On the 31st December 1948, 2Lt JL Sutro was learner troop leader to 4th Troop, ‘A’ Squadron 4th Q.O. Hussars. The Troop, which consisted of 1 GMC (APC) with the troop leader Lt Questier, followed one 15cwt truck and 1 GMC (APC) in rear under command of 2Lt Sutro, was on patrol on the JALONG road.

Near the 24th milestone, the troop, which was passing through a cutting was fired on from both sides of the road and from positions up to 300-400 yards apart. the 15cwt truck stopped and most of the crew were killed. 2Lt Sutro at once appreciated the situation, stopped and opened fire in order to cover the knocked out truck.

The troop leader Lt Questier backed his vehicle down the road to the rear GMC and took command of the operation. He was killed after a few minutes. 2Lt Sutro in spite of already being wounded twice took command and by his example and complete disregard of intense enemy fire drove the enemy back in spite of their superior numbers and weapons.

From documents recovered they were 70 strong with at least 5 Bren Guns, a mortar and other weapons. He then still under fire collected what wounded he could find and drove on through the ambush with the 2 GMCs.

2Lt Sutro then halted his troop, which by this time only had 3 men un-wounded, ordered them to dig in, tended the wounded and tried to contact the regiment on his wireless set. This he failed to do and called for a volunteer to drive him back to SUGEI SIPUT through the ambush in order to contact the regiment on the telephone. He succeeded in doing this and got through to the Commanding Officer on the telephone, and very clearly put him in the picture.

After receiving his orders he stated he was returning with the police. However after great difficulty the police officer persuaded 2Lt Sutro not to go back on account of his wounds.

This young man aged nineteen and who had joined the regiment only 10 days previously showed remarkable coolness, leadership, and gallantry under very adverse conditions.

If it had not been for his fine example the troop would have suffered even severer casualties and not fought such a gallant and successful action.

GJ Kidston-Montgomerie
Lt Col
Commanding 4th Queen’s Own Hussars

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 4th Hussars
  2. Malaya 1948-51
  3. Object: Malayan Communist Flag