Saturday, July 3, 2010

Capt.(later Col) Jim Bradley, Company Commander of G Coy.

G Coy in 1960. Front Row, From Left : OP Salleh (SUO, now Tan Sri,Dr )seated 5th, Capt Jimmy Yusof ( later,Brig Gen Datuk)seated 6th, En Salleh ( Tutor)seated 7th

G Coy in 1962. Front Row, From left : En Sheik Salim (Tutor)seated 5th, Capt Bradley, seated 6th, Eng Lay (SUO) seated 7th, En L.Fredericks( Tutor)seated 8th

Annual Camp 1960,Presentation by G Coy , From Left: OPs Zawawi ( singer) Siew Fang and Agil (on guitars) and Hing Kok ( on jerry can)

Annual Camp 1960,Presentation by H Coy , From Left: OPs Bakar and Shah (acting as a lovesick couple)

Reunion Dinner at Lake Club 1988 , From Left: OPs Weng Yin,Mohana,Jagjit,Capt Bradley,Mazni and Hank

After Dinner on the Steps of Lake Club, Front Row, From Left: OPs Jagjit, Mrs Jagjit,Mrs Bradley, Mrs Salleh (Puan Sri),Mrs Pik Hock
Middle Row: OPs Mazni, Tissa, Capt Bradley, Hank and Weng Yin
Back Row: OPs Salleh (Tan Sri), Pik Hock and Mohana

It was way back in 1960 when Capt. Jim Bradley arrived in the then FMC (now RMC) Capt. Bradley was assigned to be on the teaching faculty, being one of the many expatriate officers from UK.

Capt Bradley took over as Company Commander of G Coy ( 'Coy' is short for Company) from Capt ( later Brig Gen Datuk) Jimmy Yusuf Abu Bakar sometime in the 1st quarter of the year.

I had the the privilege of Capt Jimmy Yusof’s command for barely 3 months ( early months of 1960) But it was enough to leave a lasting impression on me. It was football season and he was there always immaculately dressed, in track bottoms or sometimes in whites ( jerseys and shorts, with long white stockings)

'This is not kampong football' he told OP Razali who was at centre half in the 1960 G Coy team. 'You must learn to distribute well to your team-mates, not just kick blindly.'

He gave instructions in an English drawl that left us new budak boys in awe and admiration.

A Company Commander took on the role of a House Master and Warden combined. He took on classes during class hours in the day (as a teacher) and made his rounds in the evenings (though not necessarily every day but often) He was available to his charges to help on matters relating to discipline and the well-being of everyone in the Coy in residence as well as on the sports field. As such he may be required to act as a football coach or of any sports for his Coy ( if he was endowed with such skills) as any glory or otherwise would fall on his shoulders.

Each Coy also had a Company Tutor ( sometimes 2) made up of the civilian teaching staff. They were equally responsible for the Coy though the Company Commander took on a leadership role and those mostly relating to military matters under his wing.

We most appreciate their presence when they were required to counter-sign with comments on each of our annual ‘report-cards’ to be given to our parents . We then had the opportunity of their inputs glowingly written ( for those deserving, of course) to show back home.

Some of the expatriate officers were bachelors but most of them brought their spouses along. In the case of Capt Bradley, there were not just Mrs Bradley but also a pair of twins barely 4 yrs old. They were such cute little darlings who on occasions were brought to the college’s functions and even on the sports field.

Capt Bradley also took the opportunity to involve himself directly in our activities. When we had our 1960 Annual Camp at Kuala Kubu Bharu ( KKB) he was there with us. ( for 2 weeks during the Second Term Break - in early August)

In the 60’s Annual Camps were confined only to those in the Lower Six and Form Fours ( including those in Form Three in my time ) The highlight at all Annual camps was the 3-day expedition where the Company Commander would lead assisted by the seniors (those in Lower Six) to put into practice their map-reading skills ( those in Lower Six would have acquired their Cert A, Part One and Two in military training) The 2 certificates would have equipped us with skills in map-reading and weaponary for jungle trekking and survival in a jungle situation.

In KKB, our target was to ascend up Bukit Kutu and back. The route had been worked out (on the map) for 2 nights to pitch camp in secondary jungles and back to Base Camp on the last day.

On the first night, we were soundly asleep when it suddenly rained cats and dogs. The jungle track where we pitched tent was a slight slope. Even though our ponchos above were intact, we were all wet to the skin as water just flowed from uphill under us. The ponchos underneath took water freely and we were horribly wet and cold right through the wee hours of morning. I could only sit up against my haversack and shivered waiting for daybreak.

Capt Bradley we were told later was left with an empty water bottle which he had earlier filled up with beer. He needed to drink. In our case we were given survival tablets ( I cannot recall its name) which we could just put into the water bottle and we could even drink river water quite safely. He must have resorted to doing it the same way as we did.

The next morning Capt Bradley apparently ran out of cigarettes. When we passed by an Orang Asli dwelling ( this episode was collaborated with my buddy Weng Yin) Capt Bradley made a gesture of wanting a smoke. The Orang Asli guy quickly came out of his dwelling carrying a basket containing tobacco and rokok daun and some rolled leaves (maybe tobacco leaves) It was no go. It was quite hazardous not having a 7-Eleven in the jungle in the 60’s.

Besides the 3-day expedition, we also had friendly inter-Coy games, such as volleyball and some others. On the last night we would have a camp-fire sort of, where each Coy was to give a presentation or sketch.

Capt Bradley ended his tour of duty sometime at the end of 1962. But his heart was with us all along. Sometime in 1988, ( I stand corrected) in the course of a tour to this region, Capt Bradley dropped in to town. OP Salleh hurriedly got a few of us together and we threw a small dinner at the Lake Club.

Capt Bradley ( Col then) looked just as tough as he was in the 60’s and Mrs Bradley was demure and charming, just as before though a bit greyish at the sides.

When we enquired ‘how’s the cute little twins’. Mrs Bradley replied confidently in a motherly way, ‘ they’re still cute but no more little. They are now in their early thirties!’

Quite rightly so!

1 comment:

abdulhalimshah said...

Dear Hank,
Yes, I could remember Capt. Bradley because he reminded of my Company Commander when we were in PD by the name of Capt. Beasely. Capt. Beasely taught Physics when I was in Form 4 Science 2. At first I just could not comprehend what he was saying because I had never been exposed to an English native speaker before. I then told him of my difficulty and he tried his best to speak more legibily but to no avail. I then decided Science class was not for me and I asked to be transferred to Arts when I was starting form 5. Thus I ended up in form 5 Arts 2. If I had stayed on in Science class, probably I could only end up as a technical assistant at the most.