Major Hoshiar Singh Dahiya

 

Hoshiar Singh was born into a humble background and got married when he was in Class VII and had three sons. He performed his duties diligently as a husband, father and as an officer.

The 3rd Battalion of the Grenadiers Regiment was in the forefront of the advance of 54 Inf. Div. in Shakargarh sector on the western front on the night of December 5th. The 3 Grenadiers, under the dynamic command of Lt Col V P Airy, made quick gains in the first ten days of the war. On December 15th, it was assigned the task of establishing a bridge-head across the Basantar river. The river was covered with deep minefields on both sides and protected by

The river was covered with deep minefields on both sides and protected by well fortified defense by the enemy. Major Hoshiar Singh, Commander of ‘C’ (left forward) Company, launched an attack across the enemy minefield on Jarpal. As it was a well fortified enemy position, the company came under intense shelling and crossfire from medium machine guns and suffered heavy casualties.

The 3 Grenadiers bravely continued the assault and achieved the set objective. The enemy bunkers were cleared only after fierce hand-to-hand fighting. Pakistanis reacted to the loss of Jarpal by launching counter attacks, two of them supported by armour, to dislodge the 3 Grenadiers on December 16th. Major Singh, unmindful of the enemy shelling and tank fire, went from trench to trench, encouraging his men to remain steadfast and continue fight.

Inspired by his courage and leadership, his company repulsed all attacks, inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy. On December 17th, the enemy mounted yet another attack in battalion strength with heavy artillery in support. Though wounded seriously in enemy shelling, Major Singh again went alone from trench to trench, at times moving in the open too. When an enemy shell landed near his medium machine gun post, injuring the crew, Major Hoshiar Singh rushed to the enemy machine gun pit and operated the gun inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy.

Pakistanis beat a hasty retreat leaving behind 85 dead, including their Commanding Officer – Lt Colonel Mohammed Akram Raja and three other officers. Throughout this operation, Major Singh displayed the most conspicuous gallantry, grim determination and indomitable spirit. With grit, courage and complete disregard to his personal safety he inspired his command to perform outstanding acts of gallantry and defeated repeated enemy attempts to recapture the locality.

The steadfastness and dauntless courage displayed by Major Hoshiar Singh were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Army, and his refusal to be evacuated despite his serious wounds was an act beyond the call of duty. He was honoured with the highest wartime gallantry medal of India, the Param Vir Chakra.

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