Havildar Lachhiman Gurung VC, 8th Gurkha Rifles Dies Peacefully
Cllr Paul Lynch remembers a 'kindly man, cheerful despite difficulties caused by wounds'
"As chairman of Chiswick Branch of the Royal British Legion, it is with great sadness that I announce the death of Havildar Lachhiman Gurung VC, 8th Gurkha Rifles, in Charing Cross Hospital on 12th December," writes Councillor Paul Lynch.
"He passed away peacefully surrounded by his family, aged 92. During an extensive set of engagements on on 11th November, Remembrance Parade at the Cenotaph, the opening of the Chiswick War Memorial Homes, and the inauguration of the new gallery of VCs at the Imperial War Museum he seems to have caught cold, which later developed into pneumonia. His last public appearance was at the Feltham War Memorial on Remembrance Sunday.
"His VC was awarded for an extraordinary action on Nay 12th 1945 in Burma. Occupying his unit's most exposed position; he continued to fire his rifle at the enemy for two and a half days, repelling repeated attacks, despite having lost his right hand and eye to a grenade explosion. His comrades could hear him shouting "Come and fight a Gurkha!" His bravery saved the position and very many lives. Thirty-one of the enemy were later found dead in front of his trench.
"He came to live in England in 2008, and was formally welcomed to the Borough of Hounslow in a ceremony by the Mayor and Council. He later became a Freeman of the Borough of Hounslow in 2009 at the ceremony conferring the Freedom of the Borough on the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. He attended many functions of the Nepalese Community in Hounslow and elsewhere, and was honorary vice-President of the Chiswick Branch of the Royal British Legion.
"He was a kindly man, cheerful despite the difficulties caused by his wounds. He had a twinkle in his eye and enjoyed the jokes and banter that make Nepalese conversation so lively. He helped with fund-raising for the Royal British Legion, for Help the Heroes and other military charities. He leaves a widow, Manmaya and five children."
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "Lachimann Gurung exemplified the bravery of the Gurkhas. He came to London late in life and in the few years he was here he contributed enormously to civic life in Chiswick and the London Borough of Houslow. London and Londoners are immensely proud that he chose our city to be his home and he will not be forgotten."
The funeral will take place at Chiswick New Cemetery at 1.30pm on Wednesday 22nd December.
The funeral directors will be happy to accept donations, in lieu of flowers, for his favourite charities. They are Barnes & Hicks (02087439444, 123 Askew Road, Shepherd's Bush, London, W12 9BA firstname.lastname@example.org )
December 17, 2010