Operations in Afghanistan

Rifleman Sachin Limbu dies in UK from wounds sustained in Afghanistan

It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Rifleman Sachin Limbu, from 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham on Monday 2 January 2012.

Ministry of Defence crest
Rifleman Sachin Limbu (All rights reserved.)
Rifleman Sachin Limbu (All rights reserved.)

He died from wounds sustained while serving in Afghanistan in June 2010.

Rifleman Sachin Limbu was a member of 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles (1 RGR). He deployed on Operation HERRICK 12 with B (Sari Bari) Company, 1st Battalion, The Royal Gurkha Rifles as a machine gunner.

He was involved in a number of operations to stabilise the area of Walizi Village, many of which involved intense, protracted and close-quarter combat in an area known to present a high risk from improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

On 24 June 2010 his multiple deployed on a patrol to Walizi as part of an operation to enable Local National Freedom of movement and deter insurgent activity in the area. As this multiple reached its objective, an area characterised by frequent insurgent attacks, Rifleman Sachin moved into a fire position to provide protection to his comrades and was caught in an explosion from a hidden IED.

He was evacuated to Selly Oak via Camp Bastion. Rifleman Sachin died on 2 January 2012, in the New Queen Elizabeth Hospital, surrounded by his family.

Rifleman Sachin Limbu

Rifleman Sachin Limbu, aged 23, was born on 3 October 1988 and came from Rajghat, Morang in Nepal. His father was a Gurkha Senior Non-Commissioned Officer and Rifleman Sachin was brought up in the life and community of 7th Gurkha Rifles and later 2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles in Hong Kong and Brunei.

He passed the rigorous selection for the Brigade of Gurkhas in 2007 and after the combat infantryman course in Catterick, joined 1RGR in Brunei where he conducted extensive jungle warfare training before moving with the battalion to the UK and undertaking training for deployment to Afghanistan.

My wife and I are immensely proud of our only beloved son who has sacrificed his life for the good of others. Mr Dillisher Limbu, Rifleman Sachin’s father

Mr Dillisher Limbu, Rifleman Sachin’s father and a retired Gurkha soldier, said:

My wife and I are immensely proud of our only beloved son who has sacrificed his life for the good of others. Sachin was our only son and we both extend our sincere thanks to all the staff at The New Queen Elizabeth hospital and Brigade of Gurkhas who have supported us all so closely.

Lieutenant Colonel David Robinson, Commanding Officer of 1 RGR, said:

Rifleman Sachin Limbu died in hospital with his parents at his bedside. Seventeen months earlier he had been terribly injured whilst on patrol in Helmand province.

Since that time he had shown remarkable tenacity to overcome these injuries and had been an absolute credit to his regiment and his country; he made us all extremely proud to call him a brother in arms.

Rifleman Sachin’s sacrifice has prevented him from fulfilling a rewarding career but his inspiring determination not to succumb to his injuries for so long was in the true spirit of those Gurkhas who have gone before him. He was highly cherished and loved by his fellow Gurkhas and left his mark on all those that had the honour to meet him. As the only son of a retired Gurkha this will have been devastating for his family; our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time.

Lieutenant Colonel Gez Strickland, Commanding Officer 1 RGR during Operation HERRICK 12, said:

Rifleman Sachin Limbu has touched many of our lives. On operations in Afghanistan he represented everything that is good about our Gurkha soldiers. He was diligent, supportive to his friends and committed to what he was doing. He had a firm place in his Company and was counted as one of a select few. Since his injury a year and a half ago, he was nothing short of inspirational.

I watched this young man deal with unimaginable pain and suffering, but all the time he maintained his strength and dignity. One of the proudest moments of my life was when he was presented his Afghan campaign service medal on his ward in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital last year, surrounded by his family, friends, and the wonderful staff there who cared for him so well.

Sachin had put on uniform for the first time since his injury. He was proud, and his smiling face touched us all. In hospital, he fought against incredible odds for a very long time with more courage than I have ever seen in another human being, helped at every step by his wonderful, loving parents. He was truly a special man.

Major Dyanprasad Rai, Gurkha Major 1 RGR, said:

Rifleman Sachin Limbu was courageous and highly capable soldier who was dedicated to his profession. He has always been sincere and devoted towards his responsibilities as a soldier, in the best tradition of the Gurkha soldier.

He was active in all that he did, thoughtful for those around him and incredibly loyal. His service within the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles will never be forgotten. He will be sadly missed. My thoughts and deepest sympathies are with his family and friends at this difficult time.

Major Kushiman Gurung, Gurkha Major 1 RGR during Operation HERRICK 12, said:

Riflemen Sachin Limbu was a true Gurkha soldier. He was loyal, determined, and enthusiastic and was always up for a challenge with a grin on his face. His cheerful attitude and determination made him an inspiring member amongst his fellow soldiers, who both admired and respected him.

He will be sorely missed by all who knew him but his sacrifice will not be forgotten. Rest in Peace, Sachin. Our thoughts and prayers are with his parents and close friends at this difficult time.

Major Charlie Crowe, Officer Commanding B Company 1 RGR during Operation HERRICK 12, said

Rifleman Sachin Limbu was, in many ways, a model Gurkha Rifleman; deeply committed, proud, fit, highly skilled at his profession, ever cheerful and always willing to muck in to help his friends. Before he was wounded in Afghanistan, he had seen frequent contact with the enemy and had proven himself a courageous fighter.

However, his true strength of character and bravery came to the fore after he suffered grievous injuries in an IED strike. Despite horrific and extensive wounds which left him bed-ridden and in constant severe pain he maintained a fierce will, not just to survive, but to break the boundaries of expectation and recover.

Over a year and a half his sheer force of character and gritty determination lead to a level of recovery which defied medical reason, all the while maintaining hope and a quiet, modest sense of humour.

Rifleman Sachin’s death is a desperate tragedy, especially after such a long and drawn out battle to survive which we all believed he was winning. He is sorely missed. He leaves behind him a legacy of exemplary bravery and courage which will remain an enduring inspiration to all of us.

In particular our thoughts and sympathies are with his parents and his cousin Chandra, who have been at his bedside for so long, giving him the love and support he needed to push on. ‘Bravest of the brave, never had a country more faithful friends than you’.

Captain Liljung Gurng, Second-in-Command B Company, 1 RGR, said:

Rifleman Sachin Limbu was an outstanding young soldier. He set the example for his comrades to follow. Rifleman Sachin had a bright future ahead of him, his dedication and his ability to focus and apply his efforts in even the most difficult situation marked him out above his peers.

Rifleman Sachin died putting his own life in danger to provide protection for others. His death is an enormous loss to us all. May his soul Rest in Peace. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and the friends he leaves behind.

Lieutenant Guy Norton, Rifleman Sachin’s Platoon Commander, said:

Rifleman Sachin was a real asset to the Platoon. He was aware of the dangers of his job and he had been under relentless contact in the days prior to the incident and yet was stoic and reliable as always and continued in his duties regardless of the personal risk.

That Rifleman Sachin survived to be evacuated out of theatre was remarkable enough. That he fought for more than 18 months with such injuries is testament to his spirit, strength of character and immense courage. I visited him a number of times whilst he was in hospital, and was astonished at his fortitude and the characteristic dignity with which he endured his injuries.

Rifleman Sachin was a Gurkha Rifleman in the truest sense. Though he was a modest and mild-mannered young man, his qualities shone through; he was remarkable for his quiet but dignified presence. Above all, he was a gentleman: good natured, willing and brave.

Rifleman Sachin will always be remembered. Our thoughts are with his parents.

Corporal Nishan Gurung, Rifleman Sachin’s Section Commander, said:

When I think of Sachin now, he was a very positive character, he never tried to turn down a task, he never complained. His performance in field and barracks were consistently good. He was the kind of soldier who could be trusted with no second thought.

He was a true Gurkha soldier in his respect to his superior and love for his fellow soldiers, he showed a true example of soldiering and the whole platoon is going to miss him. See you on the other side mate. Rest in Peace. We are thinking about your family all the time.

Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammond said:

I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Rifleman Sachin Limbu. His colleagues speak of him as a committed, supportive friend, and as a tenacious, professional soldier. My thoughts are with the family of Rifleman Sachin Limbu and his friends in 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles.

Published 4 January 2012