Tag Archives: tamparuli

A photo from the past: 1960 near Tamparuli bridge

The Jambatan Tamparuli post written by Ben Godomon in September 2007 has lead to this historic photos dated back to 1960. Mr. Anthony Catherall apparently found the post and gladly shared with us his side of the story, more than 30 years later today. If you missed his comment, I hereby re-quote his entry:

It is interesting reading comments about the river flooding in 1999 and the early 1960’s. I was in Kota Belud in April till November 1960. Yes the river flooded so much so that there was a terrible tragedy on the bridge on the 18th May.

We in the Royal Engineers were stationed at Paradise Camp and were in then North Borneo to build and improve roads, build and improve bridges and build an airstrip at Kota Belud. That day 18 May 1960 a local woman living in Kampong Saya in Kota Belud had been seriously injured. Two soldiers attached to our unit, Private J.W.N. Hall, Royal Army Medical Corps, and Driver D.C. Cooper, Royal Army Serevice Corps were transporting the woman to Jesselton.

The Recovery of John Wesley Hall's Ambulance, Nortth Borneo

Pte. Hall on reaching the bridge where water was flowing over it got out of the Landrover and was guiding Dvr. Cooper as he tried to negotiate the bridge. The woman was strapped in the vehicle in the back. The water current was so strong that eventually the Landrover was swept into the river. Pte. Hall dived in to try and rescue his colleague to no avail.

About 3 days later the bodies surfaced and we rescued both them and the Landrover. Subsequently the two soldiers were buried at Camp Paradise. I have photo’s of the bridge in 1960 and of the Landrover being pulled out of the river with a Scamell.

Tony Catherall, Richard Chung & Frank Sowerby

Last May the Scamell Driver, Frank myself and one other friend John, with Richard Chung our kind driver visited Tamparuli to pay our respects to a memorial that has been erected, surrounded by a fence on the Pekan Tamparuli side close to the bridge itself.

This is a very important part of the history of Tamparuli, which we as soldiers can never forget.