http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2849737.stm The Ministry of Defence has withdrawn its appeal against a ruling that three elderly former Gurkhas should be awarded compensation. The World War II veterans challenged the MoD in November over a ruling which prevented them from claiming compensation for the brutality they suffered at the hands of the Japanese. They were excluded because at the time of their service the regiment formed part of the Indian Army. But High Court judge Mr Justice McCombe ruled the decision was irrational and inconsistent with the principle of equality. They could receive £10,000 compensation and the decision has implications for 343 other surviving ex-Gurkhas. The men at the centre of the case - Pahalman Gurung, Gaurisor Thapa and Hukumsing Pun - are all now in their 80s and live in Nepal. Mr Gurung said the case was not about money, but the principle. "We want the British Government to recognise that it owes Gurkhas a debt of honour for our service to the British Crown over nearly 200 years," he said. The Gurkhas captured by the Japanese in the Second World War were, like all Gurkhas, prepared to die for the British Crown "I, and thousands of other Gurkhas suffered brutality at the hands of the Japanese and it is right that we should be treated fairly." Their solicitor, Phil Shiner, said he was delighted with the MoD's decision, which came just before next week's planned appeal. He said that it followed "overwhelming new evidence" which included research by the UK's leading academic historian of the Indian Army. He said: "The Gurkhas captured by the Japanese in the Second World War were, like all Gurkhas, prepared to die for the British Crown." He said it was "obnoxious" to exclude them. "We are delighted that sense has prevailed. This decision means at last a recognition of the role of the Gurkhas in the Second World War." Mr Shiner said the men would receive ex-gratia payments from a fund set up two years ago to benefit surviving British Japanese POWs.