A Gurkha NCO found in the jungle after Seven Years
25th July, 2018
“A Gurkha NCO found in the jungle after Seven Years “
6582 Naik Nakam Gurung of 2/1 GR was contacted after 7 years isolation in the Malayan jungle by a patrol of 1/10 GR on 20 October 1949 during the Malayan Emergency.
During the Second World War he was moved to Malaya with his battalion on 5 September 1941, which was based at Ipoh.
He narrated his experiences in the jungle as follows:
“I was in C Coy. At that time 2Lt Gold was my Company Commander. As the war still being waged against the Japanese Imperial Army, our battalion was ordered to move towards the line, north of Sungei Patani. We were forced to retreat from there after fighting against great odds.
On 7 January 1942 in the Ipoh area our battalion was trapped in an ambush by the Japanese. After a considerable period of resistance, we were fragmented and scattered. I was with a group of consisting of Subedar Major Lalbahadur Gurung, Subedar Maniraj Thapa and other 56 ranks, which managed to fight its way out of the ambush. Naik Nakam Gurung
We made a plan to march to Singapore through the jungle. On our journey we came across ‘Kampongs’ where the villagers treated us with hospitality and offered us food.
After 25 days of continuous march and cutting paths through the jungle, we reached the Jementah area where I suffered severely from Malaria. As I was unable to proceed further and my comrades were helpless, Subeder Major lalbahadur told me to stay there until the war was over. He further suggested that I should return to the battalion when the Japanese army surrendered. They left behind some rations for me for three months and then departed.
Miraculously after a month of suffering I recovered from Malaria. First of all, I set up a small shelter for myself and cultivated the land around it. I discovered some abandoned huts in the jungle. For survival I set a trap for wild pig, fished and searched for edible foods. From 1942 I had not eaten any salt until 20 October 1949 when a patrol of 1/10 GR luckily found me.
From time to time, during my stay in the jungle, I used to come across the local Chinese inhabitants; they gave me information of the whereabouts of the Japanese in the local area. They suggested that the only secure place for me to stay was in the jungle; one false move or exposure to the Japanese would cost me my life.
So, for my own safety, I did not leave the jungle. When the patrol of 1/10 GR found me on 20 October 1949, I did not know that war was over!
I was enlisted into 2/1 GR on 28 October 1929 and was promoted to LCpl on 1 July 1941.”
Naik Nakam Gurung later proceeded on leave in November 1949. He was subsequently discharged from the Indian Army with his full retrospective pay and allowances and a pension.Share