Gurmukh Singh Saini

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Gurmukh Singh Saini (IOM, Cr St Geo), a Sikh soldier from the village Gadram Badi of Ropar in district Ambala of the province of Punjab in British India, won the Indian Order of Merit 1st Class in World War I for splendid courage on the battlefield on the night of 1 March 1916.[1] He was also awarded the Cross of St. George, being Imperial Russia's highest exclusively military award for gallantry in the face of enemy, it held the same value and honor as the British Victoria Cross, US Medal of Honor, or French Legion of Honor (and would be the equivalent of the Indian Param Vir Chakra). The order was awarded to officers and generals for special gallantry, such as, personally leading his troops in rout of a superior enemy force, or capturing a fortress, etc.[2] The Cross of St. George was an extension of the Order of St. George for non-commissioned officers (NCOs), and like it Cross of St. George was awarded in four classes and only for extreme bravery in face of the enemy.[3]

Award of the Indian Order of Merit: Lieutenant-Governor's Citation[edit]

Gurmukh Singh Saini won the 1st Class Indian Order of Merit for his gallantry during World War I. He held the rank of Jemadar. Sir Michael O'Dwyer, Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab in British India, read the following citation in his speech regarding Gurmukh Singh's 'splendid courage' and 'heroism' which won him the highest military honor for gallantry in the battlefield:[1]

"...the Sikhs have so far won all the 18 military honours awarded to men of the Ambala District during this war. I will give you here the names of three of those men who have earned fame by their heroism. Jemadar Gurmukh Singh, a Saini Sikh of Gadram Badi in Rupar, won the 1st Class Order of Merit and the 2nd Class Cross of the Russian Order of St. George for his splendid courage on the night of the 1st March 1916 when he advanced under the greatest difficulties, continually crawling forward and digging himself in..."

Gurmukh Singh Saini was different from the Sepoy Gurmukh Singh who died in the Battle of Saragarhi.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b War speeches, pp 127, Author: O'Dwyer, Michael Francis, (Sir) 1864-, Subject: World War, 1914-1918; World War, 1914-1918 -- Punjab, Publisher: Lahore Printed by the Superintendent Government Printing, Possible copyright status: NOT_IN_COPYRIGHT, Language: English, Call number: AHR-1431, Digitizing sponsor: MSN, Book contributor: Robarts - University of Toronto, Collection: toronto [1]
  2. ^ "The Order of St. George, Imperial Russia's highest exclusively military order, was instituted in 1769 and came to be considered among the most prestigious military awards in the world... The order was awarded to officers and generals for special gallantry, such as, personally leading his troops in rout of a superior enemy force, or capturing a fortress, etc. Before membership in the Order could be granted, a candidate's case had to be investigated by a council composed of Knights of the Order." Source: http://www.gwpda.org/medals/russmedl/russia.html
  3. ^ "The St. George Cross was an extension of the Order of St.George for non-commissioned officers (NCOs), and like it St. George Cross was awarded in four classes and only for extreme bravery in face of the enemy." World War I: Encyclopedia, pp 768, Spencer Tucker, Priscilla Mary Roberts , Contributor Spencer Tucker, Published by ABC-CLIO, 2005, ISBN 1-85109-420-2, ISBN 978-1-85109-420-2