George Cross medal returned to World War hero's widow

Tuesday 12th May 2015 11:56 EDT

A George Cross medal was stolen from Brahmi Devi (82), a destitute widow of a Second World War hero. The medal was stolen from her in 2002 and was recently returned to her in a ceremony in the Himalayan foothills, after a long legal battle, which was waged on her behalf by the Indian Government, Scotland Yard detectives and a British Barrister.

About 500 villagers attended the ceremony to watch Britain's Defence Advisor in India, Brigadier Brian McCall hand over the medal to Brahmi Devi. Brigadier McCall expressed that this medal carried a story of “service, of honour and gallantry that paid the ultimate sacrifice.”

The event also coincided with the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of VE Day, where they emphasised the courageous contribution of Indian soldiers in both the First and Second World War.

Brahmi Devi's husband, Naik Kirpal Ram fought against the Japanese forces in Burma. He had returned to an Indian training camp in 1946, when he saw a stray live grenade and threw it away to save his comrades. The grenade exploded and caused his death. The Viceroy, Field Marshall Lord Wavell awarded him with the George Cross for “most conspicuous bravery in carrying out hazardous work.”

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