b. 05/12/1916 Hyderabad, India. d. 29/10/1943 Sham Shui Po Prison, Hong Kong.
DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 19-29/10/1943 Stanley Jail, Hong Kong.
Mateen Ahmed Ansari (1915-1943) was born in December 1916 in Hyderabad, in the Deccan district of India, the second son of Begum H. A. Ansari, who was Registrar of Osmania University. Having survived bubonic plague and cholera as a child, Mateen went on to train at the military school of Dehra, near Delhi.
He then went to England and received the King's Commission at Sandhurst. He then joined the 5th Battalion of the 7th Rajput Regiment of the Indian Army just prior to the outbreak of WWII.
When the Japanese invaded Hong Kong in December 1941, he became a prisoner of war. At first he was treated reasonably well, but as he was closely related to the ruler of a great Indian state his captors tried to persuade him to renounce his allegiance to the British and help to spread subversion among the Indian ranks. He continued to counteract these actions with supporting his comrades. He was thrown into Stanley Gaol after warnings and beatings had produced no effect, where he remained until September 1942, by which time, owing to starvation and brutal treatment, which is alleged to have included mutilations, he was unable to walk. After a short hospital stay, he returned to the jail and began helping escape attempts. In May 1943, he was betrayed and thrown back into Stanley Gaol, where he was starved and brutally tortured for several months. He was finally tried and beheaded on 29th October 1943. He was buried in Stanley Military Cemetery in Hong Kong in a collective grave.
Mateen’s gallantry was recognised following the end of the war, when alongside two other men who had suffered under the hands of the Japanese in Hong Kong – Lanceray Newnham and Douglas Ford – he was awarded the George Cross on 18th April 1946. His posthumous GC was presented to his sister by Lord Wavell, the Viceroy of India. His GC and other medals are now held by the Pakistan Army Museum, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: PAKISTAN ARMY MUSEUM, RAWALPINDI, PAKISTAN.
BURIAL PLACE: STANLEY MILITARY CEMETERY, HONG KONG.
COLLECTIVE GRAVE 1.
Cemetery Plan courtesy of Kevin Brazier