Handy little bloke in a tight spot

Gurkha soldiers are amongst the best soldiers in the world, they are certainly near the top in terms of toughness.

Before the final assault on Port Stanley in the Falklands War the British forces dropped pamphlets on the Argie soldiers informing them that if they didn’t surrender forthwith then the first wav of troops into their defences would be the Gurkha troops.

Which brings me to this nuggety little fella who would be a handy little bloke in a tight spot.

Rifleman Tuljung Gurung of the Royal Gurkha Rifles who has been awarded an MC (military cross) Photo: JOHN STILLWELL/PA

Rifleman Tuljung Gurung of the Royal Gurkha Rifles who has been awarded an MC (military cross) Photo: JOHN STILLWELL/PA

A Gurkha who took on an Afghan insurgent in hand-to-hand combat after being shot in the helmet will be recognised in the latest round of military honours today.

Acting Lance Corporal Tuljung Gurung, from The Royal Gurkha Rifles, fell three metres from a watch tower during the fight but said he had wanted to stay alive so he could save his colleagues. 

He is among some 117 servicemen and women recognised in the Operational Honours list, who will be honoured at an Investiture ceremony in Buckingham Palace later this year.

… Then a 28-year-old Rifleman, ALCpl Gurung was on guard at a patrol base near Lashkar Gah when the Afghan, along with another insurgent, attacked.

When the two men were challenged, they opened fire, and ALCpl Gurung was hit by a bullet on his helmet, knocking him to the ground.

Still dazed from the blast, he saw a grenade bounce off the ceiling of the guard tower he was in but managed to pick it up and throw it out just before it detonated, knocking him over again.

He said: “I realised that if I ran away it would explode. I realised that I needed to do something, so I rolled it away.

“I fell down on the floor, there was dust everywhere, it was like a storm.”

As he climbed to his feet after the explosion, he saw one of the attackers climbing into the tower and drew his kukri – the traditional Nepalese knife used by Gurkhas – to take him on in hand-to-hand combat.

“He was quite a bit bigger than me and was wearing quite thick clothes,” ALCpl Gurung from Nepal said. “I just hit him in the hand, body, I just started to hit him.

“He tried to push me inside. During the fight I was screaming so my next colleague could hear me and send somebody.”

The men fell three metres from the tower as they fought, landing on the ground outside the base, and ALCpl Gurung continued his assault, forcing the insurgent to flee.

“I just thought, ‘ I don’t want to die. If I am alive I can save my colleagues’,” he said.

“I thought, ‘Before he does something I have to do something’. I was like a madman.”

The Gurkha, who was left with a sore neck and swelling to his back after the incident in the early hours of the morning in March., will receive the Military Cross for his gallantry and courage.

I wonder what happened to the bad wog that tried to have a go? Those kukri are pretty sharp. Chop chop.


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  • ConwayCaptain

    The Brits had photographs and reports in the Chilean papers of Gurkhas sharpening their Kukris.
    These got back to the Argies and they shat themselves.
    In WW 2 the Gurkhas would creep up on a posn and feel for laces on the boots. No laces then Jackboots and in they went. Had a teacher who was a Gurkha Colonel. Tough Bastard.

    • Nechtan

      30 odd years ago I had an old ex Brit Warrant officer who had served 20+ years with the Gurkhas and he was as hard they come.

    • Andrewj

      No, this happened in North Africa, the Germans always tied their boots the same way, from memory straight, the Arabs felt for the laces in the field hospitals and stabbed anyone with boots laced this way, which included allied troops. I know this because a member of the family was a surgeon in WW II.

  • ConwayCaptain

    Gen Galtieri who had never been in combat like all the officers thought the Argies could face off the Gurkhas, Paras and Bootnecks.

  • JC
    • Ratchet

      I read the comments below the article, and what do you know? A few knob-jockeys decided to turn it into a debate about whether or not Jesus would have approved of the soldiers’ actions. FFS, the guy would have been Hindu or Buddist, the incident happened in India, and seriously, who the fuck cares? I’m all for freedom of religion, but really….

  • Saccharomyces

    My old man had some interaction with Gurkhas in Borneo when he was there during the Indonesian confrontation. He thought they were well hard. I guess the guy in the article is a good illustration!