b. 02/09/1901 Belgaum, India. d. 26/12/1980 Belgaum, India.
DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 27/05/1930 Bombay, India.
Joseph Baptista d’Souza (?-1980) is believed to have been born in Belgaum, Mysore, India on 2nd September 1901, though sadly very little else is known about his life. What is known is that he became an Excise Constable in the Sholapur District, Bombay (now Mumbai), India, and became heavily involved in the riots which broke out in May 1930.
On 27th May 1930 in Bombay, when during a riot, he and the Excise Sub-Inspector were completely surrounded by the mob. They were severely beaten and stoned throughout. The Sub-Inspector ordered D'Souza to seek safety but he refused, staying at his post and protecting him. He stood by the now unconscious Sub-Inspector, continually blowing his whistle until police help arrived. He undoubtedly saved the life of his superior officer.
As a result of his actions, he was awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal of the Civil Division in the King’s Birthday Honours List on 3rd June 1931. He was gazetted on the same day as two other recipients – Reginald Rimmer and Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din. In September 1940, following the creation of the George Cross, Joseph as well as other recipients of EGM were automatically exchanged for the new decoration. Joseph received his GC by registered post.
Little else is known about his later life, except that he died on 26th December 1980 in Belgaum, Mysore State, India. He was buried in the Catholic Cemetery, Belgaum, Mysore, India. His GC, 1953 Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal and 1977 Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal are held privately.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: PRIVATELY HELD.
BURIAL PLACE: CATHOLIC CEMETERY, BELGAUM, KARNATAKA, INDIA.