Johore Bahru (JB) Det

Willie Lawson

It was orginally based in a town house at 62b Jalan Yahya Awal until it moved nearer the Garrison at 2 Jalan Ru in 1969.

Prior to my arrival in Sept 68, the members were Bob Mobbs, Geoff Cave, Duncan Giddings and Brian Fozard.   I replaced Foz after he had a major falling out locally.

Thereafter  the Det comprised Ken Cooke, Eric Fitzsimons, Sgt Yacob bin Omar and myself.   Gavin Greenwood replaced Fitz in 1969 and was himself replaced by Dave Ovens in 1970.

Ken Cooke was court martialled in 1970 and was replaced by Eric Hollis - I left in Nov 70 but can't remember my replacement.   It might have been a chap called (Clive) Fleury.

Willie Lawson

One night returning from a football match in Singapore I decided to drive the mini up to the Tokyo By Night club in JB - the exact reason escapes me - and I walked in expecting to see the place full as usual.  To my surprise only the aforesaid Lucy and the Mamma San were at the bar.   Lucy suddenly shouted "It's only Willie!" and  the doors to cupboards, cubicles etc all burst open and there were about 20 bootnecks, with some of the girls and with beers in their hands all cheering.    Apparently the RMP anti-vice vehicle was also a grey mini and when they saw it pull up outside, Lucy sounded the alarm and they all hid, thinking there was a raid!  For some reason several of the Marines shouldn't have been over the Causeway that night and they thought they'd been caught.

A different way to get free drinks all night .........Then there was the time I met a group of Americans in a bar in JB and after fleecing them playing some game with a load of US Dollars, I took them all down to 8 Coy Mess for a drink before they made their way back to their ship.    Because of the 8 Coy hospitality several of them were late getting back on board and only narrowly avoided disciplinaries.   The Yanks wrote me a letter saying what a great night they'd had in Ayer Rajah Road and months later it was delivered to me on an A1 Course at Ashford with the address:-   Willie, Johore Bahru, India!!   What an effort by the postal services. 

Gavin Greenwood

Ah, the JB Det. Anti-vice in the Skylight Lounge, with me looking about 13¾ despite wispy tash. Kindly wives on the game took pity on me and offered all manner of treats – but I made my excuses and left.  Coming home at night from our mess – JB railway station restaurant run by the estimable Mr Lim -  through the huge Navy family estate during a ‘Fotex’, when every matelot in Singapore was notionally at sea, was like Amsterdam’s red light district. Window after window of winsome lovelies – once the pride of Chatham, Plymouth, Pompey, Greenock – casting aspirations on one’s moral fortitude. I made an excuse and fell into a monsoon drain. 


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