Lot Archive


№ 441


8 December 1994

Hammer Price:

A Malaya Emergency M.M. group of eight awarded to Corporal Purnabahadur Sunwar, 7th Gurkha Rifles

MILITARY MEDAL, G.VI.R., 2nd type (21139045 Cpl., 7 G.R.) official correction to surname 1939-45 STAR; AFRICA STAR; ITALY STAR; DEFENCE AND WAR MEDALS; GENERAL SERVICE 1918-62, 1 clasp, Malaya, G.VI.R. (Sgt. MM., 7/G.R.) official correction to 'G.R.'; INDIAN INDPENDENCE MEDAL 1947 (Cpl., G.R.) mounted as worn, nearly very fine (8)

M.M., London Gazette, 4 April 1952. Corporal Purnabahadur Sunwar, 2/7 G.R., Section and Platoon Leader, Pehang and Negri Sembilan, Malaya, 1st July 31st December 1951: 'This young NCO is a quite outstanding and fearless leader. During the last four months he has been in no less than six successful actions, and in others during the Emergency. On 20th July he was in the assault section of a force attacking a bandit camp. He pressed his attack straight into the enemy camp, killing three bandits and wounding four others. In this action Si Thor Chin, a $10,000 bandit, was killed. On 24th July he was lying in ambush for a party of enemy. Three bandits arrived and fire was opened; two bandits were killed instantly and the third ran away. Without hesitating Corporal Purnabahadur Sunwar gave chase, and although the bandit stopped and fired his pistol at him the Corporal ran on and killed him. This bandit was another $10,000 man. On another occasion when in charge of a small patrol of four men he came under fire from about seven enemy in position on a steep hill. Two of his men were wounded and the Corporal, shouting to the other two to remain with the wounded, charged up the hill firing from the hip. The enemy broke and ran leaving much blood on the ground. Lastly on 17th August this young Corporal was commanding one of the two weak platoons which were ambushed by a greatly superior force of over eighty. While the leading platoon was crossing an open piece of ground the small Gurkha force came under intense automatic fire from the front and rear. Seeing that the leading platoon was pinned to the ground and sorely pressed, regardless of the heavy fire of the enemy in rear, he quickly organised his platoon in a covering position to help the other platoon. Still under heavy fire, with one of his Bren guns out of action, Corporal Purnabahadur Sunwar moved about his men, exposed to the full view of the enemy, directing fire and encouraging his men. He continued to do so for three hours until reinforcements arrived. During this time his example of fearlessness and devotion to duty was magnificent and was all inspiration to all.'

The official recommendation quoted above was for the award of a Distinguished Conduct Medal, endorsed at Brigade level, but downgraded to a Military Medal by the Corps Commander in Malaya, Major General R.E. Urquhart, C.B., D.S.O. of Arnhem fame. Sold with copy of recommendation and Record of Service.