Abdul Rahman GC MM (Direct Recipient)

b. 1921 Talad, India.  d. 22/02/1946 Kletek, Java.

DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 25/02/1946 Kletek, Java.

Abdul Rahman (1921-1946) or Rehman, was born sometime in 1921 in Talad Village in the Rhorak District of India. He was the son of Nek Muhammad. Little is known of his early life except that he married Bismillah, who came from Montgomery. At the age of 18, Abdul enlisted on 10th July 1939, just before the outbreak of World War II. He was promoted to Naik in 1942 and Acting Havildar in 1944.

Abdul Rahman GC MM

On 4th May 1944, 14 miles north of Imphal, he was platoon Havildar in an attack. At a very early stage the platoon commander was wounded. The attack was then stalled by a flanking M.M.G. which they were unable to neutralise. Abdul went forward, and took over the Bren gun himself, and under enemy fire he worked his way round the flank, engaging the M.M.G section and forced them to withdraw. He completed this task a second time when the M.M.G section re-established itself in a different position. For this action, Abdul was awarded the Military Medal.

Abdul ended the war serving in the East Indies. He was now part of 3rd Battalion, 9th Jat Regiment. On 22nd February 1946 in Kletek, on the island of Java, the jeep he was travelling in hit a mine and was thrown forward into a ditch, bursting into flames. Abdul was thrown clear, but went back to try to free the other three men, who were trapped under the jeep. His task was rendered more hazardous since, owing to the fire, the ammunition began to explode. Nevertheless, he extricated one man, and, although by this time the jeep was burning fiercely, then succeeded in dragging a second man clear. He then returned to help the last man, who was lying under the jeep by the front wheel, but as Abdul took hold of him the petrol tank under the driver’s seat exploded, spouting burning petrol all over him. Despite his condition, he continued his efforts until an ambulance party approached. After calling out to them to complete his work, he fell dead.

Abdul was cremated following his death, though he is commemorated on the Kranji War Memorial in Singapore. He was gazetted for a posthumous George Cross on 6th August 1946. His medal group including his GC and MM are privately held.