This Day In History: 1964-09-16

Sergeant Chandrabahadur Gurung of A Company of the 2nd Battalion, based at Lubok Antu in Sarawak, bought a fighting cockerel for $5 (the average price was $50). He called it ‘Hitman‘ and force fed it with Army-issue rum before entering it into a 20-second fight with only $240 bet on Hitman and over $700 bet on the opposing cockerel owned by a local Iban tribesman. Surprisingly, ‘Hitman’ won, making Chandrabahadur a rich man, but in spite of treatment from one of the Battalion’s medical orderlies the cockerel died from the injuries it received. The dead bird was put into the next curry the Gurkhas cooked, but was reported as being tasteless and very tough.