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Rifleman Thaman Gurung, VC, was killed in action at Monte San Bartolo, Italy, on 10 November 1944, while scouting for a fighting patrol. He came across German soldiers dug into the mountainside and repeatedly fired and threw grenades at them. Finally, to cover the retreat of his section, he ‘ran to the top of the hill and, although he well knew that his action meant almost certain death, stood up on the bullet-swept summit, in full view of the enemy, and opened fire at the nearest enemy positions. It was not until he had emptied two complete magazines, and the remaining section was well on its way to safety, that Rifleman Thaman Gurung was killed.’ It was undoubtedly due to his gallantry that his platoon was able to withdraw from an extremely difficult position without many more casualties.
Rifleman Thaman Gurung (1924–1944), VC, 1st Battalion, 5th Royal Gurkha Rifles (Frontier Force)
oil on canvas
H 57 x W 43 cm
gift from the 5th Gurkha Rifles Regimental Association, 1956
Signed lower left 'doig'