C/Sgt Smurthwaite has been employed as the Quartermaster Sergeant of this Independent Unit during the past twelve months during which time the Company has completed two operational tours abroad.
In the Cyprus crisis early in the year and consequent quick move of the Parachute Brigade he proved himself to be an outstandingly good CQMS. His administrative planning and forethought together with hard work ensured the smooth efficiency of the Company without loss of equipment or barrack damage or deficiency.
It was however on the Unit’s return to the UK and quick conversion to the Special Air Service role and deployment in the Third Division of Sarawak that C/Sgt Smurthwaite really came to the fore. During the retraining and re-equipping in England and Malaya he worked untiringly with initiative and resourcefulness dealing where necessary with staff officers in order to obtain stores and equipment urgently required. By his knowledge, initiative, tact and ability he quickly earned the respect of all with whom he had to deal.
Later in jungle operations the results of his hard work, administrative planning and knowledge have proved to be outstandingly good and well above the standard expected of his rank and service. During the four and a half months in which the small patrols of the Company have been deployed over a vast area for two periods of two months without break or resupply except by airdrop, he and his small staff have worked unceasingly to ensure that the men lacked nothing. His attention to detail, acquired knowledge and intelligent forethought together with his ability and forthright personality have ensured complete success and earned him the respect not only of those deployed in the jungle but also of the staff who supply and the Royal Navy who deliver.
Once again on return to England his hard work, knowledge and ability quickly enabled the company to revert to its Pathfinding and Armoured reconnaissance role.
C/Sgt Smurthwaite now returns to his regiment having completed his third and arduous tour with The Parachute Regiment.