GURMUKH SINGH LAMMA
GURMUKH SINGH LAMMA, a commander in Maharaja Ranjit Singh `s army, born in 1772, was of humble origin, his father, Pardhan Singh, being a money-changer in the small town of Khiva, situated on the right bank of the River Jehlum. Lamma in Punjabi means tall, but the cognomen Lamma was not conferred on Gurmukh Singh on account of his height, for he was of middle stature, but from his taking command of the contingent of Mohar Singh Lamma who was exceptionally tall.
In the summer of 1780, as Mahari Singh Sukkarchakkia was passing through the town on his return from an expedition in the neighbourhood of Find Dadan Khan, Gurmukh Singh, then a boy of eight years, joined his camp. He was the childhood companion of his son, Ranjit Singh. During the early years of Ranjit Singh`s power, wealth and honours were showered on Gurmukh Singh liberally. He was with Ranjit Singh at the capture of Lahore in July 1799, and was then made paymaster of the forces and put in charge of the treasury. Gurmukh Singh fought in most of the campaigns undertaken by the Maharaja.
He fought at Kasur where he commanded 2,000 troops, at Jharig and Sialkot, and against the Gurkhas in 1809. The next year he took part in the siege of Multan, and in attacks on Sahival and Khushab. He commanded a division in the battle of Attock in 1813 and fought in Kashmir. Fifteen times he was wounded in battle: eight times by musket balls, thrice by swordcuts, thrice by spear thrusts, and once by an arrow. For his services Gurmukh Singh was munificently rewarded by his master. Before the capture of Lahore, he received in jagir Pindi Lala and Shahidarivala and afterwards Diriga and Ratto.
After the conquest of Kasur in 1807, he received jdgirs in the Kasur area. When Nar Singh Chamiarivala died in 1806, his troops were placed under Gurmukh Singh , and a large portion of his estates also. At one time Gurmukh Singh `s estates amounted to three and a half lakh of rupees, but the envy of the Dogras, Gulab Singh and Dhian Singh , destroyed both his power and wealth. In August 1847, Gurmukh Singh was appointed along with Bur Singh of Mukcriari to take charge of Maharani Jind Kaur, confined at Sheikhupura. His son Atar Singh (d. 1880) held jdgirs at Naushehra in Shahpur and Pindi Lala, Ghakk Basava, Doburji and Qila Atar Singh in Gujrat.
1. Griffin, Lepel, and C.F. Massy, Chiefs and Families of Note in the Punjab. Lahore, 1909
2. Sun, Sohan Lal, `Umddt-ut-Twarikh. Lahore, 1885-89