Malaya. A short interlude after 15 years overseas.

Map Malaya and Singapore 1948-49.
Malaya and Singapore, 1948-49.

The 1st Battalion The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers arrived in Singapore from Hong Kong in August 1948 for what was originally and erroneously thought to be only a few months in support of the internal security situation on the island, following the declaration of the Malayan Emergency in June 1948.

However, the Malayan communists were becoming active and one company was detached to Johore Bahru. Some operations were mounted from Singapore but with the deterioration of the security situation in Malaya, the Battalion moved in October 1948 to assume responsibility for South East Johore, an area half the size of Northern Ireland.

From its inception, the campaign was a joint army and police operation but it was clear that information had to be found the hard way, often with long patrols. This was a challenge to commanders of all ranks from Major to Corporals and provided excellent jungle training against a live and cunning enemy. It soon became obvious that there would be no rapid end to the Malayan Emergency largely due to the communist take-over in China. Iban trackers from Sarawak gave valuable assistance. The 1st Inniskillings returned to Singapore in August 1949 and embarked on the troopship HMT Georgic for the journey back to the UK having been overseas for 15 years.