Gharib Singh AM

b. c.1894 India. d. ?


Very little is known about the life of Gharib Singh other than his Albert Medal action.



On tJie 3rd June, 1919, a large Religious Fair was being held in India at Nariana, on the right bank of the River Beas, and a great many pilgrims were being conveyed across the river by means of a ferry boat. Two boatloads had been taken over successfully, and the boat was crossing a third time when it got out of control. The river was in flood .and the rapids very dangerous, and the boat, which was filled to its utmost capacity, entered the rapids and was swamped, .all the passengers being precipitated into the rushing water. Gharib Shah, a young waterman, 25 years of age, who was in charge of a timber raft some 30′ yards away, managed to get his. raft close to the overturned boat, .and immediately set to work to save the passengers as they were carried past him. Time after time he plunged into the river, and succeeded in rescuing fifteen drowning persons. Others in the water who had struggled to the raft were pulled on to it by him, and in this manner other lives were saved. It is estimated that 150 passengers were on board the boat when, it started, and of the forty-five saved it is certain that Gharib Shah was responsible for the rescue of at least thirty by his bravery and resourcefulness. The District Magistrate who held an inquiry into the occurrence ‘highly commended Gharib Shah’s conduct, and mentioned that this was not the first time tlhait he had saved persons from drowning, for in the year 1914, at the risk of his own life, he had rescued five persons from the same river.