Honorary Lieutenant Nandaraj Gurung MVO MC

Nandaraj Gurung when Gurkha Major of the 2nd Battalion (sketch by Ken Howard)

Nandaraj Gurung enlisted in the 2nd Battalion in 1946, serving in India until 1948 and then in the Malayan Emergency and the Borneo campaign.  He was commissioned in 1962.  The citation for his Military Cross in the London Gazette of 17 November 1964 read:

‘On 13 June 1964, in Sarawak, Lieutenant Nandaraj Gurung, commanding the Assault Pioneer Platoon, had the task of laying an ambush on a track near the border where the ground presented much difficulty.  After a long and thorough reconnaissance he personally posted and instructed each of his men.  At 1810 hours a large party of heavily armed Indonesians started to enter the area. Lieutenant Nandaraj, allowing the enemy scouts to pass through the ambush, opened rapid fire when there were eleven men in the target area.  In poor light and heavy rain a fierce fire fight resulted with the enemy survivors and with their main body still outside the ambush.  Lieutenant Nandaraj’s position was subjected to heavy automatic and mortar fire from his left flank and attacked by a party of about 100 men.  He gallantly and calmly moved round his platoon directing their fire, adjusting their positions and encouraging his young and inexperienced soldiers.  The enemy attempting to overrun his position were in a numerical superiority of four to one but so effective was the fire of his men that they were obliged to make a ragged withdrawal after suffering many casualties.  At this stage Lieutenant Nandaraj called by radio for artillery support and accurately directed it on to the tracks to the enemy’s rear.  In consequence the Indonesians were forced to withdraw over the border into their own territory.  The complete success of this action against a superior force was unquestionably due to Lieutenant Nandaraj’s leadership, initiative and personal gallantry.’

In 1972 he was a Gurkha Orderly Officer to Her Majesty the Queen.  He was Gurkha Major of the 2nd Battalion 1973-76 and on retirement that year he was given the Honorary Rank of Lieutenant (Gurkha Commissioned Officer).

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1975 with Major (QGO) Nandaraj Gurung, who had formerly been one of her Gurkha Orderly Officers (QGOOs).  Flanking them are the two QGOOs at the time, on the right Captain (QGO) Humbahadur Thapa of the 1st Battalion (and later its Gurkha Major) and on the left Captain Tiloksing Limbu of the 10th Gurkha Rifles.  (Photo courtesy of Brigadier BC Jackman)

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