A Sepoy in the 15th Ludhiana Sikhs who was born in the village of Boparai Kalan in the district of Jalandhar, East Punjab. He survived a shot to the chest during the war. His life has been researched by his son, Citizen Historian Davinder Singh Boparai.
What We Know
1. Life Before The War
Jawala Singh is believed to have been born in 1898 (although another source has it as 1880) at his ancestral home of Boparai Kalan, a village in Tehsil Nakodar in the Jalandhar District, East Punjab.
2. Life During The War
Jawala Singh served as a Sepoy with the 15th Ludhiana Sikhs.
He told his son, Davinder Singh Boparai, that he had fought in Germany.
He also recounted to his family various day-to-day hardships of the war such as having to stand in wet trenches filled with rainwater during storms or being bitten through his socks by leeches while marching through a forest.
He also remembered being short of drinking water during hot weather and having to endure a lack of food supplies - on occasions they had to survive on just a handful of chickpeas in a day.
Jawala Singh was shot in the chest, underwent surgery and recovered.
3. Life After The War
A few years after the war, Jawala Singh was granted 25 acres of land at 275 Chack, Pakpattan, Montgomery (modern day Pakistan).
He moved there with his family from Boparai Kalan and began farming the land.
He was granted a pension in 1927 in recognition of his services during the Great War. This jangi inam (see images) was a military pension awarded by the government for two generations (ie the recipient and their nominated next of kin). Jawala Singh's son, Davinder Singh Boparai, still recieves the pension.
After the partition of Punjab in 1947, Jawala Singh moved to Gohir, a village near Boparai Kalan in East Punjab. Sadly, his medals and photographs taken with his regiment were lost around this time.
Jawala Singh passed away in 1970.
Jawala Singh's family name is Boparai.
His son, Davinder Singh, worked as a senior lecturer in medical microbiology at dental college and moved to Sydney, Australia permanently in 1996.
- Regimental histories: 15th Ludhiana Sikhs, 1st Battalion
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