25 Cents Short of a Dollar
Pete Stubbs

The SyndicateA magazine called ‘Choice’ has a ‘Get in Touch’ section which is popular with ex-services personnel looking for old comrades. The October 1999 edition carried a photograph sent in by ex-55 Coy RASC Despatcher, Dave Ward. He wanted to trace the other three members of ‘The Syndicate’ photographed with him in 55 Coy at Kuala Lumpur on 13th May 1957. The three others were John Poysden, Derek (Del) King and Don (Fish) Fishwick).

As well as his photograph, Dave had another memento of his friends in the ‘Fives’. In his wallet, he has carried since 1957, a quarter piece of a Malayan Dollar note. A note was torn in four and each member of the ‘Syndicate’ kept one and a copy of the photograph.

When he retired, Dave thought that it would be a good ideas to try to find his old friends, and wrote to ‘Choices’ enclosing the photograph. His letter said that John hailed from Hornchurch and Don and Derek were from the north of England. A woman who lives in Darlington read Dave’s letter and speculatively reached for her telephone directory. Her first call scored a hit. Don Fishwick was sitting at home when the phone rang. A lady’s voice asked if he was the Don Fishwick who served with 55 Company in Kuala Lumpur in 1957. Don replied in the affirmative and was told of the letter.

Three-quarters of a DollarLike Dave, Don had also carried his quarter of a dollar in his wallet since 1957. He also has his copy of the photograph. Don made contact with Dave and their dollar quarters were reunited in November 1991.

Gavin Grossmith discovered the Internet and the Association late in 2002. Gavin was in 55 Coy at the same time as the ‘Syndicate’ and was able to point Don and Dave in the direction of Del, who lived close to him. Dave, Del and Don hoped to reunite the other 25 cents worth of the dollar. Sadly it was not to be.

It is not known what became of John Poysden, but the others mentioned in theis story have all now passed on. I am in posession of the quarter dollars that belonged to Del & Don.

Open Door Contents