On a journey of discovery to historical sites? Download the TracesOfWar app directly on Google Play or the Apple App Store.

Ahmed, Siddiq

Nationality:
Indian (1858-1947, British Colony)

Biography

Do you have more information about this person? Inform us!

Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Jemadar (Lieutenant)
Unit:
22nd Animation Transportation Company, Saar Force, British Army
Awarded on:
November 11th, 1943
Risaldar Abdullah Khan 2nd Royal Lancers
Jemadar Rattan Singh 2nd Royal Lancers
Jemadar Siddiq Ahmed I.M.D.
Of the above V.C.O's, (Viceroy Commissioned Officer red.) the first two were captured by italo-German Forces at El Mekili, Libya, the 8 April 41, serving with their Regiment. Jemadar SIDDIQ AHMED, having proceeded with Force K 6 on active service to France, during December 1939, was later attached to 22 A.T. Coy., R.I.A.S.C.; this unit unit was forced to conform with the general surrender on the 24 June 1940.
They remained in captivity until 1 Mar. 43.
On the 26 Feb. 43 all three V.C.O.'s were with others of their countrymen, being sent to Bayonne from a prison camp in Germany. Before leaving Germany, Jemadar SIDDIQ AHMED determined to take the next available opprtunity to escape. He saw the President of the Camp's Escape Committee, who advised him to attempt to do so from the train en route to Bayonne; he also provided him with French money and suggested that he should endeavour to make for a farm house. Rissaldar ABDULLAH KHAN and Jemadar RATTAN SINGH agreed to attempt the escape with him.
At 4 A.M. on 1 Mar. 43 the train transporting the P.O.W. to Bayonne stopped at a small station called Ste Marie, just S. of Orleans; the guards were then asleep. As the train pulled out of the station the three V.C.O'.s jumped off, and ranaway unseen.
Principally owing to the ability of Je. SIDDIQ AHMED to speak French, they were able to obtain food from farms and local inhabitants, also to obtain suits of civilian clothes and pass them selves off as Algerians.
Despite the adverse and trying conditions, they managed successfully to travel by foot, train and bus to a town called ESPERAZA near the Spanish Frontier, where they had been advised to contact a certain guide to take them into Spain.
Unfortunately the guide was away and this house under German suspicion. They therefore decided to attempt the journey unaided, except for a Shell Co. Tourist Map, and to go in the general direction of Andorra State. This was on the 12th March.
Owing to the German garrisons in the Frontier towns it was necessary to cover most of th journey using hill paths. The weather was extremely cold and they found it difficult to obtain food, living for three days on only two potatoes each. To add to their misfortunes, Risaldar ABDULLAH KHAN's feet became ulcerated and frost-bitten, owing to the snow and damp. After a trek lasting some ten days, they eventually reached Escaldes in Andorra, where the proprietress of the local Hotel gave them food and accomodation.
She also paid for the services of a doctor to attend to Ris. Abdullah Khan's feet, and arranged with H.D.M. Consul-General in Barcelona for their transfer to that city.
Risaldar Abdullah Khan was sent to hospital in Barcelona, much against his will, woing to his poor state of health and inability to travel for about six weeks. He later followed Jemadar Siddiq Ahmed and Jemadar Rattan Singh who had returned to India via Madrid, Gibraltar and Cairo.
I consider that Jemadar Siddiq Ahmed's initiative and conduct under most trying circumstances, and his ability as leader of the party through territories foreign to his nature, are worthy of some recognition and I therefor recommend that he should be awarded the Military Cross
......(?) shown by Rissaldar Abdullah Khan and Jemadar Rattan Singh are equally trying and difficut circumstances, is worthy of some recognitions and I therefore recommend that each be awarded the Indian Distinguished Service Medal."
Military Cross (MC)

Sources

Photo