India General Service Medal 1908, GV, bar Abor 1911-12, 2907 Lance Naik Dhanpersad Rana, 1/8th Gurkha Rifles.
Officially engraved: “2907 Lce Naik Dhanpersad Rana 1/8 Gurkha Rifles”
“1st Battalion 8th Gurkha Rifles – On this Corps devolved most of the fighting and the very hard involving in escorting expedition parties. I cannot speak too highly of the manner in which it carried out its different duties. A better corps for Jungle Warfare would be hard to find.” – Despatches after the expedition.
Awarded for the treacherous expedition into the Abor Jungles to a member of the Gurkha Ghurkha Ghurka or Gorkha Rifles.
Angus Hamilton, who wrote the book on the expedition recounts the Majority Gurkha force which included the 1st Battallion 8th Gurkha Rifles equipped with Maxim Guns.
“Under these circumstances popular interest in the preparations which Major General Bower had in hand grew rapidly, and satisfaction was universally expressed at the fact that the bulk of the troops was to be drawn from the Gurkha Battalion of the Indian Army.
There was no special reason for this distinction beyond the fact that the Assam Brigade, which forms part of the 8th Division, is largely a Gurkha Force.
The Gurkha is the ‘Handy-Man’ of India, and Gurkha Sepoys are deservedly most popular figures with the ‘man in the street.’
Short and sturdy, they are as active as cats on the hills, and take to bush warfare instinctively; in fact as naturally as do the Yaos, who figure so prominently in the operations of every African Field Force.”
According to the Regimental History of the 1st Battalion 8th Gurkha Rifles, during the Abor Expedition of 1911-12 they had two loyal regimental dogs known as “Bab” and “Jumbo”, one day they “gave warning that the enemy were in the neighbourhood”.
There are some great digitised photos of the expedition and the men from the 1st 8th Gurkhas which were taken by DHR Gifford, 8th Gurkha Rifles and are held by the National Army Museum.