One of a series of posts concerning Gurkha recipients of the Victoria Cross, each of which will appear on the anniversary of the action leading to the award.
Recipient: Rifleman Tul Bahadur Pun
Unit: 3rd Battalion, 6th Queen Elizabeth’s Own Gurkha Rifles
Date: 23 June 1944
Engagement: Pin Hmi Road Bridge, Burma.
Citation: The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the VICTORIA CROSS to:- No. 10119 Rifleman Tulbahadur [sic] Pun, 6th Gurkha Rifles, Indian Army.
In Burma on 23 June 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.
The cross fire was so intense 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 (sic) Pun and his remaining companion continued the charge, but the latter too was immediately 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 beyond praise.
London Gazette: 9 November 1944
Second Victoria Cross: Lt. Michael Allmand [commander of Tul Bahadur Pun’s platoon?] was also awarded the Victoria Cross for his assault on a Japanese machine gun position, earlier in the same action on 23rd June at Pin Hmi Bridge.If you have enjoyed this post, please drop me a note or subscribe to this blog using the Subscribe function on the Home Page. Thanks!