Major Kit Maunsell, Gurkha officer who fought the enemy up close during the Indonesian confrontation – obituary
The enemy is now fully alerted and Maunsell’s force is automatically fired from the top of the hill and the flanks. During this exchange of gunfire, a rifleman was killed and another injured. Maunsell, shouting to cover the fire, crawled forward and dragged the injured behind the ridge.
This act of great bravery inspired the company, and in an intense hour-long clearing battle, the enemy position was taken.
The position was then to be maintained until the company’s losses, three dead and two wounded, had been evacuated. During this time, they repelled three counterattacks before the Indonesians began to retaliate vigorously from a nearby position. With artillery support, Maunsell held the hill until he received confirmation by radio that all of his victims were safe.
Twenty-four enemies were killed on the position. The quote for MC de Maunsell said his courage and disregard for danger, facing heavy enemy fire at a distance never exceeding a few yards, was the deciding factor in a most remarkable and successful feat of arms .
Lance Corporal Rambahadur Limbu received the Victoria Cross for his role in the action. Lieutenant Ranjit Rai, Officer of the Queen’s Gurkha, and Lieutenant Doug Fox, Royal Artillery, were also awarded MCs.
Christopher Ernest Maunsell was born in Peshawar, then in India, now in Pakistan, on October 6, 1939. His father served in the Indian political service.
Still known as Kit, he was educated at Cheltenham College, where he played for 1st XV rugby. He went to Sandhurst and in 1959 was commissioned in 10 GR. After a posting to the 2nd Battalion in Hong Kong, followed by a move to Blakang Mati, an island off the coast of Singapore, he was attached to HQ 99 Gurkha Infantry Brigade as a liaison officer.