Thursday, 28 March 2013


My good friend and comrade in arms Damar Bahadur Rai
at Kengingau Airstrip, Interior Division, Sabah.
Built by POW's in WWII


I remember those heady days
When we both thought
This might be the real thing.

Exploring likes and experiences
Enjoying the shared discoveries
And common ground.

Remember the Gurkhas?

How fond I was of them?
How proud I was 
Of my service with them?

What fun we had drinking
Rice wine in Longhouses
With the Headhunter's trophies
Smiling above our heads.

How delighted I was

When I heard you say,
"Mum used to date Gurkha Officers."
Still delighted, I asked,
"What, Nepalese Gurkha Officers?"

The horror in your voice
Was echoed, chill, in my heart!
"No... No..." you shrieked, "No... No...
White Men... White Men...
They were White Officers!"

In such glimpses through

The curtain to your soul
Heartbreak is born!
Things were never the same!
And there is no going back!

© Res JFB 27th March 2013

Captain Harkabir Gurung,
on the right of the picture.
He went on to become
Queens Gurkha Orderly Officer
after our tour in Borneo.

This is dedicated with great admiration and affection to the men
of the two Gurkha Brigades that I served with in Borneo.
As you can read above, I will NOT hear a word said against these
gentle and cheerful men from the mountains.
Nor will I tolerate any racial bigotry!


  1. What a great story...about Borneo. Thank you Res for sharing such a beautiful history of Borneo in a poem.

  2. a different time. I served in the Israeli army for a bit with host of nationality's all on equal terms.