Lest We Forget


Compiled by Zainul Akmal Zaini

New RBMR commander takes over

MARCH 1, 1969 – Today (Saturday) Lieutenant-Colonel Dato HF Burrows (left) hands over command of the Royal Brunei Malay Regiment (RBMR) to Lieutenant-Colonel JJH Simpson (below).

Colonel Simpson, 41, will be the eight-year-old regiment’s third Commander Officer (CO).

“Colonel Fletcher (the first CO) built the foundations, Colonel Burrows has built the walls. My job will be to put the roof on the house,” he said this week.

Before coming to Brunei, he was GSO I tactics and combat development at the Joint Services Staff College. A Gordon Highlander, he has served in Britain, Germany, Berlin, Cyprus and Malaysia – during the Emergency and confrontation.

His other appointments have included being ADC to General the Lord Bourne in Berlin, GSO 3 11th Armoured Division, GSO 2 military training directorate at the War Office, and on the directing staff of the Staff College, Camberley. Born in Trinidad, he is married with three children.

When Colonel Dato Burrows leaves next week to take up a staff appointment in the Ministry of Defence, London, he will be ending 24 years of almost non-stop service in the East.

Commissioned into the 4th Gurkhas in 1942, he saw active service in Burma and on India’s Northwest Frontier. He served with the 10th Gurkhas throughout the Malayan Emergency.

During the confrontation, he served in both Sarawak and Sabah where he led his company in operations which eliminated the Indonesian force that raided a Malaysian outpost in the Kalabakan forest reserve.

Under his command, the locally-recruited strength of the RBMR was increased by 60 per cent to 22 Brunei officers, 58 warrant officers and sergeants, and 776 rank and file.

He said this week he had been most impressed by the Brunei soldiers’ response to good training and firm leadership. Morale was good and the regiment worked “like a closely-knit family”.

Colonel Simpson said he had also been impressed by the atmosphere in the Berakas camp.

“Morale is high. These men are proud of the regiment and proud of themselves,” he said.

Smiles of happiness at Maulud procession

MARCH 3, 1979 – On the march with happiness in their step.

There’s so much gloom about at present, not only in the region but the world in general, that it is good to see some smiling faces.

And when there’s such happiness, it’s worth using a photo or two.

The photos were taken during a Brunei procession at Muara last week to mark the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).