Medals relating to the Malaya and Korea Campaigns from the Philip Burman Collection

Date of Auction: 9th May 2018

Sold for £2,800

Estimate: £2,400 - £2,800

A good 1951 ‘Malaya operations’ M.M. pair awarded to Private P. Gilmour, Seaforth Highlanders, attached 1st Battalion, Gordon Highlanders, who was leading scout throughout ten months of continuous anti-bandit operations, and was present in that capacity for at least 7 contacts with the enemy, accounting for at least 1 ‘bandit’ killed and 1 wounded

Military Medal, G.VI.R, 2nd issue (22233520 Pte. P. Gilmour. Seaforth.); General Service 1918-62, 1 clasp, Malaya, G.VI.R. (22233520. Pte. P. Gilmour. M.M. Seaforth.) number officially corrected on last, good very fine (2) £2400-2800


M.M. London Gazette 4 April 1952:

‘In recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Malaya, during the period 1st July to 31st December, 1951.’

The recommendation states:

‘Since January 1951 Private Gilmour has been present at seven contacts with the Communist Guerillas. Except for rare occasions he has acted as leading scout of his platoon continuously since May 1951. He has discharged this responsibility with a degree of initiative and courage which has earned for him the confidence and respect of the remainder of his platoon.

In April 1951, while on patrol in the Kuantan area of Pahang, Pte Gilmour was one of a section left to guard the platoon packs in a follow up operation. Two bandits, doubling back on their tracks appeared running towards the section position. Pte Gilmour stepped out into the track, shot and killed one bandit who was about to throw a grenade, and immediately gave chase to the other.

In June 1951, while operating in the North of Kg Paya Rambutan in Pahang he was one of the leading group when five bandits were surprised. In the ensuing action four bandits were killed and one seriously wounded. Later the same day he was leading scout of the company column when he met a bandit suddenly after rounding a bend. He opened fire wounding the bandit, and immediately gave chase.

In July 1951, during operations in the Sungei Lembing area of Pahang, when contact was made with the enemy under difficult conditions he at once led his group to the front of the platoon, and was one of the first men to cross the river in the ensuing follow-up.

In October 1951, whilst taking part in operations in the Sungkai area of Perak, he was again leading man of his platoon when a bandit sentry opened fire on the patrol. Pte Gilmour immediately ran towards the firing in an effort to catch the retreating bandit.

Throughout ten months of continuous anti-bandit operations Private Gilmour’s consistent and calculated bravery has reflected his determination to close with, and destroy, the enemy whenever possible.’

Peter Gilmour initially served with the Seaforth Highlanders, before being attached to the 1st Battalion, Gordon Highlanders for service in Malaya. The Regimental History for the Gordon Highlanders gives the following:

‘The Gordon Highlanders’ three year period in Malaya was without doubt the Regiment’s most gruelling post-war episode. No campaign in which they would be involved in the future would be as long-drawn out or as nerve-racking. The original transference from the European scene right into the middle of a desperate struggle against fanatical terrorists, imbued with a deep contempt for the British colonial system and with an unalloyed faith in the dictates of the Chinese Communists, brought with it inevitable problems. The mystique of jungle fighting, of continual patrols in a frighteningly strange atmosphere, the feeling that a group of bandits might lie in wait round each corner, the sheer enormity of the task, might have reasonably daunted any army. The Gordon Highlanders were, with great fortune, blessed with a fine commanding officer and a series of efficient company commanders, some of whom had prior experience of Malayan conditions, all of whom had fought in the Second World War. but the Regiment’s success in Malaya is due, above all, to the staying power and dauntless qualities of the Jocks. Private Gilmour was the perfect example, but he was only one of many. Some were mentioned in despatches, the great majority remained anonymous. All played a vital part in the ultimate defeat of the Communists.’

1 of 5 M.M.’s awarded to the Regiment for the Malaya operations.