Orders, Decorations and Medals (25 March 1997)

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Date of Auction: 25th March 1997


Estimate: £350 - £450

A group of seven awarded to Major D. T. Rees, Indian Army, later Civil Liaison Officer and founding member of ‘Ferret Force’ in Malaya

1939-45 Star; Africa Star; Burma Star; Defence and War Medals; General Service 1918-62, 1 clasp, Malaya, G.VI.R. (FF/2 C.L.O. D. P. Rees, F.F.); Sultan of Kedah Accession Medal, together with a silver cigarette case, the inner lid inscribed ‘Major D. P. Rees. With the appreciation and good wishes of the Presiding Officers and Staff of the Criminal District Courts Singapore 25.3.46’, nearly extremely fine (8)


Ferret Force was formed in mid-1948 to act, as its title suggests, in the jungle against terrorist guerillas. It was composed of European civilians, British, Gurkha and Malay troops, backed up by Chinese liaison officers, and Dyak and Iban trackers from Sarawak. Each group would be split into four sections, commanded overall by a European who knew the area well and, more often than not, had a fund of invaluable local knowledge, sometimes even of jungle lore. During its short period of existence, Ferret Force discovered twelve permanent guerilla camps and proved what even a scratch force could achieve. However, the force was expensive in manpower and not considered compatible with the growing military presence in that area of operation and was accordingly disbanded. Valuable lessons had been learnt and Ferret Force’s commander, Lt.- Colonel W. C. Walker, subsequently established a jungle warfare training establishment, later called the Jungle Warfare School, and many members of Ferret Force later joined the SAS in Malaya. The Colonial Office List shows Rees as having served in Malaya 1946-56 and as a District Officer in Northern Rhodesia from 1956.