- Mark Forsdike
‘Tiny’ Peck MM
Today the post brought a photograph of 2nd Suffolk taken in India in January 1945.
The photograph, which shows ‘A’ Company, was taken upon their return to Western India having been withdrawn from the Imphal front in August 1944. The old campaigners proudly still retain their slouch hats (later known as the “I was there!” hat) while the reinforcements appear in FS caps.
The officer in front appears to be Major Gurney, who assumed command just a few weeks earlier, but the real gem for me was to find a photograph of Corporal Jack Peck, MM, smiling back from the rear rank, complete with the ribbon of the Military Medal pinned to aertex jungle green battle dress blouse.
Jack Richmond Peck, nicknamed ‘Tiny’ who lived up to his nickname in build and stature, won the Military Medal in May 1944 when on patrol with the Guerilla Platoon around the ‘Pyramid’ feature. A party of Japanese had fired upon them from the flanks and Peck spotted their positioned and worked round with a Bren team to eliminate them. Such was the bravery of the action that his award was ‘immediate’ and with it came a promotion from Lance Corporal to Corporal.
2nd Suffolk’s jungle war may have been short compared to that of 1st Suffolk in Europe, but it certainly was more bitter and fought over the same territory time and time again. The more I read of it, then more I feel there is a book to be written here.