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Statue of Sergeant Talaiasi Labalaba Unveiled in Fiji


Sgt Labalaba, who was born in 1942 in Fiji, was recruited into the British army in 1961 and quickly made his way into the SAS.  Known to his colleagues as a "gentle giant", he was part of a team of nine SAS soldiers based outside Mirbat.


On 19 July, 1972, a day before they were due to go home, they were attacked.

Knowing the unit was hopelessly outnumbered, Sgt Labalaba ran hundreds of yards to reach a 25-pounder artillery gun which is usually operated by four to six men.

He held out for two and a half hours against at least 250 fighters, repelling wave after wave of attacks. He was shot in the jaw and eventually died when a bullet passed through his neck.

Click on the image to read the full BBC News story