Rambahadur Limbu VC

b. 08/07/1939 (family state 1935) Limbuwan, Nepal. d. 22/04/2023 Lalitpur, Nepal. 

Rambahadur Limbu (1939-2023) was born in Chyangthapu village, Yangrop Thum, Limbuwan, in East Nepal on 8th July 1939. (This is according to military records, the family state that he was born on 8th July 1935). Rambahadur Limbu belongs to the Begha Clan of Limbu Nationality of Nepal.

Rambahadur Limbu VC

Limbu was approximately 26 years old, and was a Lance-Corporal in the 2nd Battalion, 10th Princess Mary’s Own Gurkha Rifles, British Army during the Indonesian Confrontation when, on 21st November 1965 in Sarawak, Borneo, Lance-Corporal Rambahadur Limbu was in an advance party of 16 Gurkhas when they encountered about 30 Indonesians holding a position on the top of a jungle-covered hill. The lance-corporal went forward with two men, but when they were only 10 yards from the enemy machine-gun position, the sentry opened fire on them, whereupon Limbu rushed forward and killed him with a grenade. The remaining enemy combatants then opened fire on the small party, wounding the two men with the lance-corporal who, under heavy fire, made three journeys into the open, two to drag his comrades to safety and one to retrieve their Bren gun, with which he charged down and killed many of the enemy.

Tragically at the time of the announcement of his Victoria Cross, came the news of the sudden death of his young wife, leaving him to care for his young family. Lance Corporal Rambahadur Limbu received his VC from the Queen at Buckingham Palace on 12th July 1966, accompanied by his 5 year-old son, Bhaktabahadur. Then there was the protracted ordeal of the countless press conferences, interviews and public appearances. Of the many events in UK when Rambahadur came to receive his Cross from Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace, one in particular serves to show both the British public’s admiration for Rambahadur in particular, and the special regard in which they hold Gurkhas in general. This was when he was taken to visit the Stock Exchange, that most hard-headed and unsentimental of institutions. Standing in the public gallery he was soon recognized and the people working ‘on the Floor’ left their tasks, gathered below and applauded him for a full three minutes. Then they gave him three cheers. The Chairman now asked to meet Rambahadur, and led him onto the Floor, where the workforce formed a path of honour and gave him another standing ovation. Never before had the Stock Exchange given such an honour spontaneously to an unannounced visitor. Business with the world’s markets stood still for the Gurkha VC, in a unique tribute.

Limbu VC Medal Reverse

His was the only VC awarded to the 10th and the only VC awarded to a Gurkha since the World War 2. Rambahadur Limbu’s Victoria Cross was stolen, along with all his possessions, whilst on a train journey from India to his native Nepal in 1967. Rambahadur Limbu later received an official replacement VC. He reached the rank of Captain, as a Queen’s Gurkha Officer (QGO), and was appointed Member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO) in 1984 for his service as Queen’s Gurkha Orderly Officer. He retired from the Army in 1985, and retired to his native Nepal. He was a regular attendee of the VC and GC Association Reunions held biannually until poor health in recent years stopped his involvement. Rambahadur Limbu passed away on 22nd April 2023, aged 83 in Nepal. He received a military funeral in Kathmandu on 28th April, before his body was taken back to Damak. He then received a family funeral and was buried in a plot in the grounds of his home, close to the temple which he had built. 







Bhanu Limbu on behalf of the Limbu family – Image of the Rambahadur Limbu VC medal.