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Auction: 24001 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 263

Sold by Order of a Direct Descendant

The remarkable Malaya 1960 O.B.E. group of seven awarded to Colonel R. R. Griffiths, Corps of Guides, later North Staffordshire Regiment and 2/6th (Queen Elizabeth's Own) Gurkha Rifles

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Officer's (O.B.E.) breast Badge, Military Division, silver-gilt, with its box of issue; India General Service 1935-39, 2 clasps, North West Frontier 1936-37, North West Frontier 1937-39 (Lt. R. R. Griffith, 5-12 F.F.R.); 1939-45 Star; Burma Star; Defence and War Medals 1939-45; General Service 1918-62, 2 clasps, S. E. Asia 1945-46, Malaya (Lieut. Col. R. R. Griffith. N. Staffs.), with M.I.D. oak leaf, mounted as worn, good very fine (7)

O.B.E. London Gazette 21 October 1952. The original recommendation states:

'Lieut-Colonel R. R. Griffith has Commanded the 2/6th Gurkha Rifles in operations in the Kluang District of Johre, Malaya, since April 1950., since April 1950.

Throughout this period he has directed the operations of his battalion against the armed Communist forces with the utmost energy. His planning of operations has been meticulous and imaginative and he has been tireless in their prosecution. By his personal supervision he has brought his battalion to a very high standard of efficiency, instilled the heist standards into the minds of all ranks, and welded them into a fighting unit which, by its sounds tactics, dogged determination, high morale and flexibility has fully maintained the high martial traditions of the Gurkhas.

Griffith's relations with the Police and Civil Administration have been exemplary. The vital importance of this to the joint prosecution of the campaign by the military, police and civil administration cannot be over emphasised. His firm, tactful attitude, commonsense and sounds, considered opinions have gained their complete confidence and regard. He has shown outstanding administrative ability, initiative and determination in his dealings both with the civil administrative officers and the leaders of the public. He has thereby been able to give direction and guidance in the civil aspect of the campaign without offence or prejudice to the main issue of combating and destroying Communism.

He has been untiring in his personal supervision of every aspect of his task. Without regard to the danger or fatigue he has toured extensively throughout Kluang District visiting his troops, rubber estates, towns and villages. His immediate presence whenever required, his calm assured attitude, and cheerful approachable manner, combined with his reputation for sound practical commonsense has enlisted the wholehearted support of the planting community, and inspired confidence in all with whom he has come in contact.

During the past two years considerable progress has been made in Kulang District in the war against Communism. Credit is due not only to the sustained offensive waged by the 2/6 Gurkha Rifles and the heavy casualties inflicted on the enemy but also to the initiative determination and constant introduction of new methods by their commanding officer, Lieut-Colonel Griffith. In the civil administrative sphere his influence has been great. His foresight, ability, tireless energy and decisiveness have provided the impetus behind the progress made by the civil administration.

It is not too much to say that without his firm adherence to the highest standards, devotion to duty, tireless energy and exemplary patience the confidence of the public in the administration would, during this troubled period not have been sustained at its present pitch. The personal contribution of this officer both in the military as well as the administrative aspect of the campaign is most worthy of recognition.'

M.I.D. London Gazette 27 April 1951:

'In recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Malaya during the period 1st July to 31st December 1950'

Ralph Robert Griffith was born at Peshawar, Pakistan on 12 February 1912, the son of Sir Ralph and Lady Alice Griffith. Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant, Devonshire Regiment on 28 January 1935 with the Corps of Guides he saw service during the heavy fighting on the Northwest Frontier prior to the Second World War. Further advanced Captain on 28 January 1940 he saw further action in Burma during the war.

Promoted Major on 1 July 1946 Griffith was Second in Command of the Regiment during this time. Transferring to 2nd Battalion, North Staffordshire Regiment from the Army of India on 2 October 1947. Despite this he still served in Malaya as commander of the 2/6th Gurkha from 1950-1953. Griffith then officially transferred to 2/6th Gurkha Rifles on 12 April 1952. He remained with the 6th Gurkha Rifles from 12 April 1955 despite relinquishing command of the Battalion. Griffith was placed upon the retired list on 19 October 1959 and went on to be appointed Defence Attache in Afghanistan through the mid to late 1960s; sold together with copied Army Lists and London Gazette extracts.

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