Dal Prasad, Corporal
(Portrait © Gurkha Voices Oral History Project)
Dal is the oldest veteran we interviewed and his age has been given to the interviewer as somewhere between 85 to 92 years old. His memories are sparse now but he remembered some stories about his childhood and more strongly his time in the Malaysian war. Dal was a machine gunner in the Malayan Emergency and Borneo Conflict and afterwards his role was that of Orderly Assistant to senior officers.
Operation in the jungle
Food rations during operations
Interview Extract 1 (based on interpreter's translation):
Yes I am living a good life now, but when I think of those times in the jungle I think we went through lots of hardship. Sleepless nights and torturous days all those years. We did not get to fight in a big war. It was always a Guerrilla War. Hide and seek. We always had to be wary of ambush setup by the enemy, set one ourselves. Always remain alert and ready whenever.
I was fortunate not to get caught up in an ambush, but many of my friends weren’t so fortunate. I saw many, some alive and some dead. We set up many ambush ourselves. Sometimes they fell for it sometimes nothing happened. It was war; all the bullets in the world were being fired at them. We were in the jungle a full month at a time, sometimes a week and at times just for a day. It varied. Food was air dropped when our rations finished. We used to sleep on the floor under a heap of fallen leaves.
Our veterans’ stories will be featured in an oral history book due to be published later this year. Our blog will keep you up to date on its progress: https://gurkhastories.wordpress.com/
Oral histories: © Gurkha Voices Oral History Project