War memorials falling apart, in dire need of restoration


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 27 Jan 2010

manjit@thestar.com.my

GEORGE TOWN: Several war memorials in the country established after the first and second world wars are in dire need of restoration.

Malayan Volunteers Group (MVG) secretary Rosemary Fell said they were particularly concerned about the World War 1 memorial in Kuala Selangor, which needed complete refurbishment.

The World War I and World War II memorials in Malacca, located in the Christ Church and outside the Dutch Stadthuys respectively, also needed repairing, she said.

“The memorial from the former Royal Air Force Chapel is missing from St Andrew’s Church in Kuala Lumpur.

“However the restored Cenotaph in Penang looks magnificent at the Esplanade, and it is a fitting memorial to all those from the state who served and lost their lives in the Second World War,” she said during her talk entitled “An Introduction to the Malayan Volunteers Group” at the Penang Heritage Trust here Wednesday.

The MVG comprises the local Straits Settlement Volunteer Force, Federated Malay States Volunteer Force and Unfederated States Forces, which were called up when Japan invaded the then Malaya in the Second World War.

Fell said MVG was not interfering in the affairs of the departments that dealt with such matters, but felt that these memorials were of historic importance and a part of the country’s rich and varied heritage.

“It would be a tragedy if they were to be lost forever.

“Therefore we seek not to impose, but to offer help in any way we can to restore or repair these memorials for all the volunteers of all races and creeds.

“This is so that their courage and sacrifice in defending and fighting for their country are not forgotten,” she added.

The group was established in 2005, and to date has over 200 members worldwide.

The aim of the MVG is, among others, to educate and raise historical awareness of the Malayan Volunteers in Britain and worldwide, and to gain recognition for their unique role, and to also re-introduce former British Malayan Volunteer families and other volunteer families of all races who have lost contact over the years and help them keep in touch.

The group also aims to raise money to commemorate the Malayan Volunteers by the presentation of new memorials and the restoration of existing ones both in Britain and other parts of the world where volunteer families have settled.

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