The story of Naik Nand Singh, a Sikh soldiers who personally received a Victoria Cross from Mountbatten in 1944 for his bravery and heroism against the Japanese in Burma is truly inspirational.
” The only possible approach onto the hill followed a narrow track leading up to the enemy position.
Along this track Naik Nand Singh lead his section. Reaching the crest the section came under heavy machine-gun and rifle fire, and every man was knocked over, either killed or wounded. Nonetheless, Naik Nand Singh dashed forward alone under intense fire at point blank range. He was wounded by grenade as he neared the first Japanese trench.
Without hesitating he went on, captured the trench, and killed the two occupants with the bayonet. Not far away was another trench. Under continuous heavy fire, Naik Nand Singh jumped up and charged it.
He was again wounded by a grenade and knocked down, but he got up and hurled himself into the trench, again killing both occupants with the bayonet.
He moved on again, and captured a third trench, still single-handed. With the capture of this third trench, enemy fire died away. Naik Nand Singh’s encounter had taken little time, and the remainder of the platoon, checked for the moment by the sudden heavy fire opened on it as it reached the crest, now moved up and captured the remainder of the position, killing with bayonet and grenade thirty seven out of the forty Japanese who were holding it.
“Naik Nand Singh’s part in this brilliant little action, his splendid resolution and utter disregard for his own life were fittingly recognized by the award of the Victoria Cross.” (Colonel F.T. Birdwood)
The bravery and contribution of Sikhs in both World Wars is a record which stands on it’s own merits and the right to enter any Legion hall in Canada is something that Sikh veterans have earned the hard way with their blood sacrifice.