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Subadar Thapa
by jason taylor
05/02/09
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Asher and David rode their mules slowly up Wadi Akarit. All about were scattered
grey-clad corpses. Amid them, little Himalayan soldiers were scampering about the bloody field looking for spoil, appearing as merry as children on a playground at home.

Asher went up to an English officer. He said,"We're the folk from intell you sent for."

The Englishman said,"What do you think?"

Asher replied,"A nice bit of work breaking through Wadi Akarit. The Huns will have to pull back quite a way. Boss was worried all night about this one.

The Englishman replied, "No one but my lads could have done it."

Asher nodded,"I can believe that. You sent for one of us?"

The Englishman said, "We found an abandoned command car. I put it under guard."

Asher nodded,"Fine, fine."

The Englishman said, "And the rest?"

Asher looked at the curiously small peasant-soldiers,"Let them have their fun, it's not as if they're overpaid."

Asher and David went toward the captured command car. They looked in. Lieing there was a German Colonel. They looked about. David found a pair of field glasses. He handed it to the sentry and said to the English officer, "Tell him the King is grateful."

The sentry grinned and gave his thanks.

Then searching more David found an Iron Cross. He then said,"I know this is kind of a last-century kind of thing but don't you think we should send this one through the Red Cross?"

Asher replied,"Not with a swastika on it".

David shrugged,"Oh, just pay someone to chissel that part off ."

Then he opened the glove compartment and drew out a clump of papers. He said,"I think that is what we want." He then turned to the Englishman and said,"We're done here. Tell your boys they can have the car."

As they walked back they noticed a soldier sitting on a rock wiping his kukri blade.

On a whim Asher said,"I've never seen one of those before. Can I see it?"

The soldier nodded and handed it over. Asher examined it, then started to hand it back, then he started,"Is it really true that they can't draw one of those without shedding blood?"

The Englishman laughed,"No, that's just an sort of joke they tell curious outsiders. Have to keep up their image you know. Besides that one has had plenty of blood on it today."

"Oh?", asked Asher.

"Yes", he said. "Mr, er..."

Asher said,"Right now, my name is 'Intell Officer'..."

The Englishman said, "Quite so. Mr Intell Officer, meet Subadar Lalbahadur Thapa. Last night he was the point man of the main attack. He slipped up to their position and chopped his way in, for all the world like a little Achiles. The regiment will remember him a long time."

At that both Asher and David stood up and saluted.

"Well done," Asher said.



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jason taylor 02 May 2009
Subadar(native officer of captain's rank)was the hero of the night attack of the 1/2 Gurkhas on Wadi Akarit in Tunisia. He was one of the dozens of Ghurkhas to win the Victoria Cross since it became open for native soldiery in Oct 21, 1911. The Ghurkha mercenaries from the tiny mountain nation of Nepal are legendary in the British Army for their loyalty, martial prowess and their fearsome boomerang-shaped Kukri machetes. As well as their good nature off duty which belies their ferocity on-duty.




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