Pushing a badly-wounded captain in a wheelbarrow under heavy fire through no man’s land, the brave lieutenant risked his life to save his superior.
The British assault in the 1915 Battle of Neuve-Chapelle in France ended disastrously, like so many in the First World War, when the reinforced Germans counterattacked.
One soldier called it “a foretaste of hell” with allied casualties totalling 13,000 over three days of brutal combat.
Mercifully George Henderson, the injured captain, recovered and survived the war. His saviour did not.
Shot in the leg during the daring rescue, amputation couldn’t save a hero who died of blood poisoning and gangrene a few weeks later despite evacuation to a Brighton hospital.
Subedar Manta Singh, of 2nd Sikh Royal Infantry, was a turbaned Sikh from the Punjab in India, one of 83,000 killed fighting in the service of Great Britain during two world wars.
More than 100,000 Sikhs were wounded.
Famed as fearsome warriors, some went into battle with chakram circular throwing weapons and talwar curved swords as well as rifles.
An incredible 10 Victoria Crosses have been won by soldiers serving in Sikh regiments.
During the First World War, 14 of the 22 Military Crosses awarded to Indian soldiers fighting with the British went to “the Lions” despite Sikhs being outnumbered by Hindu and Muslim troops in an expeditionary force sent from British-run India to Europe.
Manta Singh’s proud grandson, Jaimal Johal, said conditions had been particularly harsh for soldiers used to much warmer weather in India.
“Winter was hard and Indian soldiers didn’t have proper clothing so they suffered. Some of them were just in shorts,” says Mr Johal, 79, a retired sub-postmaster in Maidenhead, Berks. He moved to Britain on Boxing Day 1961.
Henderson and Singh were not just comrades but friends whose bond forged in battle carried on in their families down the generations.
Singh’s son, Assa, who was Mr Johal’s father, served with the British Army alongside Henderson’s own son Robert. In turn Mr Johal remains in touch with Robert’s son, Ian.
Assa fought in North Africa during the Second World War and in Italy, including at the famous battle of Monte Cassino.