CHARLTON, Thomas Albert

Rank: 
Private
Service: 
Army
Honours & Awards: 
Died : 
Wednesday, May 5, 1954

Private Thomas Albert Charlton served in the Holding Operational Commando (HOC).  Post war he served as a Lieutenant in the Federation of Malaya Police Force.  Police Lieutenant Charlton was awarded the George Medal on the 24th April 1951 for his gallantry whilst serving in the Malay Police.
 
He was later killed in action during a bandit ambush in South Johor on the 5th May 1954.
 
Citation for the George Medal
A well defended bandit camp which contained some important bandit leaders was located in the Muar Circle, and an operation was launched against it with a Police jungle squad under Police Lieutenant Charlton and one military platoon. The operation involved a difficult approach march through deep swamp and when the attack was made bandit reaction was immediate and fierce. The small military and police force was quickly surrounded by a much larger number of the enemy armed with automatic weapons. The platoon commander and leading men became casualties in the first few minutes, and the remainder were pinned to the ground by enemy fire.
 
On realising that the platoon commander was a casualty, and the remainder of the platoon was in need of dire assistance, Police Lieutenant Charlton moved in from reserve under heavy fire and brought the men into action most effectively. Showing complete disregard for his personal safety and under still heavier fire, he then moved up to the platoon commander and assisted the platoon sergeant in carrying out the commander's instructions. He remained in action with the platoon for the next three hours, during which time he displayed the highest qualities of personal courage, determination, and leadership.
 
The conduct of Police Lieutenant Charlton was an inspiration to all ranks of the military and police force.
 
Sources:
London Gazette Publication date: 20 April 1951; Supplement: 39210; Page: 2317
Commando Association Newsletter 19 of Sept. 1954
 

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