Captain Rambahadur Limbu VC 1985

In November 1965 the 2nd Bn 10th Gurkha Rifles was ordered to defend a position 5000 metres inside the border between Malaysia and Indonesia in the Bau District of Sarawak. They came across the enemy entrenched on top of a sheer-sided hill. Limbu, who was a Lance-Corporal at the time, saw that the nearest trench was manned with a machine-gun. He inched forward until he was about ten metres away, when he was spotted and came under fire which wounded one of his section. He rushed forward and killed the machine-gunner, but was still under fire from other guns which seriously wounded two more of his men. Limbu spent three minutes trying to reach the wounded men while exposed to two enemy machine guns. Meanwhile two bren-gunners from his platoon had moved up nearer and he called on them to give covering fire which they did as he carried a man to safety.

Having done this he ran back up the hill and brought back the other man, completely exposed to fire and miraculously returned with him. He had spent 20 minutes exposed to extreme danger, but continued to fight, using a bren gun to exact revenge by killing four of the enemy. The battle lasted an hour with the result of 24 enemy deaths to three Gurkhas killed and two wounded.

Lance Corporal Rambahadur Limbu received his VC from the Queen at Buckingham Palace on 12th July 1966, an occasion clouded by the death of his wife a few months previously. He was accompanied by his 5 year-old son, Bhaktabahadur (see photo). The following year, his medal was stolen on a train in India and he was given a replacement. He retired from the army in 1985 when the above photo was taken. His was the only VC won by the 10th and the only VC won by a Gurkha since the World War 2.

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by Stephen Luscombe