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Subedar Subramanian
Second World War Army Indian The Italian Campaign
Subadar Subramanian
View record on CWGC

Subedar Subramanian was born in the village of Keezha Ottivakkam, near Kanchipuram, India on 18 December 1912, son of Kannayiram and Thangammal and husband of Shanbagammal, of Keelvodivakkam, Walajabad, Chengalpet, India. He enlisted in the Queen Victoria’s Own Madras Sappers and Miners on 15 October 1932.

On 24 February 1944, Subramanian was serving in Mignano, around ten miles south-east of Cassino. His team were working their way through a minefield with mine-detectors, clearing and marking a pathway for following troops, when one of his comrades accidentally stepped on a mine they were marking. Subramanian instantly threw himself onto the mine moments before it detonated, protecting the rest of his team from the blast.

His remains were recovered by his comrades and cremated in accordance with his faith. He is commemorated by name on the Sangro River Cremation Memorial.

Subramanian was posthumously awarded the George Cross on 30 June 1944 – the first Indian serviceman to receive such an honour. The citation in the London Gazette for 30th June, 1944, reads: "Awarded the George Cross for most conspicuous gallantry in carrying out hazardous work in a very brave manner."

His widow was presented with the medal at the Red Fort in Delhi by the Viceroy of India.

Subedar Subramanian (copyright unknown).