Statue To Honour Gurkha Soldier Buried In Chiswick Unveiled In Nepal
Havilda Lachhiman Gurung was a Victoria Cross recipient and war hero
A statue of Victoria Cross recipient Havildar Lachhiman Gurung, who is buried in Chiswick, was unveiled at his native village Dahakani in Nepal last Sunday.
A former resident of Chiswick between 2008 and his death in 2010, aged 92, he had been a Freeman of the Borough of Hounslow, a prominent member of the Nepalese community and honorary vice-President of the Chiswick Branch of the Royal British Legion.
His son Colonel (retd) Shiv Dutt Gurung who spearheaded this initiative told a local Indian newspaper: “My father fought bravely during the World War II and he was an inspiration for many. We want his story to reach many people, especially youngsters. This is the first step that we have taken to ensure that. In the next few years we are also planning on building a museum dedicated to him."
Gurung whose family is settled in Dehradun for several decades, was one of the 13 Nepalese Gurkhas to win the Victoria Cross while serving the British Army.His battalion was part of the 89th Indian Infantry Brigade of 7th Indian Infantry Division, and fought in World War II. His VC was awarded for an extraordinary action on May 12th 1945 i Taungdaw in Burma (now Myanmar.
Rifleman Gurung was manning the most forward post of his platoon when they were attacked by the Japanese forces. 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 had killed them with only one arm- for which he was given the highest gallantry award.
In January 1947 Lachhiman retired and settled in his native village. In 2008, as a gesture of goodwill, he was invited and offered accommodation in London by the Government following a campaign spearheaded by Joanna Lumley.
He was formally welcomed to the Borough of Hounslow in a ceremony by the Mayor and Council.
and ex-Chiswick councillor Paul Lynch (Royal British Legion) described
him as "a kindly man, cheerful despite the difficulties caused by
his wounds. He helped with fund-raising for the Royal British Legion,
for Help the Heroes and other military charities.".
May 19, 2018