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Malaysia medal for naval veteran; Service on destroyer recognised.

Byline: Brian Daniel

A NAVAL veteran has received a medal from the Malaysian government in recognition of his courage in service to the country.

Sid Porteous, who lives at Howling Lane in Alnwick, Northumberland, this week received his Pingat Jasa Malaysia medal, having taken part in what has often been referred to as the forgotten jungle war.

Sid, who served for nine years in the Royal Navy, spent nine months patrolling the Malacca straits between Malaysia and Sumatra as a leading seaman with the destroyer HMS Corunnain 1963.

Part of the peacekeeping force looking to prevent the spread of communism, its role was one of anti-terrorism, stopping boats and searching them for arms and supplies.

The Pingat Jasa is a commemorative medal presented by the Government of Malaysia to Commonwealth troops serving in Malaya and Borneo between 1957 and 1966 and is in addition to the British General Service Medal that many veterans, including Sid, also received.

He and many other ex-servicemen applied to receive the medal two years ago, as they did for the General Service Medal, having seen an advert in the Navy News and another magazine inviting them to do so.

Sid said: "Like Korea, Malaya is a forgotten war. Being in the Royal Navy, we were lucky, although we were shot at, but there were a lot more casualties among the ground troops, particularly those fighting the guerrillas in the jungle. I was proud to serve, plus it gave me adventure and going out to far-flung foreign climes."

In spite of the dangers, Sid claims to have enjoyed his time in Malaya.

He said: "It's a very beautiful country and the people are marvellous."

Sid, 69, who has lived in Alnwick for 46 years, is now in his fourth season acting as a guide at Alnwick Castle. In addition to his nine years in the Royal Navy, he spent a further 27 in the Territorial Army with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, reaching the position of Orderly Room Quarter Masters Sergeant Major.

Sid's family has strong military connections. His grandfather, William Porteous, was a gunner with the Percy Artillery and William's five sons, including Sid's father, all joined the armed forces, with two killed in action. He said: "The military is in my blood."

"I was proud to serve, plus it gave me adventure and going out to far-flung foreign climes

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PROUD Sid Porteous with his Malaysian medal at Alnwick Castle.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 18, 2008
Words:407
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