John West was conscripted in the army as part of the National Service scheme. He was involved in the Malayan Emergency, a guerrilla war fought between Commonwealth armed forces and the Malayan National Liberation Army (MNLA), the military arm of the Malayan Communist Party, between 1948 and 1960.
West was initially sent to Palestine as part of the Palestine Police Force in 1947. In August 1948 he joined the Federation of Malaya Police at the rank of Sergeant. He was posted to the notorious area of Kajang, Selangor, where he assumed command of a jungle squad.
He was promoted to gazetted rank in July 1950, when he volunteered for a secondment to No 22 S.A.S. regiment.
In October 1951 he assumed the post of O.C.P.D. Rawang, Selangor. In May 1952, when the Perak Aboriginal Areas Constabulary was absorbed into the Police Force, West assumed command of the Force as No. 20 Federal Jungle Company.
He was responsible for the establishment of Fort Legap in Perak and was involved in establishing friendly relations with the aboriginal tribes in this and other areas.
He was presented with the Colonial Police Medal for Meritorious Service for his work in the No. 20 Federal Jungle Company.
This General Service medal was presented to West because of his time with the Palestine Police as part of his National Service, between 1947-1948.
This General Service medal was presented to John Joseph West because of his time with the Palestine Police as part of his National Service, between 1947-1948.