Medals relating to the Malaya and Korea Campaigns from the Philip Burman Collection

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Date of Auction: 9th May 2018

Sold for £1,500

Estimate: £1,200 - £1,400

A good 1950 ‘Malaya operations’ M.M. group of eight awarded to Corporal Dhanbahadur Ghale, 1st Battalion, 2nd (King Edward VII’s Own) Gurkha Rifles, who distinguished himself when 36 Gurkhas were pinned down by a well situated enemy Bren Gun during an action in the Jementah area of north Johore, 28 March 1950. Despite being wounded by the initial burst of enemy fire, Dhanbahadur Ghale engaged and killed the enemy Bren Gunner on his own, thus enabling the two platoons of Gurkhas to move on and capture the fortified position initially held by over twice their number

Military Medal, G.VI.R. (21132178 L/Cpl. Dhanbahadur Ghale. 1/2nd. G.R.) with official corrections; 1939-45 Star; Africa Star, 1 clasp, 8th Army; Italy Star; Defence and War Medals 1939-45; General Service 1918-62, 1 clasp, Malaya, G.VI.R. (21132178 Rfn. Dhanbahadur. Ghale 2 G R) minor official correction to unit; Indian Independence Medal 1947 (21132178 Rfn. Dhanbahadur. Ghale. G.R.) generally nearly very fine or better (8) £1200-1400

Footnote

M.M. London Gazette 12 May 1950:

‘In recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Malaya.’

The recommendation states:

‘No. 21132178 L/Cpl. Dhanbahadur Ghale played a most conspicuous part in a successful action fought by two platoons of C Coy 1/2 G.R. with the Chinese bandits in the Jementah area of North Johore on 28 March 1950.

At about 1300 hrs the force which was searching for a suspected enemy camp, came under intense rifle and automatic fire at close range from prepared positions. The ground was open and there was little cover. The leading Rifleman was severely wounded almost at once, his left arm being shattered, and L/Cpl Dhanbahadur Ghale who was in command of the leading section was wounded in the hand. The force was pinned to the ground and left little space for manoeuvre. In particular heavy fire came from an enemy Bren gun directly to L/Cpl Dhanbahadur’s front, and it was evident that until this Bren gunner was silenced the power of manoeuvre of the rest of the force would be limited and attended by possibly heavy casualties.

Despite his wound L/Cpl Dhanbahadur retained most praise worthy powers of leadership. He moved his own Bren gunner to his right flank and himself engaged and killed the enemy Bren gunner and subsequently prevented other bandits reaching the Bren gun trench.

The remainder of the force was now able to execute a flanking attack and the enemy hastily evacuated their positions. One body, that of the Bren Gunner, was recovered from the enemy positions and heavy blood stains found both in the position and during the follow up indicated that at least four further casualties had been inflicted.

A subsequent examination of the ground showed that our own troops had almost certainly been in full observation of the enemy when they had stopped for food about half an hour before the action and that the enemy had been ready and waiting for our troops to come within close range of their positions. The enemy probably numbered at least 80 strong & food was found for 100 in huts behind the position, which was well sited.

The strength of the two platoons of C. Coy was 36 all told. Under these circumstances it must be considered that a most praise worthy action was fought and it was in a very large part due to the leadership and initiative displayed by L/Cpl Dhanbahadur Ghale, himself wounded, that the enemy was not able to inflict very much heavier casualties on our own force.’

Dhanbahadur Ghale was born in 1922, and enlisted in the Indian Army in November 1941. He served with 1st Battalion, 2nd (King Edward VII’s Own) Gurkha Rifles from January 1948. He served with the Regiment in Malaya April 1948 - September 1950, April 1951 - August 1953 and June 1954 - April 1957. Dhanbahadur Ghale advanced to Corporal and was discharged, 10 April 1957, having served 15 years and 154 days with the Colours.

Sold with a (faint) copy of recipient’s service record.