A Singapore Colony 'Maria Hertogh Riots' & 'Union Jack Club' medal pair to a former WW2 'Changi Prison' Civilian Internee: Manager, Cyril George Wimbush, M.B.E., Union Jack Club, late Sergeant Corps of Military Police
- Order of the British Empire. M.B.E. (Civil). 2nd type breast badge
- Military LS&GC. GVI Type I 'Regular Army' (1026015 Sjt. C. G. Wimbush. C of M.P.)
Note: After the fall of Singapore Colony to the Imperial Japanese Army, 15 February 1942, Cyril Wimbush, a civilian - with no entitlement to Second World War campaign medals - was incarcerated as a civilian internee, at the notorious 'Changi Prison' for the duration of the Japanese occupation of Singapore 1942-1945
Important: The award of the M.B.E. (Civil) was announced in the London Gazette issue of ,7 June 1951, and with extracts of citation published in the Straits Times edition of, 7 June 1951
Maria Hertogh Riots:
The Maria Hertogh riots were a severe outbreak of communal violence that took place in Singapore between 11 - 13 December 1950, over the custody lawsuit of Maria Hertogh. The riots left 18 dead and 173 injured, as well as a reported 72 vehicles burnt, 119 vehicles damaged, and damage to personal property amounting to 20,848 Straits dollars.
Quote (The Straits Times, 7 June 1951):
S'pore: 14 men & a woman
Fifteen people - incuding a woman, Mrs. Myra Isabelle Crusson - are among the Singapore Honours List.
The citations read:
Mr. Cecil George Wimbush threw himself into the work of rehabilitating the Union Jack Club with enthusiasm and the Club very soon was able to achieve the high standard of efficiency associated with it. During the riots several Service families sheltered in the Club and he swiftly organised its defence and helped repel the attackers.
Quote (The Singapore Free Press, 20 December 1952):
Nicoll Gives Awards to 23.
The Singapore Governor, Mr. J.F. Nicoll, this morning presented insignia of Orders and medals to 23 colony residents and Servicemen at a Government House ceremony.....
Mr. C.G. Wimbush, M.B.E.
Immediately after his release from internment he threw himself with enthusiasm into the work of rehabilitating the Union Jack Club. During the December riots, he energetically and successfully organised the defence of the club against rioters who attacked it.
A captioned photograph of Cecil Wimbush being decorated by the Governor of Singapore Colony, was published in The Straits Times issue of 21 December 1952. Quote:
Mr. C.G. Wimbush, who helped to defend the Union Jack Club against attackers during the riots in Dec 1950, receives an M.B.E., from the Governor, Mr. J.F. Nicoll, at a ceremony at a ceremony at Government House yesterday at which 22 persons received awards
Note: The official recommendation for the M.B.E. awarded to Wimbush is held and accessible at the National Archives of Singapore
Cyril Wimbush died in Singapore Colony on 19 June 1954, and was buried at Bidadari Cemetery , Singapore, on 21 June 1954
Cyril Wimbush son of James Wimbush & Emma Rebecca Wimbush (nee Cashmore) was a native of, Barford, Warwickshire, England, where he was born circa 1901 (confirmed baptized 28 April 1901). The 1911 National Census for England 7 Wales records Cyril, as a scholar living at the family home in, Barford, Warwickshire, together with his father and 3 x siblings, viz brother Arthur & 2 x sisters Catherine 'Kate' & Doris. Cyril enlisted in the British Army on 25 April 1921, at which time he was 18 years and 2 months of age, and described as having been formerly employed as a 'Motor Driver'. At enlistment he was posted to the Royal Regiment of Artillery, and subsequently allocated the unique Army number 1026015, which is from the block allocated to the Royal Artillery in 1920. On 13 May 1921, Cyril transferred to the Military Field Police, which unit was amalgamated with the Military Mounted Police, in 1926 to become the Corps of Military Police, a.k.a. 'The Redcaps'. Cyril remained in service with the MFP and later CMP, and was holding the rank of Sergeant by the time he had qualified for his LS&GC medal after 18 years service. During his army service, Cyril had served many years overseas in Singapore (Reference 'Straits Times' issue of 24 June 1954, states that Cyril had served and worked in Singapore for 23 years). After taking his final discharge from the British Army - shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War - Cyril took up an appointment as Assistant Manager at the Union Jack Club, Singapore, a position he held from at least April 1939 (Ref 'Straits Times'). Cyril Wimbush was an expatriate resident in Singapore when the Second World War began in September 1939, and remained resident in Singapore through the subsequent outbreak of the Pacific War on 8 December 1941, and was present throughout the siege of Singapore and the surrender on 15 February 1942. After liberation from internment in September 1945, Cyril returned to the United Kingdom for rest and recuperation after more then 3 and a half years of tropical incarceration at Changi Prison. On returning to Singapore Colony, Cyril, was appointed Manager of the Union Jack Club a position he continued to hold through to the time of his death on 19 June 1954. The body of Cyril Wimbush was buried at Bidadari Cemetery, Singapore Colony, on 21 June 1954
Cyril Wimbush, the well known Manager of the Union Jack Club, was known to many tens of thousands of British, British Empire & Commonwealth service personnel in the period 1939-1954. Not least as the The 'Union Jack Club' in Singapore was the single most celebrated services 'R & R' establishment in the history of the British Armed Forces in Singapore, and the most famous of all 'watering holes' that catered to 'Other Ranks'. In the period 1940-1942, the club was central as the location for several inter-services / inter-regimental brawls, not least the 'Battle of the Union Jack Club' in 1941, where the Jocks of the 1st Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders (the illustrious descendent of the Thin Red Line, who earned the nickname 'The Jungle Beasts' for their jungle exploits on the Malay Peninsula) won a pitched bar battle (bottles, glasses, fists & boots) against 'Diggers' - and fellow brothers in arms - drawn from amongst members of the 2nd Australian Imperial Force. Amongst the pre-Pacific War Singapore garrison, the Argyll's ruled the roost at the Union Jack Club, Singapore.......
A most desirable and unusual medal pair of considerable Singapore & colonial history interest, not least the recipients cited services during the 'Maria Hertogh' race riots of 1950