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Shaheed Udham Singh

Dec 26, 1899 - Jul 31, 1940

 Shaheed Udham Singh


  • Name : Shaheed Udham Singh
  • Date of Birth : Dec 26, 1899
  • Passed Away On : Jul 31, 1940
  • Religion : Sikh
  • Death Place : Pentonville Prison,United Kingdom
  • Address : Sunam, Punjab, British India
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Life Summary

    NAME: Shaheed Udham Singh
    DATE OF BIRTH: 26 December 1899
    PASSED AWAY ON: 31 July 1940
    PLACE OF BIRTH: Sunam, Punjab, British India
    DEATH PLACE: Pentonville Prison, United Kingdom
    OCCUPATION: Indian Revolutionary


    Udham Singh born as Sher Singh was an Indian Revolutionary famous for assassinating Sir Michael O’Dwyer. 


    Udham Singh was born as Sher Singh on 26 December 1899 at a place called Sunam in the Sangrur district of Punjab, India. He belonged to Kamboj Sikh family. His father was Sardar Tehal Singh Jammu who was a railway crossing watchman in the village of Upalli. 

    He lost both his parents at a very young age. His father died in the year 1901 and mother in the year 1907.
    Udham Singh along with his elder brother Mukta Singh was taken by the Central Khalsa Orphanage Putlighar in Amritsar after their father’s death. It is at this orphanage that Udham Singh got the name ‘Udham’. Unfortunately, in the year 1917, his brother too died and he was left alone in the world.

    His Education

    Udham Singh passed his matriculation examination in the year 1918. He left the orphanage in the following year i.e. 1919.

    Singh as a Revolutionary

    Singh became involved in revolutionary politics and was highly influenced by Bhagat Singh and his group. Singh, in the year 1924 became involved with Ghadar Party that organized Indians overseas towards fighting against the colonial rule.

    In the year 1927, Singh returned to India following the orders by Bhagat Singh. He brought 25 associates along with him as well as arms and ammunitions including revolvers. But, he was arrested on keeping unlicensed arms. Moreover, Revolvers, ammunition, and copies of a prohibited Ghadar Party paper called "Ghadr-i-Gunj" ("Voice of Revolt") were confiscated. Consequently, he was prosecuted and sentenced to five years in prison.

    Singh was released from prison in the year 1931. But, his movements were under constant surveillance by the Punjab police. Despite hawk’s eye on his activities by the Police, Singh managed to flee to Kashmir and then from there he made his way to leave the country and went to Germany. In the year 1934, Singh reached London, where he planned to assassinate Michael O'Dwyer.

     Him assassinating Sir Michael O’Dwyer

    In the year 1940 on 13 March 1940, the fateful day, Michael O'Dwyer was scheduled to speak at a joint meeting of the East India Association and the Central Asian Society presently known as Royal Society for Asian Affairs at Caxton Hall.

    Singh entered the hall concealing a revolver in his jacket pocket. He received this revolver from Puran Singh Boughan from Malsian, Punjab. He found an open seat to aim Dwyer without any hassle. As the meeting concluded, Singh shot Michael O'Dwyer twice as the latter moved towards the speaking platform. The shots killed Dwyer immediately. 

    •Luis Dane, 
    •Lawrence Dundas
    •2nd Marquess of Zetland
    •Charles Cochrane –Baillie
    •2nd Baron Lamington

    Singh did not attempt to flee from the venue rather remained there. He was arrested on the site itself.

    His Execution

    In the year 1940, on 1st April, Singh was formally charged with the murder of Michael O'Dwyer., Singh went on a 42-day hunger strike and had to be forcibly fed while he was awaiting trial in Brixton Prison. His trial commenced at the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey, before Justice Atkinson on 4 June 1940.

    Singh was convicted and was given death sentence. On 31 July 1940, Singh was hanged at Pentonville Prison and buried within the prison grounds.


    In the year 1974, Singh’s remains were exhumed and repatriated to India on the behest of Sadhu Singh Thind. The latter accompanied the remains of the Late Revolutionary and the casket was received by Late PM Mrs. Indira Gandhi, Shankar Dayal Sharma and Zail Singh.

    Udham Singh was later cremated at his birthplace Sunam in Punjab and his ashes were immersed in the Sutlej River. Some parts of his ashes are kept in sealed urn at Jallianwala Bagh as well as a memory of the great Indian Hero.

    To Commemorate Him

    Following moves have been taken to commemorate Late Udham Singh

    ·  There is a charity dedicated to Singh at operates at Soho Road in Birmingham.
    ·  Also, there is a museum dedicated to Singh that is located at Amritsar, near Jallianwala Bagh
    ·  Singh's weapon, a knife, his diary, and a bullet from the shooting are kept in the Black Museum of Scotland Yard.
    ·  There have been many films that were based on Singh’s life viz.

    1.Jallian Wala Bagh (1977)

    2.Shaheed Uddham Singh (1977), and

    3.Shaheed Uddham Singh (2002)

    ·  There is a district named Udham Singh Nagar in the state of Uttarakhand

    ·  Singh was the subject of the 1998 track "Assassin" by Asian Dub Foundation

    ·  There is Shaheed Udham Singh Chowk in Anupgarh

    ·  The day of his martyrdom is a public holiday in the states of Punjab and Haryana 

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