Subedar Richhapal Ram Lamba

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Richhpal Ram Lamba

Subedar Richhapal Ram Lamba (August 20, 1899 - February 12, 1941) was twice the winner of prestigious Victoria Cross award, which is a record of bravery unparallel in Indian Army, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. Richhpal Ram came from Barda in Haryana, serving as a Subedar in the 6th Rajputana Rifles. He was awarded a posthumous VC for the following outstanding acts of courage at Keren, Eritrea. Keren was the scene of the most decisive battle of the war in East Africa in February and March 1941.

His family

He was from village Barda tehsil Satnali district Bhiwani in Haryana. He was son of Mohar Singh Lamba. Enrolled: 20 August 1920 in 4/6th Rajputana Rifles.

Ram Swarup Joon writes

Subedar Richhpal Ram belonged to village Dalanwas in district Mahendragarh in Haryana.

Subedar Richhpal Ram was from 4/6 Rajputana Rifles. From 7th Feb. to 12 Feb. 1941 he displayed consistent bravery on Karen front in Italy. He was company second-in-command. In an attack on the night of 7 Fe. on his own request he went with the leading platoon. With 30 men he assaulted the enemy position. He himself went for the Machine Gun position, killed the gunners and snatched the Machine Gun. The company Commander was wounded and Richhpal Ram took over command. From 12 O'clock to 4.30 p.m. he warded off six attacks. On 12 Feb. his company again attacked. One of his legs was blown off but he kept advancing and urging his men till he died of excessive bleeding. For his gallant services, he was awarded Victoria Cross posthumously.[1]

Details

Award Certificate-1 Richpal Ram Lamba.jpg
200PX

He was 41 years old, and a Subedar in the 6th Rajputana Rifles, Indian Army during the Second World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 7 February 1941 at Keren, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Subadar Richhpal Ram Lamba led a successful attack on the enemy and subsequently repelled six counter-attacks and then, without a shot left, brought the few survivors of his company back. Five days later, when leading another attack, his right foot was blown off, but he continued to encourage his men until he died.

""During the assault on enemy positions on the night of 7th-8th February, 1941, Subadar Richpal Ram, who was second-in-command of a leading company, insisted on accompanying the forward platoon and led its attack on the first objective with great dash and gallantry.His company commander being then wounded, he assumed command of the company, and led the attack of the remaining two platoons to the final objective. In face of heavy fire, some thirty men with this officer at their head rushed the objective with the bayonet and captured it. The party was completely isolated, but under the inspiring leadership of Subadar Richpal Ram, it beat back six enemy counter-attacks between midnight and 0430 hours. By now, ammunition had run out, and this officer extricated his command and fought his way back to his battalion with a handful of survivors through the surrounding enemy.
Again, in the attack on the same position on 12th February, this officer led the attack of his company. He pressed on fearlessly and determinedly in the face of heavy and accurate fire, and by his personal example inspired his company with his resolute spirit until his right foot was blown off. He then suffered further wounds from which he died. While lying wounded he continued to wave his men on, and his final words were, "We'll capture the objective." The heroism, determination and devotion to duty shown by this officer were beyond praise, and provided an inspiration to all who saw him." " [2]
Richhapal Ram is commemorated on the Keren Cremation Memorial

.

Citation

Victoria Cross

Subedar Richhpal Ram Lamba of the 4th Battalion of the 6th Rajputana Rifles won his Victoria Cross posthumously for gallantry in action in fighting in Eritrea on February 6, 7, 8, and 11 in 1941.

His widow was presented with the V.C., in New Delhi, on 10 November 1941, by the Viceroy, Lord Linlithgow.

The Medal

The Victoria Cross Medal is displayed in Delhi Cantonment Raj Rifles Officer Mess (Museum).

सूबेदार रिछपालराम विक्टोरिया क्रास (मरणोपरान्त)

दलीप सिंह अहलावत[3] लिखते हैं -

बारड़ा (डालनवास) गांव के सूबेदार रिछपालराम लाम्बा ने द्वितीय विश्वयुद्ध के समय महान् शूरवीरता प्रदर्शित करते हुए वीरगति प्राप्त की। इनकी वीरता से प्रसन्न होकर ब्रिटिश सरकार ने इनको विक्टोरिया क्रास (वीरता का सर्वोच्च पद) प्रदान किया। इसका संक्षिप्त वर्णन निम्नलिखित है -


आपका जन्म 26 अगस्त 1899 ई० को जि० महेन्द्रगढ़ (हरयाणा) के गांव बारड़ा (डालनवास) में हुआ। आपके पिता चौ० मोहरसिंह थे। आप 26 अगस्त 1920 ई० को सेना की राजपूताना राईफल नामक पलटन में भरती हुये। द्वितीय विश्वयुद्ध के समय आप अपनी पलटन के साथ लीबिया पहुंच गये। उस समय आपका पद सूबेदार था। लीबिया में तोब्रुक क्षेत्र के केरेन (Keren) मोर्चे पर जर्मन शत्रु सेना का भारी जमाव था। 7 फरवरी 1941 ई० को आपकी कम्पनी को इस केरेन के मोर्चे पर आक्रमण करने का आदेश मिला। आपने अपनी कम्पनी सहित 7 फरवरी की रात को शत्रु पर आक्रमण कर दिया। आप उस समय अपनी कम्पनी के कमाण्डर थे और सबसे आगेवाली


1. जाटों का उत्कर्ष पृ० 330, लेखक योगेन्द्रपाल शास्त्री।


जाट वीरों का इतिहास: दलीप सिंह अहलावत, पृष्ठान्त-249


प्लाटून के साथ चल रहे थे। शत्रु की भारी गोलीबारी की परवाह न करते हुए आपने प्लाटून सहित शत्रु के एक मोर्चे पर धावा कर दिया और हाथों-हाथ संगीन की लड़ाई करके वह मोर्चा जीत लिया। शेष कम्पनी एवं पलटन से अलग-थलग होते हुए भी आपने उसी रात को शत्रु के किए गए छः धावों को असफल कर दिया। आपके जवानों की गोलियां समाप्त हो चुकीं थीं और वे शत्रु के घेरे में आ चुके थे। आपने अपने सैनिकों को उत्साहित किया जिससे वे शत्रु का घेरा तोड़कर पीछे पलटन में आ गये।

12 फरवरी 1941 ई० को सूबेदार रिछपाल ने अपनी कम्पनी सहित शत्रु के उसी मोर्चे पर फिर आक्रमण कर दिया। इन पर शत्रु का भारी एवं कारगर गोलाबारूद गिरने लगा। आप अपनी कम्पनी के सैनिकों को उत्साहित करते हुए निडरता से आगे बढ़ते गये। जब आप शत्रु के मोर्चे के निकट पहुंचे, तब शत्रु के गोले से आपका दाहिना पग उड़ गया। इसके अतिरिक्त कई गोलियां और भी लगीं। अन्त में वे वीरगति को प्राप्त हुए। रणभूमि में घायल पड़े हुए भी यह वीर योद्धा अपने घावों की तनिक भी परवाह न करते हुए अपने सैनिकों को शत्रु पर टूट पड़ने का उत्साह देता रहा। उसके अन्तिम शब्द थे कि “हम शत्रु का मोर्चा अवश्य लेंगे।”

इस प्रचण्ड वीरता के लिये ब्रिटिश सरकार की ओर से वायसराज लार्ड लिंलिथगो ने अपने हाथों से स्वर्गीय सूबेदार रिछपालराम की धर्मपत्नी श्रीमती जानकीबाई जी को वीरता का सर्वोच्च पदक विक्टोरिया क्रास प्रदान किया। उस समय बारड़ा गांव पटियाला रियासत में था। महाराजा पटियाला ने भी इस वीर योद्धा के पुत्र को 500 बीघा भूमि इनाम में दी। इस वीर योद्धा पर न केवल जाट जाति को ही, बल्कि भारतीय सेना एवं सब भारतवासियों को भी गर्व है।

Reference

  • Dharmpal Singh Dudi:Jat Bandhu, August 1997


External links

Reference

  • Dharmpal Singh Dudi:Jat Bandhu, August 1997

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