3693 Havildar Bir Singh, IDSM, 14th K.G.O. Ferozepore Sikhs
Interesting not only for what it is, but for how I got it. In a silver market in Jaipur (Rajasthan) in 1974, a merchant had two medals. This one and a pedestrian IGS 95 "Punjab Frontier". The IGS was Rs. 100 because it was "old" (around $US5 at that time), while this one was Rs. 75. I got both.Indian Distinguished Service Medal, George V, 1st variety
Named: "3693 Naik Bir Singh 14th K.G.O. Ferozepore Sikhs"
Son of Sobha Singh, of Mangewal, Maloh, Nabha, Punjab. Jat Sikh.
Awarded IDSM for Gallipoli (H&A shows regt. # as 3694 and rank as Havildar) - 2nd IDSM to unit (47 to regt. for WWI: 36 Gallipoli, 1 Egypt, 10 Mesopotamia) , 2nd to the regt. for Gallipoli (also 1 IOM for this service) - H&A, p. 79: "14th King George's Own Ferozepore Sikhs. . . .3694 Havildar Bir Singh, Gallipoli".London Gazette Supplement
29 October 1915, p. 10735, "for gallantry and devotion to duty whilst serving with the Indian Expeditionary Force at the Dardanelles" -- No. 3693 Naik Bir Singh, 14th King George's Own Ferozepore Sikhs.
1914, 14th KGO Sikhs went to defend Suez Canal (1 IDSM). Then to Gallipoli for six months. 1 May 1915, 1st Indian Brigade disembarked (14th Sikhs, 69 Punjabis, 89th Punjabis, and 1/6 Gurkhas). The Punjabis were soon withdrawn, as the regiments had Muslim companies, and their loyalty was suspect, while the remainder attached to the 29th Division. 6 May 1915, attached SE of Krithia, Took 3/4 losses at Achi-Baba the night of 4/5 June 1915, but advanced against great odds and uncut wire (80% of B Officers killed, 79% of Indian Officers, and 74% of EM). 31 IDSMs awarded for this action (12 from Ludhiana, 6 Patiala, 5 Ferozepore, 2 Ambala, 2 Nabha [he was one of them?], 2 Maler Kotla, 1 Rawalpindi, and 1 Faridkot) and 1 IOM2 (?). On 7th and 8th attempted to take Kota Chaman Tepe (no success). 10 June, attacked by Turks (4 IDSMs to Patiala Sikhs). 3rd week of August, sent to reinforce Sulva Bay - minor action thereafter. Late March 1916, withdrawn from Gallipoli to Suez Canal; garrisoned Tor and Abu Zeneima on Sinaitic Coast. To Mesopotamia for the remainder of the war (where 2 MC, 1 OBI2, 2 IOM2, 10 IDSM, 4 IMSM).
Battalion suffered 264 killed and 840 wounded in Gallipoli campaign.
He was also MiD 1235/1915 -- London Gazette Supplement
, 5 November 1915, p. 11004.
KIA: 3694 Havildar Bir Singh, 14th King George's Own Ferozepore Sikhs, on Friday, 26th October 1917. Commemorated on BASRA MEMORIAL, Iraq.