Remembering Major Somnath Sharma, the first recipient of Param Vir Chakra

Published on Jan 31, 2022 10:31 AM IST

Major Somnath Sharma was killed while leading his men on a fighting patrol to Budgam village in Kashmir while evicting Pakistani raiders from Srinagar airport in November 1947. He was given the Param Vir Chakra posthumously in November 1950.

File photo of Major Somnath Sharma.
File photo of Major Somnath Sharma.
By | Written by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

India is observing the 99th birth anniversary of Major Somnath Sharma on Monday, the first recipient of India’s highest gallantry award the Param Vir Chakra. Many users on social media have paid their tribute to Major Sharma, who receive the award posthumously in 1950.

“Remember a #BravestOfTheBrave on his 99th Birth Anniv. #LestWeForgetIndia Maj Som Nath Sharma, #ParamVirChakra (P), 4 KUMAON, born #OnThisDay 31 January 1923. The #IndianBrave was the 1st Posthumous recipient of the PVC; made history at #Budgam in defence of J&K in November '47,” Lest We Forget, an NGO, said in a Twitter post.

The young officer was killed while leading his men on a fighting patrol to Budgam village in Kashmir while evicting Pakistani raiders from Srinagar airport in November 1947.

In his last message sent to the brigade headquarters, Major Sharma said, "The enemy is only 50 yards from us. We are heavily outnumbered. We are under devastating fire. I shall not withdraw an inch but will fight to the last man and the last round."

For his exceptional bravery under duress, the native of Dadh village in Himachal Pradesh was posthumously awarded the Vir Chakra.

Recalling his brave act, the Indian Army posted a message on Twitter in November last year, in which they lauded his “unparalleled gallantry and indomitable courage”. They also posted the last message Major Sharma sent in 1947.

Somnath Sharma was born on January 31, 1923, in a military family.

His father, Major General (retd) Amarnath Sharma, who headed the Army Medical Corps, set up a charitable dispensary in 1955 in memory of his son.

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