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 £500

Estimate: £600 - £800

A Second World War Burma operations M.M. group of five awarded to Naik Vakil Singh, 9th Battalion, 12th Frontier Field Force, who won an immediate award for his gallantry in attacking an enemy held village in Assam in May 1944

Military Medal, G.VI.R. (12600 Naik Vakil Singh, 1 F.F. I.A.), officially impressed naming; 1939-45 Star; Burma Star; Defence and War Medals 1939-45, M.I.D. oak leaf, minor contact wear, very fine and better (5) £600-800


M.M. London Gazette 16 November 1944. The original recommendation - for an immediate M.M. - states:

‘This Non-Commissioned Officer was a section commander of the right forward platoon in a company attack at first light on an enemy defended village. The Platoon suffered very heavy casualties from enemy medium machine-gun fire and only this N.C.O. and seven men were left on reaching the objective. They were strongly counter-attacked by superior enemy forces, but held onto their position though completely separated from the rest of the Company and, killing a number of the enemy, forced them to retire.

He was engaged by the enemy throughout the day, but although without food and water and short of ammunition, continued to protect the Company’s right flank and at the same time succeeded in evacuating all the Platoon wounded under fire, as well as three more of his own section who had become casualties.

This N.C.O’s marked gallantry, determination and personal example undoubtedly prevented the enemy from counter-attacking the rest of his company who were pinned down by fire and therefore unsuitably disposed to resist an attack from this direction.’

Vakil Singh was a Dogra Rajput from Palatan in Jammu district. He won his M.M. in what became known as the second battle of Bishenpur; the immediate award was approved at Brigade and Divisional level but reduced to a Gallantry Certificate at Corps level, an error of judgement promptly reversed by the Army Commander. Vakil Singh was also mentioned in despatches for his gallantry in Burma (London Gazette 8 January 1946, refers).