Saturday, July 22, 2006

Let Him Wear It

As if my little tirade last night didn't get my blood pressure rising enough, I come home from work today and read this:

To summarize: (Victoria Cross winner - ed.) Tulbahadur Pun donated his medal to the Museum in the 1970s. Now 89 years of age and too unwell to travel he has asked the Museum if he might borrow his own medal so he can wear it one last time. The Museum has refused. There are no words.

Flea is almost correct when saying "there are no words". I can think of a few words. Indeed, I can think of more than a few, but none of them have any place on my family-friendly blog.

How dare they refuse this hero his one dying wish. Read the words that recount his heroics, and weep:

Rifleman Tulbahadur Pun then seized the Bren Gun, and firing from the hip as he went, continued the charge on this heavily bunkered position alone, in the face of the most shattering concentration of automatic fire, directed straight at him. With the dawn coming up behind him, he presented a perfect target to the Japanese. He had to move for thirty yards over open ground, ankle deep in mud, through shell holes and over fallen trees.

Despite these overwhelming odds, he reached the Red House and closed with the Japanese occupations. He killed three and put five more to flight and captured two light machine guns and much ammunition. He then gave accurate supporting fire from the bunker to the remainder of his platoon which enabled them to reach their objective.

His outstanding courage and superb gallantry in the face of odds which meant almost certain death were most inspiring to all ranks and beyond praise.

He will rest in peace one day, and that's a fact. But if he is not allowed to wear his medal one last time, that museum curator will certainly not. The bastard.