On September 2, 2010, then 35-year-old Shrestha was on his way to Nepal after retiring from his Gurkha soldier military service whilst 15-40 armed robbers attacked the train in which he was travelling. The group robbed the passengers of their portable valuables (like money, jewellery, cellular phones and laptops). He intervened using his Kukri knife when the robbers tried to steal the jewelry of a mother and her 8-year-old daughter and attempted to rape an 18 year-old girl who pleaded for his help.. Shrestha killed at least three robbers before being subdued and may have injured as many as eight in addition to killing three, causing the thieves to panic and disperse. During the battle, he suffered a severe injury to his left arm.
When the intended rape victim's family offered him a large cash reward, he refused it with the following comment: "Fighting the enemy in battle is my duty as a soldier. Taking on the thugs on the train was my duty as a human being.
For this action Tul Bahadur Pun was awarded the Victoria Cross the British equivalent of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Yet despite being awarded the VC in 1944 and being invited to the coronation of the Queen and the subsequent Buckingham palace party. He was not granted a right to live in this country until 2007 a full 63 years of monumental injustice. A 63 years during which pretty much all manner of immigrants had been permitted full rights not only to enter this country, but leave to remain and yet a proud and decent man who had received this countries highest award for gallantry during the most vital conflict of the last century was denied residency.
No. 10119 Rifleman Tulbahadur Pun, 6th Gurkha Rifles, Indian Army.
In Burma on 23 June 1944, a Battalion of the 6th Gurkha Rifles was ordered to attack the Railway Bridge at Mogaung. Immediately the attack developed the enemy opened concentrated and sustained cross fire at close range from a position known as the Red House and from a strong bunker position two hundred yards to the left of it.
The cross fire was so intense that both the leading platoons of 'B' Company, one of which was Rifleman Tulbahadur Pun's, were pinned to the ground and the whole of his Section was wiped out with the exception of himself, the Section commander and one other man. The Section commander immediately led the remaining two men in a charge on the Red House but was at once badly wounded. Rifleman Tulbahadur (sic) Pun and his remaining companion continued the charge, but the latter too was immediately wounded.
Rifleman Tulbahadur Pun then seized the Bren Gun, and firing from the hip as he went, continued the charge on this heavily bunkered position alone, in the face of the most shattering concentration of automatic fire, directed straight at him. With the dawn coming up behind him, he presented a perfect target to the Japanese. He had to move for thirty yards over open ground, ankle deep in mud, through shell holes and over fallen trees.
Despite these overwhelming odds, he reached the Red House and closed with the Japanese occupants. He killed three and put five more to flight and captured two light machine guns and much ammunition. He then gave accurate supporting fire from the bunker to the remainder of his platoon which enabled them to reach their objective.
His outstanding courage and superb gallantry in the face of odds which meant almost certain death were most inspiring to all ranks and beyond praise.