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Gurkha who repelled Taliban attack gets bravery medal

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  • Gurkha who repelled Taliban attack gets bravery medal

    Acting Sgt Pun's father and grandfather were both Gurkhas too
    A Gurkha who single-handedly fought off an attack by at least a dozen Taliban insurgents has been awarded Britain's second highest medal for bravery.

    Acting Sergeant Dipprasad Pun used up all of his ammunition and resorted to using his machine gun tripod to repel the attack in Afghanistan in September.

    The Gurkha, 31, of Ashford, Kent, said he was a "lucky guy" and very proud to get the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross.

    A total of 136 UK servicemen and women are being honoured, four posthumously.

    On the roof
    Acting Sgt Pun was on sentry duty at a checkpoint near Babaji, in Afghanistan's Helmand province, on 17 September last year when he spotted insurgents trying to plant a bomb beside the front gate.

    Moments later, militants opened fire on the compound from all sides.

    For more than a quarter of an hour, alone on the roof, Acting Sgt Pun fought off an onslaught from rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47s.

    In total, he fired more than 400 rounds, launched 17 grenades and detonated a mine.

    At one point, when an insurgent tried to climb up to his position, his rifle failed and he resorted to throwing his machine gun tripod to knock him down.

    Acting Sgt Pun, who is originally from the Nepalese village of Bima, believed at the time that there were more than 30 attackers.

    Local villagers later told him the figure was more likely to have been 12 to 15.

    Recalling the incident, he said: "As soon as it was confirmed [they were] Taliban, I was really scared.

    "But as soon as I opened fire that was gone - [I thought] 'Before they kill me I have to kill some.'

    The citation on his medal - which is only one level below the Victoria Cross - states that he saved the lives of three comrades who were inside the checkpoint at the time.

    "I think I am a very lucky guy, a survivor," he added. "Now I am getting this award, it is very great and I am very happy."

    'No panic'

    Another of those being honoured is Army medic Cpl Isobel Henderson, who receives an MBE.

    The 24-year-old's citation said she had to cope with "an exceptionally heavy burden of casualties" at an isolated checkpoint in Lashkar Gah, which was "under near constant attack for six months".

    Twice during her tour last year, she responded to large bomb attacks on civilians in which the victims were as young as two years old.

    Cpl Henderson, from Dalbeattie, near Dumfries, said: "It's not until afterwards, when you sit down and think, 'Oh my God, what just happened? What did I just do?'

    "To be honest, I was quite proud of myself - I actually thought I dealt with it relatively well and I didn't panic."
    Army medic Cpl Isobel Henderson said she was proud of the way she coped in Afghanistan
    "I thought they were going to kill me after a couple of minutes, definitely."

    L/Cpl Matthew Morris uncovered a 500lb bomb in Helmand province
    L/Cpl Matthew Morris, of the Royal Engineers, has been awarded the Queen's Commendation for Bravery after uncovering one of the largest improvised explosive devices ever found in Helmand.

    The 23-year-old, from Longbridge, Birmingham, led the team that discovered the 500lb (226kg) device after aerial reconnaissance spotted 16 men digging something into the ground.

    His citation reads: "Very few searchers volunteer to return to Afghanistan, yet Morris did exactly that on this, his second tour.

    "Morris has never once relinquished his lead role, displaying a high level of courage and commitment."

    The honours will be presented at a later date.
    Last edited by Goldie fish; 25 March 2011, 12:45.

    Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

  • #2
    Well done all, esp Cpl Henderson. In Arduis Fidelis!
    'He died who loved to live,' they'll say,
    'Unselfishly so we might have today!'
    Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
    He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.


    • #3
      He'll be shunned as a proper Gurkha for not using his kukri and not bringing a head for his CO as proof..oh, wait, that's against the taliban's yooman rights, innit...
      Well done to all concerned............the last bit makes me wonder why they didn't engage the bomb-buriers as they worked?


      • #4
        Gurkhas are hardcore mo fos for small smiley chaps!!!
        "Many a time a man's mouth broke his nose"

        "Don't waste money buying expensive binoculars. Simply stand next to the object you wish to view."


        • #5
          Originally posted by Flamingo View Post
          Well done all, esp Cpl Henderson. In Arduis Fidelis!

          Well done Cpl Henderson and Sgt Pun


          • #6
            I saw some Gurkhas going around an "assault" course once. We had just done it carnying nothing, and were puffing and panting by the end. They did it in half the time, in CEFO with helmets and weapons - wearing full NBC IPE including respirators!
            'He died who loved to live,' they'll say,
            'Unselfishly so we might have today!'
            Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
            He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.


            • #7
              stagging on and firing over 250rds from a GPMG, 180rds from his Rifle, throwing 17 grenades, detonating a Claymore and then engaging in close combat to repel upto 15 enemy - now that's a real hero.

              Sgt Dip of 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles

              well done Johnny Gurkha
              Last edited by RoyalGreenJacket; 26 March 2011, 00:38.

              ...Once a Rifleman - Always a Rifleman... Celer et Audax

              The Rifles