Posted by Adam @ 12:09 pm on May 25th 2007

Tul Bahadur Pun

Tal Bahadur Pun, a Gurkha, is a very brave man. His citation for his Victoria Cross:

“The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the VICTORIA CROSS to :- No. 10119 Rifleman Tullbahadur (sic) Pun, 6th Gurkha Rifles, Indian Army. 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 (sic) 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 (sic) 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 occupations. 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.”

Tal Bahadur Pun has been refused permission to live in the UK, as he is believed by the British authorities not to have sufficient connection with the country (hat-tip Andrew Stuttaford, who hat-tipped Iain Dale). Apparently, running through muddy shell holes into a hail of bullets whilst fighting in the army of a country thousands of miles away from your home isn’t as much of a connection as, say, having a grandparent from that country. Jesus wept.

The way that the Gurkhas, who are troops as dedicated and brave as any in the world, have been treated by the British, over the years, is shameful. The way that this particular Gurkha is being treated beggars belief. I haven’t been this angry for a long time; if the rules do not allow for immigration by men who received the Victoria Cross, the prerequisite for which basically includes the act being so dangerous that death was likely, then the rules are wrong. If a man so spectacularly demonstrates that he is prepared to die in service of our country, he should be allowed to live in it.

I hope that this picks up enough steam to get the ruling overturned. I also think that all Gurkhas should get the right to reside in the UK, assuming a lengthy enough term of satisfactory service in the military. Tul Bahadur Pun should be there now.

4 Comments »

  1. One of the commenters at Iain Dale’s found this:

    “As I write these last words, my thoughts return to you who were my comrades, the stubborn and indomitable peasants of Nepal. Once more I hear the laughter with which you greeted every hardship. Once more I see you in your bivouacs or about your fires, on forced march or in the trenches, now shivering with wet and cold, now scorched by a pitiless and burning sun. Uncomplaining you endure hunger and thirst and wounds; and at the last your unwavering lines disappear into the smoke and wrath of battle. Bravest of the brave, most generous of the generous, never had country more faithful friends than you”.

    The words of Professor Sir Ralph Turner, MC, who served with the 3rd Queen Alexandra’s Own Gurkha Rifles in the First World War.

    What do the poor bastards have to do to get what they’re owed?

    Comment by Adam — 5/25/2007 @ 12:22 pm

  2. Become a rock star?

    Comment by Yank Crank — 5/25/2007 @ 3:12 pm

  3. He’s the wrong religion to gain entry. Don’t you understand the way it works now?

    Comment by dizzy — 5/25/2007 @ 4:07 pm

  4. I forgot about this, but not long after I posted this, it was decided that Tal Bahadur Pun could, in fact, live in the UK. he got a huge send-off in Kathmandu and treated with great enthusiasm when he arrived in the UK.

    They should still let the rest of them come over, if they wish to.

    Comment by Adam — 3/15/2008 @ 5:15 pm

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