Bandits shudder at very mention of name “Gurkha”

A D company patrol team who had just killed four armed terrorists and wounded three

Men of the 1/10th Gurkhas have gained the finest record for any Battalion in Malaya – 195 terrorist killed, 25 captured and others wounded or weakened in the fight.

Since their surprise descent on kuantan just over two months ago, the 1/10th Gurkhas have struck repeatedly at the communists hiding deep in the jungle of Pahang. Said Mr. Steward Brooke
Wavell, Radio Malaya observer, who visited the Gurkha camp last week, in a broadcast last night.

The man of the 1/10 Gurkhas first made their name in Bentong, Pahang, where gratitude of local people. Their skillful ambushes made death a frequent visitor to terrorist camps.

The people’s fear which had lingered long behind the barbed wire of new villages lifted with each new success and moved beyond the range of Home Guard guns into the jungle it self, there to make the Communists mentally shudder at the very mention of the name “Gurkha.”

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The story today is similat in Kuantan where the 1/10th have been for just over two months, and where the rise in public morale had kept pace with each new Gurkha gain.

The people’s handgrenade us information and when there was a time when they; feared it would explode in their face, the Gurkha successes have encouraged them to use it in the knowledge that it would explode with certainty among the Communists.

The Gurkhas’ achievement in this area cannot be judged by statistics alone although 31 terrorists killed seemed a very creditable score.

A company under the command of Major Purne Rai had just returned to camp when Brooke-Wavell visited it. Mr. Brooke-Wavell described the major as “a remarkable man,” aged 53 with 36 years of continuous fighting. He can outmarch and endure more hardship than any of his men.

The company’s achievement is typical of other companies of the 1/10 who are still deep in the jungle. Their target was remote unexplored territory. Their intention was to find the 7th Regiment headquarters if they could, if not least to destroy the terrorist food growing areas and kill us many Communists as possible.

They succeeded in finding the Headquarters camp but it had been evacuated two days previously. However, the Gurkhas certainly did justice to the rest of their program. A large number of secret food growing areas have been discovered, one or two very large indeed, and 31 terrorists have been killed, nine of these by Major Purne Rai’s Company.

Until the Gurkhas probed deep into the jungle to find them it was not realized how extensive these terrorist food growing areas were.

The Communists thought they were so remote that they would be safe until the end of the Emergency, but they failed to reckon with the Gurkhas.

The success of the 1/10th in this operation is once again a tribute to their skill in tracking, speed of movements in jungle and power to strike in ambush, and persistence.

Unique Tribute to the Gurkhas
Tribute signia

The “Victories of Bentong” – the First Battilion of the 10th Princes Mary’s Own Gurkhas Rifles-today handed over, their task to the 1st King’s African Rifles.

As the four-mile long convoy of Africans went over the Gingting simpa Gap pass from Kuala Lumpur to Pahang, the Gurkhas were saying farewell to the people of all races whom they have befriended here during the 18th months they have spent protection the Bentong district.

The people of Bentong paid a unique tribute to the Gurkhas. They presented them with a brass gong mounted on a pair of elephants tusks, and with it a scroll recording their thanks.

The scroll says: “Through the skill and energies of your men the district has been improved beyond recognition.

“The name of your battalion has struck fear into the hearts of the bandits, many of whom have fallen to yours guns.

“It would be foolish of us to say that the district has been entirely cleaned up, for much still remains to be done, but during your stay you have achieved one important think- you have won the complete confidence of the people.
“We are grateful to you. We shall never forget you.

“We know that your successes have cost you hardships and discomfort but we hope that our sincere and lasting gratitude will be some consolation.”

The battalion has been operating since the beginning of the Emergency. It was in South Pahang, and later in Kluang. Malacca and the Temerloh area in Pahang before coming to Bentong.

It has killed a total of 164 bandits and captured 25.
They have lost only three men killed and 25 wounded.