Platoon VIII (Taiping), Perak Battalion – Armistice Day Parade in Taiping, 1931


Armistice Day is the anniversary of the symbolic end of World War I on 11 November 1918. The date was declared a national holiday in many allied nations, to commemorate those members of the armed forces who were killed during war. The 1st Perak Battalion was part of the Malay States Volunteer Rifles, later the Federated Malay States Volunteer Force (FMSVF). As the Federated Malay States consisted of Perak, Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Pahang, volunteers from these states were also organised into 4 Battalions:

Perak – 1st Battalion FMSVF
Selangor – 2nd Battalion FMSVF
Negri Sembilan – 3rd Battalion FMSVF
Pahang – 4th Battalion FMSVF

There was also an FMSVF Signals Battalion, FMSVF Light (Artillery) Battery, FMSVF Reserve Motor Transport Company and FMSVF Field Ambulance units. The total number of men in the FMSVF was 5,200. The origin of the Volunteers was in Britain’s major conflicts of the 19th and early 20th centuries – the Crimean War led to the enrolment in 1854 of the original Singapore Volunteer Rifle Corps with its proud motto In Oriente Primus (‘First in the East’), and the Boer War of 1899-1902 further stimulated the Volunteer movement with the formation of the Malay States Volunteer Rifles in 1915. The Volunteers came from all nationalities and walks of life in the pre-war British Malaya. They were not only Europeans, but Malays, Chinese, Indians and Eurasians. They came from all branches of the Malayan Government Service, from the Mines and Plantations, from the business communities, from the Medical Profession and from the Church. Many other civilians who would have joined the Volunteers, were prevented from doing so because they were in so-called ‘reserved occupations’ considered essential for the continued smooth running of the country. Whatever their background, they were motivated by a profound sense of wanting to do everything in their power to defend the country.

1. Wikipedia
2. Fell R. The Malayan Volunteer Forces. COFEPOW website.


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