​ The very rare ‘first batch of awards’ Malayan Emergency Military Medal pair awarded to Corporal E.L. Thorpe, 1st Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders, who was present from the beginning of the Emergency, and was decorated as a member of ‘D’ Company for his gallantry in action on 17th November 1948 on the Muar-yong Peng Road when following up some bandits that killed his company commander and wounded two others, that he laid down suppressing fire, killing one, forcing the other to hide, and allowing the wounded to be evacuated.

Price: £3,800.00


Product ID: CMA/24795
Condition: official correction to last letter of unit on first, Good Very Fine.
Availability: IN STOCK
Description:

The very rare ‘first batch of awards’ Malayan Emergency Military Medal pair awarded to Corporal E.L. Thorpe, 1st Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders, who was present from the beginning of the Emergency, and was decorated as a member of ‘D’ Company for his gallantry in action on 17th November 1948 on the Muar-yong Peng Road when following up some bandits that killed his company commander and wounded two others, that he laid down suppressing fire, killing one, forcing the other to hide, and allowing the wounded to be evacuated.
Military Medal, GVI 1st type period; (14190786 PTE. E.L. THORPE. SEAFORTH.); General Service Medal 1918-1962, EIIR Dei.Grat. bust. 1 Clasp: Malaya; (14190786 CPL. E.L. THORPE. M.M. SEAFORTH.), mounted swing style as worn.
Condition: official correction to last letter of unit on first, Good Very Fine.
Edmund Leonard Thorpe was born on 28th April 1927 in the parish of Newtown, near Chester, Cheshire, and having worked as a railway fireman, then attested for service with the Regular Army at Chester on 16th May 1946, joining as a Private (No.14190786) the General Service Corps, and was transferred to the Regular Army Reserve on 17th May 1946, before being mobilized on 20th June 1946 and posted out to Germany to join the British Army of the Rhine, was then posted to the Black Watch on 20th July 1946.
Posted home from Germany on 29th November 1947, Thorpe was then posted to join the 1st Seaforth Highlanders and disembarked at Singapore from the transport ‘Devonshire’ on 12th February 1948. His Battalion had been in Malaya since October 1946 when it had returned from operations in and around Java, and as such Thorpe was with his battalion in Singapore on the outbreak of the Malayan Emergency later that year. Thorpe was however sentenced to 28 days detention on 26th April 1948, for an offence on 14th April 1948, which was deemed as ‘conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline’.  
Thorpe was a member of ‘D’ Company, and it was for his gallantry in action on 17th November 1948 on the Muar-yong Peng Road when following up some bandits that Thorpe performed the action which led to the award of his Military Medal.
The recommendation reads as follows: ‘At the 7th mile, Muar-yong Peng Road, ‘D’ Company 1st Seaforths less one platoon, together with supporting troops carried out a raid on a known bandit camp. Private Thorpe was a Bren gunner of No.12 Platoon. The Platoon were following up bandits through a swamp. The swamp in question consisted of very thick bracken, and bushes to a height of approximately 8 feet, which in places made it necessary for the troops to proceed on hands and knees.
At approximately 15.45 hours the party rounded a corner in the track and came upon a narrow opening. They were immediately fired upon at a range of approximately 10 yards by a Thompson sub-machine carbine. The platoon commander and the NCO leading the section were immediately wounded, and the Company Commander, who was with the party at the time, received wounds of which he later died.
Fire continued against the party and Private Thorpe, who was in the rear, immediately moved forward to the scene of the action. When he got his light machine gun into position in front, unable to see through the lallang (elephant grass) he opened fire in the kneeling position and killed a Chinese firing with the American semi-automatic carbine. The bandit firing the Thompson sub-machine carbine had by this time moved into the undergrowth but continued to fire. Private Thorpe, with no regard to his personal safety continued to spray the area in front of him. A total of three magazines were fired.
Once close contact with the bandits was no longer possible to maintain in the swamp, Private Thorpe immediately assisted in the dressing and evacuation of the wounded whilst still in close proximity to the enemy. He personally evacuated the section commander by lying on his back and with the section commander’s body resting on him, withdrew through the undergrowth.’
The Company Commander, Captain F. Hambrook, died later the same day. Thorpe’s award of the Military Medal was published in the London Gazette for 4th February 1949, which was the first list of awards for the Malayan Campaign, and Thorpe who had continued on operations, was presented with his award by Major-General D. Dunlop, C.B., C.B.E., the General Officer Commanding at Singapore. Thorpe left the Seaforth’s at Singapore in May 1950 having relinquished the Acting rank of Corporal. Posted home from Malaya on 23rd July 1950, he was transferred to the Section ‘B’ Reserve on 31st July 1952. Thorpe would attend reserve service into the 1960’s, and only claimed his General Service Medal for Malaya on 2nd March 1964. He died in Edinburgh on 31st August 1986.