Burma Gallantry Medal, GVI, 1939-45 Star, Burma Star, 1939-45 War Medal, 1355 Amb. Sepoy, Saw Tha Nyunt, Burma Hospital Corps.
Ambulance Seopy Saw Tha Nyunt was a local man from Wakema Township in the Ayeyarwady Region of Burma (Myanmar), he served his country with the 77th Field Ambulance Brigade, which was the medical detachment for the Burma Hospital Corps attached to the famous “Lushai Brigade”, on 25th June 1944 this Sepoy performed an almost suicidal act of life saving when a fellow Ambulance Sepoy fell unconscious and was dragged headlong into a Whirpool, without hesitation Saw Tha Nyunt risked his life by diving into the Whirlpool and saving his life, this gained him an immediate recomendation for an Albert Medal, as this was in proximity of the enemy it earned him the B.G.M.
Official Recommendation made for an Immediate Honour, the award of the Albert Medal on 3rd July 1944 by Lt Col in Command of 77th Field Ambulance and signed off by Brigadier Marindin, Commanding the Lushai Brigade and approved by the Lt General Reese, C in C of Allied Land Forces SEA;
“On 25th June 1944 at about 1100 Hours, No 1406 Amb/Sepoy Saw Shwe Tha Tay, B.H.C. and three others of the same unit were pulling a boat loaded with unit stores and equipment up one of the major rapids on the Dhaleswari river at Bayaran Clara. They were on the left rocky bank of the river and below them was a 50 Feet drop. The force of the rapid was so strong that these men were dragged off their foot-holds.
As the result, Saw Shwe Tha Tay fell headlong into the rapids and was swept unconscious into a deep whirlpool nearby.
No 1356 Amb/Sepoy Saw Tha Nyunt, B.H.C., with complete disregard to personal danger, immediately plunged into the whirlpool and saved his comrade from drowning.”
General W.J. Slim adds “Recommended for B.G.M. as action took place in forward area in proximity of enemy”.
Only approximately 100 Burma Gallantry Medals were awarded, nearly all for extraordinary feats of gallantry, this appears to be the only one to the Burma Hospital Corps, 77th Field Ambulance.
During the Burma campaign the 77th Field Ambulance, B.H.C. earned 7 Honours; 1 B.G.M., 2 M.B.E.s to Capt Roy Adams & 2nd Lt/Capt Mohan Pondicherry, 1 B.E.M. to S. Sgt Ivan Fisher, 2 R.R.C. 2nd Class to K.C. Fewkes & Mingan Naw Fairy.