Last Indian Victoria Cross winner dies

Umrao Singh  

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The last of the surviving Indian Victoria Cross winners, Umrao Singh, passed away at the Army Research and Referral hospital here on Monday after a prolonged illness.

Subedar Major and Honorary Captain Singh (85), from Jhajjar in Rohtak, Haryana, won the Victoria Cross, the highest award for bravery under British India, for repulsing four Japanese attacks on his advanced battery position in the Kaladhan valley in Burma, on the night of December 15-16, 1944.

He killed several Japanese soldiers before being grievously wounded. Six hours later, on a counter attack, Allied forces found him at the site of his gun, injured beyond recognition. Around him lay 10 dead Japanese soldiers. Subedar Major Singh was the last survivor among 40 Victoria Cross winners in the Indian Army known for their feats in the First and Second World Wars.

The funeral will take place in his native village on Tuesday with full military honours.