b. 30/12/1895 Nenwan, India. d. 02/12/1963 Panam, India.
Born at Nenwan, in Punjab, he was the first Sikh to receive the Victoria Cross. Ishar Singh was 25 years old, and a Sepoy in the 28th Punjabis, Indian Army during the Waziristan Campaign, India when, on 10 April 1921, near Haidari Kach (Waziristan) he undertook the actions which led to the award of the VC.
For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on the 10th April, 1921, near Haidari Kach (Waziristan). When the convoy protection troops were attacked, this Sepoy was No. l of a Lewis Gun- Section. Early in the action he received a very severe gunshot wound in the chest, and fell beside his Lewis gun. Hand-to-hand fighting having commenced, the British officer, Indian officer, and all the Havildars of his company were either killed or wounded, and his Lewis gun was seized by the enemy.
Calling up two other men he got up, charged the enemy, recovered the Lewis gun, and, although, bleeding profusely, again got the gun into action.
When his Jemadar arrived he took the gun from Sepoy Ishar Singh, and ordered him to go back and have his wound dressed.
Instead of doing this, the Sepoy went to the medical officer, and pointed out where the wounded were, and took water to them. He made numerous journeys to the river for this purpose. On one occasion, when enemy fire became intense, he took a wounded man's rifle and opened fire. On another occasion, he stood in front of a medical officer who was treating a wounded man to shield him from enemy fire. It was over 3 hours before he agreed to be evacuated due to loss of blood.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: LORD ASHCROFT GALLERY, IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM, LONDON.
BURIAL LOCATION: CREMATED IN PANAM VILLAGE, INDIA.
Ishar Singh's medals including VC on display at the Lord Ashcroft Gallery, Imperial War Museum, London (August 2014).