On Thursday I highlighted HERE the fate of a VC winning Gurkha who has been denied the right to live in this country because he couldn;t demonstrate close ties with the UK. Since then the publicity surrounding the case of Tul Bahadur Pun has been extraordinary.
In particular I want to pay tribute to the BBC for their role in bringing this to the attention of the nation. On Radio 5 Live's Stephen Nolan Show they devoted their Friday night call in to the subject,m and because of the response repeated the exercise on Saturday. BBC News 24 were also spotlighting the story on Saturday night too. 5 Live's switchboard was jammed and they say they didn't receive a single call on the government's side. Every call seemed to blame the politicians for the fact that Mr Pun is not being allowed into the country. In actual fact it will have been a bureaucrat's stroke of the pen which did that. But it is now up to Immigration Minister Liam Byrne to intervene to allow this hero into the country to get the medical treatment he needs. He knows it's within his power to do so.
I was pleased to learn this morning that Michael Ashcroft, who has a collection of 142 VCs and has written a book about them, has added his voice to the growing calls for Mr Pun to be given residence in this country. It seems politicians from all parties are united in this.
To register your support go the VCHero website. There's more on the British Army Rumour Service (ARRSE) site HERE. If you haven't already written to or emailed your MP about it, please do so. You can also join the FACEBOOK support group HERE. You can email words of support to: email@example.com . All your emails will be put before the Immigration Judge considering Mr Pun VC's appeal.
St Cripsin's Day Blog speaks for many when he says: Apparently being a rapist or potential mass murderer gives you a greater chance of staying in this country than the following actions.
“The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the VICTORIA CROSS to :- No. 10119 Rifleman Tullbahadur (sic) Pun, 6th Gurkha Rifles, Indian Army. In Burma on June 23rd, 1944, a Battalion of the 6th Gurkha Rifles was ordered to attack the Railway Bridge at Mogaung. Immediately the attack developed the enemy opened concentrated and sustained cross fire at close range from a position known as the Red House and from a strong bunker position two hundred yards to the left of it. So intense was this cross fire that both the leading platoons of ‘B’ Company, one of which was Rifleman Tulbahadur (sic) Pun’s, were pinned to the ground and the whole of his Section was wiped out with the exception of himself, the Section commander and one other man. The Section commander immediately led the remaining two men in a charge on the Red House but was at once badly wounded. Rifleman Tulbahadur (sic) Pun and his remaining companion continued the charge, but the latter too was immediately wounded. Rifleman Tulbahadur (sic) 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.”