A Fearsome Reputation
Once the Argentinian prisoners had been processed, the Gurkhas began a series of short, sharp patrols by helicopter in the southern half of East Falkland named Lafonia. These met with success, and one Argentinian group is recorded as having surrendered simply because a Gurkha soldier brandished a kukri towards them threateningly. In the meantime, ‘D’ Company rejoined the Battalion by marching to Goose Green on foot, carrying all their kit, in less than 36 hours. After a brief rest ‘D’ Company was sent forward on the SS Monsunan on the 7th of June to scout out the approaches to the Falklands capital of Port Stanley. The rest of the Battalion was sent on to Fitzroy, a settlement on East Falkland, by helicopter.
By June 10th the 5th Brigade’s battle plans were formed, aimed at features of Mt Tumbledown and Mt William. After three days of hard patrolling with no food ‘D’ Company was pulled back and the Battalion reunited. By this point the Battalion was close enough to the Argentinian positions to come under artillery fire and on June 11th four members of ‘B’ Company were evacuated with shrapnel wounds.
The Battalion, in cooperation with the Scots Guards, advanced east along the north flank of Mt. Tumbledown on the morning of June 14th. Delays meant that the advance occurred in daylight past a minefield and a further eight casualties were caused by Argentinian mortar and artillery fire. Despite this the Gurkhas reacted stoically. Captain (QGO) Bhuwansing Limbu, the second-in-command of ‘D’ Company, is recorded to have stated to Maj. Kefford ‘Jolly exciting this, isn’t it?’ after coming under fire.
Eventually the leading ‘A’ Company reached the eastern tip of Mt. Tumbledown but were held up by Argentinian sniper fire for a time, delaying their planned swing south towards Mt. William. Eventually ‘D’ Company moved forward towards Mt. William but found that, instead of facing them, the Argentinian forces broke and either retreated towards Port Stanley or surrendered to the Scots Guards nearby. It is believed that this retreat was in part caused by the fearsome reputation of the Gurkhas.