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№ 1304


1 December 2004

Estimate: £2,000–£2,500

A rare ‘Gallipoli Operations’ I.O.M., I.D.S.M. group of three awarded to Jemadar Biraj Gurung, 1/5th Gurkha Rifles, one of only two men to win both an I.O.M. and an I.D.S.M. during the Gallipoli Campaign, the former being awarded for the Battle of Krithia on 4 June 1915

Indian Order of Merit, Military Division, 2nd type (1912-39), 2nd Class, Reward of Valor, silver and enamel, the reverse with screw-nut fitting and engraved on two lines ‘2nd Class Order of Merit’, complete with ribbon buckle, some chips to central blue enamel; Indian Distinguished Service Medal, G.V.R. (Jemdr., 1/5/Gurkhas); India General Service 1895-1902, 1 clasp, Punjab Frontier 1897-98 (3602 Rifln., 1st Bn., 5th Gurkha Rifles) contact wear, therefore nearly very fine (3) £2000-2500

I.O.M. G.O. 523 19 March 1920. The recommendation states: ‘For conspicuous bravery on 4 June 1915 in the operations round Krithia in the Dardanelles. During a retirement in the darkness, this Indian officer showed great personal bravery when in command of the rear guard. Though practically surrounded by the enemy, he handled his men skilfully and kept up such a well-directed fire that the main body was able to retire from a dangerous position without loss.’

Gazette of india. 20 March 1920 (‘A’ Company, 1/5th Gurkha Rifles, Dardanelles).

A total of 45 I.O.M’s. were given for the Gallipoli Campaign, all of which were 2nd Class, there being only one other instance of both an I.O.M. and I.D.S.M. being awarded for this theatre. The award of both the I.O.M and I.D.S.M. to Biraj Gurung is unique to the regiment.