Time Well Spent

Lieutenant-Colonel John Darwin Maling, awarded an MC on the North-West Frontier and a DSO in Burma has died at the age of 94 in Waikanae. Born in Timaru in 1915 and educated at Christ’s College in Christchuch, Maling was a “soldier and a spy-catcher” and the adjutant and a founding member of the Mazhbi and Ramdasia Sikhs, later known as the Sikh Light Infantry, which was raised at Jullundur in 1941. Maling won a DSO at Meiktila in Burma in 1945 for bravery and for leadership in ferocious fighting that would help turn the tide against the Japanese forces. He was later an instructor to NATO units and lectured troops in the Middle East, India and Pakistan, resigning from the British Army with the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1958. He began a second career with the New Zealand Security Service in 1959 serving until 1981. Maling’s links with the Sikh Light Infantry were lifelong. In 1991, with his wife, a daughter and the widow of his lifelong friend and soldier Bandy Ewert, he attended the 50th anniversary of the regiment at Meerut. He had not been forgotten. He addressed troops and old warriors in Urdu; they roared their approval with their war chant. He is survived by his wife, their three daughters and son, and by his grandchildren — all of whom can recite his adage: “Time spent on reconnaissance is seldom wasted.”

John Darwin Maling: February 2 1915 – March 16 2009


Tags: Lieutenant-Colonel John Darwin Maling  Sikh Light Infantry  Telegraph (The)  

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