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 £900

Estimate: £1,000 - £1,200

A Second World War Burma operations M.C. group of six awarded to Subedar Nagina Ram, 5th Battalion, 10th Baluch Regiment, who was decorated for his gallantry and leadership during the advance on, and capture of Mandalay Hill in 1945

Military Cross, G.VI.R., the reverse officially dated ‘1946’; India General Service 1908-35, 2 clasps, Mohmand 1933, North West Frontier 1935 (13349 Sep. Nagina Ram, 5-10 Baluch R.); 1939-45 Star; Burma Star; War Medal 1939-45; India Service Medal 1939-45, very fine and better (6) £1000-1200

Footnote

M.C. London Gazette 17 January 1946. The original recommendation states:

‘During the period under review (16 February-16 May 1945), the work, good influence and example of this V.C.O. has been of the very highest order.

The Company of which he is second-in-command has been singularly unlucky in having had very high casualties among Platoon Commanders and senior V.C.Os.

The Company has been heavily diluted by a class not normally enlisted and who were considered to be of inferior quality to the Dogra Brahmans.

The example and drive of this V.C.O. has maintained the morale of the Company at an extremely high pitch and has welded two opposite classes into one excellent fighting team.

On two occasions this officer has commanded the Company with distinction. On 6th March 1945, at Pinle-in during the move to Sabatha, this officer was in command of the advance guard Company. A party of 15 to 20 of the enemy, who had previously successfully ambushed an R.E. reconnaissance party, opposed the advance from relatively strong positions in Nalas, running across the line of march.

On three separate occasions this officer by his bold and resolute handling of his company evicted the enemy and allowed the advance to be carried out without any undue delay.

At Shwegyin, north-east of Mandalay, on 8 March 1945, this officer was in command of the Company ordered to relieve the forward company, after having suffered heavy casualties.

The nature of the country was such that deployment was difficult and entailed crossing flooded paddy fields in the full view and under fire of the enemy occupying the northern slopes of Mandalay Hill.

This officer carried out this operation with resolution and dash and remained in position until after dark covering the deployment of the Regiment which eventually occupied Mandalay Hill.

Throughout this officer has been by his example and devotion to duty an inspiration to all who work with him and is responsible for the very fine morale and fighting qualities of his Company.’

Nagina Ram, a Dogra Brahman from the Kangra district of the Punjab, enlisted in the Baluch Regiment in February 1931. As a young Sepoy in the 5th Battalion, he subsequently participated in the Mohmand operation in 1933 and 1935 (Medal & 2 clasps); the Battalion did not qualify for the India General Service Medal 1936-39.

Commissioned Jemadar in August 1941, and advanced to war substantive Subedar in September 1942, Nagina Ram served with the 5th Battalion for the duration of the war. He was awarded his M.C. for the advance on and capture of Mandalay Hill, in which period he was acting as second-in-command of ‘C’ Company; on several occasion he actually commanded the unit; sold with copied research.