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Lieutenant Colonel Ardeshir Burzorji Tarapore, PVC (August 19, 1923 – September 16, 1965),was an officer in the Indian Army and a recipient of the Param Vir Chakra.
Ardeshir belonged to the family of General Ratanjiba, who had led the army of Shivaji and was awarded 100 villages of which Tarapore was the main village, from which comes the family name. Later, Ardeshir’s grandfather relocated to Hyderabad and started working in the Excise Department of the Nizam of Hyderabad.
When Ardeshir was quite young he saved his sister, Yadgar, from the family cow that had broken loose. When he was seven years old he was sent to the Sardar Dastur Boys’ Boarding School in Pune. He completed his matriculation in 1940. After school he applied to the army and was selected. He did his initial training in the Officers’ Training School Golconda and on completion was sent to Bangalore. He was commissioned in the 7th Hyderabad Infantry as a Second Lieutenant.
Popularly known as “Adi”, Ardeshir Tarapore was unhappy joining the infantry, as he wanted to join an armored regiment. One day, his battalion was inspected by Major General El Edroos, the Commander-in-Chief of the Hyderabad state forces. At the grenade throwing range, due to an accident, a live grenade fell into the bay area. Adi was quick to pick it up and throw it. However, the grenade exploded which left him injured when flying shrapnel hit his chest. Major General Edroos was a witness to this event, and, impressed by the exemplary courage displayed, summoned Ardeshir to his office and congratulated him for his efforts. Ardeshir took the opportunity to request a transfer to an armored regiment, and the general agreed. Ardeshir was transferred to the 1st Hyderabad Imperial Service Lancers, which fought The Poona Horse, Ardeshir’s later unit, in Operation Polo. He saw active service in West Asia during World War II during this part of his career.
Hyderabad later merged with the Union of India, and its forces eventually amalgamated with the Indian Army. Ardeshir was shifted to The Poona Horse with commission date of 1 April 1951. He rose to become Commanding Officer (CO) in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. While leading his regiment in securing a major objective in Pakistan, Lieutenant Colonel Tarapore was mortally wounded. He was awarded Param Vir Chakra for his action in the battle.