News from the Green Howards
MALAYA VETERANS RETURN TO SEE THEIR MEDALS ON DISPLAY.
During Richmond Sunday Dickie Bebb and William 'Dixie' Dean together with the family of Joe Newton visited the museum to see their medals on display. In 2008 Dickie and Dixie together with Lila Newton, wife of Joe Newton presented their Malaya medals to the museum.
Dickie, Dixie and Joe served with 1st Battalion in Support Company in Malaya and became friends while serving. Joe and Dixie served with the Anti-Tank Platoon and Dickie with the Mortar Platoon. Sadly Joe died October 2007 but it was his wish that his medal together with those of his friends be displayed in the museum.
On the 3rd January 1952 Joe Newton was with the Anti-Tank Platoon when they encountered terrorists in the overgrown Chinese rubber estates near Tampin. Major Oldfield in his book, The Green Howards in Malaya provides a vivid description of the contact.
'Returning from a recce for an ambush, a patrol of the Anti-Tank Platoon contacted a gang of about seven terrorists in position on a small hill across a strip of swamp. An attempt to cross the swamp was met be heavy rifle and automatic fire from the enemy position the other side, and Sergeant Bishorek, who was commanding the platoon, decided to hold them with fire from the front whilst he took a small party round to attack from the right flank. Joe Newton, who had been one of the party to attempt a frontal attack across the swamp, had been left slightly in advance of the remainder of the fire group, in a position from which he did sterling work correcting the fire of the automatics to his rear on to the enemy position. Meanwhile Sergeant Bishorek with a small assault party has found a way across the swamp farther down and, crossing it began to move in on the enemy from their rear. In the completely open rubber they could not conceal their approach from the enemy, who, with heavy fire coming from their front and flank, hurriedly pulled out to make their get-away, in the rapidly failing light. They left behind them, however, their political warrior dead, and in the action of their platoon commander received serious wounds which were to put him out of action for many months to come.'
Joe was Mentioned in Dispatches for his part in the encounter and Sergeant Bishorek was awarded the British Empire Medal.
When Dickie Bebb, William 'Dixie' Dean and Joe Newton left the army they lost touch but at Richmond Sunday in 2002 Joe and Dickie bumped into each other at the bar and later they met up with Dixie. Dickie now lives in Barnsley and is a member of Barnsley Association. Dixie now lives in Canada but returns to Richmond each year for Richmond Sunday.View more pictures