21 November 2003

Following Michael Allmand's posthumous VC action in Burma in 1944 his Victoria Cross was presented to his family by King George VI at Buckingham Palace on the 17th July 1945. The VC remained in the possession of the family until the 22nd July 1991 when it was donated to the Regimental Trust of the 6th Queen Elizabeth's Own Gurkha Rifles by Michael Allmand's brother and eldest sister at a ceremony held in Hong Kong. Among the distinguished guests to witness the presentation was Honarary Lieutenant Tulbahadur Pun VC; HE The Governor of Hong Kong, Sir David Wilson, GCMG; and Brigadier Mike Calvert DSO, commanding 77th Indian Brigade at the Battle of Mogaung.

The VC remained with the Regimental Trust until the middle of 2003, when it was decided to donate the Michael Allmand Victoria Cross to the Gurkha Museum, Winchester, for permanent display. At the same time the Regimental Trust also decided to donate to the Gurkha Museum, the VC awarded to Rifleman Tulbahadur Pun, 3rd Bn, 6th Gurkha Rifles, who won his VC on the 23rd June 1944 in the vicinity of Mogaung, the same place as Michael Allmand's heroic action.

Although the donation of the two VCs to the Gurkha Museum was 'with effect' from the 1st July 2003, a ceremony was held in the museum on the 21st November 2003, to officially hand over the two Victoria Crosses to the Museum Trust and this was carried out by the actress Joanna Lumley, whose father served in the same battalion as Michael Allmand and Tulbahadur Pun.

For the award of the Victoria Cross

[ London Gazette, 26 October 1944 ], Mogaung Operations, Burma, 11th - 23rd June 1944, Captain Michael Allmand, Indian Armoured Corps, attached 6th Gurkha Rifles

Captain Allmand was commanding the leading platoon of a Company of the 6th Gurkha Rifles in Burma on 11th June 1944, when the Battalion was ordered to attack the Pin Hmi Road Bridge.

The enemy had already succeeded in holding up our advance at this point for twenty-four hours. The approach to the bridge was very narrow as the road was banked up and the low-lying land on either side was swampy and densely covered in jungle. The Japanese who were dug in along the banks of the road and in the junge with machine guns and small arms, were putting up the most desperate resistance.

As the platoon came within twentry yards of the Bridge, the enemy opened heavy and accurate fire, inflicting severe casualties and forcing the men to seek cover. Captain Allmand, however, with the utmost gallantry charged on by himself, hurling grenades into the enemy gun positions and killing three Japanese himself with his kukrie. Inspired by the splendid example of their platoon commander the surviving men followed him and captured their objective.

Two days later Captain Allmand, owing to casualties among the officers, took over command of the Company and dashing thirty yards ahead of it through long grass and marshy ground, swept by machine gune fire, personally killed a number of enemy machine gunners and successfully led his men onto the ridge of high ground that they had been ordered to seize.

Once again on the 23rd June in the final attack on the railway bridge at Mogaung, Captain Allmand, although suffering from trench-foot, which made it difficult for him to walk, moved forward alone through deep mud and shell-holes and charged a Japanese machine gun nest single-handed but he was mortally wounded and died shortly afterwards.

The superb gallantry, outstanding leadership and protracted heroism of this very brave officer were a wonderful example to the whole Battalion and in the highest traditions of his regiment.

The citation did not go on to say that largely because of Captain Allmand's bravery Mogaung was captured. Michael Allmand is buried in the Taukkyan War Cemetery, Burma.

( select to enlarge )
Medal entitlement of Captain Michael Allmand,
6th Queen Elizabeth's Own Gurkha Rifles

  • Victoria Cross
  • 1939-45 Star
  • Burma Star
  • War Medal ( 1939-45 )


For the award of the Victoria Cross

[ London Gazette, 9 November 1944 ], Mogaung Operations, Burma, 23rd June 1944, Rifleman Tulbahadur Pun, 3rd Bn, 6th Gurkha Rifles

During an attack on the railway bridge, a section of one of the platoons was wiped out with the exception of Tulbahadur Pun, his section commander and one other. The section commander immediately led a charge on the enemy position but was at once badly wounded, as was the third man.

Rifleman Tulbahadur Pun with a Bren gun continued the charge alone in the face of shattering fire and reaching the position, killed three of the occupants and put five more to flight, capturing two light machine-guns and much ammunition. He then gave accurate supporting fire, enabling the rest of his platoon to reach their objective.

( select to enlarge )
Medal entitlement of Rifleman Tulbahadur Pun,
6th Queen Elizabeth's Own Gurkha Rifles

  • Victoria Cross
  • 1939-45 Star
  • Burma Star
  • War Medal ( 1939-45 )
  • India Service Medal ( 1939-45 )
  • General Service Medal ( 1918-62 )
    • 1 clasp:
    • "Malaya"
  • Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal ( 1953 )
  • Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal ( 1977 )
  • Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal ( 2002 )
  • Long Service & Good Conduct Medal
    • clasp:
    • "Regular Army"
  • Indian Independence Medal ( 1947 )
  • Pingat Jasa Malaysia Medal ( 2005 )

Tulbahadur Pun was invested with his Victoria Cross by the Viceroy of India, Lord Wavell, at the Red Fort, New Delhi, on the 1st January 1945.


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Iain Stewart, 24 December 2003