Personal info

  • Name: Ali HADAIR
  • D.O.B: 21st Aug, 1913
  • D.O.A: 9th Apr, 1945
  • D.O.D: 15th Jul, 1999
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Sepoy, 6th Royal Battalion (Scinde) 13th Frontier Force Rifles, 19th Brigade, 8th Division, Indian Army
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 3
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Sources & Acknowledgements

River Senio, Italy 9 April 1945

9 April 1945

More details about:
The Second World War 1945 

On 9 April 1945 the Allied spring offensive against the Gothic Line began in earnest. In the east, German defences ran along the River Senio which flowed north-east towards Lake Comacchio and the Adriatic. The intention was to break into the Venetian plain and trap the enemy before they could retreat across the River Po. In the crossing of the Senio by the New Zealand and 8th Indian Divisions, Sepoy Ali Haider, 6/13th Frontier Force Rifles, distinguished himself near Fusignano and Sepoy Namdeo Jadhao, 1/5th Mahratta Light Infantry, north of San Potito, which is south of Fusignano. In the following weeks the Germans were driven north. The Allies began crossing the Po on 23 April and German forces in northern Italy finally surrendered on 4 May.


 In Italy, during the crossing of the River Senio, near Fusignano, in daylight on 9th April, 1945, a Company of the 13th Frontier Force Rifles were ordered to assault the enemy positions strongly dug in on the far bank. These positions had been prepared and improved over many months and were mainly on the steep flood banks, some 25 feet high. Sepoy Ali Haidar was a member of the left-hand Section of the left-hand Platoon. As soon as the Platoon started to cross, it came under heavy and accurate machine gun fire from two enemy posts strongly dug in about 60 yards away. Sepoy Ali Haidar’s Section suffered casualties and only 3 men, including himself, managed to get across. The remainder of the Company was temporarily held up. Without orders, and on his own initiative, Sepoy Ali Haidar, leaving the other two to cover him, charged the nearest post which was about 30 yards away. He threw a grenade and almost at the same time the enemy threw one at him, wounding him severely in the back. In spite of this he kept on and the enemy post was destroyed and four of the enemy surrendered. With utter disregard of his own wounds he continued and charged the next post in which the enemy had one Spandau and three automatics, which were still very active and preventing movement on both banks. He was again wounded, this time in the right leg and right arm. Although weakened by loss of blood, with great determination Sepoy Ali Haidar crawled closer and in a final effort raised himself from the ground, threw a grenade, and charged into the second enemy post. Two enemy were wounded and the remaining two surrendered. Taking advantage of the outstanding success of Sepoy Ali Haidar’s dauntless attacks, the rest of the Company charged across the river and carried out their task of making a bridgehead. Sepoy Ali Haidar was picked up and brought back from the second position seriously wounded. The conspicuous gallantry, initiative, and determination combined with a complete disregard for his own life shown by this very brave Sepoy in the face of heavy odds were an example to the whole Company. His heroism had saved an ugly situation which would - but for his personal bravery - have caused the Battalion a large number of casualties at a critical time and seriously delayed the crossing of the river and the building of a bridge. With the rapid advance which it was possible to make the Battalion captured 3 officers and 217 other ranks and gained their objectives. 

Supplement to The London Gazette of 29 June 1945. 3 July 1945, Numb. 37156, p. 3439

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