3 Pakistani WWI veterans honored with British Victoria Cross

VC plaque picKARACHI: Three Pakistan veteran Naik Shahamad Khan, Sepoy Khudad Khan and Jemadar Mir Dast were among the veterans who received the highest military honor Victoria Cross under the British Government’s First World War Centenary Programme.

Duke of Kent and Senior Birtish Foreign Office Minister Sayeeda Warsi unveiled the memorial plagues to honour the 175 men from 11 countries who won Britain’s Highest Military honor, the Victoria Cross. The 11 bronze memorial plaques, which were displayed to the public for the first time in London this week, are inscribed with the names of the Victoria Cross holders and will be sent to the recipients’ home countries and displayed at a prominent location as a symbol of the gratitude that is felt towards them by the people of the United Kingdom.

Naik Shahamad Khan born in 1879 in Rawalpindi served at the Mesopotamian Front under the 89th Punjabis of the British Inian Army during the WWI. He was awarded the cross for displaying extra ordinary bravery on 12-13th of April 1916. He held the front secure by covering a gap in the line very close to enemy lines, after all his men except two become casualties.

Sayeeda Warsi and armed forces personnel
Sayeeda Warsi and the Duke of Kent with military personnel from 11 countries.

Warsi speaking on this occasion stated that, “It is important to remember this was a truly global war, one which pulled in people from every corner of the earth. Sacrifices were made not only by people in the United Kingdom but by many millions across the world. It is truly inspiring that so many countries came together 100 years ago to uphold our way of life. This was a war, which saw extraordinary courage and sacrifice from an entire generation. ”

She further expressed that, “This year, we are marking our gratitude to 175 men from 11 countries, including Pakistan, who demonstrated the utmost bravery “in the face of the enemy” during the First World War. I am determined that we ensure that people of all backgrounds and of all generations learn about the courage and heroism of their forefathers a hundred.”

Out of the 175 men 3 are from Pakistan, 70 from Canada, 66 from Australia, 16 from New Zealand, 14 from South Africa, 6 from India, 5 from USA, 2 from Nepal, 2 from Denmark, 1 from Belgium and 1 from Ukraine. The plaque remembering the three Pakistani recipients of the Victoria Cross will be presented to the Government of Pakistan in Islamabad later this year.


About the author

Saad B Murtaza

Saad B. Murtaza is a journalist and creative writer based in Karachi. He has been working as an Investigative/Diplomat Reporter since 2010 and as a Creative Writer since 2008.

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