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 £2,200

Estimate: £1,600 - £2,000

A superb ‘Malaya operations’ M.M. pair awarded to Rifleman Lasbahadur Gurung, 1st Battalion, 6th Gurkha Rifles, who was a member of a five man party sent out on an ambush, 11 February 1952, which was ambushed itself by a force ten times it’s number, and was ‘outflanked and surrounded. The party took up a position of all round defence ready to fight to the last man and last round. For one and a half hours the enemy launched a succession of fierce and determined attacks from all sides and failed to dislodge the small party by one inch. Every man stood his ground with fierce tenacity, hurling back each assault and inflicting severe casualties on the enemy, Rifleman Lasbahadur was given the task of protecting the right flank against which the enemy launched the majority of his attacks and put down a heavy concentration of automatic fire and grenades. This Rifleman, armed only with a rifle and kukri, waited for and repulsed each attack with perfect calmness, with the result that the enemy switched his attack to another sector of the small perimeter.’

The Gurkhas were down to the last few rounds when Rifleman Lasbahadur Gurung was ordered to break out, armed only with his kukri, and go for reinforcements. This he successfully did, and when he returned the enemy had been beaten off.

Military Medal, G.VI.R., 2nd issue (21144094 Rfn. Lasbahadur Gurung. 6. G.R.); General Service 1918-62, 1 clasp, Malaya, G.VI.R. (21144049 [sic] Rfn. Lasbahadur. Gurung 6 G R) suspension loose on last, edge bruising, nearly very fine (2) £1600-2000

Footnote

M.M. London Gazette 30 May 1952:

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


The recommendation states:


‘On the night of 11 February 1952, No 21144049 [sic] Rifleman Lasbahadur Gurung 1/6th Gurkha Rifles, whose Company was operating under command 1 Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), was a member of a small ambush party of five men advancing along a track towards the position selected for ambush. As darkness was falling the party came face to face with an enemy force about fifty strong moving along the same track. One enemy was killed immediately and another wounded, whereupon the NCO commanding the ambush party gave the order to charge with the intention of retaining the initiative and giving the enemy no time to recover from their initial surprise. Owing to the fact that the ambush party was outnumbered by ten to one and that the enemy were well armed with three light machine guns, automatic, rifles and grenades, this Rifleman together with his comrades, found himself outflanked and surrounded. The party took up a position of all round defence ready to fight to the last man and last round. For one and a half hours the enemy launched a succession of fierce and determined attacks from all sides and failed to dislodge the small party by one inch. Every man stood his ground with fierce tenacity, hurling back each assault and inflicting severe casualties on the enemy, Rifleman Lasbahadur was given the task of protecting the right flank against which the enemy launched the majority of his attacks and put down a heavy concentration of automatic fire and grenades. This Rifleman, armed only with a rifle and kukri, waited for and repulsed each attack with perfect calmness, with the result that the enemy switched his attack to another sector of the small perimeter. At this time ammunition had been reduced to a total of five rounds for the three men armed with rifles, two magazines for the light machine gun and two magazines for the sten gun. The NCO in charge of the party then decided to send a message to his Company Commander for reinforcement, and detailed Rifleman Lasbahadur to infiltrate through the enemy ring and proceed to the nearest police station. This Rifleman, armed with a kukri and a rifle but with no ammunition, not only succeeded in breaking through the enemy, travelling a mile across country in the darkness without a compass, but also crawled through the barbed wire fence of a heavily guarded Resettlement Area, finally reaching the police station. With perfect composure he spoke to his Company Commander on the telephone, gave a clear description of the engagement and then returned to rejoin his small party. By this time, the enemy, defeated and thoroughly demoralised had beat a hasty retreat.

The personal courage, calm and cool-headed conduct and the individual initiative of this rifleman throughout the battle were of the highest order.
His grim determination and great devotion to duty are an inspiring example to all ranks of the Regiment and worthy of the highest praise.’