Nepal | September 27, 2020

Gurkha officer reminisces about heroics of his grandfather

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:


As the United Kingdom marks the 75th anniversary of ‘Victory over Japan Day,’ a Gurkha officer has paid tribute to his grandfather, who was awarded the Victoria Cross.

Rifleman Bhanbhagta Gurung was given the nation’s highest honour for his valour in recognition of his “outstanding bravery and complete disregard for his own safety” during the battle in Burma on 5 March 1945, read a press release issued by British Army, in Colchester, UK today. As 3rd Battalion, 2nd Gurkha Rifles advanced near Tamandu, they came under heavy machine gun, mortar and sniper fire from the Japanese troops. Repeatedly exposing himself to the danger, Bhanbaghta VC cleared five positions single-handedly, inspiring his colleagues to overcome the Japanese resistance.

Captain Buddhi Gurung, a member of Brigade of Gurkhas, holding his grandfather’s Victoria Cross medal near a framed photo of Rifleman Bhanbhagta Gurung. Photo courtesy: British Army

Captain Buddhi Gurung, who works at the Infantry Battle School in Brecon, is Bhanbaghta VC’s grandson and spoke of how his grandfather’s heroism inspired him to serve as a Gurkha.

“To be able to hold my grandfather’s actual Victoria Cross means a lot to me,” the 45-year-old said. “I’m very proud of what he did and he is remembered for it. We should remember everyone who fought in all campaigns in the Second World War to celebrate their achievements and honour their sacrifice.”

“The Burma campaign is a very important part of Gurkha history. When recruits come from Nepal to train they are taught about what their forefathers did, our history sets the example for current soldiers.”

Bhanbaghta VC was awarded the medal by King George VI at Buckingham Palace, and he later presented it to the Gurkha Museum in Winchester. He left the Army in 1946, to return to his home village of Phalpu in Nepal’s Gorkha district. He had three sons, who served in the Gurkhas.

Capt Gurung said, “My grandfather was a strong man, a good speaker who people listened to and a born-leader. When I was a child, he used to tell me stories about what he had done in Burma and it was my dream to be a Gurkha like him.”

Capt Gurung joined the Army in 1995, serving with 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles on operations in Sierra Leone, Bosnia, Kosovo and three tours of Afghanistan. As the third generation of his family to serve in the British Army, he is the first to commission as an officer.

Capt Gurung, who lives in Brecon with his wife Sabita and two children, said, “My grandfather is the person who influenced me to become a Gurkha — if he were alive today, I hope he would be proud of what I’ve achieved.”

A version of this article appears in e-paper on August 15, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

1,207 new cases take Nepal’s coronavirus tally to 71,821 on Saturday

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s coronavirus tally moved to 71,821 as 1,207 new infections were reported in the last 24 hours. As many as 1,147 people that had earlier contracted Covid-19 tested negative for the infection as per the Ministry’s latest data. So far, 53,013 people have recovered from the dise Read More...

Eight Covid-19 fatalities registered on Saturday, death toll advances to 467

KATHMANDU: Eight more individuals diagnosed with coronavirus infection have succumbed to the disease, the Ministry of Health and Population confirmed at its regular media briefing on Saturday. All of those reported dead were males. Details of the deceased individuals 66-year-old male, Sap Read More...

Dhangadhi Sub-metropolis continues providing free food to returnees from India

DHANGADHI: Dhangadhi Sub-metropolitan City has been providing food and hygiene kits free of cost to Nepalis returning home from India via Trinagar border checkpoint since March. The Sub-metropolis has been providing food for Nepalis who are tired after a long journey from India since the time Read More...

Nepal COVID-19 Update: 1207 new cases, 1147 recoveries, eight fatalities recorded Saturday

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s Health Ministry, in its regular press briefing, shared the latest updates on coronavirus contagion from across the country, and government’s response to the health crisis. As of today, 978,204 tests through Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method have been carried where Read More...

Bajura's Himali Rural Municipality opens rafting in Karnali River

BAJURA: Himali Rural Municipality of hilly Bajura district has started the operation of rafting in Karnali River targeting domestic and international tourists. According to ward chair Gobindra Bahadur Malla, the Rural Municipality has started operating rafting from Dhulachaur to Piluchaur for Read More...

Students demand justice for Bajhang rape victim in Kathmandu

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 26 Students take to the streets on Saturday demanding justice for a 12-year-old girl whose dead body was found in a temple in Bajhang district on Thursday night. The minor was raped before being killed by the culprit/s. As per local police, investigation into the case in unde Read More...

Passengers adopt 'new normal' at Kathmandu airport amid coronavirus scare

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 26 Passengers traveling to and from the capital are seen with personal protective gears at the domestic terminal of the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. Photos by Skanda Gautam for The Himalayan Times. Read More...

United earn dramatic win at Brighton with late Fernandes penalty

BRIGHTON: Manchester United beat Brighton & Hove Albion 3-2 away in the Premier League on Saturday after an incredible finale in which Bruno Fernandes struck the winning goal from the penalty spot in the 100th minute of the game. Fernandes's winner, which came after referee Chris Ka Read More...