Peter Randall (an ex-4th Hussar Bandsman) who died aged 76 was awarded the George Medal for rescuing his driver from a burning vehicle on 8 October 1954 and the Margaret Wheatley Cross (the RSPCA’s Victoria Cross) for rescuing a guard dog from the same vehicle, despite suffering severe burns himself.

Sgt P Randell
Sgt P Randell

At the time Peter Randall was serving with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps as a dog handler during the Mau Mau insurrection in Kenya. He was invested with the George Medal by the Queen on 6 December 6 1955, the only member of the RAVC to receive the medal since it was established in 1940.

Peter joined the Royal Sussex Regiment in December 1951 as a Junior Bandsman (clarinettist) in September 1946 and transferred to the 4th Hussars Band in 1948. He served with the Regiment in Malaya from 1948 to 1951 and returned to the UK with the Regiment in December 1951.

He transferred to the RAVC in May 1952 and trained as a dog handler at the RAVC Depot at Melton Mowbray. Promotion soon followed and he was promoted to lance corporal in October 1952 and corporal in October 1953.

He was posted to Kenya, East Africa in February 1954, during the Mau Mau uprising until the incident when he was severely burned and consequently Casevac’d to BMH Tidworth in the UK in December 1954.

On returning to duty he was classified as fit for home-only duty because of his burn injuries but he remained with the RAVC. Because he was not allowed to serve in hot countries he opted for discharge in April 1959. He was awarded the Defence Medal, GSM Malaya and GSM Kenya.

On retiring from the Army Peter had a variety of jobs. He worked as a security officer with a pharmaceutical company, a gamekeeper on an estate and a shop manager. He was obviously a man with a great sense of public duty has been a special constable for 25 years, governor of a special school, chairman of the local chamber of commerce and the local branch of Mencap.

He eventually returned to Groby in Leicestershire where he again was involved in many voluntary jobs for which he was made an MBE in the 2000 Honours List.

Peter, who was born on 20 August 1930, was hit by a car while attending a Malaya/Borneo Veterans Meeting in Penang Malaysia in 2004 which left him in a coma.

He was returned to the UK but never came out of the coma and he died on 23 April 2007.

Related topics

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