Victoria Cross group awarded to Brigadier Arthur Cumming, 12th Frontier Force Regiment, for his actions at Kuantan, Malaya, January 1942
Cumming was awarded the first of only two VCs awarded to British officers of the Indian Army during World War Two (1939-1945). On 3 January 1942, while he was commanding 2nd Battalion, 12th Frontier Force Regiment, near Kuantan during the Japanese invasion of British Malaya.
When the rear guard of his position came under attack from the Japanese, Cumming led a small party of men in an immediate counter-attack, and despite receiving two bayonet wounds in the stomach, he succeeded in restoring the situation sufficiently for most of the battalion and its vehicles to be withdrawn to safety. He was later again wounded while driving in a carrier under heavy fire to rescue isolated troops.
The citation for his award in 'The London Gazette' of 20 February 1942, describes how, 'By his outstanding gallantry, initiative and devotion to duty, he was largely instrumental in the safe withdrawal of the Brigade'.
The medal group consists of: Victoria Cross; Order of the British Empire; Military Cross; British War Medal 1914-20; Allied Victory Medal 1914-19 with oakleaf; India General Service Medal 1908-35 with clasp for Waziristan 1921-24; India General Service Medal 1936-39 with two clasps for North West Frontier; 1939-45 Star; Pacific Star 1941-45 with clasp for Burma; Defence Medal 1939-45; British War Medal 1939-45 with oakleaf; General Service Medal 1918-62 with clasp for Cyprus; Coronation Medal 1953.
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum Copyright
National Army Museum, Study collection
Browse related themes