Lachhiman Gurung - VC

Lachhiman Gurung - VC
"Come and fight. Come and fight. I will kill you!"

May 13th, 1945, the 4th battalion, 8th Gurkha Rifles are holding defensive positions across the river village of Taungdaw, when during the early hours of the morning over 200 Japanese troops launch an assault. Manning the foreward most position was Lachhiman Gurung and his section, who were now baring the brunt of the Japanese onslaught.

With the Japanese at close range, heavy fire and grenades began to rain down on the isolated Gurkha position. Gurung managed to throw 2 primed grenades back at the Japanese, however the third blew up in his hand, which resulted in the loss of a few fingers, a shattered right arm, severe facial injuries that included blindness in one eye and fragmentation injuries to the legs and body. With the rest of the section incapacitated and Gurungs blood in short supply, it seemed luck too was about to run dry… for the Japanese.

Probably slightly delirious from blood loss, Gurung decided it the ideal time to slam his Kukri into the jungle floor and declare to the Japanese that they would never make it past the knife. For the next four hours Lachhiman in his now one man forward position single-handedly (literally) fought off the Japanese with a bolt-action rifle using only one arm. His comrades 100 yards back could hear him mocking the enemy with sick banter like "Come and fight. Come and fight. I will kill you!" and “Come and fight a Gurkha”. After 4 hours the enemy decided they didn’t want to fight Gurkhas anymore and withdrew.

As dawn broke, the bodies of 87 dead Japanese soldiers were counted in the vicinity of the company’s line - 31 of those said dead bodies lay in front of Lachhiman Gurungs Kukri. Clearly, he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

Despite losing his right eye, use of his right arm and earning the Victoria Cross, in 2008 Gurung had to fight a court battle just to be allowed to stay in the UK - which thankfully he won. He lived out the rest of his days in the care of his granddaughter Amrita, before passing away on the 12th of december 2010.

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