Sikhs In The Army
WW2 Sikh POW Medal
IGS08 clasp NWF 1930-31
7241 SEP. CHANAN SINGH, 2-11 SIKH R.
7241 Havildar Chanan Singh 11 Sikh R.
POW Number: 18817
Held at Stalag 8C Sagan / Sprottau (German/ Polish Border)
From my research....
The 2/11th Ludhiana Sikhs joined the 1Oth Indian Division in Iraq in March 1941, moving to the western
desert in April 1942, initially on guard duty at Capuzzo near Tobruk. On the 26th June the 2/11 th were holding the 'Charing Cross' escarpment close to Mersa Matruh facing approximately 100 tanks of Rommel's Afrika Corps.
The 27th June saw 20 tanks begin to work around the 2/118i position overrunning two sections before
they were stopped. The I Ott' Indian Division were cut of at Mersa and after preparing demolition charges were ordered to break out independently in a southerly direction and make for El Alamein, The break out became known as the 'Gazala Gallop'. Around 60% of the troops made it to safety many drifting in small parties over the next four days but around 6000 allied troops were captured. It is likely that
Chanan Singh was one of those taken POW.
Stalag VIIIC at Sagan Germany was part of the same complex as the famous Stalag Luft III Raf Camp where 74 Airman escaped during 1944. Fifty of these were re-captured and shot by the Gestapo, this was the largest POW breakout of WW2 and the events were famously portrayed in the film `The Great Escape'.
Indian POW's in North Africa
Sikh soldiers in German Stalag camps