Veteran Stories:
Jagat Singh Malhi

Army

  • Jagat Singh Malhi in Pisa, Italy, 1944.

    Jagat Malhi
  • Jagat Singh Malhi, 2005.

    Jagat Malhi
  • Jagat Malhi's Indian Army English Certificate.

    Jagat Malhi
  • Jagat Singh Malhi's replacement discharge certificate issued in Islamabad, 1964.

    Jagat Malhi
  • Jagat Singh Malhi's replacement discharge certificate issued in Islamabad, 1964.

    Jagat Malhi
Enlarge Image
Listen to this story

"Nobody worried about death or anything. Everyone could have died. And we had a front we have to capture."

Transcript

I was teacher of Parsi, the language and literature, University of Punjab in Lahore in 1940. That was the Punjabi, that was the highest degree. And then from there, I was in college, I would teach Punjabi there in Delhi and in the meanwhile, the war is going on, I wanted to know how the fight is going, how the war is going. So I voluntarily entered to military infantry. And my date of enrolment was 18 November 1941. And I served up to 28 April 1947. And my unit name was Sixth Royal Frontier Force, 13th Frontier Force Rifles.

My depot was Abbottabad, now in Pakistan, and the reason I went to Pakistan that way. So I started, all day my service was there and I was awarded three stars, one from Africa Star, Italy Star and 1939-1945 Star, and Defence Medal and War Medal. I was a sergeant clerk, clerical line. I was in clerical line and in the infantry. I was always with my company monitoring the front line. We came to this Iraqi line, they gave me training at Kirkuk, firing and all these things. After my 15 day service, I came abroad.

Near the pyramid there in Mena Camp [Egypt], all the reinforcement people were posted down there and would bring them to other parts. From there, we had been to Syria, Palestine, like that. Then we went to Italy and landed at Taranto. What happened with me was this, I was actually mentioned to my company commander, I was senior NCO [Non-Commissioned Officer] then, he asked me to give me some troop and that was the, near about 11:00 at night or something like that. There was snow, there was snow and very chilly. Then he asked me to give me troopers and no, no, we can’t so we can go both. That night they went there, went to some town about one mile from that place. And my company was all but taking position near the cemetery from there.

Then my commander, he told me, “Jag, you take me on your shoulder, I will go and break the window up top and see, go inside to take them.” Then the major told him, “You got to, your weight is more than me. You lift me.” Then he took me on his shoulder, I went to that window ledge and break the, with the butt of my rifle I broke the window and enter inside. After that, went there, I found that we’re [in] a liquor store. So we all in there, hauling out of there. We hauled out all 40-50 a person. That was the liquor thing.

When we were walking, the General ‘Monty’, [Bernard] Montgomery passed on his Jeep. And all of a sudden, he said, "Bye-bye we shall see you on the high-way." And meanwhile, there was a shelling from the enemy side, then we all laid down. And after it cleared, then he laughed. He was nice, he was nice gentleman. He was not tall, but he was middle height there about.

Multi people, how many people I really met were like, they’re very trustworthy, they’re very sincere friend, good friend. And they don’t live, they will die, they will live like that times, they don’t worry about that. And nobody worried about death or anything. Everyone could have died. And we had a front we have to capture, yes, we are in a Punjab, yeah you know that the bullets went in hard that once, when all the sick who died and we occupied 10 or 15 in the unit. We attacked at the hill by the escarpment. Bullets went in hard and then we captured it about 3:00 am on the next morning. So these are good people. I can’t say they’re any bad. Very helpful, good and good friend.

Follow us