Gabar Singh Negi
|Gabbar Singh Negi|
|Born||21 April 1895
Chamba, Tehri Garhwal district, Uttarakhand India
|Died||10 March 1915
Neuve Chapelle, France
|Service/branch||British Indian Army|
|Years of service||-1915 †|
|Unit||39th Garhwal Rifles|
|Battles/wars||First World War|
Gabbar Singh Negi VC (21 April 1895 – 10 March 1915) was a soldier in the British Indian Army during World War I and a recipient 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.
Gabar Singh Negi was born at Manjood village near Chamba, Tehri Garhwal district, Uttarakhand India. He joined The Garhwal Rifles in October 1913. On 10 March 1915, during the First World War, he was 19 years old and a Rifleman in the 2/39th Garhwal Rifles, Indian Army, when he performed the deeds at Neuve Chapelle, France which led to his being awarded the Victoria Cross.
The citation reads:
His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the grant of the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned man for his conspicuous acts of bravery and devotion to duty whilst serving with the Expeditionary Force: —
No. 1685 Rifleman Gabar Sing [sic] Negi, 2nd Battalion, 39th Garhwal Rifles.
For most conspicuous bravery on 10th March, 1915, at Neuve Chapelle.
During our attack on the German position he was one of a bayonet party with bombs who entered their main trench, and was the first man to go round each traverse, driving back the enemy until they were eventually forced to surrender.
He was killed during this engagement.— London Gazette, 28 April 1915.
The Gabar Singh Negi Fair is held annually in his memory in Chamba. In 1971, the Garhwal Rifles adopted the Fair, to give it a much-needed boost. A memorial was constructed; and with the inclusion of army traditions in the ceremonies, the Fair started attracting villagers from far and near to pay their homage to this brave soldier. Every year, on 20 or 21 April (depending on the Hindu calendar), the area around the Negi Memorial in Chamba comes alive with many kiosks being set up. This is the only fair of its kind in the state. The other feature of the fair is the recruitment rally conducted by the Garhwal Rifles Regimental Centre. "The villagers, specially the youths, attend this fair because of the recruitment rally," states Kunwar Prasoon, writer.
- The London Gazette: . 28 April 1915. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
- "Gabar Singh Negi, 21st April, 1895 – 10th March, 1915". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Archived from the original on 21 November 2015. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
- Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
- The Register of the Victoria Cross (This England, 1997)
- VCs of the First World War - The Western Front 1915 (Peter F. Batchelor & Christopher Matson, 1999)
- Alastair Lawson (22 December 2015). "Three generations united by the hell of war". BBC News. Retrieved 22 December 2015.