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Author Topic: The Royal West Kent Regiment. Malaya 1951-1954  (Read 3844 times)

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Offline yeoman

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Re: The Royal West Kent Regiment. Malaya 1951-1954
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2017, 18:46:48 »
My father served in Malaya from 1953 to 1955 and whilst he enlisted in the West Kents, he went to Malaya under the Queens Regiment. He has an album of fantastic pictures taken during the period and I wondered if there is anywhere that they could be shared with others who served at the same time. It seems such a shame to just leave them in a dark cupboard.
Regards
A great idea to offer them up. 

The RWK museum is part of the main museum at Maidstone and seems to have been absorbed by the local museum service.

The PWRR, who are the successor regiment, have their museum (combined with Buffs, Surreys, Sussex, Middlesex, Hampshires) at Dover Castle.  They are still funded by MOD so might be a better bet and might be able to direct you to their archives.  I suggest this as the best option, partly to keep the album "in the family" and partly because, as an active museum, they are more likely to use the album for research or to support displays.

Option three is the county archive, which is also in Maidstone.  I don't know what their collecting policy is but they do hold some military stuff.  Again, a safe pair of hands.
 

Offline JackSpratt

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Re: The Royal West Kent Regiment. Malaya 1951-1954
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2017, 12:31:07 »
My father served in Malaya from 1953 to 1955 and whilst he enlisted in the West Kents, he went to Malaya under the Queens Regiment. He has an album of fantastic pictures taken during the period and I wondered if there is anywhere that they could be shared with others who served at the same time. It seems such a shame to just leave them in a dark cupboard.
Regards

John38

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Re: The Royal West Kent Regiment. Malaya 1951-1954
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2014, 09:36:22 »
I wonder how many were National service conscripts.

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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The Royal West Kent Regiment. Malaya 1951-1954
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2014, 23:05:39 »
The Malayan Emergency 1948 to 1960

In June 1948 communist insurgent forces in Malaya commenced a guerrilla campaign in an attempt to end British rule. The High Commissioner of Malaya declared a State of Emergency in parts of Perak and Johore on the 16th 0f June 1948. Two days later it was extended to the entire Federation of Malaya.

The insurgents, the Malaya Races Liberation Army, operated from camps hidden in the dense Malayan jungle. Many units of the British and Commonweath armed forces took part in the conflict. During the 12 years there were some 8,750 contacts between the security forces and the CTs (Communist terrorists).
The Malayan Emergency ended on the 31st of July 1960, the CTs driven to the Thailand border.

By 1948 the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment had been reduced to one battalion. In February 1951 the battalion sailed for Malaya, where it formed part of the 18th British Infantry Brigade based in central Malaya, its operational area consisting mainly of thick jungle with a few tin mines and rubber estates.
In the dense jungle a patrol might take four hours to cover a mile. Overhead foliage blocked out the light and the troops had to push and chop their way through dense thickets. The humid heat soaked soldiers in perspiration, while jagged trailing vines ripped skin and uniforms. At night the patrol would construct bashes, three man shelters. There were leechs, biting red ants and mosquitoes, not to mention the CTs.

On the 22nd of October 1951, 11 Platoon, D Company, was ambushed near Ulu Yam in Selangor. Returning from a routine three day patrol, the platoon was being driven in trucks through the Ulu Caledonian rubber estate.
A burst of gunfire killed the company commander, Capt Deeds, along with three soldiers in the lead truck. The acting platoon sergeant, Cpl. Sulley was also killed as were six men who had leapt out of a truck 100 yards to the rear. The platoon commander, 2nd Lt Gregson was wounded.
L/Cpl. Martin organised his four remaining men in firing positions behind an earth bank. The attacking CTs were repulsed by Martin and Pte. Pannell. Martin was hit by a bullet in the shoulder and all the other men were wounded. Urged on by Pannell the men continued to return fire. Reinforcements arrived when a planter and four policemen jumped from a car which had raced up the estate road. The CTs retreated, leaving six dead and taking their wounded with them.
Within 90 minutes, one West Kent officer, ten other ranks and three native trackers had been killed. 12 men had been wounded, one of whom would later die.
L/Cpl. Martin was awarded the Military Medal and Pte. Pannell the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

When the battalion left Malaya in March 1954, 24 of its members had died or been killed in action. One O.B.E, three M.B.E.s, three B.E.M.s, four M.C.s, two D.C.M.s and four M.M.s had been won.

A statue of a member of the Royal West Kent Regiment was unveiled outside the Maidstone Museum on the 15th of September 2013. The statue is just over half life size and depicts a soldier on patrol in Malaya 1951-54.

There is a British Pathe film '1st Batt Queen's Own Royal West Kents in Malaya 1954' (7.26mins) @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZ1NpMT5T5I

Don't Let the Devil Ride Chris and Abby

 

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