About the book (from the Preface):
This book concerns the campaign in Malaya against the Communist terrorists. I was privileged to serve in this campaign for a considerable period with one of Britain’s famous country regiments, The Suffolk Regiment, which built up for itself, during three and a half years in Malaya, a reputation for skill and daring which was second to none and which, to this day, has not been surpassed. For three years the Regiment was engaged in a long and arduous struggle with a notorious terrorist leader Liew Kon Kim, nicknamed ‘The Bearded Wonder’ because of the luxuriant growth on his face, a most unusual feature in a Chinaman. This man commanded the 4th Independent Company of the Communist-styled ‘Malayan Races’ Liberation Army’.
South Selangor, a fertile area to the south of Malaya’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur, was his operational area. His company became known to us as the ‘Kajang Gang’ because of its leader’s close affinity with the town of Kajang, and because we encountered him most frequently in that district. The Regiment brought this struggle to a victorious conclusion in Jun 1952, when Liew Kon Kim was killed in the South Selangor swamps by a young National Service subaltern, who conducted this final engagement with the utmost gallantry and, during the last triumphant moments, almost single-handed. By then the rest of the 4th Independent Company had been virtually wiped out.
The story of this passage of arms provides the theme of this book, but only the theme. Against its background I have set out to depict the kind of life which our young soldiers, most of them conscripted into the British Army for their period of National Service, are leading in Malaya today…