Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Victoria Cross: John Duncan Grant

John Duncan Grant was born in Roorkee, India. In 1904 he was a lieutenant in the 8th Gurkha Rifles of the British Indian Army. On July 6 he was a par t of the Armed Mission to Tibet he led a storming party up the nearly vertical face of the Gyantse Fortress. There was almost no cover and the defenders were hurling stones down onto the soldiers. Only one man could attempt the assent at a time and they were forced to crawl on their hands and knees. Despite being wounded, Grant and a Halvidar (Sergeant) finally reached the top, but were forced to retreat. Later they breached the defensive curtain while being covered by rifle fire from the rest of the squad.

Grant had a long and distinguished military career, retiring at the rank of Colonel.. He received the Distinguished Service Order and was made a Companion of the Bath.

Just look at this place. Can you imagine trying to get to the top when people inside were trying to prevent it? A rock the size of an apple would be as deadly as a rifle bullet from up there. And I am willing to bet they had a lot of rocks.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know the history like you do, but were the Tibetans ever combatants, or were the Brits merely interested in owning the fortress ?