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Police Lieutenant Dick Villiers - Ex Royal Marine Commando, Force 136 And A Modern Robin Hood
When the 1939-45 war in Europe ended, in which Dick Villiers had visited the continent more times than a peacetime tourist, he was dropped into Malaya as a member of Force 136. When the Japanese capitulated in 1945, Dick left the jungle in Lower Perak and by accident met the Loh family at Telok Anson (now Telok Intan). This was the beginning of an enduring friendship.
With nourishment in short supply at the end of the war, the Loh’s three month old daughter, Diane, was facing a bleak future. Dick began to feel peckish too when the army refused to put him on rations due to his 'unofficial' status. Similar situations had cropped up in Europe when he had ‘dropped in unannounced’ and so, like Robin Hood he solved the problem by using his special skills.
He simply took food, and anything else he could lay his hands on, from those that had it (the British Army), including sufficient milk supplies to give young Diane a better start in life.
In 1950 he returned to Malaya with the Royal Marine Commandos to serve a tour of operations in Kuala Kangsar district. By this time the country had a grip on him and he came back again in 1954 to serve a further six years as a Police Lieutenant in the Federation of Malaya Police. He served in several postings in Perak including 7 Platoon, No. 5 Police Field Force (1953-1954), which included a stint at Fort Dixon, Pahang.
At Batu Gajah he put to good use some of the trickery he had learned well as a Commando. One night he skirted Chendrong New Village, picked the lock on the back gate, removed it and replaced it with a new one. This was by no means ‘new locks for old’. When next those incorrigible delinquents, the Tronoh gang (by now with seven less mouths to feed than three months earlier, thanks to the efforts of Superintendent Mohd Pilus and his team), visited Chendrong, probably anticipating Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding dinners or the local equivalent, events did not meet expectations. For the gang, without a key, the new lock was a setback that turned into a disaster when Dick and his Special Operations Group opened fire on them.
The pictures show, from left to right:
To read more about Force 136, click here
To read more about Fort Dixon, click here
To read an article about Jungle Forts and Airstrips, click here
To read more about Dato' Mohd Pilus, click here