Lieu Kon Kim’s Penknife

 

Lieu Kon Kim’s PenknifeLieu Kon Kim’s penknife Penknife taken from the body of Lieu Kon Kim, a leading Communist Terrorist leader in Malaya after he had been ambushed and shot by a patrol. His killing marked a high point in the 1st Battalion’s tour of duty in Malaya.

 

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The Suffolk Regiment served during the Malayan Emergency from 1949 to 1953 when British troops resisted attempts by Communist Terrorists to take over the country. By the time their tour of duty was over the 1st Battalion had proved themselves to be the top ‘Bandit’hunters, having killed 198 terrorists. The most important of these was Lieu Kon Kim, known as the ‘Bearded Wonder’. He led the Kajang Gang and was greatly feared by the local Malay population who believed he had magic powers. If he could be killed there was a greater chance of gaining the confidence of the local people.

 

On 6 July 1952 ‘B’ Company, deploying nine patrols, began to search the Batu Extension Malay Reserve to the east of the Tumboh Malay Reserve. At 13.30 a patrol from 5 Platoon led by 2nd Lieutenant Raymond Hands, a National Service Platoon Commander, suddenly saw a lone bandit making off through the jungle to their front.  The patrol opened fire  and raced after him but he escaped. They ran into a camp just in time to see three figures leaping out of a basha. A burst of fire killed one; 2nd Lieutenant Hands chased after and killed another (who turned out to be a woman armed with a shotgun).  After 150 yards he caught up with the third and brought him down with a burst from his carbine. This last bandit was bearded and later positively identified as Lieu Kon Kim.

 

For his part in this action 2nd Lieutenant Hands was awarded the Military Cross.

 

Lieu Kon Kim’s penknife and his 9mm Browning automatic pistol wee brought home and presented to the Suffolk Regiment Museum

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