You do not need an Army uniform to serve the nation || Stories of 2 civilians that were awarded the MVC

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Their tales of courage are as old as our nation itself. They demonstrated devotion beyond the call of duty and courage unequaled by any of the uniformed personnel. In this article, we are going to have a look at the stories of 2 civilians during the Indo-Pak war of 1947 who showed that anyone can show exemplary courage when it is needed for the nation.

Ram Chander

  • He was born in 1921 in Kot Kishan Chand, Jalandhar, Punjab.
  • He joined the 14 Field Company Engineers of the Madras Engineering Group of the Indian Army in May 1947 as a civilian washerman.
  • He was part of a convoy proceeding to Jammu under the command of Lt F D W Fallon on 18 December 1947. The convoy was ambushed by the enemy on their way. 
  • He helped the convoy commander replace the decking while the bridge was under continuous fire. 
  • When Lt. Fallon got wounded, he took his rifle and inflicted five to six casualties on the enemy. 
  • He later helped Lt Fallon to get to the nearest post which was 13km away.
  • On 18 December 1947, he was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra.
  • He was promised 10 acres of land by the Punjab government but till date his family has never received the promised land.
  • He died in 1998.
  • His widow wife receives just ₹5000 as pension which is the standard financial assistance given to MVC awardees. 

Official Maha Vir Chakra Citation

Gazette Notification: -

Operation: 1947 Indo Pak Kashmir War
Date of Award: 18 Dec 1947

Civilian Dhobi Ramachander was part of a convoy proceeding to Jammu under the command of Lieutenant F.D. W. Fallon on 18 December 1947. When the convoy reached Bhambla, it was ambushed by the enemy who had created a roadblock by removing the decking on a bridge. Dhobi Ramachander helped the convoy commander to replace the decking while the bridge was under continuous fire. On Lieutenant Fallon being wounded, he took the officer's rifle and helped in holding the enemy He provided covering fire to Lieutenant Fallon's vehicle when it got over the bridge and was responsible for inflicting five to six casualties on the enemy.

However the convoy commander was forced to abandon his vehicle due to heavy enemy firing and in the process both he and the convoy commander got separated from the rest of the convoy. He helped Lieutenant. Fallon, who was in a state of collapse due to loss of blood, to the nearest post which was eight miles away. He refused to leave him and acted as an advance scout to see that the way was clear. 

His devotion to the officer was far beyond the call of duty. His coolness and courage under fire were unequalled by any of the enrolled personnel in the convoy.

Mohammed Ismail

  • He joined the 1 Patiala (RS) Infantry unit as a civilian porter.
  • He saved the lives of wounded soldiers by exposing himself to enemy fire.
  • He also volunteered to serve as a direction guide to the 3 Jat unit during one of their operations. He was captured by the enemy as a prisoner.
  • He received the Maha Vir Chakra on 23 June 1948 for his contributions to the nation.

Official Maha Vir Chakra citation

Operation: 1947 Indo Pak Kashmir War
Date of Award: 23 Jun 1948

On 23 June 1948, in the Zojila Pass Area in Jammu and Kashmir, a reconnaissance patrol was ambushed and a man was severely wounded. He rolled down the side of the hill, and was unable to get back to the picquet. All attempts by the section to recover the wounded man failed as the enemy had covered the area with fire. Ismail, who was a civilian labourer, volunteered to bring in the wounded man single-handed. He displayed outstanding skill in negotiating the almost impassable snow-covered slopes swept by MMG fire. By superb physical effort he got the wounded man, bundled him up in his blanket and brought him to safety. Again on 14 September 1948, at Zojila Pass during an attack by 3 Jat, Ismail volunteered to accompany that unit as a guide. Advancing with the leading scouts in spite of close and continuous fire he guided the troops and it was only when a hidden MMG had wiped out the leading line that he fell into enemy hands and became a prisoner. On both occasions, Ismail displayed bravery, devotion to duty and disregard for personal safety.  



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The Radical: You do not need an Army uniform to serve the nation || Stories of 2 civilians that were awarded the MVC
You do not need an Army uniform to serve the nation || Stories of 2 civilians that were awarded the MVC
The Radical
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