Major General Mohindar Singh Chopra (1907 - 1990)
Major General Mohindar Singh Chopra was from one of the first batches of King's Commissioned Indian Officers of the Indian Army, having graduated from the Royal Military College at Sandhurst in England in 1928. Born in 1907 in Amritsar, he did his schooling at the Prince of Wales Royal Indian Military College at Dehra Dun before being selected for Sandhurst.
After first attachment with the 1st Royal Fusiliers at Ambala and Kasauli, he transferred to the 1st Rajputs before becoming the first Indian officer to join the famous 6th Royal Battalion of the 13th Frontier Force Rifles at Hanguin 1932. He thus became a "Piffer" (the elite Frontier Force) of the Army. Many years were spent on active duty on the North West Frontier Province before he was selected to become the first Indian Officer for the Advance Course of the Army School of Physical Training at Aldershot in England. He graduated from the Staff College at Quetta in 1941 and served both with the Iraq-Persia (Paiforce) and in the Burma Theatre during the Second World War.
In 1946 he was promoted to Lt Col and took over as the first Indian Commanding Officer of the 1st Assam Regiment in Shillong. In late 1947 he took over command of 123 Infantry Brigade at Amritsar, charged with the onerous responsibility of not only defending hundreds of miles of turbulent frontier but also of evacuating safely nearly two million refugees during the partition of the sub continent.
In late 1949 he was promoted to Major General and given the responsibility to resurrect the famous 5th Infantry Division, then scattered along most of north and eastern India. The 5th Division was built up into a formidable fighting force and mobilised twice for the border crisis of 1950-51.
In 1950 he was given the singular honour of being appointed Regimental Colonel of the 5th Royal Gurkhas Rifles (Frontier Force) being then and remaining the senior Piffer in the Sub-Continent. In 1953 he took over as GOC 20th Infantry Division, the last Division to have troops stationed in Tibet. Retiring from the Army in 1955 he became India's first Ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines, a post he held until 1959. On return to India, and after a few years of civilian life, he was appointed the Director, National Institute of Sports at Patiala, a post he held until 1968.
He encouraged the then Colonel of The King's Regiment, Major General Peter Davies ably supported by his son, Pushpindar Singh Chopra to resurrect and restore the historical links of the three regiments that formed the WW1 Jullundur Brigade in Flanders and Mesopotamia. These regiments include: the old 47th Sikh Regiment, now the 5th battalion of the Sikh Regiment of the Indian Army; the old Manchester Regiment, succeeded by the King's Regiment (Liverpool and Manchester), now The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment of the British Army and the old 59th Scinde Rifles (Frontier Force), now Ist Battalion Frontier Force Regiment of the Pakistan Army. This was achieved with official approval of the three constituent countries and this was quickly followed by the formation of The Jullundur Brigade Association which exists to this day to maintain these historical affiliations by mutual liaison.