Initial projects 2005
The MVG purchased 2 teak benches, each with a brass dedication plaque to the Malayan Volunteers. These were initially placed in the FEPOW Plot in the National Memorial Arboretum, in Alrewas and later moved to the MVG Memorial Garden [see on].
In August 2005, to mark the 60th Anniversary of V-J Day, a granite stone tablet was unveiled in the Arboretum, inscribed with the words, "Commemorating the Malayan Volunteers both Military and Civilian who served in WW2, 1941-1945." This then stood on the outline of a Malay Kris landscaped into the NMBVA Plot, by their kind permission, and can now be seen in the MVG Memorial Garden.
The MVG took part in other events during the important 60th Anniversary celebrations marking V-J Day in 2005. One of these events took place in Thailand on V-J Day itself, where a group of MVG members attended several V-J Day Commemoration Services on the River Kwai. Wreaths were laid on behalf of the MVG at the main Commonwealth Cemetery in Kanchanaburi, and at the Australian Memorial at Hell Fire Pass. In Chungkai, the smaller of the 2 cemeteries, which lies beside the River Kwai, a particularly poignant moment occurred when the MVG wreath was laid on the Cross of Remembrance jointly by the widow of one Singapore Volunteer, and the daughter of another Volunteer. Later in August, in London, a wreath was laid at the Cenotaph in memory of the Malayan Volunteers during the Burma Star Association's V-J Day Service. On Remembrance Sunday in November 2005, 10 MVG members marched past the Cenotaph and whilst doing so, handed in a commemorative wreath.
In 2006 the MVG sponsored the library books in the Thailand/Burma Railway Centre Museum in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, by kind invitation of its founder and Managing Director, Rod Beattie. The TBRC has a teak wall plaque with the Volunteer Badges on the staircase wall and there is an information board in the Library dedicating the Library to the Volunteers.
In 2006-2007 the garden plot at the NMA, in memory of the Malayan Volunteers, was designed, constructed and dedicated. It was the MVG's most ambitious undertaking to date. The plot was planted with hardy Asiatic trees and bamboos, and contains our two teak benches and the Memorial Stone.. In order to complete this project, the MVG raised £3,500 to cover the costs of the plot itself, the plants and the detailed landscaping drawings.
In 2008 a large memorial plaque to the Malayan Volunteer Forces was placed on the wall of the Changi Museum, Singapore where in 1942 the Malayan Volunteers played such a vital role in the defence of their own country, their families, their homes and their livelihoods.
The importance of the Volunteer Movement to the defence of Singapore and Malaya was clearly emphasized by Major-General W.G.S. Dobbie, General Officer Commanding Troops, Malaya in 1938, when he wrote:-
"The close connection between Singapore and its Volunteer Corps, now extending over eighty years, is an association which must be highly prized, especially in view of the important role assigned to the Corps in the Scheme of Defence."
In February 2012, as we marked the 70th Anniversary of the Fall of Singapore, four plaques commemorating the civilian Sumatra internees; those lost at sea in February 1942 and the patients and staff of Charitas Hospital were presented by MVG members in Palembang & Muntok, Sumatra. Plaques will be located at the Tinwinning Building [ the new museum in Muntok]; Muntok Jail; the location of the Women's Camp, Muntok and also at the Charitas Hospital, Palembang. See the News & Sumatra sections for reports & photos.
Also in February 2012 two plaques were placed in the City of Stirling Memorial Garden, Western Australia to commemorate the Australian members of the Malayan Volunteer Forces and the host families in Australia who looked after the evacuees, mostly women & children from Singapore in 1941-1942.
In Malaysia: we have been made aware of various memorials to the Volunteers in Malacca, Kuala Lumpur and Kuala Selangor that are in urgent need of restoration and a number of missing memorials that need replacing. See our News page for reports and photos. It is our intention to develop links with other interested parties to see that these memorials are restored and respected.
Donations are most welcome to our projects.