249 SIGNAL SQUADRON (FARELF) - 50th Anniversary Reunion 2009
(50 years in the making, 12 years in the planning and 1 night in the execution.)

249 Signal Squadron (FARELF) was formed in Singapore in 1959 and operated throughout the Far East until its disbandment in November 1971. The 'Happy Squadron', as it was fondly known, became a legend in its own lifetime and was, for varying periods, home to some 1,200 members of the Corps.

It was present at the birth of modern day Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, saw active service in Borneo and mainland Malaya and in its day maintained an esprit de corps that was second to none. It rightly deserved its reputation as being probably the finest Field Squadron the Corps ever produced.


Comcen Troop - 2009

It was therefore fitting that 50 years on, some 70 ex-members of the Squadron and their wives should mark the occasion by coming together, not only to reminisce but to remember all those who unfortunately are no longer with us or were unable to make the trip.

The event was the organisational brainchild of Graham Jolly and his wife Lynn and the guest of honour was the once HF Troop Commander, Squadron Commander and now retired Brigadier, Keith Olds.

The main event was a dinner on the evening of Saturday the 15th August 2009 at which 'Chair' for the evening was taken by Graham Jolly. In his address to those present, Graham related how a chance contact with Yvonne Dunbar, ex wife of the late Major Allen 'Taff' Dunbar, led to the establishment of the 249 Signal Squadron (FARELF) web site, which in turn led to over 300 ex-members getting back in contact.

They say 'great oaks from little acorns grow' and this was never truer than when applied to the 249 family who, despite being spread throughout the globe, manage to remain in touch with regular updates and activity in the virtual world which is the Internet.

It was via this medium that the next and final phase of the plan was born, leading to the 50 year reunion.


It is always difficult to quantify what makes a successful unit but in his address Graham put it as: 'Right guys, right place, right time.' and who can argue with such sentiments?

ASSU Troop - 2009

In his reply Brigadier Keith recalled his close association with the Squadron over the years both as a Troop Commander and then as the Squadron Commander and how it had been his privilege and joy to both serve and be part of the 'Happy Squadron'.

Whilst trying to identify the uniqueness that was 249, Brigadier Keith highlighted the daily pace of life in those far off days and how much seemed to be crammed into the working day. He remarked how the Squadron always took the opportunity not only to work hard but to play hard and even now, when looking back, he was still amazed at the intensity of it all.


In the final toast of the evening Brigadier Keith and all those present raised their glasses to absent friends and fond memories.




The formal proceedings of the evening were rounded off by well deserved presentations to Graham and Lynn Jolly for all their hard work and effort to bring about, what everyone agreed, was an outstanding success well in the traditions of the 'Happy Squadron'.