Train named after Gurkha hero Tulbahadur Pun

Train named after Gurkha hero Tulbahadur Pun

A former Gurkha soldier who won a Victoria Cross has had a train named in his honour by Great Western Railway.

Tulbahadur Pun received the medal for saving the lives of dozens of comrades in Burma during World War Two.

In 2009 he campaigned for Gurkhas’ rights to settle in the UK alongside actress Joanna Lumley, who credited him for saving her own soldier father’s life in 1944.

Ms Lumley said: “We owe veterans like this an immense debt of gratitude.”
Mr Pun, who died in 2011 aged 88, was one of only 13 Gurkha soldiers to have received the Victoria Cross.

He won the military decoration after he single-handedly attacking a Japanese machine-gun position in Burma in June 1944, saving his comrades.

Mr Pun, who served in the 3rd Battalion the 6th Gurkha Rifles, entered the public eye again after his application to settle in the UK was rejected in 2007.

He was later given the right to settle in the UK after becoming one of the figureheads of a campaign for Gurkha rights, spearheaded by Ms Lumley.

The Gurkha Welfare Trust said it was “grateful” and “honoured” that GWR was “remembering Tul’s bravery”.

Ms Lumley, the trust’s vice patron, attended the naming ceremony of the intercity express train at Paddington Station in London on Wednesday.

She said she would “never forget the moment” she met Mr Pun, “who fought so bravely” with her father in Burma.

“I believe we all owe brave veterans like this an immense debt of gratitude,” she said.

“For going above and beyond the call of duty to protect our freedom.”

GWR is naming seven of its trains as a “tribute” to “seven remarkable individuals” involved in World War Two to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the conflict, last year.

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