Michael Allmand was born on 22 August 1923, elder son of Arthur John Allmand MC, Professor of Chemistry at King’s College London, of 5 North Square, Hendon and his wife Marguerite Marie (née Malicorne). Educated at Ampleforth College and Oriel College, Oxford, where he studied History, Allmand initially enlisted as a private soldier before obtaining an emergency commission in the Indian Army on 4 April 1943 and subsequently being commissioned into The 6th Duke of Connaught’s Own Lancers. He volunteered for service with the Chindits and was attached to the 3rd Battalion, 6th Gurkha Rifles for Operation Thursday.
Supplement to The London Gazette of Tuesday, the 24th of October, 1944
War Office, 26th October, 1944
The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the posthumous award of the VICTORIA CROSS to:
Lieutenant (acting Captain) Michael Allmand (E.C. 8188), Indian Armoured Corps (attd. 6th Gurkha Rifles)
Captain Allmand was commanding the leading platoon of a Company of the 6th Gurkha Rifles in Burma on 11th June, 1944, when the Battalion was ordered to attack the Pin Hmi Road Bridge.
The enemy had already succeeded in holding up our advance at this point for twenty-four hours. The approach to the Bridge was very narrow as the road was banked up and the low-lying land on either side was swampy and densely covered in jungle. The Japanese who were dug in along the banks of the road and in the jungle with machine-guns and small arms, were putting up the most desperate resistance.
As the platoon come within twenty yards of the bridge, the enemy opened heavy and accurate fire, inflicting severe casualties and forcing the men to seek cover. Captain Allmand, however, with the utmost gallantry charged on by himself, hurling grenades into the enemy gun positions and killing three Japanese himself with his kukri.
Inspired by the splendid example of their platoon commander the surviving men followed him and captured their objective.
Two days later Captain Allmand, owing to casualties among officers, took over command of the Company and, dashing thirty yards ahead of it through long grass and marshy ground, swept by machine-gun fire, personally killed a number of enemy machine-gunners and successfully led his men onto the ridge of high ground that they had been ordered to seize.
Once again on June 23rd in the final attack on the Railway Bridge at Mogaung, Captain Allmand, although suffering from trench-foot, which made it difficult for him to walk, moved forward alone through deep mud and shell-holes and charged a Japanese machine-gun nest, but he was mortally wounded and died shortly afterwards.
The superb gallantry, outstanding leadership and protracted heroism of this very brave officer were a wonderful example to the whole Battalion and in the highest traditions of his regiment.
Michael Allmand is buried in Taukkyan War Cemetery, Yangon, Myanmar. The John Bunting War Memorial Chapel, Scotch Corner – above Oldstead, between Kilburn and Ampleforth College – was restored in his memory and that of other Old Amplefordians who had lost their lives in military service. A window in St Edward the Confessor Catholic Church in Golders Green is also dedicated to his memory. The Michael Allmand Trophy is awarded annually to the top cadet in Ampleforth College CCF while his portrait is displayed in the College Library.