India: Piru Singh was born on May 20, 1918 in a Rajput family in the Rajasthani village of Rampura Beri, Jhunjhunu city. His father was Lal Singh. Three brothers and four sisters formed their own family of seven children, of which Singh was the youngest son. Singh was never good at going to school in his childhood as he could not handle the regular environment. Singh once dropped out of school and never returned after getting reprimanded by his teacher for a fight with a classmate. After that, Singh continued to work on the farm with his parents, growing into a well-built and attractive young man. He loved playing local Indian game hunting. Singh wanted to join the army since childhood, but was turned down twice as he was too young before being accepted at the age of 18.
On 20 May 1936, Piru Singh Shekhawat joined the 10th Battalion of the 1st Punjab Regiment at Jhelum. On 1 May 1937, after completing his training, Singh was commissioned into the 5th Battalion of the same regiment. Singh took education seriously despite his earlier opposition to formal education and earned the Indian Army Class Certificate of Education. On August 7, 1940, after passing a few more tests, he was promoted to Lance Naik (Lance Corporal). He saw action on the North-West Frontier while serving with the 5th Battalion of the 1st Punjab. He received his Nayak (Corporal) promotion in March 1941 and was commissioned as an instructor at the Punjab Regimental Center in Jhelum in September. He was promoted to the rank of Havildar in February 1942. (Sergeant). Singh was a prolific athlete who competed for his regiment in the sports of hockey, basketball and cross-country running in regional and national competitions. He was promoted to the rank of Company Havildar Major in May 1945. (Company Sergeant Major). He continued to teach until October 1945. He was assigned to the British Commonwealth Occupation Force after World War II and served there until September 1947. Singh was assigned in the 6th Battalion of Rajputana Rifles After Partition.
Battle of Tithawali
In October 1947, soon after Singh's withdrawal from Japan and in response to tensions between the newly independent countries of India and Pakistan, war broke out over control of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan launched an offensive in July 1948 in the Tithwal sector of Jammu and Kashmir and on 8 July they took control of a ring contour.
As a result the Indian troops stationed at the forward posts across the Kishanganga River were forced to retreat. Singh's unit, the 6th Battalion of the Rajputana Rifles, was transferred from Uri to Tithwal and assigned to the 163rd Brigade in an effort to bring the situation back. The soldiers stationed themselves on the Tithwal bridge. Indian troops began their attack on 11 July. Another four days passed during these strikes. However, the Indian commanders decided that these were to be taken before the advance could continue as information about the situation suggested that the Pakistanis still had control of an important strategic position.
Apart from this, the Indians also had to take another place. The Sixth Rajputana Rifles was assigned the task of handling both these posts. The battalion's "C" Company took second place after the "D" Company captured first during the operation, which consisted of two companies.
"D" Company launched its first attack on 18 July at 01:30. A narrow road leading to the place where Pakistani troops were stationed had a deep moat on either side. Concealed Pakistani bunkers allowed for observation and provided clear firing lanes for the defending soldiers as they passed through this narrow passage. The Indian company was heavily shelled by the Pakistanis as they advanced, and within 30 minutes the company suffered 51 casualties.
Due to significant casualties during the battle, Singh's section, which was in charge of the Company, was halved. As the Pakistani defenders began hurling grenades from a height, Singh ran towards a medium machine gun post causing most of the casualties.
During this run, Singh was hit by many shrapnel all over his body. Singh adopted the war slogan "Raja Ramchandra ki Jai" and insisted unabated (English: Jai Bhagwan Ram). With his bayonet and sten gun, he quickly took control of the post and killed the guards.
However, the rest of his company were already dead or injured when he finally took control of the situation. Singh was given time alone to complete the work. He moved close to the second medium machine gun post in Pakistan. At this point he was nearly blinded by a grenade that exploded in his face.
He was out of ammo for his Stain Gun. After exiting the trench, Singh fired grenades at the following Pakistani position. Meanwhile, he jumped into another ditch and killed two Pakistani soldiers using his bayonet. He was shot in the head before he had a chance to leave the ditch. Singh hurled a grenade into a nearby Pakistani trench after that he was died because of his injuries.
Piru Singh, No. 2831592, was the Havildar Major of "D" Company, tasked with attacking and seizing the enemy-held hilly area south of Tithwal. The enemy was well positioned and placed his MMGs to cover every angle of approach. As the attack progressed, there was heavy MMG fire from both sides. From enemy bunkers, grenades were thrown into the volcano. At that time the company's Havildar Major Piru Singh was assigned to the company's forward-most section. He did not lose heart even after seeing more than half of the stream being killed or injured. He propelled the remaining troops with a battle cry and the nearest enemy moved strongly towards the MMG position. He continued to move on despite the grenade spluttering, tearing his clothes and injuring him at many places. He didn't care about his safety. While he was in the MMG post, he opened fire with a sten gun, injuring the gun crew. He went mad at the MMG crew, stabbed them to death, and silenced the gun despite their bleeding wounds. He suddenly realized that he was the only member of the section still alive; Others either died or were injured. A second grenade was thrown at his face which was thrown at him. He crawled out of the ditch, while his face was covered in blood from the wounds in his eyes. Then he threw grenades at the enemy's front position.