Service No : 2480984N
Date of Birth : April 30, 1969
Place of birth : Punjab
Service : Army
Last Rank : Lance Naik
Unit : 24 Punjab
Arm/Regt : The Punjab Regiment
Operation : CI & IS Ops
Awards : Vir Chakra
Martyrdom : August 23, 1997
Lance Naik Shamsher Singh hailed from Sangrur district of Punjab and was born on 30 Apr 1969. Son of Shri Bikar Singh and Smr Surjit kaur, Lance Naik Shamsher Singh was inclined to serve in the Armed Forces since his younger days like many young men in Punjab. Eventually, he joined the Army after completing his school education and was recruited into 24 Punjab of the Punjab Regiment, an infantry Regiment of the Indian Army well known for its intrepid soldiers and numerous battle & theater honours.
During Aug 1997, Lance Naik Shamsher Singh's unit 24 Punjab was deployed in Uri sector of J&K. The unit under the command of Col MS Patial had moved to the Uri sector in Oct 1996 and was functioning under the operational control of 12 Infantry Brigade. The unit troops were manning the forward posts along the LOC. Besides manning the posts, the unit soldiers had to undertake armed patrols regularly to monitor the area under its AOR ( Area of Responsibility). The posts were located in high-altitude areas with inhospitable weather conditions and rugged terrain. The unit regularly faced unprovoked firing from across the border, so the troops had to maintain a high state of alert at all times. Lance Naik Shamsher Singh was a part of Delta Company of the battalion and was deployed on the 'Nanak' post in the north Jhelum Sector of Uri on 23 Aug 1997.
On 23 Aug 1997, the enemy started firing indiscriminately at 24 Punjab posts since morning. The firing started at a forward post, named 'Badal' and then at approximately 8:45 am, another forward and isolated post also came under intense enemy mortar, artillery and heavy machine gun fire. Maj Deepender Bhuchar as Company Commander of Delta Company showing exemplary courage rushed along the crawl trench from Nanak to that forward post. On reaching the post, he observed that the situation warranted daring leadership for effective retaliation. In spite of observed heavy machine gun fire from enemy post 'Five Huts', he along with Lance Naik Shamsher Singh engaged enemy bunkers at grave risk to their lives, completely destroying the bunker and killing two enemy soldiers.
In the ensuing battle, an enemy heavy mortar shell caused grievous splinter wounds to both Lance Naik Shamsher Singh and Maj Deepender Bhuchar. Undeterred by these wounds they continued to man the 106mm Recoilless gun and also engaged yet another enemy heavy machine gun bunker, with the help of an 84mm Rocket Launcher. This enemy bunker which was bringing down volumes of effective fire on the forward post was destroyed by a direct hit. Lance Naik Shamsher Singh moved with utter disregard to his wounds and kept firing till his last breath. Maj Deepender Bhuchar also breathed his last while effectively firing the 84mm Rocket Launcher. Lance Naik Shamsher Singh showed outstanding courage and bravery and laid down his life at the age of 26 years in the line of his duty.
Lance Naik Shamsher Singh was given the gallantry award, “Vir Chakra” on 26 Jan 1998 for his act of conspicuous gallantry, unyielding fighting spirit and supreme sacrifice.
The citation for the Vir Chakra awarded to him reads:
On 23 August 1997 at 0845 hours, Lance Naik Shamsher Singh was manning the 106-mm recoilless gun at his isolated forward post in the Uri Sector near the Line of Control when the enemy started Heavy Machine Gun fire on his post. In retaliatory firing he successfully engaged an enemy bunker, completely destroying it and lulling two enemy soldiers. However in the process he too was grievously wounded by the splinters of an enemy mortar shell. Refusing to be evacuated, he assumed control of the 84-mm rocket launcher detachment and destroyed another bunker besides killing one more enemy soldier. The valiant NCO breathed his last while still firing his gun in a semi-conscious state.