Veladi Sammai AM

b. ? d. 1968 Mudewahi, India.

DATE OF AM ACTION: 09/11/1924 Chandrapur, India.

Veladi Sammai AM

Veladi was one of only two Indian civilians to be awarded the Albert Medal, and following the award of the medal he was unable to travel to London for his investiture. Instead, he travelled to Nagpur, where the Governor of the Central Provinces conferred the medal on Veladi Sammai. The story goes that Sammai arrived just wearing his loincloth. He was also given 45 acres of land for his gallant actions, but constant floods of the 1950s and 1960s ruined his fertile soil. Veladi died in 1968 and his famiy still proudly holds his medal.



On 9th November 1924, Mr. H. S. George, Deputy Conservator of’forests of the South Chanda Division of the Central Provinces, had just completed his inspection of a piece of forest and was returning to camp along a jungle path accompanied by Veladi Sammai, a Gond villager of the district who was carrying Mr. George’s gun and walked in front. Suddenly and without warning a man-eating tiger jumped upon Mr. George’s back, seized him by the neck and proceeded to drag him into the jungle. Veladi Sammai behaved with extraordinary gallantry : he rushed at the tiger, placed the muzzle of the gun against it and pulled the trigger but was unable to discharge the weapon owing to the safety catch with which he was not familiar. He then shouted and waved his arms thus driving the tiger off for a short distance. Mr. George was badly bitten in the neck and covered with blood but with the Gond’s assistance he managed to stagger slowly along and reached his camp which was about two miles away. The tiger followed them for some distance but was kept off by the shouts and demonstrations of the Gond. It was known that a man-eating tiger was in the neighbourhood and had killed several villagers but it had never attacked anyone on the path used by the forest officer,’ and neither Mr. George nor the Gond had any suspicion of the tiger’s presence until the attack was made. Veladi Sammai’s action was an extremely brave one and he gravely imperilled his own life. He certainly saved Mr. George’s as only his prompt and gallant action prevented the tiger dragging the forest officer into the jungle and eating him.