Major Somnath Sharma Biography
Major Somnath Sharma, born on 31 January 1923, was commissioned in the Kumaon Regiment on 22 February 1942. The first recipient of India’s highest war-time gallantry award, Param Vir Chakra, Major Somnath Sharma displayed exemplary courage and valour during the Pakistani invasion of Jammu & Kashmir, which began on 22 October 1947.
Major Somnath Sharma was a part of the D Company of 4 Kumaon regiment, which was airlifted to Srinagar on 31 October. Though he was injured at that time as he suffered a fracture while playing hockey and was advised rest, he pleaded to go with his company. The enemy had resorted to guerrilla tactics now that they had run into strong resistance by Indian troops.
On 3 November, D Coy led by Major Somnath Sharma was undertaking reconnaissance tasks, when his company was subjected to indiscriminate firing from the Pakistani raiders. They were heavily outnumbered, but Major Somnath Sharma rushed out into the open and gave instructions to his company not to withdraw. The company held on for a long time. He held back the enemy for a long and crucial time, which helped to stem the enemy advance on Srinagar. He gave up his life on the battlefield but did not yield an inch to the enemy, thus setting a rare example in Indian military lore.