Friday, June 21, 2024

Last remaining Gurkha Victoria Cross recipient dies aged 83 in Nepal Gurkha


The last remaining Gurkha recipient of Britain’s Victoria Cross has died in Nepal at the age of 83.

Rambahadur Limbu was awarded Britain’s highest military honor by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in 1966 for his gallantry during an attack on Indonesian troops on the island of Borneo, during which he saved two fellow soldiers.

Limbu, then a lance corporal, carried out the mission in November 1965, part of a three-year “confrotasi” conflict known as the Battle of Bau, triggered by Indonesia’s opposition to the formation of Malaysia .

The Gorkha Brigade Association said in a statement: “He has been a beacon and example of Gurkha bravery for generations of Gurkha recruits and soldiers. His loss will be deeply felt by all those whom he inspired.”

Limbu was a member of the Brigade of Gurkhas, composed of Nepalese soldiers who had been recruited into the British Army since the signing of a peace treaty between the two countries in 1815.

The soldier, who rose through the ranks to captain, served in the Sultan of Brunei’s army after leaving the British Army in 1985.

Queen Elizabeth with Rambahadur Limbu (left) during a reception for living recipients of Victoria and George Cross medals in 2018. Photograph: John Stillwell/AFP/Getty

On the incident that saw him awarded the Victoria Cross for military gallantry, he told the Mirror in 2014: “I didn’t think I would be shot. I only cared about saving my friends.

In 2014, Limbu traveled to Westminster to speak out during the Gorkha Welfare Inquiry on concerns over pension rights, adult dependents, compensation, equal treatment for Gorkha widows and free medical treatment for ex-servicemen in Nepal similar to pensioners in the UK Did.

Limbu lived in the eastern Nepalese city of Damak after his retirement in 1992.

The British Ambassador to Nepal, Nicola Pollitt, traveled to Dumak in September 2022 to sign the condolence book after the death of Limbu Queen Elizabeth II.

He signed the book, remembering with pride and sadness his long service to Her Majesty, Polit tweeted at the time.

At the Queen’s funeral in September, 17 of the then 23 living recipients of the Victoria Cross and George Cross for civilian gallantry were in attendance, including one from New Zealand and four from Australia.

Limbu is survived by his wife Unimaya and three children.