Ken Leak, a Yorkshire man, was born on the 21st of September 1929 in Harrogate.

Tpr K Leak
Tpr K Leak

On leaving school he trained and worked as a motor mechanic until joining the Army on the 10th of April 1947.

On enlistment Ken did his initial training with 14 primary Training Centre, then 54th Training Regiment RAC and consequently joined The 4th Queen’s Own Hussars in July 1948.

At that time The 4th Hussars were in the process of being brought up to strength as a Regular Regiment prior to a three-year posting to Malaya in the Far East.

A State of Emergency had been declared in Malaya due to elements of the Communist Malayan Peoples Anti-Japanese Army (who had fought the Japanese during the occupation) trying to take over the country. The 4th Hussars were to reinforce the troops already serving in Malaya.

Ken had joined 1st Troop ‘A’ Squadron and sailed with the Regiment in August 1948 on board HMT Dilwara. The Regiment’s commitments on arrival in Malaya were Road Patrols, Escorts and Jungle Patrols. He served in Malaya, including a tour in Hong Kong, for the full period of three years and three months and returned to England with the Regiment where he was discharged to the Reserve in December 1952.

Ken married Rosemary in April 1954, they had two sons, Andrews and Warren, a daughter Susan, and eventually five grandchildren. In civilian life, Ken worked as a Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineer. He was obviously very good with his hands as his hobby was making model tanks and aircraft, which Rosemary tells me probably totalled about 720, all good enough to be sold on to shops. He was also a keen gardener and liked to swim.

Ken and Rosemary decided to emigrate to Australia in January 1959 where their daughter Susan was born, but after two years they decided it was not for them and they returned to the UK in early 1961.

He survived two replacement hips and a replacement knee but in 2007 was diagnosed with cancer and died about a year later on the 30th November 2008 aged 79 years.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 4th Hussars
  2. Malaya 1948-51