A commemorative postage stamp on the Birth Anniversary of Major Som Nath Sharma, PVC :
Issued by India
Issued on Dec 31, 2003
Type : Stamp, Mint condition
Colour : Multi Colour
Denomination : 500 Paise
Name : Somnath Sharma
Born on Jan 31, 1923 at Dadh, Kangra, Punjab Province, British India
Died on Nov 3, 1947 at Budgam, Jammu & Kashmir, India
- It is oft-proclaimed that national developments are independent of the individual’s effort. But it is also true that achievements of some individuals are so towering that they alter the character of a nation. The annals of Indian Military History, for instance, would have had an altogether different story to tell but for Major Somnath Sharma. For the annals would have been devoid of the flaming magnificence of the patriotism of the man that propelled not only his own Company to fight and gain ultimate triumph over the enemy but also inspired generations of soldiers thereafter to serve the country with single-minded devotion even if it meant making the Supreme Sacrifice. No wonder that this was the man who was the first recipient pf the Param Vir Chakra, the highest gallantry award.
- Born in 1923 in a family of soldiers and doctors, Major Somnath Sharma did his schooling in RIMC Dehradun where he distinguished himself as an all round sportsman and scholar. He gained a competitive vacancy in the Indian Military Academy and was commissioned in 1942 into the 19th Hyderabad Regiment and was posted to the 8th Battalion. He took to the Army like a duck to water, revelling in the challenges of a hard life. The Regiment fought in Burma under the command of Lt. Col. (later General) K. S. Thimayya. There, Major Sharma had a close shave with death when a Japanese hand-grenade landed in his trench but did not explode. He later served with Thimayya as a Major in his staff when the latter got the command of 51 Indian Brigade. Meanwhile, in India, the 8/19th and 4/19th were merged to form the 4th Kumaon.
- In 1947, when tribal raiders were let loose into Kashmir in thousands, Major Sharma’s Regiment received an emergency call to join the select force to rescue Kashmir. Though he had broken his wrist and his arm was in plaster, his own ‘D’ Company was the first to go and after landing at Srinagar, was deployed without pause to stem the enemy advance in Badgam village. The enemy, estimated at 700, attacked his company position with 3-inch mortars, LMGs and rifles.