NEWS/EVENTS

JBA INDIA/PAKISTAN TOUR 2017

Due to unexpected changes, the March 2017 Tour has been cancelled; all have been informed.. Plans are being made to reestablish the tour in the late October/November 2017 period for approximately 10 days and will follow the original planned programme but hopefully may now include visits to Ist Frontier Force Regiment and other sites of interest in  both Pakistan and India are currently being considered..

Watch this space!

 

 NEW MEMBERS 2017 

The following new Members have joined this year and the first four are now listed under the Canada Chapter; the others are listed under the UK Chapter:

a. Cranston, Don

Lives in Toronto, Canada. Honorary Lt Col of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry. Has connection with JBA through being employed for six summers in the early 1980s with the Fort Henry Guard; the British 8th of Foot served at Fort Henry during the War of 1812. Is currently the Chair of the Friends of Fort York in Toronto. Fort York was attacked by the US Army in April 1813; two companies of the 8th of Foot, elements of the Canadian Militia, and First Nations allies attempted to repulse the attack. The 8th's Grenadier Company engaged the US troops in a futile bayonet charge resulting in 46 dead including Captain Neal McNeale. 

b. Newman, John

Lives in Toronto, Canada. Honorary Lt Col of the Canadian Rangers. Works for a Financial Holdings organisation in Toronto.  

c. Panday, Hari

Lives in Toronto, Canada. Honorary Lt Col 32 Service Battalion, 4th Canadian Division. Attached to the Canadian Forces College as a Founding Director. Is the first Canadian Indian born HLtCol. Is currently President and CEO of a Canadian Capital Corporation. His Father, a Doctor, lived in Lahore Cantt. and was Personal Physician to the Governor of the Punjab before Partition.

d. Chapman, John

From UK National Service was commissioned into REME, serving in 16 Parachute Brigade in Cyprus and Jordan. Later became a Captain in 21 SAS (Artists Rifles)TA. Spent a year as Resident Engineer constructing  a Power Plant in Ralwind inthe Punjab. Visited various places of military interest including the Kyyber Rifles Officers' Mess at Landi Kotal. Returns home in Canada in February 2017. 

e. Johnson, Andy

Lives in UK. Is a Military Historian with particular interest in the Indian Army 

 f. Roberts, Andy

 Lives in the North West of UK. Is also a Military Historian with particular interest in the Indian Army.

 g. Paddam, (Paddy) Singh of Sheikhupura

Is an ex officer (Captain) of 16th Light Cavalry.Lives in UK near Salisbury and manages a Travel Company (www.hindoostantours.com). Is a friend of our Vice President and of Member  Hari Singh. He is a regular visitor to New Delhi.

h. Plumptre, Tim

Is an amateur military history researcher who lives near Salisbury. His father was an infantry officer (The Buffs) in WW2, was captured at El Alamein and, after hospital treatment, was a POW in Italy who, on Italy's capitulation, escaped and travelling south to meet the Allies advance rejoined his Regiment.

 

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. 

 NB:

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

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

 

THE SIKH PIONEERS AND SIKH LIGHT INFANTRY ASSOCIATION 2017 NEWS LETTER

Once again, with the agreement of the Editor and JBA Member Iain White, I am able to publish the 2017 Sikh Pioneers and Sikh Light Infantry Association 2017 Newsletter which contains much of interest to JBA Members of the information will be of interest to JBA Members:

 

(Insert newsletter sent separately) 

 

THE JULLUNDUR BRIGADE-"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

   

 

JBA CURRY LUNCH 2017- WARNING ORDER

The 2017 JBA Curry Lunch will take place in the Punjab Restaurant, Covent Garden on Friday 23 June 2016. A bidding letter will be sent out nearer the time.  

 

ABBOTTABAD - REPORTING SAD NEWS 

"The President recently received a copy of the following letter originated by JBA Member Mr Hamza Momin which is now shared with JBA Members:" 

 

Dear friends,

I recently visited Abbottabad, in North-West Pakistan and stayed in the old British military cantonment, with my teacher and mentor (and JBA Member) Dr Omer Tarin ; and this was a nostalgic trip for me , at many levels-- I had spent some of my own boarding school days there for some time; and, before me, my father, grandfather and great-grandfather had all been posted there as soldiers, during their military careers, in the Pakistan Army and before that the British Indian Army.
 
One very sad/negative thing that I noticed, on this trip, after many years, was that the old cantonment area of Abbottabad, that used to be a 'small remnant' of colonial Britishness, a gem preserved as part of our heritage from that era of our history, is in serious decline. Until the 1990s, both the civil administration of this town and its military set-up ( the Piffers Regimental HQ, the Baluch HQ    , the Army School of Music, the PMA etc) were always ready to support and preserve this old and special historical ambience. But, today, sadly, the opposite seems to be the case. 
 
Except for a handful of local people, who have been protesting time and again to try to save this place as a historical/tourist site, the local administration and the army people, had no apparent interest in any sort of historical preservation-- indeed, they were all for destroying and pulling down the remaining places of this past. Some of the more prominent places (among others)  that have either been destroyed by the civil and military people in Abbottabad at 'official' level so far, as learnt from Dr Tarin, are 
 
(a) The old Shiv Temple of the 5th Gurkhas, along with their rest house, their Pujari house and other places; 
 
(b) The old Ram Mandir near Nowshera village (now a suburb of Abbottabad)
 
(c) The old Arya Samaj temple/mandir in main Nowshera village
 
(d) the old Martin Lines' barracks and stores (Piffers)
 
(e) parts of the now remodelled Abbottabad Club etc 
 
and some of these places, still surviving so far, but likely to be destroyed soon include 
 
(a) the Lockhart House, that once belonged to Gen Lockhart and family, and where the Kiplings also used to come and stay as their guests; this is in the precincts of a government school and has been partly pulled down but the rest was temporarily stayed by the courts; though this status quo will not go on .
 
(b) parts of the old Lady Garden (actually Ladies Garden) Park, where the old old lawn has been pulled up and replaced by a concrete platform for artificial rides. 
 
(c) the old civil revenue 'Maal Khana' office and store, where the official records were kept since 1853. 
 
and other similar sites.
 
The following places are still safe for the time being -- but it is not known for how long, though, as they fall under the Church of Pakistan, there is a likelihood that the Church's Peshawar Diocese will try to save these. 
 
(a) St Luke's Church, since 1864 the Anglican church in this town. The lovely old building will probably stay as it is, but there are many accounts by locals that, most probably, much of the surrounding park/land might be taken over by the Cantonment Board or the Station (Military) Head Quarters, for their own use/s. 
 
(b) The Old Christian Cemetery, on the junction of Hill Road and Circular Road, is still hanging on, despite many efforts by local 'land mafias' and the army to take over parts of it; and though now in a rather poor state, some of the old graves from pre 1947 still are visible. Dr Tarin informed me that the real force behind these efforts to save this place, was Rev Riaz Mubarak, who was posted there as Vicar at St Luke's, but was later posted to the UK. I have got his email and added him here, maybe he would also like to comment on this matter. 
 
Of the remaining cantonment area, there were some few old houses , with good lawns and greenery, that used to be the pride and joy of this area, and some of these houses have-or had- historical importance too. 
 
One such house, standing on about 2 acres of ground, was taken over by the late Gen Ayub Khan (ex dictator/president) and his children have now destroyed the house and made small plots and sold them for commercial profit. 
 
Very very sadly, another even older house, 'Chinar House' (old No 7 and now No 3 Club Road) , is also going the same way. This house was originally built in the 1880s, by Col. Fitzhugh of the Gurkhas; and later, it was acquired by late Rai Bahadur Parmanand, an early MP of the Frontier Legislative Assembly and a prominent citizen of Abbottabad, who extended and fixed this house in 1920-21. On his death,, the house passed to Sardar Sojan Singh of Rawalpindi, whose family used to come up here for the summers. As a member of the Jullundur Brigade Association, I find it specially interesting that , at one time, during the 1930s or 1940s, our Founder Maj Gen Mohindar Singh Chopra and family, also lived here for some time; this information was also shared by Dr Tarin, who, I believe, also had some correspondence with the general's son, Mr Pushpindar Chopra, about this ? 
After 1947, this house was empty for some time, until , it passed on to Dr Tarin's family (in exchange for property left in India, in Simla and Palampur) and it stayed with them for some time, during which they tried their best to keep it as it was . It was rented out for some time and then, stayed empty, but in good condition . Sadly, after the demise of Dr Tarin's grandmother, the property was divided up between relatives and the old house and some grounds went to a lady, Mrs Rehana, who lives in the Punjab, with her family, and they had no interest in preserving this old place. (Im including an article about this house also ) In October 2005, the house was damaged by the big earthquake and later, in 2014-2015, by rains and lack of care. Now, alas, it is being demolished, to make way for many smaller plots, for sale. And one more Abbottabad landmark will be gone. I am attaching a photo of this process too, taken when I was staying next door, with Dr Tarin, a few days ago. I guess by now, the demolition must be nearly completed. 
 
It is indeed sad that no one can stop such wanton destruction of so much history, in one place. But when all this is gone, what will happen to Abbottabad? It will become just another ugly, overcrowded and nondescript hill station of Pakistan. But I wanted to bring these matters to notice of some few people, to whom such things still matter, and who might, at least, lament the passing away of this fine old house and of so many other places, in this locality. 
 
Many good wishes
Hamza M Khan 
Islamabad, Pakistan"

 

Historical Old Houses of Pakistan : 'Chinar House' Abbottabad --'And the piano played on' 

 

 

 

 

 

"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.   

 

   

 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.

 

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.

 

JBA MEMBERS' BIOGRAPHIES

 

NEW ITEM

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.

 

Number 2 Founder Member:

Lt Gen Devraj Singh (Retd)

 

I was born in Agra (the city where the Taj Mahal is located). My father Maj Lakshman Singh was in the Artillery but later went to the Army Education Corps. Happily married to Shiela Singh. We have a son.

Commissioned in 5 SIKH Battalion of the SIKH Regiment, went on to command the same. During my command, had the privilege to host Maj Gen Peter Davies, our current President JBA, Brig Percival, then Military Advisor, British High Commission, New Delhi and Pushpinder Chopra for a few days.

 

I retired as Director General Infantry and Colonel of the SIKH Regiment. In October 2014 travelled along with my wife Shiela Singh to France commemorate the battles fought by the Jullundher Brigade as part of the JBA delegation.