Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (18 & 19 September 2014)

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Date of Auction: 18th & 19th September 2014

Sold for £1,100

Estimate: £600 - £800

A fine Second World War Burma operations I.D.S.M. group of five awarded to Lance-Naik Mohammed Khan, 5-8 Punjab Regiment, who journeyed behind enemy lines on four occasions to obtain valuable intelligence - ‘on two successive days this N.C.O. actually mingled with large parties of Japanese soldiers and Maughs in an enemy occupied village’: he subsequently added the M.C. to his accolades as a Jemadar

Indian Distinguished Service Medal, G.VI.R. (16162 L. Nk. Mohammed Khan, 5-8 Punjab R.), officially impressed naming; 1939-45 Star; Burma Star; War Medal 1939-45; India Service Medal 1939-45, the first somewhat polished, otherwise nearly very fine (5) £600-800

Footnote

I.D.S.M. London Gazette 16 December 1943. The original recommendation states:

‘On four separate occasions, twice at Sangan Chaung during December 1942, and on 28 and 29 March 1943 at Atet Nanra, this N.C.O. has voluntarily moved into enemy territory unarmed and disguised as a local villager. On the first two occasions he proceeded alone and on the last two he was accompanied by a local Mohammadan whose credentials could not be verified and who, therefore, could not be considered as completely trustworthy.

In every case, information of the most valuable nature was obtained and on two successive days this N.C.O. actually mingled with large parties of Japanese soldiers and Maughs in an enemy occupied village.

Had this N.C.O’s identity been revealed by the Bengali villager who accompanied him or had his appearance revealed his identity to the Maughs (he is a P.M.), he would undoubtedly have been shot as a spy. He did not understand the local language, Bengali, and had a Maugh spoken to him his identity must have been immediately revealed.

Fully realising the possible consequences this N.C.O. volunteered to go out and perform these difficult tasks repeatedly. I consider that Lance-Naik Mohd Khan has displayed courage of a high order. The initiative displayed by this junior N.C.O. was far in advance of that expected of one of his rank and the task undertaken one very much outside the normal duty role. I strongly recommend him for the I.D.S.M.’

Mohammed Khan was from Gagoo, Pak Pattan, in the Punjab. His subsequent award of the M.C. was in respect of services as a Jemadar in Malaya (
London Gazette 25 September 1947, refers).