When I wrote about my late grandfather in October last year, I only had my mother as the source of his history in the military service. And when she relates the story, it is based on what she knew or thought she knew. Lately, I found some of the 'facts' were slightly distorted. I could not blame emak for the distortion for what she related were what she and her family perceived at the point of time. Further, she could not have been more than 13 years of age, where reality is perceived as what is seen through the eyes, and not what it should be.
When my arwah uncle passed away less than a fortnight ago, curiousity got the better of my s-i-l and she made a google search for my arwah grandfather's records, and found 2 related sites at KIPSAS and Regimen 502. From these 2 sites, it seems my arwah grandfather did not serve with the British Military during the 2nd World War, but was part of the Volunteer Corps formed by the British Military.
When the Japanese over ran all defending forces in the peninsular on their way to Singapore, Lt Jetti Ahmad and his fellow officers decided to hide their uniforms and resume their village life. But the Japanese, in their pursuit of territory, were short of people and began ferreting the VC officers. Initially, they guiled several officers into submission,including a Captain Abu Bakar, who's son I had pleasure of meeting as he was staying in Subang Jaya. Captain Abu Bakar and several officers who thought the Japanese were sincere in their offer, surrendered, were never seen again; they were believed to have been killed by the Japanese Army in a fit of revenge for the resolute stand of the VC. Lt Jetti and a few other officers on the other hand, were later ferreted out and forced to serve the Japanese Army.
Now, at this juncture of history, there seem to be some blanks which could not be filled. All we do know now is that my arwah grandfather, along with several other officers, were awarded medals for bravery by the British Army at the end of the war. How these officers served the British during their capture remains a mystery. Perhaps one day, someone will come up with the proper records, insyAllah.
But one of the most interesting thing I found about my arwah grandfather, was that he was sought for marriage by a man who later became his brother-in-law. When you look back at the custom of the Malays then, this is considered a rarity. Still, the marriage lasted a lifetime and the couple had 9 children of which 4 died in childhood.
As the children grew older, they each got married and have children of their own. But it was when 2 of the sisters got married which had the family kind of mixed up. Without wanting to go into further details, my mother off course, married my father, who is actually a distant nephew to her. Then, my father's uncle married my mother's younger sister. Thus my father became the elder b-i-l to his uncle, while at the same time a husband to a distant aunt. Hmm...
Now, my mother's sister, Makcik Yam, has a son by the name of Azman, who is younger to me. As a mark of respect, he calls me abang. But is that proper? For if we were to accept family lineage according to the male of the family, then Azman should be my uncle. Yet, he's the son to my mother's younger sister. Another hmm...
Granted, to outsiders, this thing matters not. But to the younger generation of the family who only recently know about this, they do find it amusing as well as perplexing. Ismail, a nephew, has even remarked it as Keluarga 69, the P Ramlee film he loved to watch when he was small, but is actually a reality in his family.
But anyway, to all my blogging brothers and sisters, and anyone who reads this, here's wishing you a "Selamat Menyambut Aidil Adha". May we become better Muslims with each passing day, insyAllah.