Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (23 June 2021)

Date of Auction: 23rd June 2021

Sold for £1,800

Estimate: £1,800 - £2,200

A post-War 1949 ‘Malaya operations’ M.M. awarded to Private H. McPhee, Seaforth Highlanders, who rushed to the aide of his officer during a Company Contact in North Johore, 12 November 1949, accounting for at least 1 ‘bandit’ and probably several more

Military Medal, G.VI.R. (2824888 Pte. H. McPhee. Seaforth.) minor edge nicks, generally very fine or better £1,800-£2,200

Footnote

M.M. London Gazette 21 March 1950:
‘In recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Malaya.’


The recommendation states: ‘On the afternoon of 12th November, 1949, “B” Coy had a fierce encounter with a large force of bandits in a camp situated in overgrown rubber about 3 miles SW of the village of Chaah in North Johore. This was the first day of a full scale battalion operation in the vicinity of the Ma’Ckill Forest Reserve estimated to last for 7 days; the role of “B” Coy was to search a given area. On arrival in the area the Coy. Comd. took the Coy. a short distance into the jungle and there formed a temporary firm base while he himself went forward with an armed recce party of platoon strength to reconnoitre a locality where there was believed to be water for a permanent firm base. Pte. McPhee was one of those who was left at the temporary firm base with the remainder of the Coy. When the recce party had proceeded about a quarter of a mile forward of the Coy temporary firm base they bumped into the enemy in a very new and temporary camp in some overgrown rubber; they at once attacked the camp which is now known to have contained approximately 160 bandits. As they had no sentries on this occasion they were taken completely by surprise and were forced to put up a stubborn resistance to extricate themselves from the camp. A fierce battle ensued; the bandits counter attacked strongly and subjected the recce party who were in very open ground in some cleared rubber to very heavy fire. At this stage Pte. McPhee arrived on the scene with the first party of reinforcements from the temporary firm base. In the very early stages of the battle the Coy. Cmd. and 2 of the subaltern officers were killed. The only surviving officer, Lieut. Brown, was therefore left in command. Immediately Pte. McPhee arrived up, and acting on his own initiative, he made his way forward to Lieut. Brown and requested permission from him to take up a position on the left forward flank of the Coy. With complete disregard for his own safety he then doubled forward to this position, which was an extremely vulnerable one, and from it dominated the whole of the left flank. He remained in this position, firing away steadily whenever he saw any enemy movement, throughout the remainder of the battle which continued for a further hour and a quarter. He was completely unaffected by the heavy fire which he drew upon himself, and was extremely cheerful throughout the whole battle. He definitely killed at least 1 bandit and probably more.

The initiative and bravery shown by Pte. McPhee were undoubtedly responsible for denying the ground on the left flank of the Coy. position to the enemy, and his cheerfulness and high morale were an inspiration and example to all those who were near.’

A picture of Hugh McPhee appears in the regimental journal Cabar Feidh for May 1950.