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 £800

Estimate: £600 - £800

A Second World War Burma operations M.M. group of seven awarded to Havildar Golaba Ram, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Punjab Regiment, who won an immediate award for his gallantry in facing off a protracted attack in May 1945, nine dead Japanese being found in front of his position at daybreak: he had earlier participated in the Eritrean campaign in 1941, in which he was wounded in the action at Gogni

Military Medal, G.VI.R. (10741 Hav. Golaba Ram, Punjab R.); 1939-45 Star; Africa Star; Burma Star; Defence and War Medals 1939-45; General Service 1918-62, 1 clasp, S.E. Asia 1945-46 (10741 Hav. Gulaba, 3-2 Punjab R), generally good very fine (7) £600-800

Footnote

M.M. London Gazette 20 September 1945. The original recommendation - for an immediate award - states:

‘On the night of 6-7 May 1945, at Abya, Havildar Golaba Ram’s company was heavily attacked by a large party of Japanese supported by medium machine-guns and other automatic weapons for a period of three to four hours.

The attack was entirely against the front of one platoon, of which this N.C.O. was the Platoon Havildar, and shortly after the beginning of the action, the Subedar commanding it was killed. Havildar Golaba Ram at once took control of the Platoon, which was then being hard pressed and, in spite of heavy enemy fire from close range, went to his foremost sections steadying them and cooly directing their fire. Later in the action, finding his platoon reduced by casualties, he himself went to and fro to his sections regardless of the fire, keeping them supplied with ammunition and taking his place in the line wherever the threat was greatest. The attack was beaten off and at daybreak 13 bodies were recovered from the Platoon’s front.

This N.C.O’s courage under heavy fire and coolness in an emergency were a steadying example to his men at a critical time and contributed to his company’s success in the action.’

Golaba Ram was a Dogra Jat from Kangar village in Balaspur State. Prior to his M.M.-winning exploits in Burma, he saw action as a Sepoy in the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Punjab Regiment in Eritrea, and was wounded in his unit’s action, at Gocni, on 26 January 1941; so, too, in operations in South-East Asia 1945-46; sold with copied research.