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. Higlander Gorkhali


    June 4, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. manoj ghale

    jai gorkhali ..

    June 5, 2011 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
  3. Web Reply

    A white Briton would have got a Victoria Cross.

    June 5, 2011 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      Hardly a given that a white Briton would have got the VC – we don't hand them out like candy canes, they have been rare since WW2. It's been awarded 11 times to Nepalese and 29 times to Indians, and if the number of Gurkha recipients seems small you should remember that numerically they form only a small part of Commonwealth forces.

      June 5, 2011 at 2:44 am | Report abuse |
    • puck the cat

      What a horribly racist think to say. Get to know tour criteria for the medal selection before you comment

      June 8, 2011 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  4. Web Reply

    This is a payback for the NEPALI soldiers who were killed by Zarkawi in IRAQ because they were non muslims.

    June 5, 2011 at 1:10 am | Report abuse |
  5. Nonya Bidness

    It's like Call of Duty come alive... Nicely Done!

    June 5, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. FormCritic

    Geez! What would this guy have to do to win the Victoria his opponents?

    June 6, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. unknown

    wooow, 30-0? looks like we got an aimbotter here....

    June 6, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. gurkha

    whatever u say we gurkha are the bravest person in the world!!

    June 7, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jaidev pradhan

    proud to be gurkha...

    June 8, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jitendra thapa

    true brave solider....
    "God of war"

    Jai Mahakali...Ayeo Gurkhali..........

    June 10, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  11. Alexandra

    You go, man! I want you next to me the next time I go over there.

    June 10, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. USMC Gunny

    One Gurkha vs thirty Taliban? Hell, he had them out-numbered! Pound per pound, those little guys are some of the fiercest warriors in the history of combat!

    During the Falklands campaign there was an Argentine unit that surrendered without firing a shot as soon as they found out they were facing Gurkha troops, such is there reputation.

    As a retired professional soldier, I say this, there are only certain groups of soldiers from other countries that I'd trust my flanks to. The Brits, Canadians, Aussies, Kiwis, Foreign Legion, AND the Gurkhas (yeah I know they are part of the British Army, but I thought the deserved their own category!).

    Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)

    June 10, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. TheWiz71

    Just goes to show – you don't mess with Gurkhas. Ever. Well done, sir.

    June 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Yabadabadoo

    Congratulations Sgt Pun. Job well done!

    June 20, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. brave gurkhas

    Love Gurkhas, the bravest, most fierce!! They're our Nepali pride.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
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