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 £2,800

Estimate: £1,600 - £2,000

A 1957 ‘Malaya operations’ M.M. pair awarded to Corporal Indrabahadur Gurung, 2nd Battalion, 6th Gurkha Rifles, who was a successful reconnaissance patrol commander - locating enemy caches of weapons, personally accounting for at least 3 ‘bandits’, and leading his patrol during the capture of an enemy camp, 21 July 1957

Military Medal, E.II.R., 1st issue (21136391 A/L/Cpl. Indrabahadur Gurung. 6 G.R.); General Service 1918-62, 1 clasp, Malaya, G.VI.R. (21136391 Rfn. Indrabahadur. Gurung 6 G R) minor official corrections to last, generally very fine (2)
£1600-2000

Footnote

M.M. London Gazette 23 May 1958:

‘For the repeated display of gallantry, leadership and skilful fieldcraft in action against armed terrorists. On more than one occasion his determination resulted in successful action.’

The recommendation states:

‘During late July 1957, 9 Platoon Company was operating in the Ringlet area of the Cameron Highlands over very difficult country, the ground was steep, rocky and covered with thick clumps of bamboo and undergrowth which made noiseless movement difficult.

On 21 July 1957 Lance Corporal Indrabahadur Gurung commanding a reconnaissance patrol, consisting of himself and three rifleman was searching high difficult country, with particular emphasis in ridges between the many streams about 1500 yards from the platoon base camp, when he saw faint signs on the ground which indicated recent movement in the area. The tracks, which led uphill to a ridge between two small streams, were followed by Lance Corporal Indrabahadur Gurung and his patrol with extreme caution for about fifteen minutes, when this NCO picked up faint smells of tobacco. Halting the patrol, Lance Corporal Indrabahadur Gurung and the scout slowly and quietly crawled forward until they saw a shelter about 25 yards ahead. Indrabahadur Gurung then moved forward alone, covered by the scout, until he was ten yards from the shelter. From this point he saw a further three shelters. Moving forward the rest of the patrol, he watched the camp for about thirty minutes, when he heard voices from the direction of one of the further-away shelters. Here then followed a watch over the camp for 1 ½ hrs, as Lance Corporal Indrabahadur Gurung wished to find out the race of the occupants, and also how many were in the camp.

Still without the information he moved his party round to the left side of the camp, and crept forward to within five yards of the shelter, from which talking had been heard. He saw it was occupied by two armed Communist Terrorists who appeared from their dress and full packs to be on the point of moving off. As it was now late afternoon, Lance Corporal Indrabahadur Gurung decided he must attack the camp even though there might be more terrorists, than those he had seen. He felt that the terrorists might well move before he could bring up the rest of the platoon, and also appreciated that he had pierced the sentry ring, which he might disturb when sending for reinforcements.

Crawling forward even nearer to the occupied shelter and taking cover behind a clump of bamboo, Lance Corporal Indrabahadur Gurung opened fire personally with his automatic killing both terrorists instantaneously, thereupon the patrol, led by its commander burst into the camp to see two aborigines running out from the far side of the camp. Fire was opened on them, but they managed to escape, although one was possibly wounded.

This junior NCO who had previously personally killed a Communist Terrorist, on this particular occasion showed throughout a very high standard of fieldcraft, leadership and determination to make contact with the terrorist, which resulted in this highly successful contact. His standards when in command of reconnaissance patrols have at all times been exceptionally high. The discovery by a patrol under his command, of a terrorist dump of food and documents, which had previously been missed by Security Force patrols for a long time, was undoubtedly the reward for the painstaking and thorough way in which he moves and searches at all times.

In this as on other occasions Lance Corporal Indrabahadur Gurung displayed fieldcraft gallantry and leadership of a high order.’

Indrabahadur Gurung was born in 1931, and enlisted in the 6th Gurkha Rifles in October 1948. He served with the Regiment in Malaya November 1948 - April 1949, March 1950 - April 1951, December 1951 - September 1954, June 1955 - November 1957, June 1958 - November 1961. Indrabahadur Gurung advanced to Corporal and was discharged, 5 November 1963, having served 15 years and 17 days with the Colours.

Sold with a copy of recipient’s service papers.