Some of the Author's Personal Anecdotes

Some personal anecdotes from the author's RAF service which do not fit in any other specific section but may be of interest or amusement to the reader and would otherwise go untold or be forgotten.  Consider it like a behind the scenes feature (or a "Blooper's Reel" in some cases!) which reveals the more personal/human side of RAF life in Malaya - Like the night a Malayan Tiger jumped through the window and walked the length of the sleeping quarters for instance! 

It will also relate the, at least half a dozen, instances during his service in the RAF, right from when he started basic training, when Terry must have had a Guardian Angel looking after him as, if fate hadn't stepped in, he was due to be on aircraft that subsequently crashed, unfortunately often with no survivors.  Perhaps a Guuardian Angel also explains how he still managed to survive despite holding the record for the highest number of operational airstrikes flown in the deadly Brigands in Malaya (a total of 218) and even having flown in a Brigand all the way from Malaya back to Abingdon in England ready for the Brigand to be tested at Farnborough to try to get to the bottom of the multiple failures/crashes.


Work In Progress!

Update:  Unfortunately Terry Passed Away in March 2024 having lost his long valiant fight against multiple serious illnesses and also cruelly being robbed of his sight in the last couple of years.  We like to think he is now back soaring free above the clouds.  There are unlikely to be many further major updates to this website although I intend to keep the website going as long as possible in memory of Terry and the other "Brigand Boys".  It is also possible I may still be able to add a few other minor details from the log books he left and a couple of audio recordings he had started to make after he lost his sight.  

Two charitable organisations gave Terry much needed help and support in his last couple of years and they do fantastic work supporting many of our veterans.  They both rely on charitable donations for funding so please consider making a donation to The RAF Association  or  Blind Veterans UK.

Unfortunately Terry is now in his mid nineties and battling several major illnesses, including losing his sight, so progress on this page has been slower than intended.  However I have started putting at least a brief description of a couple of incidents he has related below and hopefully I will be able to expand these a little over time as and when Terry is able to give me more details.

1. Mid-Air Collision - His first lucky escape came during his basic training.  He was due to go home on leave and had been booked on a transport aircraft to fly to an airfield nearer his home.  While waiting in the queue to get onboard a senior officer arrived saying that he would need to take Terry's place and Terry would have to get the next flight.  Unfortunately the aircraft Terry should have been on was then involved in a mid-air collision with sadly no survivors from either aircraft (rumour had it at the time that the crew from one of the aircraft had left it on autopilot while playing cards in the cabin so didn't keep a good look out. May have been an Anson).   Once news of the crash was known an officer suggested Terry should send a telegram to his mother, who had known he was to be on that aircraft, telling her he was OK.  Unfortunately having heard about the crash on the "wireless" Terry's poor mother feared the worst and fainted on seeing the Telegram boy coming up the path before she could read the good news.

2. Tiger in the hut - On returning late one night to his sleeping quarters, basically a dormitory hut with mosquito nets over the beds, Terry had just hung up his holster and revolver and was under the mosquito net at the end of his bed when he heard a sound and saw a Malayan Tiger had jumped through the window and was standing in the hut.  Terry was just out of reach of his revolver and didn't dare move a muscle for fear of alerting the big cat to his presence!  Fortunately the Tiger just quietly padded the full length of the hut and exited by the door much to his relief.  Some resources say Tigers were extinct in Malaya by this time so it is possible it may have been a Leopard or a Panther but Terry is convinced it was a Tiger.