KOSB’s Green Hell revisited

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The centenary of the First World War has been much in the news, but it is a forgotten war that has dominated an Annan postman’s thoughts.

Jon Jon White has been compiling a booklet as an addition to the publication written by his father, the late Josh White, on the trials faced by National Servicemen from all over the South of Scotland in their fight against communist insurgents in the Malaya of the 1950s. That book by the late Mr White illustrated in text and pictures what was called the green hell that faced these young men of the King’s Own Scottish Borders – a hostile environment of heat and humidity, deadly insects and debilitating illness, and an unseen enemy.

His son Jon Jon decided to add a small addition to the book and, in invitations to an anniversary dinner, asked veterans to provide their own tales and pictures: “I thought it would be a nice idea to do something of a follow up but using other people’s memories.

“When the invites were sent out to their reunion dinner it included a page inviting them to send their individual stories and pictures.”

The response surprised him: “It took some time for a bit of feedback to come back – some people took the time to write pages and in other cases some people jotted down a memory and I took a little bit of each that I thought would be suitable to match the context of the booklet.”

A copy of his booklet, entitled More Malayan Memories, will be presented to each individual at the veterans’ annual dinner in Peebles early next month.