Gurkha Dipprasad Pun – A One Man Army
From the Queen of England herself, he was honoured with the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross – second only to the Victoria Cross. The brave Gurkha Dipprasad Pun’s heroic story of bravery shook the world and left its listeners in awe. On the night of 17th September 2010, then an Acting Sergeant of the 1st Battalion the Royal Gurkha Rifles, he single-handedly fought off what he believes to have been around thirty Taliban fighters.
Corporal Dipprasad Pun, who hails from the village of Bima in Nepal but is currently residing with his wife at Ashford, Kent in the UK, recalls that he was spurred on to fight with the belief that he was ultimately going to face death there and so, had nothing to lose. It started when he noticed a clinking noise while on sentry duty at a checkpoint near Babaji in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. Upon investigating the source of the noise, he spotted insurgents who were digging up a trench to plant a bomb in, right next to front gate. Moments later, the militants opened fire on the compound from all sides.
Upon doing so, Dipprasad’s previous sentry position was also destroyed. For a whole quarter of an hour, he battled the insurgents alone, fighting off continuous attack of rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47s. Most of the militants were about 50ft away from him but at one point, he was faced with a large Taliban after he turned around. He got rid of him by firing a long burst at him until he fell off the roof. In another instance, an insurgent climbed to where he was, leading Dipprasad to aim his SA80 rifle at him.
Unfortunately, the rifle failed him and he was then forced to find an alternative. What he first grabbed was a sandbag, which he found out was untied so it was useless. He then reached for the metal tripod of a machine gun to successfully knock the insurgent down whilst shouting “Marchu talai!” (I’ll kill you!).
By the time his ammunition had run out, there were still two more insurgents who attacking him. Thus, it led to him setting off a Claymore mine to repel them. His company commander, Major Shaun Chandler, then came and asked if he was OK. In total, Dipprasad had fired more than 400 rounds, launched 17 grenades and detonated a mine. After the event, he was quoted as recounting “Before they kill me, I have to kill some.”
Dipprasad Pun, whose father and grandfather were in their times Gurkhas as well, also managed to save the lives of three of his dear comrades, as was in the citation of his medal. Later, local villagers told him that there were perhaps 12 to 15 insurgents present instead. His medal citation thus, aptly read: “Pun could never know how many enemies were attempting to overcome his position, but he sought them out from all angles despite the danger, consistently moving towards them to reach the best position of attack.”