Terendak Garrison was situated approximately 20 kms north of Malacca adjacent to the shores of the Strait of Malacca.
It was the base for the 28th Commonwealth Infantry Brigade, consisting of Infantry Battalions made up from;
UK, Australian, Gurkha and NZ Troops. There were also many supporting units.
The area covered approximately 1500 acres of occupied areas and another 3500 acres of jungle and ranges for close country training.
There were numerous schools, a shopping centre, 4 churches, hospital, 4 swimming pools,
movie theatre, pub, taxi service, fire-station, beach clubs and cemetery.
Each unit had its own mess and rank structured social clubs. Beer prices within the Garrison were duty free
at a cost of approx. 20cents per can. Despite this, many of the troops of most nations (particularly the Kiwis)
frequented the bars at the main entrance commonly referred to as “The Evergreens” or “The Strip”.
1 RNZIR were located at Wellington Lines and the Battalion was well under strength with one rifle company (us)
who were training for Vietnam and another platoon size group who were remnants of the Whiskey Company
and had just returned from Vietnam. Two rifle companys (Victor 3 and Whiskey 2) from 1 RNZIR
were in Vietnam on our arrival. There were also admin and supporting elements within 1 RNZIR.
On day one, we would meet our entire command for the first time and after the usual kit issues
and familiarisation we began our training in South East Asia.
We were now “Charlie” (C) Company, 1 RNZIR.
The training was extensive and realistic with the ex-Whiskey Coy guys being our “enemy” on most exercises.
They incorporated a lot of their experiences they had encountered in actual contacts and incidents in Vietnam.
Their enthusiasm and dedication to their instruction, I believe, played a major part in the success of our TOD to Vietnam.
Training in various parts of the Malaysian jungles and rubber plantations was a great experience where the hot temperatures
and high humidity were in stark contrasts to the blizzards of Waiouru and perma-frosts of Tekapo.
It was also a chance to see, smell and hear the wildlife within the “ulu” (jungle). These ranged from monkeys, snakes, centipedes,
millipedes, ticks, ants and the dreaded leeches. These amazing creatures, when the smelled your blood would rear up then
in a caterpillar motion, quickly moved onto your boot, up through your trouser leg then suck blood. Burning them off with cigarettes
was the “revengeful” method of elimination. If you didn’t notice them they would simply fall off, bloated with your blood.
After exercises there was time for leave and most took full advantage of visiting various parts of Malaysia.
Singapore was also a favourite destination and most stayed at a UK military establishment.
The Union Jack Club (U J Club) which had cheap meals, accommodation and duty free beer.
The company also travelled as a group by train to Ipoh then by road to Cameron Highlands.
This was a mountainous region with cool temperatures tea plantations and market gardens.
It was also the location of a British Military Hospital used for convalescing Commonwealth troops.
Our barracks were in Slim Lines adjacent to a golf course and the nearby town of Tanah Rata.
To further enhance our skills there were courses conducted around Terendak which included;
M60 Machine Gun, Medical, Signals and a tracking course at the Jungle Warfare School at Pulada.
In April 1969 an advance party consisting of our Company 2IC, Quin Rodda and selected key personnel,
flew to Vietnam and joined Victor 3 Company in preparation for the main body to arrive in two 2 weeks.
In the early hours of 8th May 1969, the main body travelled by bus from Terendak to RAF Base Changi,
Singapore and then flew to South Vietnam.
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