Family collect medal for soldier killed in battle 55 years ago

PROUD Don Ainsley with the Queen Elizabeth medal presented to him on behalf of his brother John
PROUD Don Ainsley with the Queen Elizabeth medal presented to him on behalf of his brother John
Jim Booth lays a wreath on The Copp Memorial on Hayling Island in 2015 

Picture: Malcolm Wells (150701-4775)

Second World War hero who trained with elite Hayling Island unit ‘viciously’ attacked in his own home

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IT MAY have happened more than 55 years ago but the loss of a brother is never forgotten.

Don Ainsley never saw his elder brother John Ainsley again after he left the family home in Paulsgrove in 1955 for National Service, aged 18.

John Ainsley who died in the Malayan War aged 19

John Ainsley who died in the Malayan War aged 19

The next his family heard was a telegram saying the Royal Hampshire Regiment soldier had been killed by Communist terrorists in Malaya.

Now more than five decades later they have been presented with the Queen Elizabeth Medal, in recognition of the sacrifice Pte Ainsley made to secure democracy.

The medal is granted to families of service personnel who have died in action or at the hands of terrorists, since the Second World War.

It was presented to Mr Ainsley, along with a Memorial Scroll, at Searle House, Winchester, by Dame Mary Fagan, the Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire.

Mr Ainsley, 69, of Stockheath Road, Leigh Park, said: ‘I was 13 when my brother died but I remember him well. He was a lovely gentleman. Everyone said he was such a nice chap.

‘He was 18 when he left and 19 when he died. He lost his life fighting terrorists in the jungle and got buried out there. In those days they didn’t bring them home.

‘I’ve never been to his grave but my brothers, granddaughter and John’s best friend Dennis Fletcher have. That’s why I felt proud to be presented with this medal. The whole family is pleased.’

On August 9, 1955, Pte Ainsley was stationed in Rawang, covering a suspected enemy approach.

Terrorists attacked his position and threw a grenade which injured all four British soldiers. Despite their injuries, they stood their ground, killing three terrorists while the fourth escaped.

Pte Ainsley died from shrapnel wounds to his head and chest on August 10. Mr Fletcher, a medic in the same regiment, was one of his stretcher bearers. Pte Ainsley is buried at Cheras Road Cemetery, Kula Lumpar. Mr Ainsley was joined by his wife Colleen and Mr Fletcher at the presentation earlier this month.