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The right thing to do

The Ministry of Defence has withdrawn its appeal against a ruling that three elderly former Gurkhas should be awarded compensation.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.


Why do the MOD occupy the moral high ground, when they should be in the gutter with the rest of the rats!

There must be a 100 subjects where the MOD poo-poo any claims and accusations saying- Oh its not true or we cant comment on that!

My list of MOD discraces:

WW1 Shot soldiers given a pardon- NO
Christmas Island A-Bomb guinea pigs compo- NO
Suez Canal Medal- NO
Ghurkas Pensions- NO
Gulf War Illness-NO

All of the above dont want to get millions of pounds, or effect a change in the system, they just want what is fair, and some civvy maderin can say- NO. Surely the issue of a medal for a action 50 years ago wouldn't break the bank, they waste enough money on $hite kit anyway! The MOD disgust me with its holier than thou attitude!

Buff-Hoon should be publicaly flaid over a gun carriage!- Then shot at dawn! (rant over)
Now all they need to do is compensate the British Far EAst POW's properly

In 1945, My father was attending RMA at Bangalore in India. The message went out, the British POWS were arriving in transit, and could everyone find something to give them, Food, clothes, etc.

My father went down to the station, with other members , and to this day, his horror at what he saw, is still with him. As he says, you had never seen soldiers look so wretched. Ribs showing, sores healing, missing teeth, evidence of beatings etc. At one point, he saw one individual, wearing a COLONELS spare shirt. As he says, there was an absolute outpouring of compassion. You just gave them everything you had. Some of the stories, told by the POWS over a cup of tea and a cigarette, were just harrowing. My father had seen Jews liberated from concentration camps, and wondered at how the Germans of the day could have been so beastly. But to do this to Prisoners of War?

The response was electric, with many Officer candidates asking to be RTU'd to get back in the fight against the Japanese. To this day, my father maintains a steadfast abhorrence and disgust, at all things Japanese. I know Lineys friend, who may well have been there on the day as well, feels the same way.
My point is, if the same money grubbing civilian non-entities, had stood there with my father, would they be so unwilling to compensate these men?

I think not.