Seniority of VC

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Cpt_Darling, Aug 4, 2008.

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  1. I have always thought that the VC was the most senior of medals, and therefore wen on the left hand side.However I went to the IWM the other day and a certain P Singh and 3 further medals to the left of the VC.Is this merely a cock up by the IWM or something else.

    Will try and post pictures tomorrow.
  2. diplomat

    diplomat War Hero Book Reviewer

    It is possible that he was in the Indian Army. Therefore after independance in 1947 all of his 'British' decorations would be worn after any he subsequently received in the 'new' Indian Army; even a VC.
  3. If the medals are to the left of the VC, then the VC is in the right place??? unless you mean when looking at them. I to thought nothing was higher than the VC? but i cannot see the IWM making such a cock-up without a reason. Be interested in seeing the pic.
  4. I think you are absolutely right, this picture of Sam Makenshaw shows his MC and British medals after all his Indian ones:


    i.e., last six medals are MC, 1939-45 Star, Burma Star, War Medal, Indian Service Medal and a General Service Medal.
  5. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    That prompts the thought of how many British Officers remained behind in the newly formed armies and how many served till retirement?
  6. An infinitesimally small number would have served on and on. The independence of a country usually involves the rejection of 99% of the colonial power's influence, regardless of the personal relationship.

    However when the partition took place and Indian Army units fell into either Pakistani or Indian colours, their remaining cadre of British officers were forbidden by their chain of command from participating in the ensuing hostilities. One of the most famous stories is of a CRA who told the British Gunners to have nothing to do with the war. He then departed on leave and sent his officers away too.

    One of the former BCs travelled to fight/advise his Indian officers and men, ostensibly duck shooting. He was busy adjusting fire as part of a fire plan, when the keen "water-colourist" Brigadier happened to pass by his OP and make some helpful suggestions...

    It is stories like that which make me want to grab the nearest imperial apologist and rub their face against a wall. The relationship between Indian sepoys and their sahib-officers is one of the greatest examples of the warrior bond ever.
  7. Sam Manekshaw, who died last week aged 94 was a Parsee and attended Staff College at Dehradun. He rose to become one of the only two Field Marshalls in the Indian Army.

    Manekshaw is reported to have once said: "I wonder whether those of our political masters who have been put in charge of the defence of the country can distinguish a mortar from a motor; a gun from a howitzer; a guerrilla from a gorilla."

    sounds familiar....!

    I remember hearing about Manekshaw during the Indo Pakstan war in '71. Messages were being passed from senior staffs from one side to another via the War studies staff at Sandbags, which were then shared with us students... stuff along the lines of " that was an abysmal attack you put in last night Ravi... you need to get a grip of your junior NCOs in the lead company.." etc - very interesting..

    This video of his speech on moral courage is worth listening to..

    A good soldier by anyone's reckoning IMHO...
  8. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Didnt FM Slim run the Pakistani Army after Partition?
  9. RP578

    RP578 LE Book Reviewer

    No, the first Chief of Army Staff was Sir Frank Messervy who was in turn replaced by Sir Douglas Gracey. The first Pakistani Chief was Ayub Khan who took over in 1951.
  10. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Thanks for that, I had read or rather misread it somewhere but I believe that FM Slim was in the UK and at Bisley in 1951!
  11. Thanks for that lads, here are the pictures just for interests sake!

    Attached Files:

  12. RP578

    RP578 LE Book Reviewer

    That medals in that rack are:
    * Raksha Medal (1965 War)
    * Sainya Seva Medal (1947) clasp: "Jammu & Kashmir"
    * Indian Independence Medal (1947)
    * Victoria Cross
    * India General Service Medal (1936-39) clasp: "North West Frontier 1937-39"
    * 1939 - 45 Star
    * Burma Star
    * War Medal (1939-45)
    * India Service Medal (1939-45)
    * General Service Medal (1918-62) clasp: "S.E. Asia 1945-46"
    * Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal (1953)
    * Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubiliee Medal (1977)

    ugly, in answer to your question of how many officers stayed on post independence, just under 490 British officers were seconded to the Pakistani Army and I'm going to guess that at least the same again for the Indians.
  13. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Thanks, now I'm curious as to how he was eligible for the silver jubilee gong, they werent exactly giving them away over here!
  14. RP578

    RP578 LE Book Reviewer

    All VC and GC awardees were given them. Same happened with the Golden Jubilee.
  15. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Thanks again!