Thursday, 30 April 2009
My father commanded a contingent of Gurkhas in the first Chindit raids behind Japanese lines into Burma in the second world war. He and his men had been trained in the Indian jungle by the then famous tiger hunter, Jim Corbett, who had a breed of tiger named after him. He always used to say that he was proud to have served with these loyal, dedicated and fearsome fighting men and that it was an honour to serve with them. They were, and still are, known for their fighting spirit. 45,000 Gurkhas died fighting for Britain. 26 VC's have been awarded. Yesterday, their fighting spirit, alongside the redoutable Avenger, Joanna Lumley, surfaced once again as MP's defeated the government on the right of Gurkhas who have served us all in the British Army to reside in Britain. The vote is not the end of the story as it is now for the government to bring new proposals to the house, but the message sent yesterday to Brown's crumbling authority cannot be denied. Perhaps there is hope for the UK after all. Perhaps there is still some decency and honour left.