Rifleman Tullbahadur Pun VC, 6th Gurkha Rifles, Indian Army.

  • Col. Lang,

    Victoriacrosspicture_000 This is off completely off topic but is about a military matter of exceedingly great concern to those of us who serve, or have served the Queen.

    A 90 year old Nepalese Gurkha, who won the Victoria Cross in WWII storming a Japanese machine gun post in Burma has been denied entry to, and medical care in, Britain "because he has no links to Britain".

    This man was presented with his medal in about 1953 and used to have tea with the Queen Mother.

    I’d appreciate it if this story could be posted. There are other measures being taken to get this horrific decision reversed. This man should be a Chelsea Pensioner.

    I’ve served with Gurkhas in hot and rainy places and there are no finer men, as I’m sure you know.  Walrus

  • —————————————

  • For those who may not know, The Victoria Cross is the equivalent of the US Medal of Honor.  pl

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=457426&in_page_id=1811

  • Here is his citation:

    Quote:
    "No. 10119 Rifleman Tullbahadur 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 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 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 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."

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17 Responses to Rifleman Tullbahadur Pun VC, 6th Gurkha Rifles, Indian Army.

  1. Tom says:

    Worth a bit of background from the UK on this – the Home Office, which is in charge of immigration matters, is under pressure for being appallingly badly run and (particularly from the Daily Mail, ironically) for not having control of immigration. Hence immigration control processes and criteria will have been tightened up, probably without much care or thought to the unintended consequences, in order to get the headline figure of immigrants down and placate the tabloids. Inhuman systems lead to inhuman results.
    In this case, since the editor of the Mail is a friend of the incoming Prime Minister, I’d expect urgent action to be taken. Brown is trying hard to look good, at the moment.

  2. Jim Price says:

    Col,
    While most of your readers may know, it’s worth observing that the Victoria Cross is Britain’s highest award for gallantry in combat. It corresponds to our Medal of Honor.

  3. Fred says:

    Pat, I’m seeing Congressman Dingell at an event tonight, I’ll ask his staff if they can get something to the British embassy. (My actual rep is Walberg, a true rubberstamp but I’ll fire off something to him as well)

  4. D.Witt says:

    no comment, just a request a fix to the URL in the article (it looks like it got truncated somehow)
    thanks!
    -David

  5. Lugubris says:

    Pun VC
    there is also a problem with the citation
    Chindits citation
    I hope these are correct.

  6. paraporker says:

    Hey Pat, something’s wrong with your page, the right half inch of the article is hidden in firefox.
    Thanks

  7. bubba says:

    Ditto paraporker’s problem in Opera too.
    Looks like only this post is affected. Could be due to how the bullets are formatted in CSS (html tags UL & LI), haven’t checked your source tho.

  8. Sid3 says:

    Just one American’s opinion, but it looks like QEII is dismayed at Blair’s legacy, at least according to the Telegraph.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=UOSCM2OBDQO3HQFIQMGCFGGAVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2007/05/27/nqueen27.xml
    Also, again just my opinion, but it looks like the British SAS is dismayed at Blair’s legacy.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/05/04/narmy04.xml
    Logic thus suggests that, in this day and age, QEII could play a significant role on the world stage representing the experience of the British SAS in fighting counterinsurgency. I hope she does so and soon, not only for the UK but for the world.
    QEII represents one of our best hopes to communicate with the people of the Islamic world, including the man on the street.
    Strange this is coming from someone with libertarian leanings (and Irish Celtic blood) in America, but there you have it.
    Sid

  9. Poicephalus says:

    Yo, heckuva job Blair and Reid!

  10. In-Limbo says:

    Col,
    A link to your article appeared on our campaign thread tonight, so this is the cirle back for your good self and your readers.

    Fred, Re: Congressman Dingell.
    FANTASTIC! Our Old Boys deserve nothing but the best of support and we thank you in advance.
    Please feel free to use whatever you find useful in the link provided above.
    Our nations finest are all Brothers in Arms.
    “For Valour” – Victoria Cross
    In-Limbo

  11. Mike G says:

    Latest news from the BBC:
    “Gurkha hero can live in Britain
    Mr Pun wants better access to health care in the UK
    A former Gurkha who won the Victoria Cross has been given the right to live in the UK.
    Tul Bahadur Pun, 84, wanted to move from Nepal for medical reasons but had been told he was unable to demonstrate strong enough British ties.
    Immigration Minister Liam Byrne has now said his case is “exceptional” and he will be granted a visa due to a “heroic record in the service of Britain”.
    Former Rifleman Mr Pun was awarded his medal for World War II action in Burma.
    After the rest of his section, the 3rd Battalion, 6th Gurkha Rifles, had been killed, he carried out a solo attack on a machinegun post.
    Actress Joanna Lumley backed Mr Pun’s campaign to live in the UK because she said he risked his life to rescue her father.
    It is entirely right that this record should not only be recognised but honoured
    Liam Byrne, Immigration Minister
    Mr Pun’s lawyers had lodged an appeal which was due to be heard in August.
    His solicitor, Martin Howe, said the government did have the power to let him live in the country.
    “There is a discretionary policy that is there and available to all Gurkha ex-servicemen who retired prior to 1997 and they are entitled to come to the UK and live here if they can show strong reasons and I think it’s beyond doubt that this man has shown those,” he said.
    ‘Utmost loyalty’
    Mr Pun has diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems and asthma. His eyesight and hearing are poor.
    He receives a British Army pension of £132 a month, which he must collect in person from the Gurkha army camp at Pokhara – a three-hour drive away from his home.
    Mr Pun applied for indefinite leave to enter Britain but British officials in Nepal rejected the request.
    However, Mr Byrne has said he and Home Secretary John Reid reviewed the case and decided to grant Mr Pun a settlement visa immediately.
    “This decision was not taken lightly and reflects the extraordinary nature of this case, in particular Mr Pun’s heroic record in service of Britain which saw him awarded the Victoria Cross,” Mr Byrne said.
    “It is entirely right that this record should not only be recognised but honoured.
    “We have also taken into consideration his current medical condition.”
    More than 12,000 people signed a petition on the Downing Street website calling on the prime minister “to immediately and retrospectively give all Gurkha servicemen and their immediate families past and present British citizenship”. ”

  12. Got A Watch says:

    The British government no doubt recognised another PR disaster in the making, and were forced against their will and best judgement to actually do the right thing:
    ” War hero gurkha wins visa u-turn”
    http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article2606483.ece

    The Home Office has reversed its decision to deny a visa to a former Gurkha decorated with the Victoria Cross, it was announced tonight.
    Immigration minister Liam Byrne said Tul Bahadur Pun – who single-handedly stormed Japanese machine-gun positions during the Second World War – deserved to be honoured for his services to Britain.
    “The circumstances surrounding Tul Bahadur Pun’s case are clearly exceptional and in light of this Home Secretary John Reid and I have reviewed the case and made the decision to grant Mr Pun a settlement visa immediately,” he said.
    “This decision was not taken lightly and reflects the extraordinary nature of this case, in particular Mr Pun’s heroic record in service of Britain which saw him awarded the Victoria Cross.
    “It is entirely right that this record should not only be recognised but honoured.”
    He added: “There has always been scope to grant settlement in the UK to ex-Gurkhas who have retired before July 1997, and who do not meet the requirements in the immigration rules.
    “As on this occasion, discretion may be exercised on a case by case basis.
    “We have also taken into consideration his current medical condition.”
    The 84-year-old’s actions on June 23, 1943 won him royal admirers – he was invited to the Queen’s Coronation and had tea with the Queen Mother.
    The Home Office originally declined him a settlement visa, telling him: “You have failed to demonstrate that you have strong ties with the UK.”
    Mr Pun, who receives a £130-a-month Army pension, wants to move from Nepal because of his failing health.
    He currently has to carry out a whole day’s journey to a Gurkha camp to collect his pension every month, being carried in a basket by several men.
    Mr Pun earned his VC – the highest honour for valour in the face of the enemy awarded in the British and Commonwealth armed forces – in Burma after almost all his comrades were wiped out.
    He seized a Bren Gun and ignored Japanese fire to storm machine gun positions.
    His official citation read: “His outstanding courage and superb gallantry in the face of odds which meant almost certain death were most inspiring and beyond praise.” ”
    I hope he gets the medical care he needs. God bless.

  13. W. Patrick Lang says:

    All
    Why isn’t this soldier a Chelsea Pensioner? pl

  14. Sid3 says:

    Just a speculative opinion of one down home Joe American Civilian.
    But it sure wouldn’t bother me (maybe I should say, “ain’t gonna’ bother me”) if QE II showed her dismay not only of Blair’s decision to ignore the lessons learned from the British SAS (at least as I understand it) but also show her disdain of George Bush for abandoning the lessons learned by the USM, particularly when he launched a pre-emptive attack on Iraq.
    Here’s why:
    1. Such a statement from QEII would trick expectations on a grand and historical scale. When you trick expectations, odds increase people will listen.
    2. Odds are good that no other institution in the UK or US will do so. As a result, we are on a disastrous track where blowblack is all but inevitable. (hat tip Chalmers Johnson).
    2. It would suggest that both the US and the UK — under Bush and Blair — have abandoned traditional post WWII military experiences of the UK (think Malaysia) and USG and we need to get back to where we once were.
    3. It would be interesting to see how the msm would try to ignore such statements or, alternatively, start a vicious campaign against UK. I am not sure William Kristol lambasting the UK and QEII would go over that well, even in the States…but who knows. Michael Novak will start major hand-wringing.
    4 Odds are good that people in the Islamic world would listen to a monarch as many of them have lived under monarchies. Thus QEII (or someone in the UK government) is fulfilling the rule set forth by Bernard Fall that the military and the people must emerge on the same side of the struggle.
    5. It would seem to help with Britain’s domestic situation. Looks like odds are increasing that Britain is in a world of hurt if not careful. Just to offer an analogy that may or may not help…but the situation seems a slight echo of the deep South of the US during the civil rights era. If true, then the Brits are going to need people who can go into the neighborhoods and legitimate the State to those seriously disaffected. (In the deep South, the federal judiciary played a tremendous role of preventing chaos. )
    Suggestion is offered: when executing search or arrest warrants in the hoods, always show respect to the man in the house.
    6. To stir the pot, it would be fascinating if QEII or someone in the UK government drew an analogy between Bush’s invasion of Iraq and Cromwell’s of Ireland. Surely such a statement would resonant on many levels. If such worked, then maybe it would help heal the Ireland-UK wounds and show that the UK has evolved a different military strategy and such an invasion is beyond regressive.
    7. Such a statement would have great symbolic importance. To illustrate, I’ll end with a quote from Winston Churchill’s remarks on his meeting with FDR in the Atlantic in August 1941:
    “The meeting was…symbolic. That is its prime importance. It symbolizes, in a form and manner which everyone can understand in every land and every clime, the deep underlying unities which stir and at decisive moments rule the English speaking people throughout the world.”
    Sid

  15. sacramentoStreetDude says:

    Makes my blood boil when I read about mistreatment of Gurkha in British army. May they all come to USA.

  16. Sandra Carney says:

    Dear Col. Lang:
    My late father was C.O. of the 4th Burma Rifles in Burma 1948-1956. The only Gurkha regiment in the Burmese army in those days.
    I am attempting a book on WWII and would like to include Rifle Tullbahadur Pun’s story of bravery in my book.
    Would you grant me permission to take from your article above for which I will give you full credit?
    One of my dad’s Gurkha officers was a VC holder.
    I loved the Gurkhas and could speak perfect Gurkhali as a child. My late foster brother was raised by a Gurkha family when he became separated from his family during the trek out of Burma.
    I hope to hear from you.
    Thank you,
    Sandra Carney

  17. Fred says:

    A belated update but it appears the UK reversed course and allowed Lieutenant Tul Bahadur Pun, VC, to remain in the UK.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-457426/Gurkha-war-hero-allowed-stay-UK-Home-Office-U-turn.html
    He passed away a few years later:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/gurkha-obituaries/8467379/Lieutenant-Tul-Bahadur-Pun-VC.html

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