Who is this WW2 RIN veteran?


RIN Veteran SmallA couple of days ago, an interesting photo surfaced over facebook - a meme photo showing an old veteran apparently undertaking a salute - and a plea to the government to implement OROP "One Rank One Pension" proposals. . The photograph appeared interesting enough with very scant details on him.  Further digging around bought up a high resolution image that was apparently taken during a veterans protest march held at Jantar Mantar approximately around 14th June 2015. The veterans apparentl came from Jalandhar district as this particular news report points out.

What caught our attention was the medals he was wearing - they clearly designated his service from the Second World War, and a closer analysis of the photograph shows him wearing shoulder epaulettes with "R.I.N" and the unmistakble Navy emblems of a Sea Anchor. The man was also wearing a dark blue uniform with a few more devices added that signified his status as a Naval veteran.

For the un-initiated, this is a close up of his medal group and his rank badges:

RIN Veteran Medals

The medals in the L to R order are the Indian Independence Medal, The 1939-45 War Star (Wrongly mounted with the Defence Medal Ribbon), the Defence Medal (Wrongly mounted with the ribbon of the 39-465 Star), the Burma Star, The 1939-45 War Medal and the India Service Medal.  The combination of medals is unusual for reasons I would not like to elaborate, however it was very clear that the medals were moutned with new ribbons and even covered in some sort of laminated plastic. The old man really does know how to take care of them!.

Added to that is the pride he had taken in getting hold of the rank badges. It may be obvious that one cannot get WW2 era rank badges just like that.  What the veteran did was to procure the current Royal Navy Rank badges and modified it by embroidering an "I" between the R and N.  The Queens crown on the badge however is a give away that this is not an original RIN rank badge.

All this points out to a veteran who takes great pride in his service , for having represented the Indian Navy in a just war. It is also apparent that he was very kindly encouraged by his near and dear, which could be why he had taken so much interest in these artifacts. At this point he is clearly in his late 80s or the early 90s, yet he braved the elements to come to the OROP protest to make sure his voice was heard. 

Unfortunately - there is not much information on who this veteran is. What is his name? We know he is from around Delhi. But beyond that no further knowledge. Surely among the various veterans, someone will know more about him? If someone could sit with him and talk, what stories he might tell!

Update: Within minutes of posting, we were pointed out to this particular tweet from Twitter user @shuksrpcol who had taken this photograph from the same rally. He also provided an id "A Petty Officer Arya who retired in 1970".. thats a start!

Heres wishing Petty Officer Arya more power and health - and hope his dream of OROP is realised!

Photo Courtesy: PTI Photo by Manvender Vashist(PTI6_14_2015_000090a)