This Day in History: 1949-10-20

B Company of the 1st Battalion found 6582 Havildar (Sergeant) Nakam Gurung of the 2nd Battalion of the 1st Gurkha Rifles who had been living alone in the Malayan jungle for the last 7 years. He had fallen ill with malaria while trying to escape the Japanese in 1942 and been left in a Malay village. After recovering he moved deep into the jungle for security. During his time there he claimed to have eaten 33 wild pigs, 19 porcupines, 353 birds – mainly peacocks and partridges, countless fish and several iguanas. He correctly identified the 1st Battalion’s Commandant, Lieutenant Colonel JW Stephens, who he had encountered many years previously. He was returned to his Regiment (now part of the Indian Army) and served for a further four years before retiring.