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Jemadar Abdul Hafiz VC
25/09/2023
Second World War Army Indian Victoria Cross holder Kohima and Imphal
By CWGC
Jemadar Abdul Hafiz
2175315
View record on CWGC

Born on 1 July 1918, the son of Nur Muhammad and Hamidan in the Rohtak district of the Punjab, and husband of Jigri Begum of Kalanaur, Rohtak, India, Abdul Hafiz served with 9th Jat Regiment in the British Indian Army during the Second World War.

On 6 April 1944, during the Battle of Imphal, he led a counter-attack against a Japanese position. Although twice wounded leading the advance, he charged a machine-gun, killing the crew. He continued at the head of his men until finally collapsing. His last words were to encourage his soldiers on.

For his inspirational leadership and courage he was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest award for bravery.

The following details are given in the London Gazette of 23rd July, 1944: "In Burma on 6th April 1944, 10 miles north of Imphal, the enemy had attacked and occupied a prominent feature. Jemadar Abdul Hafiz was ordered to attack with two sections up a completely bare slope, very steep near the crest. Jemadar Abdul Hafiz so inspired his sections that from the start the attack proceeded with great dash. The enemy opened fire with machine-guns and grenades, causing several casualties, but the assault continued without hesitation up the last few yards of the hill. Jemadar Abdul Hafiz was wounded, but seeing a machine-gun firing, he immediately went towards it and, seizing the barrel, pushed it upwards whilst another man killed the gunner. He again advanced, killing several of the enemy, but was badly wounded in the chest. He died shortly afterwards. The inspiring leadership and bravery displayed by Jemadar Abdul Hafiz in spite of having been twice wounded so inspired his men that the position was captured and severe casualties inflicted on the enemy. His complete disregard for his own safety, and his determination to capture and hold the position at all costs, were an example to all ranks."

He is buried in Imphal Indian Army War Cemetery, Plot 3. Row Q.

Jemadar Abdul Hafiz VC (copyright unknown).