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Gurung, Lachhiman

Date of birth:
December 30th, 1917 (Dakhani Village/Tanhu, Nepal)
Date of death:
December 12th, 2010 (Charing Cross Hospital, London, Great Britain)
Nationality:
Nepalese (1768-2008, Kingdom)

Biography

Servicenumber 87726.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Rifleman
Unit:
4th Battalion, 8th Gurhka Rifles, Indian Army (4th Battalion, 8th Gurhka Rifles, Indian Army)
Awarded on:
July 27th, 1945
Citation:
"At Taungdaw, in Burma, on the west bank of the Irrawaddy, on the night of 12th/ 13th May, 1945, Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung was manning the most forward post of his platoon. At 0120 hours at least 200 enemy assaulted his Company position. The brunt of the attack was borne by Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung's section and by his own post in particular. This post dominated a jungle path leading up into his platoon locality.
Before assaulting, the enemy hurled innumerable grenades at the position from close range. One grenade fell on the lip of Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung's trench; he at once grasped it and hurled it back at the enemy. Almost immediately another grenade fell directly inside the trench. Again this Rifleman snatched it up and threw it back. A third grenade then fell just in front of the trench. He attempted to throw it back, but it exploded in his hand, blowing off his fingers, shattering his right arm and severely wounding him in the face, body and right leg. His two comrades were also badly wounded and lay helpless in the bottom of the trench.
The enemy, screaming and shouting, now formed up shoulder to shoulder and attempted to rush the position by sheer weight of numbers. Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung, regardless of his wounds, fired and loaded his rifle with his left hand, maintaining a continuous and steady rate of fire. Wave after wave of fanatical attacks were thrown in by the enemy and all were repulsed with heavy casualties.
For four hours after being severely wounded Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung remained alone at his post, waiting with perfect calm for each attack, which he met with fire at point-blank range from his rifle, determined not to give one inch of ground.
Of the 87 enemy dead counted in the immediate vicinity of the Company locality, 31 lay in front of this Rifleman's section, the key to the whole position. Had the enemy succeeded in over-running and occupying Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung's trench, the whole of the reverse slope position would have been completely dominated and turned.
This Rifleman, by his magnificent example, so inspired his comrades to resist the enemy to the last, that, although surrounded and cut off for three days and two nights, they held and smashed every attack.
His outstanding gallantry and extreme devotion to duty, in the face of almost overwhelming odds, were the main factors in the defeat of the enemy."
Published in The London Gazette dated July 27th, 1945.
Victoria Cross (VC)

Sources

  • Photo: VC Cards
  • - Second Supplement to The London Gazette of 24th July 1945, Issue 37195, dated 27th July 1945
    - Victoria Cross Reference
    - The Register of the Victoria Cross - published by This Engeland 1997 - ISBN 0906324270
    - Special thanks to Iain Stewart from The History of the Victoria Cross

Photo