Victoria Cross recipients

Since it was instituted by Royal Warrant on 29 January 1856, there have been 1,358 awards of the Victoria Cross (VC), to 1,355 individuals, including one presented to the American Unknown Soldier of the First World War.  Over the years, awards of the VC have become increasingly sparse, when compared with the Victoria era.  For example, while no fewer than twenty-four were awarded for a single day – 16 November 1857 – during the Indian Mutiny, and there were 628 awards during the First World but just 182 awards (to 181 recipients), of which 85 were posthumous, during the Second World War.

Of the Second World War awards, twenty-nine were for service during the Burma Campaign between January 1943 and the effective end of the war in Burma in mid-1945.  All were to members of the British or Indian Armies, with the exception of that to an officer in The Royal Norfolk Regiment serving with No. 1 Commando.  Seventeen VCs were awarded to members of the Indian Army – which then included the Gurkhas – thus fully reflecting the multi-national nature of the Fourteenth Army.  Five of these VCs were awarded for actions in India, rather than Burma: three in Manipur State (Imphal) and two in Assam (Kohima).

It is highly relevant that no fewer than seventeen of these awards were posthumous – including all dozen awards to British officers and men – a significantly higher proportion than those made for the Second World War as a whole: almost 60% versus 47%.  As a foe, the Japanese proved to be implacable, highly skilful and extraordinarily determined, with a very un-Western willingness to sacrifice their lives for the cause.  No fewer than ten of these awards were earned in 1945, when the Japanese, though clearly losing the war, nevertheless continued to resist doggedly.  The citations which follow demonstrate the dogged fighting skills and fine leadership of the Fourteenth Army. 

All these recipients displayed remarkable and humbling gallantry on multiple occasion, with, as is stipulateded, a 90 to 100 per cent chance of death in action.  Although it is almost invidious to single out just one example, that of Naik Fazal Din of the 10th Baluch Regiment is almost unbelievable.  The ranks shown in the headings are those which the recipients were holding – whether acting, temporary or substantive – at the time of the events to which the award relates. 

Awards of the Victoria Cross for actions in Burma and India 1943-1945





Parkash Singh

8th Punjab Regiment

6 January 1943


Gaje Ghale

5th Royal Gurkha Rifles

24 May 1943

Chin Hills

Alec Horwood

Queen’s Royal Regiment

18-20 January 1944 *


Charles Hoey

Lincolnshire Regiment

16 February 1944 *

Ngakyedauk Pass

Nand Singh

11th Sikh Regiment

12-12 March 1944

Maungdaw-Buthidaung Road

George Cairns

South Staffordshire Regiment

13 March 1944 *

Henu Block

Abdul Hafiz

9th Jat Regiment

6 April 1944 *


John Harman

Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment

8-9 April 1944 *


John Randle

Royal Norfolk Regiment

4-6 May 1944 *


Hanson Turner

West Yorkshire Regiment

6-7 June 1944 *


Ganju Lama

7th Gurkha Rifles

12 June 1944


Michael Allmand

6th Gurkha Rifles

23 June 1944 *

Pin Hmi Road Bridge

Tulbahadur Pun

6th Gurkha Rifles

23 June 1944


Netrabahadur Thapa

5th Royal Gurkha Rifles

25-26 June 1944


Agansing Rai

5th Royal Gurkha Rifles

26 June 1944


Frank Blaker

9th Gurkha Rifles

9 July 1944 *


Ram Singh

1st Punjab Regiment

25 October 1944 *


Bhandari Ram

10th Baluch Regiment

22 November 1944


Umrao Singh

Royal Indian Artillery

15-16 December 1944

Kaladan Valley

Sher Shah Awan

16th Punjab Regiment

19-20 January 1945 *


George Knowland

No. 1 Commando

31 January 1945 *


Parkash Singh Chib

13th Frontier Force Rifles

16-17 February 1945 *

Kanlan Ywathit

Fazal Din

10th Baluch Regiment

2 March 1945 *


Gian Singh

15th Punjab Regiment

2 March 1945


Basil Weston

Green Howards

3 March 1945 *


Bhanbhakta Gurung

2nd Gurkha Rifles

5 March 1945


Karamjeet Singh Judge

15th Punjab Regiment

18 March 1945 *


Claud Raymond

Corps of Royal Engineers

21 March 1945 *


Lachhiman Gurung

8th Gurkha Rifles

12-13 May 1945




Note:  * - posthumous award.