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

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Date of Auction: 22nd July 2016

Sold for £1,800

Estimate: £800 - £1,000

An impressive Second World War Burma operations M.M. group of four awarded to Rifleman Ganja Bahadur Rai, 1/7th Gurkha Rifles, who won an immediate award for his clearance of enemy bunkers and slit trenches with his Tommy gun and grenades: having then exhausted his ammunition he rushed a Jap officer - cutting him down with his khukri

Military Medal, G.VI.R. (75799 Rfmn. Ganja Bahadur Rai, G.R.), officially impressed naming; 1939-45 Star; Burma Star; War Medal 1939-45, these last three officially inscribed, ‘74799 Rfn. Ganja Bahadur Rai, 7 G.R.’, good very fine (4) £800-1000

Footnote

M.M. London Gazette 2 August 1945. The original recommendation for an immediate award states:

‘On 19 March 1945, Rifleman Ganja Bahadur Rai’s company, supported by a squadron of tanks, attacked a strongly dug enemy position round a pagoda just east of mile 334 on the Meiktila-Pyawbwe Road. This position was well sited, bunkered and defended by a resolute enemy armed with a high proportion of automatic weapons including two medium machine-guns. Shortly after the start of the attack, Rifleman Ganja Bahadur Rai’s platoon became held up by very fierce cross fire from enemy bunkers in a sunken road, but Rifleman Ganja Bahadur Rai, with complete disregard for the enemy fire, worked his way forward using what little cover there was available and, moving well ahead of his section, worked from position to position throwing hand grenades into the slits of bunkers and clearing trenches with his Tommy gun, killing six of the enemy in open pits and many more inside bunkers. Finally, having exhausted his ammunition and grenades, he drew his khukri and rushed a Jap officer, cutting him down as he fired at him with his pistol. During this action Ganja Bahadur Rai silenced two L.M.Gs and a discharger. This young Rifleman’s energy and determination to kill the enemy, combined with his complete disregard for his personal safety when under intense enemy fire, not only enabled his platoon to get forward but was a fine example to all around him and typical of his behaviour on all occasions.’