QuickCheck: Did a bell at KL's Victoria Institution come from a British battleship?


OVER the years, a claim has emerged online from time-to-time that a bell used at the Victoria Institution came from a British battleship named HMS Malaya.

Is this claim true?

VERDICT:

TRUE.

The second watch bell used on the Queen Elizabeth class battleship HMS Malaya was indeed given to the Victoria Institution following the end of World War Two as its original school bell had been removed by the Japanese armed forces during their occupation of Malaya and subsequently misplaced.

According to an article written in 1948 in the school's publication “The Victorian” by its editor Ronald McCoy, the bell was presented to the school on September 12, 1947 in conjunction with Malaya Victory Day celebrations.

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“Rear-Admiral H. J. Egerton spoke first and outlined the gallant history and battle achievements of H.M.S. Malaya. He then unveiled the Bell and rang eight bells to bid farewell to the good ship, and eight bells more to mark the inception of a new era in the Bell's history,” wrote McCoy.

The bell remained at the Kuala Lumpur school until it was handed over to the Royal Malaysian Navy in 2007.

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Launched in 1915 and withdrawn from active service in 1944, HMS Malaya was named after the source of funding for the ship's construction – the Federated Malay States.

As such, the ship was allowed to fly its red,white, black and yellow flag when it took part in the 1916 Battle of Jutland as part of the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet.

HMS Malaya sustained eight hits in the battle, and 65 sailors were killed.

References:

https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/commons/1948/jun/30/hms-malaya-presentation-pictures

http://viweb.school/HMSMalaya.htm

https://www.battleships-cruisers.co.uk/malaya.htm

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