MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
Whitehall, London S.W.I.
24th May 1966.
The QUEEN has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards for distinguished services in support of operations in East and West Malaysia during the period 24th June 1965 to 23rd December1965.
The Military Cross
Major John Culpeper WESTON, Royal Marines. On the 12th September a reconnaissance patrol from " C" Company of 40 Commando discovered a platoon of Indonesians in position on the Sarawak Border. Operation " Stonehouse " was mounted on the 14th September with the aim of destroying this force. After a long and very difficult approach
through dense forest and severe hills, Captain (now Major) Weston who had planned the operation in detail
successfully positioned his Company near the enemy. He then led
a small patrol to ascertain the enemy's exact dispositions. He placed his
subunits for a fire assault. This was less than 70 yards from the enemy. At
this moment two civilians spotted one of our fire groups and gave the alarm. A
very fierce fire fight developed immediately, during which a number of the
enemy were hit. The enemy maintained heavy small arms and mortar fire for some
time but were then forced to retreat by " C" Company's accurate fire.
Throughout this action Captain Weston who was close to his most forward troops,
controlled the fire and the movements of his sub-units with great coolness and
disregard for his own safety.
Over a period of four months he has led his Company on a number of operations both on the border and in the rear areas. All these have been well planned and led. On three occasions they have disrupted Communist elements and the third resulted in the capture of a group of Communists one of whom had been badly wanted by the Special Branch for several months. The efficiency and determination displayed by " C" Company on all its operations
has very largely resulted from the training and leadership of Captain Weston who although still severely handicapped by an arm badly wounded at Suez has never spared himself and has set a magnificent
example to his men.
Major Weston was one I have no hesitation describing as an Officer and Gentleman. A collector of snakes, once cleared a grot in Kalabakan by announcing that he seemed to have 'lost' one of his pets.
His wounded arm I believe was to attributed to supporting fast air at Suez. The first time I have seen the write up for his MC. A few things missed out but the "less than 70 yards from the enemy" was so true.
Reminds me of the scene at the start of Gladiator. "On my command release hell". Noted that the Russian quad barrelled 14.7mm at less than 70 yards cuts down trees very effectively. So much for they have nothing bigger than an LMG.
RMA Operations Ltd
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Take the opportunity to get some hoofing good chutney and sauces
The Association Message Forum
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40 COMMANDO MEMORIAL AND GARDEN OF REMEMBRANCE
The plan is for a granite memorial to be erected at the N edge of the small lake (outside the Main Galley) within Norton Manor Camp (NMC) to act as the centre-piece for the 40 Cdo RM Garden of Remembrance. The granite memorial is unique to 40 Cdo RM and is being resourced from a local Taunton-based Coy. The memorial will sit at the head of the lake and will represent a memorial to those that have passed away whilst serving with 40 Cdo RM - past, present and future. A wicker fence marks the border of the Garden of Remembrance (currently a small area to the N of the lake) and a number of herbaceous border plants have/will be planted inside the fenced area. The area within the garden already contains a number of slow-growing trees planted by a number of families of deceased ranks in their memory and the intent is to have a path leading from the garden entry points to the memorial and then down to the water's-edge, where there are two benches established to allow people to sit and reflect. The intent for Ph1 is to have the memorial designed and erected at the N or the lake, have the pathway built leading up to the memorial and down to the water's-edge and have the wicker fencing spread around the whole lake to expand the garden for Ph2. The cost of the memorial is approx £14k, of which 50% (£7k) has been raised by a mixture of welfare funding, private donations, Mess donations and PRI funding. A Charity Ball is being run by Nigel and Sarah Hill at Somerset Cricket Club on 25 Sep 10 in order to try and raise the remainder of the cash for the Memorial (a nice local link to the memorial), which I will attend and brief the guests what their money will be going towards. The plan is to unveil the Memorial in a Unit event, with local VIP attendance, in Nov 10, on the Units return from Op HERRICK 12.
Ph2 sees the improvement to the Garden of Remembrance, with more herbaceous plants being established inside the wicker fence. The intent is to cut a walk-way alongside the lake and provide a pathway that allows wheel-chair access to the garden and to establish further areas for visitors to rest and relax in peace and quite.
Any proceeds received for the 40 Cdo Memorial and Garden of Remembrance will go towards:
1. The cost of the design and erecting of the Memorial.
2. The upkeep of the Memorial itself.
3. Enhancement and upkeep of areas of the Garden of Remembrance, e.g. purchasing of further benches.
We have set up an account in the Central Bank to receive and manage any funds that are allocated to the Memorial and Garden of Remembrance. Cheques should be made payable to ?Central Bank 40 Commando? with ?40 Commando Memorial? written on the back of the cheque.
2-3 yrs ago at the CTCRM Annual Reunion there was a YO Batch new intake with just 1 week in the job. My brother & I met a guy who was once, I think, Head Boy at our local Brentwood Public School, during the post-Parade drill shed drinks. Naturally I gave him and his pals a few quick 'tips' on how to get on in The Corps, ha, ha! Very soon after wards it seemed, I saw him briefly on an active service TV newsflash from Afghanistan, as a subaltern, with my old Unit, 40, CDO RM....the Plot thickens.......
Last Sunday on the quite large Brentwood, Essex Remembrance Day Parade & march past etc, I was white gloved 'Escort to the local RNA Branch Standard' for 2nd year running. I saw an RM Officer in the background, fully booted & spurred & gave him a nod. Later post memorial service and march, we stood with all Standards as a guard of honour for Mayor & Civic Dignitaries, Lord Lieutenant etc as they entered the (St Thomas) huge church. I was approached by the then-not recognised RM Officer, literally spurred & dress-corded up ......you've guessed it....now Capt RM Tom Williams RM....staff officer at Stonehouse Barracks to the Brigadier!!...What an achiever already!!! CGRM material?..who knows?
If that's not a modern success story, I don't know what is !!!
40 Cdo Assoc Member.
A Poem by Mike Hughes
'SAD FAREWELL TO OUR FALLEN CORPS FAMILY MEMBERS'
T o the haunting notes of 'Band of Brothers'
Stood in the sun by a leafy glade
Played by a Band supreme over others
Overwhelmed by the sacrifice made
Glint of the bugles and countless spurs
Lifted some heaviness from our hearts
Sad, when such devastation occurs
Memory of loved ones never departs
Calling of Roll by Corps RSM
Prompted the Relatives' fall of tears
How proud we all stood so close to them
Helping to soften their life-long fears
The granite towers overlook the Exe
Reflect the heart-felt senses of loss
Felt in so many Marine Messdecks
As Honoured Comrades lie under moss
The loud and clear, gentle Chaplain's voice
Unhurriedly focused us as one
Aware of our Brothers' lack of choice
But in our hearts their praise ever sung
A fitting Farewell on Hallowed Ground
Mourning them all - every last brave man
The Last Post's call - with its stirring sound
Tears at our hearts - as only it can
Drumhead Memorial Service
RMA Reunion 2009