Soldier cited for holding off up to 30 Taliban by himself
Acting Sgt. Dipprasad Pun of the Royal Gurkha Rifles displays his Conspicuous Gallantry Cross.
June 2nd, 2011
09:03 AM ET

Soldier cited for holding off up to 30 Taliban by himself

Britain's newest hero is a Nepali.

Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday awarded Britain's second-highest award for bravery, the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross, to Acting Sgt. Dipprasad Pun of the Royal Gurkha Rifles.

While stationed as a lone sentry at a checkpoint in Afghanistan's Helmand province on September 17, Pun fended off an attack by up to 30 Taliban fighters.

"There were many Taliban around me," Pun said in an interview with British Forces News. "I thought they are definitely going to kill me. ... I thought before they kill me I have to kill some of them."

During the 15-minute battle, Pun fired more than 400 rounds of ammunition, detonated 17 grenades and a mine and even threw his gun tripod at a Taliban fighter climbing toward his position, according to British Forces News.

"He was just about to climb up there and I hit (him) with my tripod and he fell down again," Pun told British Forces News.

Pun's actions saved the lives of three fellow soldiers at the checkpoint and were the "bravest seen in his battalion over two hard tours in Afghanistan," according to his medal citation.

Pun was not wounded in the firefight.

“That he survived unscathed is simply incredible," his medal citation says. “Throughout Dip’s actions he was under almost constant intense fire. Dip’s courage and gallantry were simply astonishing."

Pun, 31, joined the British military in 2000 and also has served in Bosnia and Kosovo.

Like other Gurkhas, Pun is from Nepal. The Gurkhas were incorporated into British forces after their fighting skill impressed the opposition British during the Nepal Wars of 1814 to 1816. As part of the peace treaty ending that conflict, Gurkhas were admitted into East India Company's army and then into the British military.

Gurkhas recruited solely in Nepal remain Nepalese citizens during their service. Gurkha unit officers are British.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Military • Nepal • Queen Elizabeth II • United Kingdom • World
soundoff (806 Responses)
  1. Dreadone

    Because he is a non-British citizen, he was not awarded the Victoria Cross. If there was a British Soldier (by birth) that did the same thing he, not she (because women are forbidden in combat) would be all over the news and celebrated. Still showing the same old Colonial mentality to the world.

    June 2, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • RetiredOfficer

      Untrue. Pte Johnson Beharry, an Iraq War recipient of the VC was born in Grenada, not Britain.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arbukel

      You don't know what you're talking about. Colonial troops have been eligible since 1867...Indian troops since 1911...and many have been awarded to Gurkhas in the past.

      Ayo Gurkhali!!

      June 2, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugh

      Oh please. There have been Gurkha VCs before and there will be again – they are spectacular soldiers and most people in the UK think very highly of them indeed. I come from Kent near where they're currently garrisoned and met a few – brilliant people. Lots of squaddies can only praise them, too.

      The reason he wasn't awarded the VC is because virtually nobody is, although the last guy – Pte. Beharry – was actually from Grenada, a former colony! To be awarded a VC you generally need to be saving somebody else's life under heavy fire at huge personal risk above and beyond the call of duty.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Money Penny

    James? Is that you??

    June 2, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Gurung

    Proud to be Nepalese. Gurkhas are brave of the bravest..

    June 2, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ep45care

    eat your heart out Rambo

    June 2, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dr. Bombay

    Pat Tillman couldn't even hold off his own fellow soldiers ... !

    June 2, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brent

      You're stupid.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • mar23

      @brent....maybe, but one thing that we all know for sure with 100% certainty is that he is 100% CORRECT! you think he is stupid? go and ask the Tillmans!

      June 2, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • sighingman

      to be fair, i'd rather face 30 taliban armed with cold war era weapons and no formal trraining than a squad of US marines with top of the range guns and body armour

      June 2, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. abby

    Wow! A true hero and one courageous man! From across the pond, we Americans salute you!!!

    June 2, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Drea

      Agreed!

      June 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • CJ

      Much respect but apparently he was only awarded the 2nd highest award for bravery, what do you have to do to get the highest award? Isn't holding off 30 men by yourself enough?

      June 2, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. cnntwiststruth

    This guy is great ! Dosen't he look like Hines Ward in a different uniform?

    June 2, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • 7even7teven

      yeh except Heinz Ward sux.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesse

      I thought at first it was Hines I am like this man can do it all good story.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. 7even7teven

    Give me a dozen of this soldier and I'll rule the world. Mwwwaaaa.

    June 2, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Drea

    Two words: James Bond

    June 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • TRouble

      Duke Nukem!

      June 2, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. S. A. Farouk

    Acting Serjeant Pun was absolutely Lucky, He should keep it up.

    June 2, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. guest

    So... what happened to the Taliban... did they all get killed, did reinforcement come to help, or did some escape?

    June 2, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jason Quill

    big ups to this chap

    June 2, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  13. 7even7teven

    Baad. A ss.

    We salute you.

    June 2, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. table-oide

    congratulations from Paris, France, Sir

    June 2, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Sfe

    For the first time, I have respect for a man whose nickname is "Dip". This guy is awsome.

    June 2, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
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