Saturday, 26 July 2008

British govt honours Gurkha soldiers

The British government has honoured its six Gurkha soldiers serving currently in Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries with the Britain's prestigious bravery awards - Military Corss. Six Gurkha soldiers were among the 136 personnel who were conferred awards in the military honours list for October 2007 to March 2008, British media reported.
The Gurkha winners are Yorkshire Regiment Rifleman Bhim Bahadur Gurung, Royal Gurkha Rifles Lance Corporal Agnish Thapa, Duke of Lancaster's Regiment Rifleman Omprakash Ale, Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Lance Corporal Mohansingh Tangnami, Late Life Guards Lance Corporal Tej Sunwar and Blues and Royals Captain Devkumar Gurung.
Thapa had dragged badly wounded Australian SAS soldier across 100 metres of open ground under heavy fire in Afghanistan while Bhim Bahadur Gurung received an MC for exposing himself to intense enemy fire in Afghanistan as he crossed open ground twice, the second time burdened by a wounded comrade on his shoulder and with no cover available until he reached the compound, reports said. Similarly, Tangnami of The Royal Gurkha Rifles had volunteered to lead a small team into an area of heavy fire to recover a machine gun left by an earlier casualty and so deny it to the enemy. British Defence Secretary Des Browne said the medals - awarded at a ceremony in Windsor, Berkshire - rewarded 'extraordinary courage'

Military Cross:

The Military Cross (MC) is the third level military decoration awarded to officers and (since 1993) other ranks of the British Army and formerly also to officers of other Commonwealth countries. The MC is granted in recognition of "an act or acts of exemplary gallantry during active operations against the enemy on land to all members, of any rank …". In 1979 the Queen approved a proposal that a number of awards including the Military Cross could in future be awarded posthumously. The award was created in 1914 for commissioned officers of the substantive rank of Captain or below and for Warrant Officers. In 1931, the award was extended to Majors and also to members of the Royal Air Force for actions on the ground. Since the 1993 review of the honours system, as part of the drive to remove distinctions of rank in awards for bravery, the Military Medal, formerly the third level decoration for other ranks, has been discontinued. The MC now serves as the third level award for gallantry for all ranks of the British Army.
Bars are awarded to the MC in recognition of the performance of further acts of gallantry meriting the award. Recipients are entitled to the postnominal letters MC.