Today we remember: Lala VC
On Commonwealth Day, we we remember all those from the Commonwealth who fought in WW1 and in conflicts since.
Lala VC, from Kangra, India, was honoured with a Victoria Cross for his bravery in rescuing wounded under extremely heavy fire at close range in Mesopotamia, now Iraq.
Having dragged five wounded men from exposed ground into a depression to treat their injuries, Lala went out again after hearing his Adjutant’s calls for help. In freezing conditions and under intense fire, Lala found the severely wounded Adjutant. He dressed his wounds and stripped off his own clothing to cover the wounded man and keep him warm. He positioned his own body in between his Adjutant and the enemy fire until dark, when he carried him on his back and crawled to stretcher bearers nearby. At the time of his citation, he was 40 years old.
Lala died in India of polio in 1927 and his last words were said to be: “We fought true.”
His citation reads:
“Finding a British officer of another regiment lying close to the enemy, he dragged him into a temporary shelter, which he himself had made, and in which he had already bandaged four wounded men. After bandaging his wounds he heard calls from the Adjutant of his own regiment who was lying in the open severely wounded. The enemy were not more than one hundred yards distant, and it seemed certain death to go out in that direction, but Lance Naik Lala insisted on going out to his adjutant, and offered to crawl back with him on his back at once. When this was not permitted, he stripped off his own clothing to keep the wounded officer warmer, and stayed with him till just before dark, when he returned to the shelter. After dark he carried the first wounded officer back to the main trenches, and then, returning with a stretcher, carried back his Adjutant. He set a magnificent example of courage and devotion to his officers.”