A Tale of Two Victoria Crosses
Lt Gen Baljit Singh (Retd)
  • ISBN : 9788182748859
  • year : 2017
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This is the true story of the Victoria Cross moments of two subalterns, thirty years apart but ultimate in the scales of valour, in pitched combat. A British school lad sets his heart on the Indian Army, enters the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, strives hard, graduates ninth in the overall merit and by the end 1913 joined the battalion of his dreams, the 15th Ludhiana Sikhs at Loralai, in Baluchistan. Less than two years later in France (WW I), he would lead ten volunteers under withering German shelling and automatic fire and accomplish the mission. And in the course of about twenty five minutes, each of his ten comrades would be killed in action (KIA) and promptly awarded the Indian Distinguished Service Medal (Posthumous) and the Subaltern, the Victoria Cross. A quarter century later, the Government of India would put out hoardings in towns, urging citizens to enlist in the Indian Army for WW II. In the normal course, two Sikh lads walking to college check their stride on encountering the hoarding in Jullundur Town, both were mesmerised by the visage of the Subaltern from 15th Ludhiana Sikh, complete with his VC Medal, painted on the hoarding. The younger lad broke the silence with an emphatic declaration to enrol in the Army, with the intent to attain a Victoria Cross. Thirty years after the British subaltern