b. 1916 Bharpal Village, India. d. 12/09/1945 Thondebhavi, India.
DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 12/09/1945 Thondebhavi, India.
Kirpa Ram (1916-1945) was born in 1916 in Bhupral, India, the only son of Mussadi Ram and his wife Kauri. They lived in the local village. His father and three uncles all joined the British Army and fought in WWI. After the War, Mussadi returned home to the family farm and in order to help the family out of poverty, Kirpa was asked to get a job. At the age of 12, he went into domestic service in Amritsar and later Shimla. On 9th January 1935, he too joined the Indian Army, the 8th Battalion, 13th Frontier Force Rifles.
During the Second World War, he served in Waziristan, Burma and other southeast Asian sectors and earned a number of medals for field service. When the War ended in 1945, he returned home on leave and married. However, soon after his wedding, he resumed his duties at Thondelbhavi, never to see his wife again, as on 12th September 1945 he was killed performing the actions which led to the GC.
At Thondebhavi, India on 12th September 1945, Naik Kirpa Ram was commanding a section on a field-firing exercise. He was lying close to a Sepoy who was firing grenades from a discharger-cup, the remainder of his section being in position behind him. The third grenade to be fired fell short and landed only 8 yards in front of the section position. Without hesitation, he dashed forward and picked up the grenade, but before he could throw it into a place where it could cause no damage, it exploded. He died of his wounds soon afterwards, but saved the lives of his men. He was cremated, and is commemorated on the Rangoon Memorial, Burma.
The medal was presented to his wife, Smt. Brahmi, by Lord Wavell, the Viceroy of India at the Viceroy’s House in Delhi in 1946. His medals were stolen from the family sometime after his death, but in 2009, they turned up at an auction sale, were hastily withdrawn and have been returned to his widow, still living in the village of Bhupral.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: HELD BY HIS WIFE, AFTER IT CAME UP FOR SALE IN 2009.
BURIAL PLACE: PROBABLY CREMATED, INDIA.
NAMED ON FACE 44 OF RANGOON MEMORIAL, BURMA.
Kirpa Ram's George Cross when offered for sale in 2009, which alerted his wife who had seen the medal stolen from her. It has been returned to her.