War Heroes

Maj Hoshiar Singh

Major Hoshiar Singh, was born on 05 May 1936 in Haryana. He was commissioned in the Grenadiers Regiment on 30 June 1963. He was also Mentioned-in-Despatches. During the 1971 Indo-Pak war, the 3rd Battalion of the Grenadiers Regiment spearheaded the advance of 54 Inf. Div. in Shakargarh sector on the western front on the night of December 5th. The 3rd Grenadiers 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 well fortified defence by the enemy. Major Singh, Commander of 'C' Company, launched an attack across the enemy minefield on Jarpal from the left. It was a well fortified position held in good strength by the enemy. The company came under intense shelling and crossfire from enemy medium machine guns and suffered heavy casualties.

The 4 Grenadiers, however, continued the assault doggedly and captured their objective. In this battle, most of the enemy bunkers could be cleared only after grim hand-to-hand fighting. The enemy's reaction to the loss of Jarpal was violent. They put in sharp counter attacks, two of them supported by armour, to dislodge the 4 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 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, moving in the open. On one occasion an enemy shell landed near his medium machine gun post, injuring the crew and rendering the gun inoperative. Major Singh, realising the importance of fire support at this juncture, rushed to the enemy machine gun pit and operated the gun inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy.

The enemy attack was repulsed, and they beat a hasty retreat leaving behind behind 85 dead, including their Commanding Officer - Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Akram Raja and three other officers. Throughout this operation, Major Singh displayed the most conspicuous gallantry in the face of the enemy, grim determination and indomitable spirit. His dogged resistance, complete disregard to his personal safety and cool courage so inspired his command that they performed 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 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, Param Vir Chakra.