A Collection of Gallantry Awards to the Indian Army for the Burma Campaign 1944-45

Image 1

  • Image 2

Click Image to Zoom

Date of Auction: 22nd July 2016

Sold for £750

Estimate: £600 - £800

A Second World War Burma operations M.M. group of five awarded to Lance-Naik Lakhman Rai, 4th Battalion, 10th Gurka Rifles, who won an immediate award for his bravery at Talingon in February 1945

Military Medal, G.VI.R. (5978 Rfn. Lakhman Rai, G.R.), officially impressed naming; 1939-45 Star, Burma Star; Defence and War Medals 1939-45, these four officially impressed, ‘5978 L. Nk. Lakhman Raid, 10 G.R.’, together with 1939-45 Star, Defence and War Medals, likewise impressed but in the rank of ‘Rfn.’, the last three polished, otherwise generally very fine (8) £600-800

Footnote

M.M. London Gazette 21 June 1945. The original recommendation - for an immediate award of the I.D.S.M. - states:

‘On 24 February 1945, at Talingon, Burma, Rifleman Lakhman Rai’s position was very heavily attacked by the enemy. He drove off repeated attacks with his Light Machine-Gun (L.M.G.) but came under heavy fire from an enemy L.M.G. about 20 yards away near the wire.

Handing his L.M.G. over to his No. 2, he charged the enemy using the grenade and rifle. They fled in disorder. This Rifleman then returned to his position with the enemy L.M.G.

By his bold and courageous action Rifleman Lakhman Rai broke up an enemy attack which was seriously threatening the whole position.’

Lakhman Rai was a Hindu Gurkha from the village of Jubing in Okhaldhunga district, Nepal. His service number indicates that he first enlisted in 2-10th Gurkhas in late 1940 and subsequently transferred to 4-10th Gurkhas upon its formation in the following year; the duplication of his 1939-45 Star, Defence and War Medals is likely on account of claims being submitted by both his Battalion and the Regimental Centre at Alhilal.

The savagery of the fighting at Talingon in February 1945 was, according to Lieutenant-Colonel J. S. Vickers, D.S.O., of the 4-10th Gurkhas ‘unforgettable ... we were holding a front which was over a mile long, in long pampas grass which made mutual support between companies and platoons very difficult.’ Nonetheless, between the 16-26 February, his Gurkhas accounted for over 500 of the enemy; sold with copied research and two photographs of the recipient.