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

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Date of Auction: 9th May 2018

Sold for £5,500

Estimate: £2,400 - £2,800

A good 1957 ‘Malaya operations’ M.M. pair awarded to Corporal J. C. Tucker, 2nd Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers, for his gallantry during an ambush on 5 Platoon Malayan Races Liberation Army, 9 March 1957, during which he ‘allowed the leading man to come to within 8 yards before shooting him dead with his shotgun.’ He was also wounded during this night-time engagement

Military Medal, E.II.R., 1st issue (22823444 A/Cpl. J. C. Tucker. R.W.F.); General Service 1918-62, 2 clasps, Malaya, E.II.R., Cyprus (22823444 Fus. J. C. Tucker. R.W.F.) minor edge bruising, otherwise good very fine (2) £2400-2800

Footnote

M.M. London Gazette 20 December 1957:

‘For gallantry, good discipline and cool judgement in an action against terrorists in the jungle. He made a major contribution to the defeat of an organised platoon of terrorists.’

The recommendation states:

‘On the right of 9 Mar 57 1 Platoon D Company 2nd Battalion The Royal Welch Fusiliers was ambushing a small track which crosses the main Johore Bahru – Kota Tinggi road at the fifteenth milestone, and which was known to have been used in the past by Communist Terrorists. On this occasion it was believed that 5 Platoon MRLA was to the south of the main road and might try to regain the jungle to the north of the road under cover of darkness. The ambush was accordingly set primarily to engage enemy attempting to cross the road from the south. Cpl Tucker was in charge of two men whose duty it was to protect the rear of the platoon and were sited 30 yards behind the main ambush position and facing north. It was known that 5 platoon MRLA normally halted some distance from the road and sent out scouts to ensure that the crossing place was clear. Orders had therefore been issued that these scouts should if possible be allowed to complete their work in the hope that the whole platoon would later enter the ambush.

At about 8.30 pm, in darkness, Cpl Tucker saw one armed and uniformed Communist Terrorist approaching his position from the north. He permitted this scout to approach to about 10 yards where he halted and listened for some minutes before returning to the north. Shortly afterwards the leading section of 5 Platoon MRLA advanced south straight onto Cpl Tucker’s position. He allowed the leading man to come to within 8 yards before shooting him dead with his shotgun. The terrorists immediately returned the fire and Cpl Tucker was soon slightly wounded in the back. By this time the scene was illuminated by flares. Cpl Tucker realised that his post was masking the fire of the other sections’ bren guns and quickly withdrew to the main position. As soon as they were engaged by automatic fire the enemy withdrew, leaving three dead on the ground.

Cpl Tucker was then ordered to go with an escort to a telephone in a military camp about 700 yards away, to report the action to battalion headquarters and to seek medical attention for his wound. He carried out this order but refused medical attention and insisted on returning to his section.

As a result of this action, three terrorists were killed and others wounded. 5 Pl MRLA were temporarily dispersed, and nine days later the platoon commander and two other terrorists surrendered. The success of this action was undoubtedly largely due to the cool judgement, strict obedience of orders, good shooting and gallantry of Cpl Tucker.’

1 of 3 M.M.’s awarded to the Regiment for the Malaya operations.