LANGLEY, David Lionel Scott

Unit / Base: 
40 Commando RM
'45 Commando RM'
Royal Marines
Royal Navy
Lieutenant David Langley, 40 Commando RM attached to 45 Commando RM, was awarded the Military Cross in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in Malaya [1][1a][b].
Perak, Malaya.
"On 18th January 1952 Lieut. Langley was in command of a patrol from 'X' Troop, 45 Commando RM, operating in the jungle to the West of the Kroh Forest in South Perak. In the early afternoon they came across an abandoned terrorist camp which had not been occupied for some days but they found a track leading out of it. This track was followed with great difficulty for about 2000 yards until it was yet again lost in some particularly unpleasant swamp where at times the men were chest deep in it.
At about 1600 hours when the leading scouts were casting round trying to pick up the track fire opened up on them from the direction of some higher ground some 50 - 60 yards away. The fire was heavy and included some fire from an automatic weapon. The leading four men of the patrol, including Lieut. Langley, shackled by the mud, were all hit in the first few bursts, two of them mortally. One burst had shattered Lieut. Langley's right forearm, another had gone downwards into his left shoulder, a third had passed through his cheek, and a fourth which had grazed his scalp, although only superficial, caused Lieut. Langley to be a good deal blinded by blood.
It was some time before the remainder of the patrol, which was strung out in single file, could see clearly enough what was happenning to give any support. All this time Lieut. Langley was floundering on towards the enemy position, well ahead of other Marines who were striving to join him. With about twenty yards to go, and by this time our covering fire had become more effective, the terrorists stopped firing and withdrew. The patrol searched the position and found piles of spent cartridges which showed that at least 14 terrorists had been there.
Despite his wounds, to which field dressings had been quickly applied, Lieut. Langley pressed on with the follow-up until approaching darkness and further tracking impossible. He then reorganised his patrol, and arranged for a litter to be made for the other wounded man, before bringing his patrol out. For 3½ hours, most of the time in darkness, seriously and painfully wounded himself and with another being carried, Lieut. Langley continued to control and direct his patrol through the swamp and jungle until they arrived back at their base camp where he was able to report to a senior officer " [1a].
  • 11 March 1987 (Major retd.)  appointed Deputy Lieutenant County of Devon [2].
[1] London Gazette 39531, page 2369.
[1a] National Archives file WO373/131/4.
[1b] Globe and Laurel March/April 1952 edition, page 68.
[2] London Gazette 50857, page 3240.

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