The death has been announced of Honorary Lieutenant (Queen's Gurkha Officer) Tulbahadur Pun VC. The following statement has been issued by the British Embassy, Kathmandu:
HONORARY LIEUTENANT (QUEEN’S GURKHA OFFICER) TULBAHADUR PUN VC
6TH QUEEN ELIZBETH’S OWN GURKHA RIFLES
It is with great sadness that the British Embassy has received the news of the death of Honorary Lieutenant (Queens’ Gurkha Officer) Tulbahadur Pun VC. It is learnt that Tulbahadur Pun VC passed away peacefully at his home in Tiplyang VDC, Myagdi district on Wednesday 20 April 2011.
Tulbahahdur Pun VC was awarded the famous British Gallantry Award, the Victoria Cross, for his actions, on 23rd June 1944, in Burma during the Second World War. “Rifleman Tulbahadur Pun,” records his citation, “..seized the Bren Gun, and firing from the hip as he went, continued the charge on this heavily bunkered position alone, in the face of the most shattering concentration of automatic fire, directed straight at him. With the dawn coming up behind him, he presented a perfect target to the Japanese. He had to move thirty yards over open ground, ankle deep in mud, through shell holes and over fallen trees. Despite these overwhelming odds, he reached the Red House and closed with the Japanese occupants. He killed three and put five more to flight and captured two light machine guns and much ammunition. He then gave accurate supporting fire from the bunker to the remainder of his platoon which enabled them to reach their objective. His outstanding courage and superb gallantry in the face of odds which meant almost certain death were inspiring to all ranks and were beyond praise".
Tulbahadur Pun VC was the only remaining Gurkha Victoria Cross holder from the Second World War. He leaves behind his wife, 2 sons and 8 daughters. He was 89 years of age.
The British Ambassador, John Tucknott said, “It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Tulbahadur Pun VC on 20 April. Throughout his service with the British Gurkhas and his long life, Tulbahadur epitomised the finest qualities of our Nepali friends. His bravery and courage will never be forgotten”.
British Embassy, Kathmandu. 21 April 2011
- Daily Telegraph obituary: Lieutenant Tul Bahadur Pun, VC
- BBC: Gurkha hero and activist Tul Bahadur Pun dies in Nepal
BAFF was proud to support the campaign in 2007 against the refusal of Mr Pun's application for settlement in the United Kingdom on the ground that he had "failed to demonstrate strong ties with the UK". As part of the wider campaign we concentrated our efforts on parliamentary lobbying in the House of Lords.
BAFF involvement in this issue was prompted - along with some of our serving members who frequented the 'Army Rumour Service' website - by one of our older founder members who himself served in the same Second Chindit Campaign of 1944, in which Tulbahadur Pun VC had won the Victoria Cross for his actions at Mogaung.
That ex-Chindit BAFF member, who has also passed on very recently, was extremely proud of having been able to intervene on behalf of an old comrade more than 60 years on.