This Day in History: 1943-12-13

The 4th Battalion, part of the Razmak Brigade Frontier Column (Razcol) was returning to camp from a training exercise when at dusk they came under fire from Mahsud tribesmen who ‘were swarming across the line of withdrawal’ and incurred several casualties. Captain Lockey made two trips under heavy fire to successfully recover four of the casualties and their weapons. He later took out a fighting patrol to search for wounded and brought in three more casualties despite it getting dark and many armed tribesmen searching for weapons and equipment. As they withdrew to camp they were pursued by enemy tribesmen who ‘followed up with exceptional boldness; one rash Mahsud lost his head from a kukri stroke as he endeavoured to snatch a tommy gun from a wounded Rifleman. This was a major contact with total casualties amounting to 17 Gurkhas killed and 13 wounded (including the Commanding Officer of the 4th Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Parsons).  It was estimated that 30 tribesmen had been hit. Captain Lockey was subsequently awarded the MC and Naik [Corporal] Gangbir Gurung the IDSM for their gallantry.

Captain Norman Lockey in July 1944