• Short Summary

    NINE BRITISH SOLDIERS IN THEIR EARLY TWENTIES ARE MAPPING THE DENSE JUNGLE AREAS AND TANGLE OF RIVERS THAT MAKE UP THE INTERIOR OF SARAWAK - OFTEN WORKING NEAR THE INDONESIAN BORDER.

  • Description

    NINE BRITISH SOLDIERS IN THEIR EARLY TWENTIES ARE MAPPING THE DENSE JUNGLE AREAS AND TANGLE OF RIVERS THAT MAKE UP THE INTERIOR OF SARAWAK - OFTEN WORKING NEAR THE INDONESIAN BORDER.

    THEY ARE FROM THE 84 SURVEY SQUADRON, ROYAL ENGINEERS, WHO HAVE IBAN GUIDES AND PORTERS FOR COMPANY. THEY WORK IN GROUPS OF THREE AND COMPRISE ONE TOPOGRAPHICAL SURVEY TROOP, INVOLVED IN MAPPING NORTH BORNEO SINCE 1958.

    THE TROOP'S HEADQUARTERS IS IN KUCHING, THE SARAWAK CAPITAL. AT THE MOMENT, THEIR FORWARD BASE IS AT NANGA GAAT, ABOUT 250 MILES UP THE RAJANG, SARAWAK'S LONGEST RIVER.

    THEIR JOB IS TO SURVEY THE TUMBLING RUGGED FOREST CLAD HILLS OF SARAWAK WHICH HAVE NOT BEEN PROPERLY MAPPED SINCE THE LAST WAR. NOW THAT INDONESIAN INFILTRATION HAS MADE THE SARAWAK BORDER ONE OF THE WORLD'S TROUBLE SPOTS, THEIR JOB IS OF SUPREME IMPORTANCE. BUT WORKING SO CLOSE TO THE BORDER, THEY ARE ARMED AND ALWAYS ON THE ALERT.

    WHEN CARRYING OUT THEIR SURVEYS, THE MEN SPEND WEEKS AT A TIME OF MOVING FROM POINT TO POINT IN THE DENSE JUNGLE TAKING GRAVITY AND ALTIMETER READINGS. WHEN THE DIFFICULT COUNTRY MAKES ANY OTHER FORM OF TRANSPORTATION IMPOSSIBLE, WESSEX HELICOPTERS TRANSPORT THEM.

    WHEN ON A SURVEY, THEY SPEND MOST NIGHTS IN DYAK LONGHOUSES OFTEN WITH A BUNCH OF SKULLS HANGING FROM THE RAFTER, A GRIM REMINDER OF THE IBAN'S HEAD-HUNTING DAYS OF THE NOT TOO DISTANT PAST.

    THEY ARE WELCOMED ON THEIR ARRIVAL AT A LONGHOUSE BY THE HEADMAN, AND THIS IS THE SIGNAL FOR A PARTY WHICH CONSISTS OF DRINKING LARGE AMOUNTS OF TUAK, A POTENT RICE WINE, AND AN IBAN MEAL. THIS COULD BE ANYTHING FROM FISH OR CHICKEN TO WILD BOAR OR VENISON DEPENDING ON HOW WELL THE HUNTING HAS GONE. THEY REPAY THIS HOSPITALITY BY GIVING FIRST AID AND MINOR MEDICAL TREATMENT TO ANY OF THE INHABITANTS WHO ARE SICK. MANY OF THE SOLDIERS SPEAK IBAN AND HAVE MADE FIRM FRIENDS AMONG THE TRIBESMEN.

    IN SINGAPORE OFFICERS OF THE 84 SURVEY SQUADRON PUTS THE INFORMATION GATHERED BY THE TROOPS ON TO MAPS.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAD0CHGGZ8D5OPXXFCE1TF8JHD6
    Media URN:
    VLVAD0CHGGZ8D5OPXXFCE1TF8JHD6
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    03/10/1964
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:01:24:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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