26 April 2011

RIP: Tul Bahadur Pun VC

Tul Bahadur Pun VC
23 Mar 1923 - 20 Apr 2011

ZUI this article from The Telegraph:
Lieutenant Tul Bahadur Pun, who died on April 20 aged 88, won the Victoria Cross while serving with the Second Chindit Expedition in Burma in 1944.

Early in March that year the Second Chindit Expedition, a force of six brigades comprising some 9,000 men together with stores, was air-landed in Burma. The main objectives of the Expedition were twofold: first, to support the advance on Myitkyina by the American-led Chinese troops and to establish a strong position astride the Japanese lines of communication; and secondly, to impede the build-up of Japanese forces for an invasion of India by harassing them in the Mogaung area.

The Chindits were supplied by establishing a number of fortified bases with airstrips south of Myitkyina. These strongholds provoked a strong reaction from the Japanese, and some of them subsequently proved indefensible and had to be abandoned.

On May 27 the 77th Indian Brigade was ordered to capture the Japanese supply centre of Mogaung. After almost a month of savage fighting which had greatly depleted the brigade’s numbers, the 3rd Battalion 6th Gurkha Rifles was ordered to attack the railway bridge at Mogaung on June 23.


Tul Bahadur Pun was born on March 23 1923 at Banduk village in the Myagdit district of west Nepal. He enlisted in the Gurkha Brigade in west Nepal and, after completing his basic training, joined the 3rd Battalion 6th Gurkha Rifles for the Chindit Expedition.

After Independence in 1947, he transferred to the British Army and joined the 2nd/6th Gurkha Rifles, seeing action in Malaya and Hong Kong. He rose to be regimental sergeant major of his battalion and retired from the Army in May 1959 in the rank of honorary lieutenant.


He was twice married, and is survived by his second wife, Punisara, and by his two sons and eight daughters.

ZUI also this article from the BBC.

There are now eight surviving VC holders, including two recipients of the Victoria Cross for Australia and one recipient of the Victoria Cross for New Zealand:
Flt Lt John A Cruickshank VC, RAFVR - North Atlantic, 1944
Sgt William Speakman VC, The Black Watch - Korea, 1951
Capt Ram Bahadur Limbu VC MVO, 10th Gurkha Rifles - Borneo, 1965
WO Keith Payne VC OAM, Australian Army - Vietnam, 1969
Pte Johnson G Beharry VC, Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment - Iraq, 2004
Cpl Bill H Apiata VC, New Zealand SAS - Afghanistan, 2004
Tpr Mark G S Donaldson VC, Australian SAS - Afghanistan, 2008
Cpl Ben Roberts-Smith VC, Australian SAS - Afghanistan, 2010

************* *** *************


Rifleman, 6th Gurkha Rifles

Born: 23 March 1923, Banduk, Nepal
Died: 20 April 2011, Banduk, Nepal

Citation: In Burma on June 23rd, 1944, a Battalion of the 6th Gurkha Rifles was ordered to attack the Railway Bridge at Mogaung. Immediately the attack developed the enemy opened concentrated and sustained cross fire at close range from a position known as the Red House and from a strong bunker position two hundred yards to the left of it.
So intense was this cross fire that both the leading platoons of "B" Company, one of which was Rifleman Tulbahadur Pun's, were pinned to the ground and the whole of his Section was wiped out with the exception of himself, the Section Commander and one other man. The Section Commander immediately led the remaining two men in a charge on the Red House but was at once badly wounded. Rifleman Tulbahadur Pun and his remaining companion continued the charge, but the latter too was immediately badly wounded.
Rifleman Tulbahadur Pun then seized the Bren Gun, and firing from the hip as he went, continued the charge on this heavily bunkered position alone, in the face of the most shattering concentration of automatic fire, directed straight at him. With the dawn coming up behind him, he presented a perfect target to the Japanese. He had to move for thirty yards over open ground, ankle deep in mud, through shell holes and over fallen trees.
Despite these overwhelming odds, he reached the Red House and closed with the Japanese occupants. He killed three and put five more to flight and captured two light machine guns and much ammunition. He then gave accurate supporting fire from the bunker to the remainder of his platoon which enabled them to reach their objective.
His outstanding courage and superb gallantry in the face of odds which meant almost certain death were most inspiring to all ranks and were beyond praise.

[London Gazette issue 36785 dated 9 Nov 1944, published 7 Nov 1944.]

No comments: