Sher Bahadur Thapa

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Sher Bahadur Thapa
Victoria Cross Medal without Bar.png
Born 20 November 1921
Died 19 September 1944 (aged 22)
San Marino, Italy
Allegiance British India
Service/branch British Indian Army
Years of service 1942 - 1944
Rank Rifleman
Unit 1st Battalion, 9th Gurkha Rifles
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Victoria Cross

Sher Bahadur Thapa VC (20 November 1921 – 19 September 1944) was a Nepalese Gurkha recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

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He was enrolled on 20 November 1942 and was a 22 years old Rifleman in the 1st Battalion of the 9th Gurkha Rifles, in the British-Indian Army during World War II when the following deed took place at the Battle of San Marino, for which he was awarded the VC.[1]


Digest of Citation (reg No. 1137) reads:[2]

On 18/19 September 1944 at San Marino, Italy, when a company of the 9th Gurkha Rifles encountered bitter opposition from a German prepared position, Rifleman Sher Bahadur Thapa and his section commander, who was afterwards badly wounded, charged and silenced an enemy machine-gun. The rifleman then went on alone to the exposed part of a ridge where, ignoring a hail of bullets, he silenced more machine-guns, covered a withdrawal and rescued two wounded men before he was killed.
Killed in action on 19th September 1944 at San Marino.

His Victoria Cross is currently held by his regiment 9 Gorkha Rifles in India. He was a Thapa Chhetri of Khas origin and a son of Ramdhoj Thapa, a permanent resident of Ghalechap of Tanahu, Nepal.

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