Victoria_Cross_of_canada

THE

 

TO THE VICTORIA & GEORGE CROSS

COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE

victoria_cross george cross scan0004

b. 16/12/1904 India. d. 18/12/1991 Mansurpur, India.

 

DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 02/05/1937 Meerut, India.

 

Barkat Singh (1904-1991) was born, presumably in India, on 16th December 1904, though little else is known about his early life and parentage. He enlisted with the Indian Army, and was posted to the 10th Battalion, 2nd Punjab Regiment, and held the rank of Naik (equivalent to a Corporal) by the time of the incident which saw him awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal.

 

On 2nd May 1937, in the Tofrek Lines, Meerut, India, when Sepoy Kanshi Ram, of the same unit as Barkat Singh, ran amok. He shot dead the guard commander and mortally wounded another sepoy of the guard, then went off with his rifle loaded and bayonet fixed, with additional rounds in his pouches and shouting "If any Hindu comes near me, I will shoot him." He pursued Subadar Gopi Ram with the intention of killing him. On temporarily losing sight of Ram, he stood undecided for a second, looking around for him, with his rifle at the high port, ready to shoot. While in this position he was grappled by Naik Barkat Singh, who was unarmed, and who showed great promptitude and courage in seizing the sepoy and pinioning his arms until others came to overpower him.

 

Barkat Singh’s actions were rewarded with the Empire Gallantry Medal of the Military Division in the New Year’s Honours List on 1st January 1938. He held the medal for less than two years, as following the creation of the George Cross, he was automatically able to exchange. Barkat Singh continued to serve in the Indian Army throughout the struggles surrounding independence for India in 1947, and into the 1950s. He rose to the rank of Jemadar (2nd Lieutenant) by the time of his retirement.

 

Following his retirement, he purchased a small farming property in the village of Mansurpur, India, where a road was later named after him. He remained in the village for the rest of his life, and regularly attended VC and GC Reunions in London. He died at his home in Mansurpur on 18th December 1991 (two days after his 87th birthday and he was cremated. His GC, 1953 QEII Coronation Medal, Indian Independence Medal 1947 and 1977 QEII Silver Jubilee Medal are proudly held in the family.

 

LOCATION OF MEDAL: PRIVATELY HELD.

BURIAL PLACE: CREMATED IN INDIA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barkat Singh EGM

barkat singh

“The KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the Award of the Medal of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire to the undermentioned : -

 

For Gallantry.

No. 12248 Naik Barkat Singh, l0th Battalion, 2nd Punjab Regiment, Indian Army.

 

On 2nd May, 1937, in the Tofrek lines, Meerut, after Sepoy Kanshi Ram of “ B ” Company, l0th Battalion, 2nd Punjab Regiment, had run amok at the Quarter Guard that morning and shot dead the Guard Commander and mortally wounded another sepoy of the Guard, he went off to the lines with his rifle loaded and bayonet fixed, with additional rounds in his pouches. He was shouting out " If any Hindu comes near me I will shoot him. " He pursued Subadar Gopi Ram with the intention of killing him. On temporarily losing sight of this Indian Officer he stood undecided for a second, looking round for him, with his rifle at the " High Port," ready to shoot. Whilst in this position he was grappled by Naik Barkat Singh who was an onlooker and unarmed, and who showed great prompti¬tude and courage in seizing Sepoy Kanshi Ram and pinioning his arms until others came and overpowered him.

 

When his rifle was taken away from Sepoy Kanshi Ram it was found to have one round in the chamber and three in the magazine, and the remainder of his pouch ammunition was in his pouches.

 

But for the prompt action of Naik Barkat Singh, further casualties would have occurred and that in all probability he saved the life of at least one other individual.”

1st January 1938 - Terry Hissey