Indian Order of Merit
2nd Punjab Regiment
Ops Against TONGZANG
On 14th September 1944 at the commencement of the operations against TONGZANG, Sub Pritham Singh’s platoon was ordered to advance along the Gelmual Lungtak track with the object of sizing the enemy held village of Longtak. Battalion HQ and the remainder of his company were immediately behind this platoon. Another company had been sent ahead by a different route to secure the advance along the main track and the Subedar’s orders were to move forward as quickly as possible. As the platoon neared its objective they were compelled to move along an open stretch of track dominated on both sides by the steep rise and by the saddle in front, where the nature of the country made deployment impossible.
When the whole column had moved on to this open stretch heavy fire was opened from all sides by enemy automatics, gran dischargers and rifles and the leading sec was practically wiped out. Casualties were also sustained by Tac HQ including the CO who was wounded.
Sub Pritham Singh, although wounded himself realising that the safety of all depended on his actions, dashed forward and seizing a Bren Gun led the remainder of his platoon forward against withering fire at point blank range. Even when knocked down by a burst of automatic fire in the shoulder and chest he continued to encourage his men by shouting directions until killed.
He was finally killed by more automatic fire.
This VCO’s great presence of mind and undaunted bravery in drawing all the fire on himself enabled Battalion HQ and the remainder of his company to make an orderly withdrawal from a very difficult situation and undoubtedly saved the lives of his wounded Commanding Officer and many other casualties whose situation would have otherwise been extremely difficult, if not impossible.
The magnificent example of selfless devotion to duty on the part of this very gallant VCO in circumstances where he knew full well that his chances of survival were almost non-existent has proved an inspiring example to all ranks and a worthy addition to the traditions of his class.
London Gazette Supplement
22nd March 1945
14th September 1944
Son of Jaimal Singh and Thakri.
Hhusband of Dhan Kaur, of Bagwain, Hoshiarpur, India