Author Topic: 59 Years Ago Today  (Read 16251 times)

Offline kingo

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59 Years Ago Today
« on: June 19, 2011, 09:06:26 AM »
19 June 1952 - Cameron Highlands Malaya.
No. 7 Platoon under the command of Cpl Keith Stockton was Standby Platoon when a message came in from the Malay Police requesting an investigation of a reported burning bungalow adjacent to Milestone 19 and arrangements were made to RV with them.
Cpl Stockton plus nine men and a scout car with Driver and Signaller/Gunner set off,; arriving at the RV it appears that there was some discussion, "..exactly what transpired is not clear but the Police remained at the main road whilst the army patrol set off to investigate.
Not knowing what to expect the Scout car led the way at walking pace with the Leading scout Pte Mrozek immediately behind it followed by the rest of the patrol well spaced out as was normal.
Everything seemed to be normal apart from the presence of the scout car which was there for radio communications as well as the additional firepower from its remote controlled Bren gun; the track through the jungle was about seven feet wide with a steep high bank to the right covered with dense vegetation and to the left a muddy stream some feet below. Ahead could be seen a pile of logs and standing near them what appeared to be a Chinese woodcutter.
As the scout car drew level with the wood cutter all hell broke loose, a burst from what seems to have been a heavy calibre machine gun hit the scout car, lots of shouting, bugles, whistles etc from the terrorists,. The sig/gunner Lomas got off one burst from his bren which then failed to fire again despite his efforts to clear it. The driver tried get a message out on the radio but unfortunately due to the heavy vegetation from overhanging trees the radio was screened and the message could not be sent.
Mrozek the leading scout who had dived behind the scout car realising that the Bren had jammed climbed on top of the vehicle trying to clear it without success, later investigation revealed seemingly that the pan mag had been hit, hence the jamming, and using what little protection the gun mounting gave he fired back with his rifle before dropping down into the car. Meanwhile the Patrol Commander and the three men who had dropped down into the muddy stream area were firing back at the terrorists in their well-prepared ambush- positions less than six feet from the other side of the track. The patrol had suffered several casualties- Pte Tommy Traynor it seems from the position of his body over on the right of the track had attempted to get at the terrorists positions. Four other members had been killed in that initial burst of fire ; Privates William 'Jock' Baillie, Richard H Smith, Thomas 'Larry' Arrands and Malcolm Harrison.
Meanwhile the scout car, its rear right tyre in shreds had managed to move forward in an attempt to turn round but the track was too narrow so continued onwards, crossed a small stream via a very dodgy log bridge, got its message off to the Bn HQ as well as Company HQ and were advised that a rescue patrol was on its way. Although advised to remain where they were the three occupants decided to drive back to the patrol and by the time they arrived there the rescue teams had arrived. A follow up patrol was sent out but although a number of blood trails were found no contact was made. From the number of empty cartridge cases found it was very obvious that a heavy weight of fire had been directed at the patrol.

The five were buried in the Kamunting Christian Cemetery in Taiping.
Along with the other ten who gave their lives during our time in Malaya they will always be remembered.

"Not Forgotten"
« Last Edit: June 19, 2011, 09:08:21 AM by kingo »
Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.

Offline rafboy

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Re: 59 Years Ago Today
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2011, 12:39:00 PM »
I was at Slim School in the Cameron Highlands when this happened.
Cliff P Son of 3525679 Sgt Arthur Phillips 1st Bn Manchester Regiment and RAPC

Offline george.theshed197

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Re: 59 Years Ago Today
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2011, 06:23:22 PM »
Thanks for that addition Cliff.


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Re: 59 Years Ago Today
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2015, 11:41:14 AM »
Thanks for that kingo, Thomas 'Larry' Arands was my granddad and that's the most detailed description of the events I have found. I don't know if anyone here knew of him and the nickname Larry?