Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji

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"Good Maharaja's Square" in Warsaw, Poland, was named after Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji in recognition for his help to Polish refugees during the World War II

Lieutenant-General Maharaja Jam Sri Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji (18 September 1895 – 3 February 1966) was a British Indian Army officer and Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar from 1933 to 1947, succeeding his uncle, the famed cricketer Ranjitsinhji and he was the Chancellor of the Chamber of Princes (1933-1944).

Early life and military career[edit]

Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji was born at Sarodar on 18 September 1895, the third son of Maharaj Sri Jawansinhji Jivansinhji (10 November 1875 – 12 January 1942), who was the younger brother of the famed cricketer Maharaja K.S. Ranjitsinhji. He was educated at Rajkumar College, Rajkot, in Gujarat, then at Malvern College and University College London.

Commissioned a second lieutenant in the British Army in 1919, Digvijaysinhji enjoyed a military career for over two decades.[1] Attached to the 125th Rajput Infantry in 1920, he served with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, subsequently receiving a promotion to Lieutenant in 1921.[2] He then served with the Waziristan Field Force from 1922 to 1924; after a promotion to captain in 1929, he retired from the army in 1931.[3] However, he would continue to receive honorary promotions in the Indian Army until 1947, ending with the rank of lieutenant-general.

Two years later, Digvijaysinhji succeeded his uncle, who had adopted him as his heir. From 1939 until his demise, he was the longest serving President of Governing Council of The Rajkumar College, Rajkot.

Maharaja Jam Sahib[edit]

Upon the passing of his uncle, Digvijaysinhji became Maharaja Jam Sahib in 1933, continuing his uncle's policies of development and public service. Knighted in 1935, Sir Digvijaysinhji joined the Chamber of Princes, leading it as president from 1937 to 1944. Upholding the cricketing tradition of his uncle, he served as President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India in 1937–1938 and was a member of several prominent sporting clubs. He had previously played a single first-class match during the 1933–34 season, captaining Western India against the MCC during its tour of India and Ceylon.[4] He scored 0 and 6 in his two innings, in what was also the only first-class match played by his brother, Pratapsinhji.[5] During the Second World War, Sir Digvijaysinhji served on the Imperial War Cabinet and the National Defense Council, along with the Pacific War Council.

Taking the salute on visiting HMS Nelson in Scotland, September 1942

In 1942 he established Polish Children Camp in Jamnagar-Balachadi for refugee Polish children who were brought out of the USSR during World War II. It existed until 1945, when it was closed and the children were transferred to Valivade, a quarter of a city Kolhapur.[6][7][8] The camp site today is part of 300 acre campus of the Sainik School, Balachadi.[9] The Jamsaheb Digvijay Singh Jadeja School in Warsaw was established to honor this legacy.[10] [11]

A strong advocate of Indian independence (unlike most Indian rulers), Sir Digvijaysinhji was among the first rulers to sign the Instrument of Accession to the Dominion of India on 15 August 1947. He merged Nawanagar into the United State of Kathiawar the following year, serving as its Rajpramukh until the Government of India abolished the post in 1956.

Representative at International Organisations[edit]

Divijaysinhji represented India as a delegate at the first session of the League of Nations in 1920.[12] He was also the Deputy Leader of the Indian delegation to the UN, and chaired both the UN Administration Tribunal and the UN Negotiating Committee on Korean Rehabilitation following the Korean War.

Personal[edit]

On 7 March 1935 at Sirohi, Sir Digvijaysinhji married Maharajkumari Baiji Raj Shri Kanchan Kunverba Sahiba (1910–1994), second daughter of Maharajadhiraj Maharao Sri Sir Sarup Ram Singhji Bahadur, the Maharao of Sirohi. She took the name of Her Highness Deoriji Maharani Shri Gulab Kunverba Sahiba, and the couple had one son and three daughters.

Death[edit]

After a reign of 33 years, Sir Digvijaysinhji died in Bombay on 3 February 1966, aged 70. He was succeeded by his only son, Shatrusalyasinhji, who was a first-class cricketer for Saurashtra.

Titles[edit]

  • 1895–1913: Rajkumar Sri Digvijaysinhji Jawansinhji Jadeja
  • 1913–1919: Yuvaraja Sri Divijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji Jadeja
  • 1919–1921: 2nd Lieutenant Yuvaraja Sri Divijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji Jadeja
  • 1921–1929: Lieutenant Yuvaraja Sri Divijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji Jadeja
  • 1929–1933: Captain Yuvaraja Sri Divijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji Jadeja
  • 1933–1935: Captain His Highness Maharaja Jam Sri Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji Jadeja, Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar
  • 1935–1936: Captain His Highness Maharaja Jam Sri Sir Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji Jadeja, Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar, KCSI
  • 15 February-23 September 1936: Major His Highness Maharaja Jam Sri Sir Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji Jadeja, Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar, KCSI
  • 23 September 1936 – 1939: Lieutenant-Colonel His Highness Maharaja Jam Sri Sir Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji Jadeja, Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar, KCSI
  • 1939–1942: Lieutenant-Colonel His Highness Maharaja Jam Sri Sir Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji Jadeja, Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar, GCIE, KCSI
  • 1942–1947: Colonel His Highness Maharaja Jam Sri Sir Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji Jadeja, Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar, GCIE, KCSI
  • 1947–1966: Lieutenant-General His Highness Maharaja Jam Sri Sir Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji Jadeja, Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar, GCSI, GCIE

[13]

Honours[edit]

(ribbon bar, as it would look today)

Ord.Stella.India.jpg Order of the Indian Empire Ribbon.svg India General Service Medal 1909 BAR.svg India Service Medal BAR.svg

39-45 Star BAR.svg Africa Star BAR.svg Pacific Star BAR.svg War Medal 39-45 BAR.svg

GeorgeVSilverJubileum-ribbon.png GeorgeVICoronationRibbon.png Indian Independence medal 1947.svg 3rd class

Family tree[edit]


See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
K. S. Ranjitsinhji
Jam Sahib of Nawanagar
1933–1948
Succeeded by
Merged with India