b. 01/07/1879 Rawalpindi (then India). d. 28/07/1947 Takhti, Pakistan.
Shahamad Khan (1879-1947) was born on 1st July 1879 in the village of Takhti, near Rawalpindi, India. He joined the Army on 1st December 1904 and served in many theatres during the Great War, including Egypt, Dardanelles, France and Mesopotamia. It was near Beit Ayeesa, Mesopotamia that he was awarded the VC for his actions on 12th-13th April 1916.
Shahamad Khan was in charge of a machine-gun section 150 yards from the enemy's position, covering a gap in the New Line at Beit Ayeesa, Mesopotamia on 12th/13 April 1916. After all his men, apart from two belt-fillers, had become casualties, Shamahad Khan, working the gun single-handed, repelled three counter-attacks. Under extremely heavy fire, he continued to hold the gap, whilst it was being made secure, for three hours. When his gun was disabled by enemy fire, he and the two belt-fillers continued to hold the ground with their rifles until they were ordered to retire. Along with the three men who were sent to his assistance, he brought back to his own lines, his gun, ammunition and a severely wounded man. Eventually he returned to remove all remaining arms and equipment, except for two shovels. But for his action, the line would undoubtedly have been penetrated by the enemy.
He survived the war, and was presented with his VC on 13th November 1919 at Buckingham Palace from King George V. Little is known about what happened to him in later life, until he died in his home village of Takhti on 28th July 1947. He was buried in Takhti Village Cemetery. His medals were purchased in a private sale in 1999 by the Ashcroft Trust. The medals purchased included an official replacement VC as the original’s location is not known. The medals are now displayed in the Imperial War Museum.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: LORD ASHCROFT GALLERY, IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM, LONDON.
BURIAL PLACE: TAKHTI VILLAGE CEMETERY, TAKHTI, PAKISTAN.
Shahamad Khan's medals including VC on display at the Lord Ashcroft Gallery, Imperial War Museum, London (August 2014).
Memorial Gates, Constitution Hill, London
War Illustrated, 14th October 1916