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  #1  
Old 06-05-21, 01:23 AM
realownlee realownlee is offline
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Default British / Indian Medals.....

Just wondered,
How easy, is it even possible to trace an Indian soldiers medals?
I purchased a set many years ago because unlike un named ww11 British medals, a TRAGEDY (in my opinion) they have details stamped to rear (at least the stars have)

Five in total, very well mounted to a board with green cloth sewn over the back, large brooch pin.

39-45 star. Africa star. Italy star. Defence and War medal.
3886. N.K. HARI SINGH.
NABNA. S.F.
Did find that 'NK' is Naik which equates to Army Corporal? and 'NABNA' is Infantry?
Don't know what S.F. is?
Did make an effort on a records site, found a few Hari Singh's but no match...

Last edited by realownlee; 06-05-21 at 01:24 AM. Reason: ejit!
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  #2  
Old 06-05-21, 08:32 AM
Khyber Khyber is offline
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Hi
It is Nabha State Forces - one of the princely states in Punjab

Not possible to trace much details of Indian recipients unless he was a Viceroy's Commissioned Officer or Kings Commissioned Officer in which case his name would be on the Army List and you could get dates of enrollment, promotion, war services etc .. As your chap is a Naik (Corporal) he wouldn't be on the list.

You might try and see if he is a casualty on the cwgc website.

Can you post a photo, front and back? Are all the medals named?
Also, are you looking to sell? I might be interested.
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  #3  
Old 10-05-21, 01:39 AM
realownlee realownlee is offline
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Hi, thanks for reply,
My computer reaching 'throw it at the wall stage'
took pics, shall try and upload!
Difficult to photo stamping on reverse of stars due to medals being neatly sewn to backing ( nothing on rims)
Some stamping quite crude....poss had done in India?
Nice, matching patina to stars, polish, or smoker!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg SINGH 1.jpg (82.3 KB, 36 views)
File Type: jpg SINGH 2.jpg (93.3 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg SINGH 5.jpg (79.7 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg SINGH 4.jpg (76.4 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg SINGH 7.jpg (53.3 KB, 30 views)
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  #4  
Old 10-05-21, 11:57 AM
peter monahan peter monahan is offline
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Sadly, Khyber is correct about researching Other ranks in the Indian Army: the chances are about nil. And that goes double for State Forces, as those records likely went into the trach when each state was amalgamated into India [mostly in the 1950s and 1960s].

I began collecting single I.G.S, medals in the early 1980s and those named to Indians were going for little more than the value of the silver because they were 'unresearchable'. Because of the odd nature of the Indian Army, records were kept at the regimental level, not in a central repository. On Independence, the regiments were split up between India and pakistan and, as you can imagine, preserving piles of paper from the colonial period was hardly high on most people's list. I had a chum who actually went to India to research, in the '80s and said that the archives had bird nests and mice in every room. But every hour somebody brought him a cup of tea!

All that said, its lovely to see what is very cleatrly a group indicating considerable service. Thanks for sharing it and sorry I can't be more helpful or hopeful.

Peter
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  #5  
Old 10-05-21, 12:13 PM
peter monahan peter monahan is offline
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A little more information. The NABHA AKAL infantry were part of the state forces of the Punjabi state of Nabha [not 'Nabna]. During WW2 they were taken into the Punjab Regiment as the 14th Battalion and, in 1948, became a permanent part of that regiment when the state was absorbed into India.

The 3rd Battalion, Punjab Reg't has battle honoure for North Africa and my guess is that your Naik transferred, or was transferred, to that Battalion and that's how he saw service in North Africa. A number of the other battalions of the Punjab Reg't were captured at Hong Kong and Singapore.

The last Maharajah of Nabha was a typical, IMO, product of the British Imperial system: Sandhurst educated and, in later life a vintage car collector and naturalist. Here's a potted bio: "
Pratap Singh Nabh was born at Nabha, the eldest son and heir of Ripudaman Singh. At the age of eight, his father was deposed and Pratap Singh became the Maharaja. Pratap Singh began his schooling in the Anglo Indian school, Woodstock, in Musoorie. He was educated at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst and at Badingham College in Surrey.
Military Maharaja[edit]
After formally succeeding to the gadi in 1941, Pratap Singh was commissioned a Lieutenant in the British Indian Army and served in the Second World War. He was promoted to Captain in 1944, Lieutenant-Colonel in 1945 and Colonel in 1946. In 1946, he was knighted with the KCSI. Following Independence, he served as aide-de-camp to the President of India, as well as the head of the Sikh Regiment."

I hope this is of some interest.

Peter
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  #6  
Old 10-05-21, 01:05 PM
Khyber Khyber is offline
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Are the War Medal and Defence Medal not named? They should be, otherwise I think they've been added on to complete the group, though they are the correct entitlement. Both WW2 war and defence medals to Nabha SF were issued named. I have records of a few in captivity.
The group, as is obvious, has been remounted with new ribbons etc but a nice one still.
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  #7  
Old 11-05-21, 10:53 AM
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dumdum dumdum is offline
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Hi

A really tenuous link, but some years back I was given this silk patch when I bought a group of medals to a British officer who had clearly seen service in India and had landed in France on D + 6 and probably been involved in the questioning of the Indian troops who had been enrolled in the German forces.

I had no idea what it was at the time but my basic German translated it and it rang the vaguest of bells.

I did some research and found what it was and then offered it to a fellow collector for a fairly nominal figure. He never replied but, when I traded it to a dealer for a price that I was more than happy with, said collector was the second person to contact the dealer wanting to buy it....

The first guy had snapped it up! I'm sure that there is a lesson in there.....
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File Type: jpg indian patch.jpg (116.8 KB, 29 views)
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  #8  
Old 11-05-21, 02:48 PM
Khyber Khyber is offline
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It's a patch of the Indian Legion set up in Germany during WW2 made up of Indian PoWs... just google if you want to know more..

Don't know if the patch shown above us genuine..lot of fakes around these days...
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  #9  
Old 11-05-21, 03:03 PM
Khyber Khyber is offline
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This sold in India recently for around 300 GBP..as you can see there's quite a difference..lot of fake Azad Hind medals also around so difficult to say...
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File Type: jpg Screenshot_20210511-203108.jpg (53.9 KB, 26 views)
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  #10  
Old 11-05-21, 09:43 PM
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lifeochil lifeochil is offline
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Many photos of these being worn online.
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  #11  
Old 12-05-21, 07:46 AM
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Hi

Thanks for that. Yes, I'd worked out what it was -strangely enough I first heard of this group when I used to make model soldiers back in the early 70's!

Also well aware that these have been attacked by the fake industry but this was sold, I believe, to a very experienced collector and the accompanying material (medals, etc.) left no doubt that it was genuine.

I have somewhere a photo of the reverse which I can post too.

Anyway, long gone and I was only prompted to mention it as an aside.
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  #12  
Old 12-05-21, 03:11 PM
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I would be interested to see a picture of the back please, a very interesting thread and story.
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  #13  
Old 13-05-21, 01:28 AM
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Hi Luke

With pleasure! I couldn't post the reverse last time as I'd saved it as a BMP or some other thingy that means absolutely nothing to me....

Anyway, my computer skills have now progressed a tad so here is the reverse of the patch as requested.

I know that we should approach just about everything that is collectable with a high degree of suspicion, but this was actually given to me when I bought the medal group and neither of us had a clue what it was.

It was even suggested that it may have been a Boy Scout fireside blanket patch!

The Azad Hind medal wasn't there, just the ribbon, but there was a ribbon for an Imperial Service Order and the miniature group featured an IGS which had gone from the full-size group.

Putting things together and using a bit of "collector's intuition", I'm picking that this patch was "removed" from an Indian POW....

Having said "removed" it looks as if it's never been sewn on a uniform so maybe it was a spare.

For the extra doubters, it was silk and not synthetic.
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File Type: jpg patchreverse1.jpg (72.7 KB, 18 views)
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  #14  
Old 13-05-21, 07:20 PM
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Luke H Luke H is offline
 
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Thank you very much indeed, as always very interesting!
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  #15  
Old 13-05-21, 10:47 PM
realownlee realownlee is offline
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Many thanks for replies to medal question,
Sadly nothing on the edges of war-defence medals at all (noticed that black patina? appears to a lesser degree on the reverse of those two as well as the stars so mebbe all five been together for a while?)
Doesn't look like i will ever know who's they were.....wish they could speak!! perhaps his records did indeed end up as mouse or birds nest!
Did wonder about signing to an ancestry site for a year, perhaps he lived in UK? i have other named Militaria items so it would be worth it i guess.
Did check CWGC site.
Only other Indian items i have are the 8th Indian patches i posted a while ago that came with Cassino battle maps and single Royal Artillery shoulder title.
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