Colonel Daljit Singh Randhawa (retd), 96, the lone surviving Military Cross winner of Punjab, died on Friday as he was not keeping good health for some time. Cremation will take place on Saturday.
He was the first parade commander at the country’s first Independence Day parade in Delhi, after Partition where a guard of honour was given to the outgoing Viceroy Lord Mountbatten. His seven generations had served in the Army, the first being his great-grand father Colonel Harnam Singh, who took part in action during the 1857 mutiny.
Col Randhawa had fought World War-2 and was part of the UN Forces in Congo and Lebanon. He was barely 24, when he won the Military Cross for his services rendered during the Burma conflict. In recognition of his distinguished services, he was given 28-acre land in Pakistan, which was later re-allotted at Hoshiarpur’s Phuglana village.
Col Randhawa was born in Montgomery (now in Pakistan). His family had migrated to Indian Punjab after Partition. Colonel Randhawa’s two sons, Colonel Jasjit and Major Amanjit, also served in the army and his grandson too is a senior military officer.