Honorary Captain Sarabjit Gurung, Sirdar Bahadur IOM MC OBI

Sarabjit Gurung as a Jemadar in Chitral circa 1908

Sarabjit Gurung was Subedar Major of the 1st Battalion from 26 March 1919 to 1 October 1922. He was described in the Regimental History as ‘A fine type of Goorkha officer with 27 years’ service to his credit and campaign medals for Tirah, Waziristan, the Abor campaign, the Great War and North Persia’.

He had served with the 2nd Battalion in France where he was commended for gallantry and ‘general good work’, earning the Indian Order of Merit 2nd Class and a Russian medal, the Order of St George.  During the Mesopotamia campaign with the 1st Battalion he was frequently in the thick of the fighting.  In the attack on the Liquorice Factory on 3 February 1917 he won the Military Cross, the citation reading ‘In the assault he showed great coolness and courage when commanding a platoon, later taking command of the company when the commander was wounded.  He was conspicuous where the fire was hottest and by his example, leadership and determination to push forward at all costs under very heavy machine-gun fire and in spite of severe losses, inspired his men to emulate him.  On reaching the enemy trenches he shot two Turks who first put up their hands and then threw a bomb at him. He was also very conspicuous in supervising the preparations for resisting counter-attacks and in getting up supplies of bombs’.  At the subsequent crossing of the river Tigris on 23 February he was in one of the leading boats in the first wave.  He was later given an Honorary King’s Commission as a Lieutenant for his leadership and bravery over an extended during the Mesopotamia campaign.  When Subedar Major he was awarded the Order of British India 1st Class with the title ‘Sirdar Bahadur’.

On retirement in October 1922 he was promoted to the Honorary King’s Commission rank of Captain and given a sum of money in lieu of a land grant in Dehra.


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