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

Date of Auction: 9th May 2018

Sold for £3,000

Estimate: £1,800 - £2,200

A 1952 ‘Malaya operations’ M.M. group of seven awarded to Lance-Corporal Kabiraj Thapa, 2nd Battalion, 6th Gurkha Rifles, for his tenacity whilst commanding a Scout group looking for a hidden ‘bandit’ camp. Through his persistence, and despite a designated guide being unable to help, the camp was found and successfully captured - resulting in the death of 4 bandits, the capture of 3 others and a quantity of important documents and weapons

Military Medal, E.II.R., 1st issue (21143373 A/L/Cpl. Kabiraj Thapa 6. G.R.) minor official correction to rank; 1939-45 Star; Burma Star; War Medal 1939-45; India Service Medal; General Service 1918-62, 1 clasp, Malaya, G.VI.R. (21143373 Rfn. Kabiraj Thapa. 6. G.R.); Army L.S. & G.C., E.II.R., 2nd issue, Regular Army (21143373 Cpl. Kabiraj Thapa. M.M. 6th G.R.) contact marks overall, nearly very fine (7) £1800-2200


M.M. London Gazette 1 May 1953:

‘In recognition of gallant and distinguished service in Malaya, during the period 1st July to 31st December, 1952.’

The recommendation states:

‘21143375 Lance Corporal Kabiraj Thapa has in the last 15 months acquired a reputation in A company 2nd Bn 6th Gurkha Rifles for persistence and cool, determined leadership which few young NCOs have excelled.

On 19 June 1952, he was commanding the Scout group of his section who were engaged in helping a guide to find a bandit in the camp in the Kulai area of Johore. When, after a long search, the guide had to admit that he could help no longer, Lance Corporal Kabiraj persisted until after a long and arduous search he found the camp which was occupied.

His movement and control of his group was so skilled that he was able to reconnoitre the camp area and withdraw with detailed information on which his patrol commander was able to plan an attack.

In the evening when it was clear that reinforcements would not be available, it was decided to attack the camp with the few men present.

So successfully was this done by the small party that 4 bandits were killed and 3 more wounded. Many documents and 7 weapons were recovered.

Throughout this action, as on previous occasions the steady example and unrelenting determination of Lance Corporal Kabiraj to hunt and destroy the enemy had marked effect on his comrades, and enhanced the previous reputation acquired on several occasions and similar actions.’