Subedar Major Balesor Rana, Sirdar Bahadur OBI

Balesor Rana enlisted in the 2nd Battalion on 16 November 1917 and with them took part in the Third Afghan War in 1919.  He was commissioned in 1938 and transferred to the 4th Battalion as a Subedar when it was raised on 15 March 1941.  He served with it in Waziristan in 1942 and in Burma in 1944-5.  He was appointed its Subedar Major on 26 June 1945.   He went on to serve with it after the war in French Indo-China and British North Borneo and was still serving when it was involved in quelling riots in Calcutta in 1947.   In his history of the 4th Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel John Kitson, its Commandant, said ‘I must needs mention one who was outstanding among them all, Subedar Major Balesor Rana OBI who by his cheerfulness, courage and excellent example kept the men happy and contented during those closing days of the battalion and to whom we all owe a great debt of gratitude’.

On 31 December 1948 the 4th Battalion remained in the Indian Army and was retitled 5th Battalion 8th Gurkha Rifles.  Balesor Rana was given a commission as an Indian officer and soldiered on in a different appointment.

He was awarded the Order of British India 2nd Class in 1947 for his wartime work, and in 1948 was advanced to the 1st Class of the same Order, earning the title ‘Sirdar Bahadur’.


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