REMEMBRANCE EXHIBITION: Michael Allmand VC

REMEMBRANCE EXHIBITION: Michael Allmand VC

On June 11th 1944, whilst serving in Burma during the Second World War, Lt Allmand, (then an Acting Captain, due to the attrition rates of other officers) was commanding the lead platoon of a company of 6th Gurkha Rifles, and was ordered into an attack on a bridge across the Pin Hmi road at Mogaung. This site was heavily defended by well dug-in Japanese troops, and when the Gurkhas approached, they took accurate and withering fire. Allmand however led from the front and charged the positions with kukri and grenade, despatching three enemy soldiers himself with his kukri, inspiring his men to take heart and follow him, capturing the position.

The allied troops were still in a relatively poor condition, and two days later Allmand was forced to take command of the entire company. In another attack he again charged forward and led his men onto a high ridge they had been ordered to take, avoiding heavy machine gun fire and killing a number of Japanese machine gunners. On June 23rd, despite his trench foot becoming more and more debilitating, Allmand, leading an attack on the Mogaung railway bridge, crawled forward ahead of his men through mud and shell-holes to charge a Japanese machine gun nest. As he did so he was hit with a burst of fire and killed.

This superb gallantry, outstanding leadership and protracted heroism earnt Michael Allmand a posthumous Victoria Cross, which was presented to his family by King George VI at Buckingham Palace in July 1945. In July 2003 the Victoria Crosses of Michael Allmand and Tulbahadur Pun, who was also awarded his for actions in the Burma campaign, were donated to the Museum, where they remain today.

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