Military Digest: The prince who was a war hero

Written by Mandeep Singh Bajwa

Published: May 15, 2020 8:53:50 am

The young Maharaj Kumar Bahadur Singh of Bundi pictured in the service dress of his regiment, Probyn’s Horse, c1942

In British India, most ruling princes held honorary commissions in the Indian Army and a select few in the British Army. Some princes did periods of attachment with Army units to learn the art of soldiering. Maharaj Kumar Bahadur Singh of Bundi (as he then was) was one of the few to serve in active combat and get decorated for courage displayed by him to boot. Born in 1920 he was educated at Mayo College, Ajmer. Receiving an emergency commission in November 1942 he was posted to Probyn’s Horse, a distinguished cavalry regiment which had been mechanised in 1940.

The regiment, equipped with Sherman tanks played a significant role in the reconquest of Burma in 1944-45 winning a number of battle honours. In the advance on Meiktila on 2nd March 1945, Bahadur Singh was in command of a troop of tanks supporting an infantry attack on a fortified village. He found that the rifle platoon with his troop was restrained in the forming-up place (FUP) by Japanese machine-gun and sniper fire, unable to move forward into the assault. Leading his troop into the dense thorn jungle whence…

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