A Collection of Gallantry Awards to the Indian Army for the Burma Campaign 1944-45

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Date of Auction: 22nd July 2016

Sold for £420

Estimate: £300 - £360

A Second World War Burma operations M.B.E. group of six awarded to Subedar & Hon. Lieutenant Kanshi Ram, Bahadur, 1st Battalion, 17th Dogra Regiment, who was decorated and mentioned in despatches for his leadership in the Arakan and Imphal, to which distinctions he later added the 2nd Class of the Order of British India

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, M.B.E. (Military Division) Member’s 2nd type breast badge, silver; India General Service 1908-35, 1 clasp, Burma 1930-32 (4236 Nk. Khanshi Ram, 1-17 Dogra R.); India General Service 1936-39, 2 clasps, North West Frontier 1936-37, North West Frontier 1937-39 (Jemdr. Kanshi Ram, 1-17 Dogra R.); 1939-45 Star; Burma Star; War Medal 1939-45, M.I.D. oak leaf; India Service Medal 1939-45, generally good very fine (7) £300-360

Footnote

M.B.E. London Gazette 28 June 1945. The original recommendation states:

‘Sub. Major Kanshi Ram has been holding the appointment of Subadar-Major of this battalion since May 1942, when the Battalion entered East Bengal with the 14th Indian Division. Since then he has been with the Battalion throughout the first and second Arakan campaigns and, since mid-March 1944, in the Imphal Plain when the Battalion flew into Imphal with the 5th Indian Division, up to date. Throughout this period the Battalion has been engaged in hard and sustained fighting under the most difficult and trying conditions, and has emerged with a fighting record and reputation second to none; also during this period two successive commanders have been appointed to Brigade Commands.

The part played by Subadar-Major Kanshi Ram in these successes cannot be either too strongly stressed or over emphasised. By his untiring endeavour, his tact and his sense of duty and discipline, he has throughout instilled in all ranks a spirit that has ensured that the Battalion has at all times been not only a happy and contented one but the first class fighting team that it has proved itself to be.’

Kanshi Ram was a Bhawal from the village of Brog in the Kangra district. Attesting for the 17th Dogra Regiment in June 1926, he witnessed active service in the 1st Battalion in the Burma operations of 1932 (Medal & clasp) and, having been appointed Jemadar in May 1936, on the North-West Frontier in the late 1930s (Medal & 2 clasps).

Advanced to Subadar in July 1940 and to the war substantive rank of Subadar-Major in February 1943, he remained similarly employed in the 1st Battalion throughout the Burma campaign 1944-45, and was awarded the M.B.E. and mentioned in despatches (
London Gazette 9 May 1946); so, too, the Order of British India (O.B.I.), 2nd Class.