Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji

"Good Maharaja's Square" in Warsaw, Poland, was named after Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji in recognition for his help to Polish refugees during the World War II

Lieutenant-General H H Maharaja Jam Saheb Sri Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji Jadeja GCSI GCIE (18 September 1895 – 3 February 1966) was a British Indian Army officer and Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar from 1933 to 1948, succeeding his uncle, the famed cricketer Ranjitsinhji and he was the Chancellor of the Chamber of Princes (1933-1944).

Early life and military career

Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji was born at Sarodar on 18 September 1895, nephew of the famed cricketer K.S. Ranjitsinhji. He was educated at Rajkumar College, Rajkot, in Saurashtra, then at Malvern College and University College London.

Commissioned as second lieutenant in the British Army in 1919, Digvijaysinhji enjoyed a military career for over two decades.[1] Attached to the 125th Rajput Infantry in 1920, he served with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, subsequently receiving a promotion to Lieutenant in 1921.[2] He then served with the Waziristan Field Force from 1922 to 1924; after a promotion to captain in 1929, he retired from the army in 1931.[3] However, he would continue to receive honorary promotions in the Indian Army until 1947, ending with the rank of lieutenant-general.

Two years later, Digvijaysinhji succeeded his uncle, who had adopted him as his heir. From 1939 until his demise, he was the longest serving President of Governing Council of The Rajkumar College, Rajkot.

Maharaja Jam Sahib

Upon the passing of his uncle, Digvijaysinhji became Maharaja Jam Sahib in 1933, continuing his uncle's policies of development and public service. Knighted in 1935, Sir Digvijaysinhji joined the Chamber of Princes, leading it as president from 1937 to 1944. Upholding the cricketing tradition of his uncle, he served as President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India in 1937–1938 and was a member of several prominent sporting clubs. He had previously played a single first-class match during the 1933–34 season, captaining Western India against the MCC during its tour of India and Ceylon.[4] He scored 0 and 6 in his two innings, in what was also the only first-class match played by his brother, Pratapsinhji.[5] During the Second World War, Sir Digvijaysinhji served on the Imperial War Cabinet and the National Defense Council, along with the Pacific War Council.

Taking the salute on visiting HMS Nelson in Scotland, September 1942

In 1942 he established Polish Children Camp in Jamnagar-Balachadi for refugee Polish children who were brought out of the USSR during World War II. It existed until 1945, when it was closed and the children were transferred to Valivade, a quarter of a city Kolhapur.[6][7][8] The camp site today is part of 300 acre campus of the Sainik School, Balachadi.[9] The Jamsaheb Digvijay Singh Jadeja School in Warsaw was established to honor this legacy.[10] In 2016, 50 years after Jam Saheb's death, Poland's Parliament unanimously adopted a special resolution honoring Jam Saheb Digvijay Sinhji for his aid to Polish children refugees during WWII. [11][12]

After an independence of India, he signed the Instrument of Accession to the Dominion of India on 15 August 1947. He merged Nawanagar into the United State of Kathiawar the following year, serving as its Rajpramukh until the Government of India abolished the post in 1956.

Representative at International Organisations

Divijaysinhji represented India as a delegate at the first session of the League of Nations in 1920.[13] He was also the Deputy Leader of the Indian delegation to the UN, and chaired both the UN Administration Tribunal and the UN Negotiating Committee on Korean Rehabilitation following the Korean War.


On 7 March 1935 at Sirohi, Sir Digvijaysinhji married Maharajkumari Baiji Raj Shri Kanchan Kunverba Sahiba (1910–1994), second daughter of Maharajadhiraj Maharao Sri Sir Sarup Ram Singhji Bahadur, the Maharao of Sirohi. She took the name of Her Highness Deoriji Maharani Shri Gulab Kunverba Sahiba, and the couple had one son and three daughters.


After a reign of 33 years, Sir Digvijaysinhji died in Bombay on 3 February 1966, aged 70. He was succeeded by his only son, Shatrusalyasinhji, who was a first-class cricketer for Saurashtra.




(ribbon bar, as it would look today)

See also


  1. "nawana8". Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  2. London Gazette
  3. London Gazette
  4. First-class matches played by Digvijaysinhji (1) – CricketArchive. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  5. Western India v Marylebone Cricket Club, Marylebone Cricket Club in India and Ceylon 1933/34 – CricketArchive. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  6. Refugee camps in India, Jamnagar-Balachadi
  7. Anuradha Bhattacharya, History of Polish refugees in India between 1942–48 [in] Polish love story in Gujarat, The Times of India, 17 September 2006
  8. Little Warsaw Of Kathiawar Outlook, 20 December 2010.
  9. "History: humanism Balachadians To Their Core Nawanagar saved their lives. The Poles show they have not forgotten.". Outlook (magazine). 20 December 2010.
  10. JAYARAJ MANEPALLI. "A Maharaja in Warsaw". The Hindu. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  11. "Uchwała Sejmu Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej w sprawie uczczenia pamięci Dobrego Maharadży" (PDF). Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  12. Surender Bhutani. "'Good Maharaja' of Jamnagar remembered in Polish parliament". theindiandiaspora. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  13. "First Ordinary Session of the Assembly". Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  14. "nawana8". Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  15. Iwanek, Krzysztof (1 February 2012). "Maharadża odznaczony, nadanie imienia skwerowi na dobrej drodze!" (in Polish).
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Preceded by
Jam Saheb Shri Ranjitsinhji
Jam Saheb of Nawanagar
Succeeded by
Merged with India
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