SPEAKE, Terence

Marine (Acting Corporal)
Unit / Base: 
'42 Commando RM'
Royal Marines
Royal Navy
RM 7092
Honours & Awards: 
Corporal Terence Speake, 'B' Troop, was awarded the Military Medal for courage and leadership in operations in Malaya on 1st May, 1951 [1][2].
"Perak, Malaya.
On the 1st May 1951 Corporal Speake was placed in command of a patrol of six men with orders to search an area of thick jungle West of Pusing. By the disposition of the neighbouring patrols and the plan of the operation it was expected that bandits would probably break on his front.
Shortly after 0800 hrs firing was heard behind Cpl Speake's patrol and later much to his surprise on his right and left. Cpl Speake very rapidly decided on his plan of action and just as he had given his orders a bandit force of about 12 men appeared and fire was opened by both sides.
The original bandit force however had another party of reinforcements behind them who moved round Corporal Speake's flank firing as they went.
At this stage Corporal Speake sent 3 men to this side of the clearing, himself engaging the original party of bandits to such effect that they broke off the engagement and withdrew they way they had come leaving one dead behind them.
Appreciating that the other party would escape round his flank he then turned his attention to them and followed their trail through the jungle until he regained contact one mile from his original position. His party there killed one and captured another wounded bandit and the fight was again broken off by the bandits who scattered and fled. Further follow up was prevented soon after this by the patrol arriving at the bomb line of a planned air strike.
Throughout the action this young NCO showed a complete disregard for his own safety, and by his clear orders and quick and resolute action accounted for three bandits without any casualties."  [Recommended by Major D.G. Tweed MBE, RM,  Comd. 42 Cdo RM] [2].
[1] London Gazette 39328, page 4714.
[2] National Archives file WO373 /130/22.

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