NEWS/EVENTS



Article Last Updated on 18th May  2018 

 

 

Death Notifications

It is with regret that the death of JBA Member Colonel Geoffery Lee OBE, late of The King's Regiment, is announced as having occurred on 24 March 2018. The Funeral will take place at 12 noon on Friday 20th April at St Giles Church, Great Coxwell, Oxfordshire. Further details will be posted when known.

 

JBA ANNUAL CURRY LUNCH 2018

 Advance notice of the annual Curry lunch has now been emailed to all members. If you have not received a copy please email the President with your up to date email address.

The Lunch will be at The Punjab Restaurant in Covent Garden on Saturday 21 July 2018 assembling from 12 noon to sit down at 1315 hrs, The arrangements will follow those of last year, including a cash bar.

It would be helpful if individuals could email the President asap if they, with or without partners/guests, have the intention of attending, Nearer the time the final details will be published to those who have replied. NIL returns are NOT required.

As at 1 May the following have given advance notice of attendance;

Peter Davies

Pushpindar Singh Chopra

Noel Sutton Smith + Son

Nigel Johnson + Pat  

Hilary Saunders

Tony McClenaghan  

Peter Rafferty + wife

Hugh Mackay  

Derek Lawrence-Brown

Bob Smethurst + wife

Les Taylor-Duff + wife

Paddy Singh

Kinny Khanna

David Brockhurst

John Meredith 

 

Jullundur Brigade Association India Tour 28 Oct to 7 Nov 2018 

Introduction:  Since our visit to Neuve Chapelle in Oct2014, we have been looking to go to India to re-connect with our Indian Army contacts. With a few false starts, we finally managed our trip for the Autumn in 2017. 

JBA Tour Members: The members of the association who came from England and Canada were: Maj Gen Peter Davies CB (our President and former Col of the King’s Regt), Brig Tim Waugh (late R SIGNALS and a good friend of the Regt), Col Bob Douglas (Royal Regiment of Canada – affiliated with the LANCS – and served with the KINGS for 2years), Maj Bob Smethurst (RHQ LANCS), Col John White TD (ex-KINGS, currently Comdt Surrey PWRR ACF), Air Commodore Rick Holt (stationed with the KINGS in Hong Kong), Jeremy Moss (whose late father was MANCHESTERS), Tim Plumtree (a neighbour of our President), Iain Smith (historian and member of Sikh Pioneers and Sikh Light Inf Assocn), Hugh Mackay (whose father was 34 Sikh Pioneers) and Noel Sutton Smith (who has family links to the British Indian Army and the Connaught Rangers).

Travel Out: The majority of the group travelled out from LHR on Sat 28 Oct by BA. The flight was delayed due to a disconnect between passengers and booked in bags. So we arrived in the early hours of Sun 29 Oct at Delhi to long queues at immigration. We were met by our excellent tour administrator, Capt Paddy Singh (who lives in Salisbury), and a fleet of taxis. We proceeded for a few hours kip to the United Service Institution of India. The rooms were basic but adequate.

Sun 29 Oct Delhi: The next morning after a quick breakfast we moved to the Colonel’s Retreat Guest House in the Defence Colony. The Defence Colony is in South Delhi and was originally given up as building plots to officers of the Indian Army with former homes in what became Pakistan on Partition in 1947. Here we were joined by our Secretary General, Pushpindar Singh Chopra.

Viceroy’s House: After lunch at the Colonel’s Retreat, we proceeded to the Rashtrapati Bhavan Presidential Residence, formerly the Viceroy’s House, designed by Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens. George V and Queen Mary came to India in 1911 to strengthen Britain’s links with the Indian Empire and, after the Delhi Durbar, it was decided to move the capital of British India from Calcutta to Delhi, one of the former Mogul capitals. About 4,000 acres of land were acquired south of Delhi, 2 villages were re-located, and work began on building New Delhi with the official residence, administration buildings and a number of barracks for infantry and cavalry battalions and regiments. The Viceroy’s House was completed in 1916 in an Edwardian Baroque style, but incorporating some Indian motifs. We had a splendid but quick private tour of the main official reception rooms in the House.

Guard Changing: Our tour was cut short to enable us to observe the Guard Changing ceremony. Lt Gen Aditya Singh had arranged our private tour of the Presidential Residence and our special viewing point at this ceremony. Similarly to London, there are 2 elements: the mounted and the foot. The President’s Body Guard is the senior regiment in the Indian Army. It is equipped as a Lancer Regiment for its ceremonial role, but its soldiers are also trained as paratroopers and equipped with the Russian BTR-80 8x8 wheeled amphibious APC. We had a brief look inside their Officers’ Mess and it is as the British best cavalry regiments looked before WW2.

The foot element was the 5th Bn of the 1st Gorkha Rifles (The Malaun Regiment) who are on a 3-year posting to Delhi in a ceremonial role. The Bn is dressed in dark green but with short-sleeved shirts rather than tunics. They wear a shiny black gaiter over DMS boots and carry an Indian manufactured version of the former British SLR. Their turn-out and drill was of the highest standard. One could not fault their step or dressing. They followed similar drill movements to the British when we had the SLR, except they do a smart double halt after standing stationary for some time which circulates the blood and stops feinting. They were accompanied by their band which included pipers who march with a swagger, deliberately twisting their shoulders from side to side. Many of them wear operation service medal ribbons as they have served in recent border conflicts or on UN missions.

Tripartite Agreement 1947: At the time of Partition 1947, the British Indian Army had 10 Regiments of Gurkha Rifles:

1st King George V's Own Gurkha Rifles (The Malaun Regiment)

2nd King Edward VII's Own Gurkha Rifles (The Sirmoor Rifles)

3rd Queen Alexandra's Own Gurkha Rifles

4th Prince of Wales's Own Gurkha Rifles

5th Royal Gurkha Rifles (Frontier Force)

6th Gurkha Rifles

7th Gurkha Rifles

8th Gurkha Rifles

9th Gurkha Rifles

10th Gurkha Rifles

Under the Britain–India–Nepal Tripartite Agreement, 6 went to India and 4 to Britain. The decision was based on the views of the Regimental Colonels and Bn Cos, the ethnic background of the soldiers and where they were currently stationed. Britain took the 2nd, 6th, 7th and 10th Regiments.

Pushpindar Singh Chopra: In the evening we were hosted to drinks and supper in his home by our Secretary General, Pushpindar (son of the JBA Founder, the late Maj Gen Mohindar Singh Chopra IOH) and his wife, Deepak. There were several guests from the Defence community as well as some family. It was a most friendly and jolly evening.

Mon 30 Oct in Delhi: We went back to the United Service Institution of India for a talk on the Jullundur Brigade’s history, particularly its service on the Western Front between 1914 and 1915. The session was attended by retired and serving officers from all 3 Indian Armed Forces. Lt Gen PK Singh, Director General, welcomed us, the session was chaired by Lt Gen Devraj Singh, a JBA member and former CO of 5 SIKHS (the successor to 47 SIKHS from WW1), Maj Gen Peter Davies gave an amusing talk on the JBA’s development and Pushpindar Singh gave the WW1 historical talk. The USII was founded in 1870 and has a very interesting library containing many regimental histories before Partition in 1947. We were pleased that our session was so well attended and generated some interesting discussions over a buffet lunch. Gen Peter presented our banner and received a handsome USI Presentation Book.

India Gate: In the afternoon we went to a private wreath laying ceremony at India Gate. This memorial was designed by Lutyens and commemorates 82,000 soldiers of the Indian Army who died in the period 1914–21 in the First World War, in France, Flanders, Mesopotamia, Persia, East Africa, Gallipoli and elsewhere in the Near and the Far East, and the Third Anglo-Afghan War. 13,300 servicemen, including some soldiers and officers from the United Kingdom, without known graves are inscribed on the gate. Beneath the arch is Amar Jawan Jyoti, the flame of the immortal soldier, a structure consisting of a black marble plinth, with reversed SLR, capped by war helmet, bound by four urns, each with the permanent light. This plinth was erected in the wake of the Liberation of Bangladesh in December 1971 to commemorate Indian soldiers killed in the defence of their country and inaugurated by the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, on 26 Jan 1972, the 23rd Republic Day. Lutyens designed this memorial in line with the Viceroy’s House on the Rajpath ("King's Way") which runs from Rashtrapati Bhavan on Raisina Hill through Vijay Chowk and India Gate to National Stadium. The avenue is lined on both sides by huge lawns, canals and rows of trees and is where the annual Republic Day parade takes place.

Delhi Gymkhana Club: In the evening we were guests of Capt Paddy Singh at this famous club. Originally called the “Imperial Delhi Gymkhana Club”, it was founded on 3 Jul 1913, but was relocated in the heart of Lutyens' Delhi on Safdarjung Road in 1928, occupying 27.3 acres of land as per the site plan made on the drawing board by Sir Edwin Lutyens as part of his grand design for New Delhi. The architect was Robert T Russell who used a colonial style to fit in with the neighbouring British bungalows. It has extensive sporting facilities and marvelous large public rooms.

Tue 31 Oct to Amritsar: We left the Colonel’s Retreat after breakfast for our flight to Amritsar. We then drove to the Bhandari’s Guest House in the cantonment area. The original owner, Mrs Bhandari and her husband were moving east to west 100 years ago intending to make for Lahore, but ended up setting up home and a new business in Amritsar. After her 2nd husband died, Mrs Bhandari converted the home they had built into this guest house. It is a sprawling rough brick-built complex but with lots of character. I was expecting a horse to be stabled with me in my room which had a padlock to a double-gated door and electric switches seeming at least 100 years old. The ambience was extremely friendly and we ate our Anglo-Indian home-cooked meals at a long table under a corrugated roof open at the sides with plenty of Indian brewed Kingfisher beer.

Partition Museum: After lunch we were driven to the centre of Amritsar to the recently opened (Oct 2016) Partition Museum in the old Town Hall. What a journey! We went down very busy streets, with so much colour, chaos and noise. We saw cows wandering in the streets, some cows being milked in a small parlour at the road-side, every type of small work-shop and stall-holder. There were smart people and really poor, air-conditioned cars, and bicycles and mopeds carrying 3 people, including mothers holding babies in their arms sitting side saddle, and men carrying massive loads on their backs on their bicycles or mopeds.

We were given a most interesting tour of the museum by the Assistant Curator, Ganeev Kaur Dhillon. She really helped us to understand better the massive disruption and killings caused by Partition. How it became impossible for the Sikhs and Hindus to remain in the Western Punjab which went to Pakistan and how Lahore had been such a bright, enlightened and wealthy capital of the Punjab before Partition; and how, despite the Punjab traditionally being seen as the Sikh homeland, there were more Muslims than Sikhs living there and so many Muslim families felt the need to move west to avoid retaliation. The exhibition helps to understand why Partition still has such an impact on the Indian sub-continent to this day, and why there continues to be so much tension between India and Pakistan. Amritsar is the spiritual and cultural centre of the Sikh religion. Before partition it was a large commercial centrein the middle of the Punjab on the busy Grand Trunk Road, but is now very much a border town close to the only land border with Pakistan.

Golden Temple: On the next day, Wed 1 Nov, we went back into the centre of Amritsar to the Golden Temple, Sri Harmandir Sahib ("the abode of God”). This shrine attracts more visitors than the Taj Mahal. The temple complex is built around a man-made pool with the inner shrine shimmering in gold in the centre, approached from a walkway. The complex and shrine have been attacked and rebuilt several times due to religious and political conflict since its creation in the 16th century. In 1984 it became a centre of refuge to Sikhs seeking an independent state and Indira Gandhi sent in the army, leading to numerous deaths of militants, soldiers and civilians, as well as causing much damage to the temple complex. The damage has been fully repaired, but Mrs Ghandi was later assassinated in the same year by 2 Sikh militants.

We were very fortunate to be treated as special guests courtesy of Miss Indu Arora, led around the pool and then into the shrine, avoiding the very deep, long queues. After our visit we went a short way outside the complex to a garden rest area for pilgrims, where Maj Gen Peter Davies had the honour of planting a tree on behalf of our association in commemoration of our visit.

Jallianwala Bagh Massacre 13 Apr 1919: Next we went a short distance to the Jallianwala Bagh memorial garden. This is the site of the so- called Amritsar Massacre. The local commander, Temporary Brig Gen Reginald Dyer, had been worried about strikes and unrest against British rule and was fearful of local agitation fermenting into a potential mutiny like 1857. He banned all public meetings, but many visitors were coming into Amritsar to take part in the annual Baisakhi celebrations, a religious and cultural festival for Punjabi people, and also to condemn the arrest and deportation of two nationalist leaders. They collected in the open ground between some narrow streets and high buildings. Dyer ordered a detachment of 50 Indian soldiers to open fire on the crowd. There seems to have been no warning, exits were blocked either deliberately or in the panic, the soldiers fired continuously for over 10 minutes. Even Dyer admitted 1,650 rounds were fired from the counting of empty shell cases, but it was likely more. Official British Indian sources gave a figure of 379 identified dead, with approximately 1,100 wounded; but locals claimed over 1,000 were killed. It is seen as a major tipping point in leading to the end of British rule.

Wagah Border Ceremony: In the afternoon we went to see this ceremony marking the official closure each sunset of the only land border between Pakistan and India. The border is almost equidistant from the 2 pre-Partition main centers of the Punjab on the old Grand Trunk Road - Lahore in Pakistan, and Amritsar in India. It has become a rebel-rousing nationalistic event. The border is surrounded by spectator tiers of seats in semi-circles. On the Indian side we were told there were 25,000 in the audience – and this was just an ordinary weekday. There was much rebel rousing singing, shouting and running with national flags. Many spectators were school children. The audience looked a little smaller and more restrained on the Pakistan side, with the women were covered in niqabs or burkas, many in black. On the Pakistan side was a one-legged man pirouetting and a young boy doing a “Michael Jackson Shuffle Dance”. Then we had the respective guards march in exaggerated mode up to the border, kicking their legs high up to shoulder height, shaking fists as they reached the border and slamming the border gates several times. Finally, in further exaggerated moves, the respective flags are lowered simultaneously and the border gates closed fully. Pushpindar’s father had been the brigade commander responsible for the border at and immediately after Partition. Our host was the Border Security Force’s Inspector General (Operations) Abhinav Kumar.

Thu 2 Nov to Chandigarh: After breakfast we drove in an east-southeast direction from Amritsar to Jalandhar (the Indian name for Jullundur), then to Chandigarh. Driving in India is an “exhilarating” experience – we were driven at speed on single carriageway roads with all sorts of traffic. To overtake requires holding one’s nerve and hoping the traffic in the opposite direction will give way!We stopped for lunch in Jalandhar before driving into the military garrison area to go past the barracks which had formerly been the home to the Jullundur Brigade in 1914. Jalandhar is situated alongside the Grand Trunk Road and used to be the capital of Punjab from India’s independence until Chandigarh was constructed in the 1950s. It is currently home to the XI Corps of the Indian Army, raised to take command of the formations in the Punjab as India reorganised its post-1947 army to meet the new threat of Pakistan. We also visited the dusty site which has been the spawning ground for India’s field hockey Olympic Gold medal winners from 1928, winning 8 golds up to 1980.

Chandigarh: We arrived at the official state guest house as guests of the Chief Minister of the Punjab, Amarinder Singh, the Maharaja of Patiala, who represents the Congress Party and was elected in Feb 2017 for 5 years. The rooms were large but missing some basic amenities, such as sheets and toilet paper. To get an alcoholic drink we had to be driven to a hotel and then, through Jeremy Moss, found a bar across the road selling beer at a 5th of the hotel price. We returned for a late but good curry meal.

Chandigarh is one of the early planned cities in post-independence India. The master plan of the city was prepared by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier. It is laid out with large open spaces and on a grid pattern. It certainly has some very smart private houses.

Fri 3 Nov at Chandigarh: After breakfast we did a bomb burst to do our own walking around the nearby area. 4 of us enjoyed a tuk tuk rickshaw ride. Some found the Chandigarh War Memorial with 8,500 names of servicemen from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and the Union Territory of Chandigarh who have died on operations since Indian Independence in 1947. It is in a large bougainvillea garden and was inaugurated on 17 Aug 2006. The conflicts covered are: First Indo-Pakistan War (1948-1949) - also known as the First Kashmir War; Liberation of Hyderabad (1948) - "Operation Polo”; Naga Rebellion (since 1954); Liberation of Goa (1961) – the conflict between India and Portugal - "Operation Vijay”; Sino-Indian War (1962); UN Offensive Operations in the Congo (1961-1964); Second Indo-Pakistan War (1965) - the Second Kashmir War; Sino-Indian Skirmish (1967) - the “Chola Incident”; Third Indo-Pakistan War/Bengali War of Independence (1971); Assam- Nagaland border dispute (since 1979); Punjab Insurgency (1984-1989); Siachen Operations (since 1984) - the demarcation line conflict between India's and Pakistan's claims in Jammu and Kashmir; Indian Intervention in Sri Lankan Civil War (1987-1990); Indian Intervention in the Maldives (1988); Kashmir Revolt (since 1990); Indian-Bangladesh Border Conflict (since 2001).

House Visits: We then went for drinks with Sarabjit Singh’s, a retired police colonel, at his house. He described being ambushed in 1988, and had some interesting police and military artefacts. With him we went to a local café-type restaurant to enjoy a couple of authentic local dishes with lassi, the local Punjabi yogurt-based drink. Later we went to tea with retired Brig Harsh, a Gunner, and his family, including his son Arjun, who runs a real estate consultancy business.

Government Dinner: In the evening we were invited to a dinner at the official residence of the Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, currently Chief Minister of Punjab. He had invited a good number of guests to meet us, including several retired officers from the Sikh Regiment and their wives. His Chief Adviser is retired Lt Gen Maun Shergill, late Deccan Horse. The dinner was held under a grand canopy on grass – a most splendid and hospitable evening. Gen Peter presented the JBA Banner and we all received copies of the Maharaja’s book “Honour and Fidelity – India’s Military Contribution to the Great War 1914-1918”, which is well researched with battle diagrams and interesting photographs.

Amarinder Singh is the descendant of the famous Maharaja Sir Bhupinder Singh GCSI GCIE GCVO GBE who served on the General Staff in France, Belgium, Italy and Palestine in the First World War as an Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel, and was promoted Honorary Major-General in 1918 and Honorary Lieutenant-General in 1931. He represented India at the League of Nations in 1925, and was chancellor of the Indian Chamber of Princes.

Sat 4 Nov to Shimla: We were going by train to Shimla in the morning, but a landslide and over-running engineering works meant that the train line couldn’t open until late morning. So we had a later departure from Chandigarh to Kalka, the bottom of the narrow gauge railway at the Shivalik foot hills. We boarded a single tourist car with an incorporated diesel engine at 13:30 for our journey up into the Himalayas at Shimla. The line has a 2 feet 6 inch gauge and was opened in Nov 1903. It is 96.5 km long and winds up through spectacular mountain scenery. Kalka is 656 meters above sea level and Shimla is at 2,076 meters – a difference of 1,420 meters. The railway has a ruling gradient of 1 in 33 or 3%, with 919 curves, the sharpest being 48 degrees. The line runs through 102 tunnels. The longest at 1143.61 meters long is at Barog and the engineer in charge of its construction allegedly committed suicide after making a small mistake in laying the alignment from either side. There are 864 bridges, only one of which is a 60 feet plate girder span, the others being viaducts with multi-arched galleries like Roman aqueducts, one having 5 tier galleries.

There are several trains running each way during the day consisting of up to 6 carriages. We were held up at several passing loops to wait for trains coming down. We briefly stopped at Barog for a small cup of sweet tea and a slice of white buttered toast. We eventually arrived at Shimla at 19:30 in the dark. We were relieved to get off the train as every time we slowed or stopped, our car filled with diesel fumes. It was then a taxi ride to our accommodation, the Marina Hotel, built about 10 years ago.

Shimla: Known under the British as Simla, the place takes its name from a Hindu goddess. Nepal tried to rule the area in the early 19th century and the East India Company came to help the locals and took control after the Anglo-Nepalese War (1814–16). As a result, British Indian Army Officers and Civil Servants began to appreciate its climate. In 1863, the then Viceroy of India, John Lawrence, decided to shift the summer capital of the British Raj to Shimla from Calcutta in the hot weather (Apr to Oct), moving the administration twice a year over 1,000 miles away, despite the fact that it was difficult to reach.

After quickly finding our bedrooms in the hotel, we went up “The Mall” to the Amateur Dramatics Club, which was formed in 1837. It moved to its present location in the Gaiety Theatre Complex in 1887. Putting on plays became an important past-time for the British stationed in Shimla and the “Green Room” became the bar. The Club has as its members senior military, police, judicial and civil servant personnel. It is now run by HQ Army Training Command which has its HQ in Shimla. Our host was member Capt Paddy Singh. After downing several welcome beers after our long train journey, we then enjoyed a curry in the Club before returning to our hotel.

Viceregal Lodge: On Sun 5 Nov we went to the summer residence of the British Viceroy of India. It was designed by British architect Henry Irwin and built in the Jacobethan style during the regime of Lord Dufferin and completed in 1888. It has much internal specialist wood paneling such as Burma teak, had electricity from the start, as well as being equipped with a sophisticated firefighting mechanism through wax-tipped water ducts which is still in place. Photographs adorn the walls showing the historic meetings that took place in the building leading up to Partition and Independence, such as the Simla Conference in 1945 and the later 1947 decision to carve out Pakistan and East Pakistan from India. After independence, the building was renamed Rashtrapati Niwas to be used as a summer retreat for the President of India. However, since 1965 it has become the home of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study for independent specialist research.

Chapslee Lodge: We then had a tour of Chapslee which is one of the oldest buildings in Shimla, having been built between 1828 and 1835 by Dr Blake, a surgeon in the service of the British East India Company. Lord Auckland, Governor General of the East India Company Territories, was a resident of the adjoining Auckland House. Finding the accommodation insufficient, he took this property, first on rent and later purchased it in 1836, to house his private & military Secretaries, renaming it “Secretary’s Lodge”. The house and surrounding estate changed hands several times over the years and was acquired in the 1920s by Raja Charanjit Singh of Kapurthala. The house is now run as a small heritage hotel by his grandson, Kanwar Ratanjit Singh. It has furnishings and décor from the 1920s and gives a good impression of the houses lived in by senior British officials in the days of the Raj.

Wildflower Hall Hotel: We then drove 13 km out of Shimla to a luxury Oberoi hotel constructed on the site of the summer residence of Lord Kitchener of Khartoum, when he was C-in-C India 1902 to 1909. The house which Kitchener rented was demolished in 1925 and the current building dates from 1993. We were guests again of the Chief Minister of the Punjab, who has his own summer residence nearby, and enjoyed an excellent lunch on the terrace in warm sunshine with good views north to the higher Himalayan peaks.

It was then back to Shimla for some shopping in the bazaars before drinks again as guests of Capt Paddy Singh at the Amateur Dramatics Club.

Mon 6 Nov to Delhi: We had a 0700 start in a cramped minibus winding down from Shimla all the way to Chandigarh to catch an express train to Delhi, with our luggage strapped onto the roof. On the train we were in the equivalent of a 1st class carriage and were served a curry lunch like an airplane meal as we sped back to the capital. Coming into Delhi we went past the usual shanty homes and were amazed by the amount of discarded plastic everywhere. We were then ferried to the YMCA, where the rooms were probably the most basic we experienced on our tour. After a quick check in, we then had a 30-minute wait to be picked up by our taxis delayed in the usual heavy traffic. In Delhi, in particular, the traffic is extremely heavy and simple journeys take forever. There seems little lane or traffic light discipline and we were surprised that there aren’t more accidents. Most of us suffered coughs and sore throats in the heavy polluted air. In fact, it always seemed overcast due to the pollution haze.

Sabre Officers’ Mess: On our last evening we were grandly entertained as guests of Maj Kinny Khanna at the Delhi officers’ mess for the Indian Armoured Corps. Kinny himself served in 4 Horse, Hodson’s Horse. The mess is a very grand building full of beautiful artifacts relating to the Indian cavalry regiments. What was very clear from our visit is that Indian Army regiments are very proud of their histories and traditions, including their service, deeds, heroes and honours before Independence. They still proudly keep names associated with their British Indian Army ancestry, such as: 1 Horse, Skinner's Horse, The Yellow Boys; 2nd Lancers, Gardner's Horse; 4 Horse, Hodson's Horse; 9th Deccan Horse; 14 Horse, Scinde Horse; 17 Horse, The Poona Horse. Our drinks were served on silver trays by mess stewards wearing dress whites with shoulder titles bearing their regimental identification. Kinny had invited several senior cavalry officers and their wives to meet us, as well as the current British DA. What a wonderful end to our tour!

Tue 7 Nov to LHR: It was an early departure at 0700 from the YMCA to the airport for our flight back to LHR. We boarded our flight on time but then spent 2 hours grounded waiting for the smog to lift. Otherwise our flight was uneventful, and we arrived to meet our bags and make our individual journeys home.

 

Photograph Record of the Tour:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

-"AN UNTOLD STORY 1914-2014"

 

Remembering the hugely successful  JBA 2014 pilgrimage to the Menin Gate, the Indian Army War Memorial and the battlefields of Flanders where the Jullundur Brigade fought in World War 1 realised by the tremendous support and presence of The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, and largely organised by the enthusuasm and efficiency of the Project Officer, Maj Bob Smethurst, with the total support of The Colonel of The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, Brig Peter Rafferty MBE and his Regimental Secretary, Col Chris Owen, an educational book was produced by David Brookhouse, Heritage Learning Manager of the Cultural Services of Lancashire County Council for distribution to Schools Educational Centres in the North West of England and elesewhere. The book, which is handsomely produced with  a plethora of excellent photographs and recorded statements of participants in the Brigade, continues through to the present day. 

The book takes the form of Lesson Plans to be utilised by teachers to focus on the contribution that the three Regiments, British,Indian and (now) Pakistan of the Jullundur Brigademade to our joint  and National heritages. It is primarily the work of school children from 850 Primary Schools in the North West of England, a selection of whom attended the pilgrimage, under the coordination of David Brookhouse of the Cultural Services of Lancashire County Council, and is designed for use within schools  to record this particular history of our National Cutural heritage.

David has kindly agreed to post individual copies of "The Untold Sory" to the first ten applicants who email him at:   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

"FOR KING AND COUNTRY"

 

The  President JBA, as Patron of 1914 Sikhs, and organised by Harbinder Singh Rana, hosted an evening presentation by Shrabani Basu in the Birmingham and Midland Institute to launch in the Midlands her recently published book "For King and Another Country" - 'Indian Soldiers on the Western Front 1914-18' (and thus of particular interest to members of the JBA). The occasion formed part of the UK wide programme of events arranged by 'Sikhs 1914' to highlight the contribution of the Sikhs in World War and its aftermath. The evening was Chaired by Jim Richards a Litigation Partner of Pinsent Masons LLP who generously hosted the event.

Some 30 members of the public, including local members of the JBA, attended what was a most stimulating and informative presentation which took the form of the Author reading moving extracts from the book, including mention of some of the Victoria Crosses awarded to Sikhs  and afterwards, under the stewardship of Jim Richards, taking questions from the audience.

It is hoped that there will be a similar presentation in London to mark the launch of the paperback version of the book later this year (details will appear in our website in due course).

The book, which is beautifully printed and includes some fine photography, can be purchased now, published by Bloomsbury under ISBN 978-93-84052-91-1 in hardback for £25 and is highly recommended.   

 

 

JBA MEMBERS' BIOGRAPHIES

 

To add interest for  Members I have decided to publish, roughly once a month, a short biographical account of the life and service of individual members. I will do the selection and try to vary it between the various countries we now live in.

 

LIEUTENANT COLONEL DEREK DOUGLAS JAMES LAWRENCE-BROWN

 

 

Born and brought up in Kenya until age of 16 and finished schooling in Hampshire. Joined the Army as a rifleman in the Green Jackets July 1964 at Winchester and went to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in January 1965. Graduated as Second Lieutenant in December 1966 and joined the 1 Battalion King’s Regiment (Manchester & Liverpool).

Regimental tours, in Ballikinlar (long-term), Belfast (twice) and Londonderry (18 months), were interspersed with School of Infantry Warminster tours as Directing Staff. After Minden in Germany, as Regimental Signal Officer, on the Regimental Signals Instructors Course and post command of a mechanized company, in Osnabruck in Germany, on the Combat Team Commander’s Course.

After completing the Army Staff Course, in Camberley, filled an appointment as MOD Grade 2 Staff Officer, in the Adjutant General’s Secretariat. Later Commanded 5th/8th KINGS (1985 – 1988), a Territorial Infantry Battalion based in Warrington, Liverpool and Manchester.

Later returned to Warminster as SO1 Headquarters School of Infantry and finally took up an MOD Grade 1 Staff Appointment at the MOD, again for the Adjutant General. During that time was closely involved in the setting up and installing the first 2 Star Director General of the Tri-Service Resettlement Organization (TSRO). Took early retirement in February 1994 aged 49 and remained a Trustee of the King’s Regimental Trust until 2006.

Become the first appointed UK wide first full-time UK wide Head of Field Operations, for the Regular Forces Employment Association, providing employment assistance to Non-Commissioned ranks of RN/Army/RAF. In time, the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) was outsourced by the MOD. We joined the Partnership, as Sub-Contractors, to provide on-the job support.

I finally retired full time in the summer 2010. However, since leaving the Army in 1994, I have been committed on an active committee involvement, to Woodroffe’s (Currently Honorary Secretary), an ex-tri Service retired officers networking organization. My allotment also keeps me busy.

In 2010 I was persuaded to take on Chairmanship of Manchester Regiment Officer’s Association (MROA) and continue to do so. We run two lunches each year, one in Manchester and the other in London. These are open to any former Manchester Regiment Officer or their widow, son, daughter and granddaughter or grandson and by invitation a few Friends of the MROA.

 

 

eMail Addresses

All members are asked to register their changes in personal circumstances (personal eMail address and contact telephone numbers in particular) direct to The President ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ); this will greatly facilitate correspondence with members.

NB

1. All members are requested to check their personal details displayed on the Membership Page for accuracy of detail and spelling. Any required amendments should be emailed direct to the President.  

2. Those names marked by * are asked to confirm their current email address to the President

3. General notices sent by eMail will be sent out on set distribution lists to country specific bcc addressees to avoid compromising individual members' privacy.   

 

 

Articles

Articles on subjects relating to the Jullundur Brigade will be most welcome. Articles on individual soldiers, their Regiments, gallantry awards, dress, equipment, battles and related subjects, together with maps and photographs where available, should be forwarded to the President whose decision on inclusion ,amendment or rejection will be final. Submitted articles will be returned to the originator if so requested.

 

For the current list of articles, access the Articles section of this website.

Note under "The Regiments" that an extra dimension has been added to the History of the 59th (Scinde) Frontier Force Regiment thanks to input from JBA Member Iain Smith. 

 

 

Purchasing Regimental Militaria

Anyone wishing to purchase items of militaria of the Manchester Regiment (and its successor regiment The King's Regiment and now The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment) should go to www.dukeoflancastersregimentshop.com where many items of interest are illustrated and costed.

 

 

YouTube

Members might like to access You Tube at "World War 1 - The Indian Army" where some interesting pictorial information is displayed, much of it relevant to the Jullundur Brigade in Flanders. 

 

Last Updated: Ist May 2018