An account of the Communist Terrorists Ambush inflected on a platoon of the Royal West Kent Regiment, probably ranking amongst the worst during the Malayan Emergency
The place –
The Ulu Caledonian Rubber Estate, near Ulu Yam, Selangor, Malaya
There was a prelude to the events of that day, a typical murder of a planter and his guard that could have had some bearing on the resources available for the follow-up operations of above.
Number One Platoon ‘A’ Company the Royal West Kent Regiment was based at Tanjong Malim accommodated in a gymnasium at the Malay Agricultural College just outside the town. The platoon was commanded by Lieutenant K S Beale, (later MC) and for a short time Sergeant F Bucknell MM was the platoon sergeant until transferred to another company.
Like most platoons at that time it was under strength with only two sections as apposed to the normal three. Corporal W Harris commanded No.1 Section and I (Corporal J Burrows). commanded No. 2 Section On the fateful day of the 22nd October most of the platoon was on a routine patrol in a rubber estate a few miles from Tanjong Malim. I had been left in charge of the base with several others; we had been on an uneventful night ambush and were resting after the ordeal.
It was about midmorning when a Malayan police inspector rushed into the base to report that firing had been heard coming from another rubber plantation a short distance to the west of Tanjong Malim, and there was much concern for the manager and his police guard who had not returned to the estate office. Could our platoon provide support to his jungle squad as there few police available to follow-up and investigate the incident. He expressed concerned about the lack of protective armour to the police Gharry vehicle.
I explained, the platoon was operating in different area and were not due to return until later that afternoon, but I, could provide back-up in the Dingo scout car, and I would man the twin Brens. There was just the driver and I; we kept fairly close to the Gharry, the police, just young men, seemed very nervous, aware it could have been a ploy by the CTs to draw them into a trap. I like to think the presence of the scout car with its menacing Brens probing from side to side may have deterred any attempt at that. Continued here.....