Gurkhas pay respects to their last Victoria Cross recipient

28 Apr 2023 06:39pm
Soldiers pay respect to the coffin of Rambahadur Limbu, the last living Gurkha recipient of British Victoria Cross in British camp in Lalitpur on April 23. - The last remaining Gurkha recipient of Britain's Victoria Cross died in Nepal on April 22 at the age of 83, a statement from groups representing the elite brigade said. - Pic: AFP
Soldiers pay respect to the coffin of Rambahadur Limbu, the last living Gurkha recipient of British Victoria Cross in British camp in Lalitpur on April 23. - The last remaining Gurkha recipient of Britain's Victoria Cross died in Nepal on April 22 at the age of 83, a statement from groups representing the elite brigade said. - Pic: AFP
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KATHMANDU - Hundreds gathered in Nepal on Friday to pay their respects to the only remaining Gurkha recipient of Britain's Victoria Cross, who died last week at the age of 83.

Ram Bahadur Limbu was a member of the Brigade of Gurkhas, a unit of Nepalis recruited into the British army.

The brigade has earned a reputation for fierce fighting and bravery since they first served as part of the army in British-ruled India in 1815.

Limbu died on Saturday in Kathmandu.

Friday's service saw his Victoria Cross and other medals laid on top of his coffin as veterans and other dignitaries offered flowers and final salutes.

Future Gurkha recruits would hear Limbu's tales and be inspired, said retired Lieutenant General Peter Pearson, representing King Charles III at the service.

Queen Elizabeth II awarded Limbu the Victoria Cross at Buckingham Palace in 1966 for bravery during an attack on Indonesian troops the year before when he rescued two fellow soldiers.

The attack was part of the three-year "konfrontasi" conflict sparked by Indonesia's opposition to the formation of its now-neighbour Malaysia.

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"I didn't think I was going to be shot," Limbu told media in an interview in 2014. "All I cared about was rescuing my friends." Limbu, by then a captain, served in the Sultan of Brunei's army after leaving the British army in 1985.

He lived in the eastern Nepali city of Damak after retiring in 1992.

British Ambassador to Nepal Nicola Pollitt travelled to Damak last September so Limbu could sign the condolence book for Elizabeth II after her death that month.

Limbu is survived by his wife Eunimaya and three children.

His final rites will be performed Sunday in his hometown. - AFP

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