Jemadar Abdul Hafiz – British Indian Army


For the award of the Victoria Cross:

[ London Gazette, 27 July 1944 ], Waken Hill, Imphal, India, 6 April 1944, Jemadar Abdul Hafiz, 3rd Bn, 9th Jat Regiment, Indian Army.

The Company Commander ordered Jemadar Abdul Hafiz to attack the enemy, with two sections from his platoon, at 0930 hours. An artillery concentration was put down on the feature and Jemadar Abdul Hafiz led the attack. The attack was up a completely bare slope with no cover, and was very steep near the crest. Prior to the attack, Jemadar Abdul Hafiz assembled his sections and told them that they were invincible, and the entire enemy on the hill would be killed or put to flight. He so inspired his men that from the start the attack proceeded with great dash.

When a few yards below the crest the enemy opened fire with machine-guns and threw grenades. Jemadar Abdul Hafiz sustained several casualties, but immediately ordered an assault, which he personally led, at the same time shouting the Mohammedan battle cry.

The assault went in without hesitation and with great dash up the last few yards of the hill, which was very steep. On reaching the crest Jemadar Abdul Hafiz was wounded in the leg, but seeing a machine-gun firing from a flank, which had already caused several casualties, he immediately went towards it and seizing the barrel pushed it upwards, whilst another man killed the gunner.

Jemadar Abdul Hafiz then took a Bren gun from a wounded man and advanced against the enemy, firing as he advanced, and killing several of the enemy. So fierce was the attack, and all his men so inspired by the determination of Jemadar Abdul Hafiz to kill all enemy in sight at whatever cost, that the enemy, who were still in considerable numbers on the position, ran away down the opposite slope of the hill.

Regardless of machine-gun fire which was now being, fired at him from another feature a few hundred yards away, he pursued the enemy, firing at them as they retired. Jemadar Abdul Hafiz was badly wounded in the chest from this machine-gun fire and collapsed holding the Bren gun and attempting to fire at the retreating enemy, and shouting at the same time “Re-organise on the position and I will give covering fire.” He died shortly afterwards.

The inspiring leadership and great bravery displayed by Jemadar Abdul Hafiz in spite of having been twice wounded, once mortally, so encouraged his men that the position was captured, casualties inflicted on the enemy to an extent several times the size of his own party, and enemy arms recovered on the position which included 3 Lewis Machine-guns, 2 grenade dischargers and 2 officers’ swords. The complete disregard for his own safety and his determination to capture and hold the position at all costs was an example to all ranks, which it would be difficult to equal.

Jemadar Abdul Hafiz was killed during his VC action and was buried in the Imphal Indian Army War Cemetery, Manipur State.

(Link to above story: https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/36627/supplement/3501 )


VICTORIA CROSS WINNERS: 1939-1945. (IND 3507) Jugri Begum, widow of Jemander Abdul Hafiz V.C. of the 9th Jat Regiment, with her three month old daughter. Abdul Hafiz never saw the baby. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205222072

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