TRUE STORIES AND FACTS

3rd Battalion in World War 2

‘Scraggy’

Perhaps the most spectacularly successful attack carried out by 10th Gurkha Rifles in the Second World War was 3rd Battalion’s capture of a hill called ‘Scraggy’ in Burma in 1944.

A Gurkha beside a Jap's Bunker

In fact 3rd Battalion fought several actions on scraggy and nearby peaks in the Shenam Pass , during the British breakout from the Imphal plain into the open central region of Burma. First the Battalion defended Scraggy in May 1944, when heavy casualties were inflicted on the Japanese attackers, including 93 dead inflicted on them in one night, When D Company met them in the open in hand-to-hand combat. Later, on 23rd May,No.3 platoon of B Company, commanded by Jemadar Bakhatbahadur Rai, recaptured Gibraltar hill in what the Regimental History describes as ‘one of those great moments which make regimental history,…. so satisfyingly typical of the Gurkha at his best’. ‘The remaining short distance to the summit was almost sheer, but Bakhatbahadur carried the attack irresistibly on and, drawing their kukris, the men stormed up the slope and fell upon the enemy in fierce hand-to-hand combat. After a few minutes the Japanese broke and fled and Bakhatbahadur and his gallant men were left in possession of the summit and the Japanese flag was hauled down. After the battle the dead bodies of 125 of the enemy were counted on Gibraltar…’ Bakhatbahadur received a well-earned MC.

3rd Battalion on the summit
of Lynch Hill after capturing

3rd Battalion fought further defensive actions on the lower slopes of Scraggy in mid-June, and then on 24th July 1944 the whole Battalion was detailed to capture the rest of Scraggy and several other nearby peaks- the key to the whole pass. At 0440 hours in heavy rain and mist the attack went in. Twenty ladders were carried, so steep was the ground ahead of them. After heavy fighting on the approaches, A and B Companies attacked the main Jap position: within a few minutes shouts of ‘Bhagyo! Bhagya!’ (‘They’re running away!’) were heard as one of the enemy’s forward bunkers was taken. At about 0640 the final attack on the summit went in, and the Regimental History records that ‘Battalion Tactical Headquarters could hear the men shouting their battle-cry of ‘Gurkhali Ayo!’ as they went in for the kill,’ In bitter hand-to-hand fighting Jemadar Kharkabahadur Rai won an immediate Indian Order of Merit. Scraggy fell soon after 0700, then Lynch Hill, Flat Top and Scraggy Pimple. The Japs had had enough, and offered no resistance to our next attack on Crete West. ‘ The 3rd Battalion of the Regiment had covered itself with glory and had secured this vital key position in the face of difficulties of ground and weather conditions which might have been deemed impossible by legs gallant and determined troops’.

$10,000 Bandit Leader is Killed <
Gurkha Success after Long Jungle Pursuit

KUALA LUMPUR, Thursday.
CHONG Chin Nam, commander of the 26th Independent Company of the MPABA was shot dead yesterday by a patrol of the 1/10th Gurkha Rifles in the vicinity of Kuala krau in Pahang. He had a reward of $ 10,000 on his head.

Lt MR Smith, Officer Commanding when
they killed
Chong Nam

Chin Nam’s gang had been pursued since, September last year when they attacked kuala krau, killing two European railway official and several police and civilians. The same gang attacked the Jerantut-bound train. Chin Nam, who spoke English, was still wearing his spectacles when he was killed. One other man with the group of 12 contacted yesterday was killed. He is believed to have been the leader of another gang. Four who were wounded succeeded in escaping. Two loaded pistol and a shotgun were recovered.

A police statement today says that from September, when Chin Nam’s gang was first contacted to Jan 1, his losses were 22 killed and over 30 wounded, one of whom was captured.

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