roomy shorts nick named Bombay Bloomers or Empire Builders with long socks.
At age 33 and 15 years in Malaya as a rubber planter in Negri Sembilan, Pilk returned to England. He chose Norfolk in East Anglia to settle down – not knowing that he will return to Malaya in 1942 as part of 6 Norfolk Regiment, 18th Infantry Division - reinforcing the commonwealth troops in the Battle of Malaya and Singapore against the Japanese.
Extracted from “ The Missing Years” by Stu Llod