Darwan Singh Negi
Darwan Singh Negi VC (November 1881 – 24 June 1950) was among the earliest Indian recipients of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry "in the face of the enemy" that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
He was approximately 33 years old, and a Naik in the 1st Battalion, 39th Garhwal Rifles, British Indian Army during the First World War when he performed the deeds for which he was awarded the VC. The citation reads:
His Majesty the KING-EMPEROR has been graciously pleased to approve of the grant of the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned soldier of the Indian Army for conspicuous bravery whilst serving with the Indian Army Corps, British Expeditionary Force: —
1909, Naik Darwan Sing [sic] Negi, 1st Battalion, 39th Garhwal Rifles.
For great gallantry on the night of the 23rd–24th November, near Festubert, France, when the regiment was engaged in retaking and clearing the enemy out of our trenches, and, although wounded in two places in the head, and also in the arm, being one of the first to push round each successive traverse, in the face of severe fire from bombs and rifles at the closest range.—London Gazette, 7 December 1914.
He was awarded the medal on the same day as Khudadad Khan VC; but the latter's VC action was of earlier date, so that he is regarded as the first Indian recipient.
He retired with the rank of subedar, the rank equivalent to a British lieutenant.
His Victoria Cross is held by his family.
- The London Gazette: . 7 December 1914. Retrieved 1 November 2014.