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Duncan

Named Africa Star to an Indian - Raj. Rifles.

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Hello folks,

I've just got hold of an Africa Star to 22358 Rfn. Kanhaya Ram, Raj. Rif. from a dealer in India.  I'm assuming this is Rajputana Rifles.  Can anyone tell me, would this be the 6th Rajputana Rifles and if so where did they serve to be awarded the Africa Star?  Also, would they be entitled to the 1st or 8th Army clasp?

Thank you.

Duncan.

 

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The 6th had 13 battalions during WWII.  The 4th Battalion was there for sure - see excerpt at bottom and the 6th earned two VCs in Africa, one in '41 in Eritrea and one in '43 in Tunisia.

East African campaign awards

 

·        Subadar Richhpal Ram6th Rajputana Rifles (posthumous award)

On 7 February 1941, at Keren, Eritrea, Richhpal Ram led a successful attack on the enemy and subsequently repelled six counter-attacks and then, without a shot left, brought the few survivors of his company back. Five days later, when leading another attack, his right foot was blown off, but he continued to encourage his men until he died.

Tunisian campaign awards

·         Company Havildar Major Chhelu Ram6th Rajputana Rifles (posthumous award)

On the night of 19–20 April 1943, at Djebel Garci, Tunisia, despite being wounded took command of the company, leading them in hand-to-hand fighting. Wounded again, he continued rallying his men until he died.

 

https://qz.com/india/464490/bombed-to-hell-a-story-of-indian-bravery-in-africa-in-the-second-world-war/

Edited by peter monahan

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Thanks for that, that's really interesting. 

Regards 

Duncan 

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Sadly, the records / rolls for the IA are not easily available outside the subcontinent and even there are apparently disorganized and in some cases in bad shape - paper records suffering from 80 years of humidity, termites and benign neglect.  :(

I have the last remnants of a small collection of World War One  to Indians,. mostly cavalrymen.  A friends has a number of WWII gongs, mostly to Dogras and Rajpur regiments, some of whom saw service as late as '46 in the old Dutch empire.  If you decide to get rid of this one, drop me a line, please.

Peter  

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According to "Battle Honours of the British and Commonwealth Armies" (Baker, 1986), 4/6 Rajputana Rifles was awarded the following battle honours: Alem Hamza (1941), Ruweisat Ridge (1942), El Alamein (1942), Matmata Hills (1943), Akarit (1943), Djebel Garci (1943) and North Africa 1940-43. MG/6 Rajputana Rifles was awarded Akarit (1943) and North Africa 1940-43. 17/6 was awarded North Africa 1940-43. I couldn't find any Indian units among the 1st Army battle honours, so I assume that all the above mentioned battalions of the 6th Rajputana Rifles would be entitled to the 8th Army clasp.

/Jonas

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