ISikkim.com salutes some of the World War II veterans of Sikkim, who are being felicitated by the State Government on the occasion of Republic Day 2012.
Durga Raj Thapa
No – 111913
Unit – 10 Gorkha Rifles
Resident of Malbasay, Soreng, West Sikkim
Rifleman Durga Raj Thapa s/o Late Sri Dhanman Thapa,was enrolled in the British Indian Army on 03 March 1942 from Ghoom, Darjeeling. He was sent to Kangra, then Punjab for Military Training. After completion of training of one year, he joined 10 GR. His unit was in the process of moving to Bombay for onward sea journey along with 7000 strong troops for the overseas service to North Africa and Europe.
They were in the sea for almost one month before finally landing at Suez Canal. The unit was immediately brought in to fighting against the Germans. At this juncture, the Germans were being pushed back from Egypt towards west by the Allied forces. His unit was also part of this counter offensive and was finally able to reach Basra, Iraq. From there the unit moved on to Tripoli, Libya.
In 1944, his unit entered Italy and reached the city of Toranto in 1945, advancing against heavy resistance from the German Army. Meanwhile, the unit was ordered to be prepared to go to Burma to fight against Japan. However, The Japan had meanwhile called for a ceasefire and surrender. His unit stayed at Toranto for another one year and finally returned to India.
Rifleman Durga Raj Thapa contributed immensely towards war effort of his battalion through his dedication and devotion to duties as a soldier and was available in almost all operations that his unit undertook. His selfless service towards the motherland has been appreciated, recognized by his superiors and has been awarded with medals like Italy Star, Middle East Star and War medal.
Rifleman Durga Raj Thapa is 90 years old and is staying with his family at Malbasay, Soreng, West Sikkim.
A Salute to the World War II Heroes of Sikkim – 1
A Salute to the World War II Heroes of Sikkim – 2
A Salute to the World War II Heroes of Sikkim – 3
World War II Heroes of Sikkim – 4: Ravi Lal Gurung
World War II Heroes of Sikkim 6 : Amar Singh Rai
World War II Heroes of Sikkim 7 : Chandra Bahadur Limbu