Corporal Arjun Purja Pun 1 RGR
It is with great sadness that we record that Major James Joshua Bowman, Lieutenant Neal Turkington and Corporal Arjun Purja Pun from 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles were killed in Afghanistan on Tuesday 13 July 2010.
The three soldiers, serving as part of Combined Force Nahr-e Saraj (South), were killed in a suspected premeditated attack by a member of the Afghan National Army.
Corporal Arjun Purja Pun
Corporal Arjun Purja Pun was 33 years old and was raised and recruited from Khibang village in the Magdi District of Nepal. He passed the gruelling Gurkha selection process and was enlisted into the British Army on 30 January 1995. His career was varied and successful and he was a hugely popular soldier wherever he served.
In 1998-99 he was a member of the Gurkha Reinforcement Company attached to B Company, 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment. Most recently, he was posted to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst where he supported the training of future Officers for the British Army and other national forces.
Cpl Arjun was in 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles based in Brunei at the time when they deployed on Op HERRICK 7 as the Reserve Battlegroup as part of Regional Command South based in Kandahar. He deployed on Op HERRICK 12 in early June 2010 as a battlefield casualty replacement. He brought with him a wealth of experience which quickly became highly valued by the chain of command.
Soon after his arrival, his Company Commander, Major Bowman, commented on Corporal Arjun’s excellent attitude and approach. This is exactly what was expected from him as a Junior Non Commissioned Officer who had received the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal in January 2010, his first possible chance for this award. Corporal Arjun was a soldier who excelled and thrived on new challenges and the list of courses that he attended and completed is extensive. He completed the Section Commanders’ Battle Course in Brecon in October 2002 and was promoted to substantive Corporal in June 2003.
He was an instructor and advisor in mine awareness and Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Defence, a testament to his pioneering background. His selfless approach and professionalism is reflected in the way in which he arrived in Afghanistan to replace an injured comrade. Corporal Arjun was exactly the sort of individual that the Battalion wanted to see arrive to fill a gap. He was an outstanding member of The Royal Gurkha Rifles, a credit to Nepal and himself, who will never be forgotten. He leaves behind his wife and two children and will truly be missed by his family in Nepal and the UK.