Lala VC

b. 20/04/1876 Kangra, India. d. 23/03/1927 India.

Lala (1876-1927) was born on 20th April 1876 in Parol Village, Hamirpur, Kangra District, India. Little is known of his early life before enlistment in the 41st Dogra Regiment of the Indian Army. By the time of his VC action, he had attained the rank of Lance Naik.

Lala VC

On 21st January 1916 at El Orah, Mesopotamia (now Iraq), in finding a British officer of another regiment lying close to the enemy, he dragged him into a temporary shelter, which he himself had made, and in which he had already bandaged four wounded men. After bandaging his wounds he heard calls from the Adjutant of his own regiment who was lying in the open severely wounded. The enemy were not more than one hundred yards distant, and it seemed certain death to go out in that direction, but Lance Naik Lala insisted on going out to his Adjutant, and offered to crawl back with him on his back at once. When this was not permitted, he stripped off his own clothing to keep the wounded officer warmer, and stayed with him till just before dark, when he returned to the shelter.

After dark he carried the first wounded officer back to the main trenches, and then, returning with a stretcher, carried back his Adjutant. He set a magnificent example of courage and devotion to his officers.

He was gazetted for the VC on 13th May 1916, though there is no record of an investiture. He later transferred to the 17th Dogra Regiment and ended his Army career as a Jemadar (First Lieutenant). He lost his original VC and had an official replacement issued to him in April 1924.

Lala died on 23rd March 1927 due to complications caused by polio. He was cremated at Parol Village, Hamirpur, Kangra District, India. His medals are privately held.