Recipient of the Old Sherwoodians' Millennium
Award for Outstanding Achievement conferred
during the Reunion on 14.10.2000.
in Sherwood till the age of eleven after
which he joined the RIMC, Dehra Dun.
May 1941, he was selected to join the IMA, Dehra
Dun from where he was commissioned
as Second-Lieutenant in the 8/19
Hyderabad Regiment- now the 4 Kumaon.
saw action in Burma with the 51 Infantry
Brigade and at the early age of 21, he was
appointed D.A. & Q.M.G. at his Brigade
Headquarters. He was mentioned in despatches
for his gallantry and for outstanding
Burma he was posted to Malaya to assist in
the process of rehabilitation of the
to India as adjutant of 4 Kumaon, he was
posted to Communal-strife-torn Punjab
where the army was deployed to maintain law
broke out in Kashmir in 1947, Somnath found
himself handicapped with an arm in plaster.
But, despite his fractured arm, he was
so keen to join his regiment, that
the C.O. gave in and ordered him to fly
to Kashmir in command of two
companies sent to protect the air-field
account of how this brave officer,
despite devastating enemy fire kept the
air-strip is given in the following citation:
- CITATION -
3rd. November 1947 Maj. Sharma's Coy was
ordered on a fighting patrol to Badgam
Village in Srinagar (Kashmir) Valley. He
reached his objective at first light on 3rd.
November, 1947, and took up a position
south of Badgam Village. At 1100 hours,
enemy estimated strength 700 attacked his
Coy position being brought to bear on
the Coy position from three
sides, the Coy began to sustain heavy
Sharma fully realizing the gravity of the
situation and the direct threat that
would result to both Srinagar and the
aerodrome if the enemy attacking him was not
held until reinforcements could be rushed up
to close up the gap leading to Srinagar
via Hum Hom, urged his Coy to fight
the enemy -
tenaciously with extreme bravery.
In order to do this, he rushed
across the open ground to his sections
exposing himself to heavy and active
took a very active part in directing the fire
of his sections on to the ever-advancing
enemy. He exposed himself to the full
fury of the enemy's fire and laid out
air-strips in order to guide the
aircraft on to the targets in full view
of the enemy.
that casualties had affected the
efficiency of his light automatics,
this officer, whose left hand was in
plaster, personally commenced filling LMG
magazines and issuing them to LMG gunners. A
mortar shall landing amongst
his ammunition resulted in an explosion
that killed him.
Sharma's Coy held on to its position and the
remnants withdrew when almost completely
surrounded. His inspiring example had
resulted in the enemy being delayed for six
hours and reinforcements permitted to
get into position in Hum Hom to stem the
tide of the enemy's advance.
leadership, gallantry and tenacious defence
was such that his men were inspired to
fight the enemy outnumbered by them seven to
one for six hours, one hour of
which was after this gallant
officer had been killed.
has set an example of courage, with qualities
unequalled in the history of the Indian
Army. His last message to Brigade HQ
received a few moments before he was killed
was "The enemy are only 50 yards
from us. We are heavily
outnumbered. We are under devastating
fire. I shall not withdraw an inch
but will fight to the last man and
the last round.