Green Ridge a battlefield of history

The World War 2 certainly had a devastating effect on many countries. Malaya or also known as Malaysia now was not spared from the war as British and Japan fought hard to conquer Malaya. Malayans had to endure years of misery due to the war between the allied and the axis.

The British who were the colonial rulers of Malaya were threatened by the emergence of Japan. The British were given a rude shock when the Japanese forces managed to penetrate into Malaya. The sheer determination and respect for their emperor caught the British off guard.

During the World War, one battle took place in Malaysia and it was well documented by war researchers around the world. The Battle of Kampar has been the bread and butter for historians such as Harcharand Singh Bedi and Chye Kooi Leong .

The veteran who has made Battle of Kampar known by everyone is Chye Kooi Leong. Chye Kooi Long, a well versed historian has nearly spent half his life for Green Ridge to be recognized and preserved as a War Memorial Park.

The 82 year old has made the state government take notice of his efforts. Menteri Besar of Perak, Datuk Seri Diraja Dr. Zambry Abdul Kadir have appreciated his efforts and have stated that the state government is making plans to turn Green Ridge into a War Memorial Park.

Thanks to Chye’s efforts, the state government is beginning to recognize the worth of the former battlefield. Chye’s effort to ensure that the public knows about the importance of Green Ridge has paid off.

Green Ridge is a site that overlooks Kampar. The ridge, which is together with the nearby Thompson and Cemetery Ridge, overlooks over the main road to the south from Ipoh and it has a great strategic value. The battlefield has gun emplacements, mortar pits, artillery observation posts and communication trenches.

After so many years, it is a surprise to see many of these placements can still be easily found in the dense forest. These ridges are famous thanks to British resurgence in overcoming the momentous Japanese forces who caught the British off guard in many battles.

The battle which lasted from December 30th 1941 till June 2nd 1942 saw the Malayan Campaign, involving British and Indian troops from the 11th Indian Infantry and the Japanese 5th Division forces. The objective of British was to slow the Japanese troops advance to the Kampar region.

On December 27th, in an effort to prevent the capture of RAF Kuala Lumpur, the 11th Indian Infantry Division converged in Kampar, which has a strong natural defensive position which gives them an advantage against the resurgent Japanese troops. In doing so they were also tasked with delaying the advancing Japanese troops long enough to allow the 9th Indian Infantry Division to withdraw from the east coast.

The Japanese intended to capture Kampar as a New Year’s gift to Emperor Hirohito and on December 30th the Japanese began surrounding the British and Indian positions. The following day fighting commenced.

Nevertheless, the Allied forces were able to hold on for four days before withdrawing on January 2nd 1942, having achieved their objective of slowing the Japanese advance.

It was estimated that 650 soldiers died during that battle and noted historian Harcharand Singh Bedi stated that the Indian Infantry comprising the Sikhs and British were attributed with strength and determination thanks to their efforts in halting the Japanese movements.

Harcharand Sing Bedi and Chye Kooi Leong are making great strides and with the state government taking note on the importance of green ridge, this kind of developments can increase the public’s awareness on the efforts made by the soldiers in freeing Malaya from the atrocities of the Japanese insurgency.

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