Villages sending large numbers of men to the armed forces are our valuable military heritage to be cherished. Likewise military families deserve a special place in our esteem. Nangal Lubana in Kapurthala district is one of Punjab’s iconic villages which has contributed literally hundreds of soldiers to the Army, many of whom served in the Punjab and Sikh Regiments and the Regiment of Artillery. At least two hundred of the village’s sons fought in the First World War with nine being known to have been killed in action. Sixteen were killed during the second great worldwide conflict and two were martyred defending the country’s borders against the Chinese in 1962. An appropriate memorial erected in the village commemorates their sacrifices. The family of Major Narinder Singh Jallo typifies Nangal Lubana’s traditions of military service. Originally from Jallo, district Lahore the family has sent four generations to the army starting with the patriarch, Subedar Deva Singh who joined in 1897 and served with the 48th Pioneers in Mesopotamia during World War One. He was awarded the Indian Distinguished Service Medal and the Order of British India being mentioned in despatches twice. His son, Major Sharam Singh joined the army in 1934, being commissioned into the Artillery in 1942 and fought in Iraq like his father during World War Two with 11 Field Regiment and later in the First Kashmir War (1947-48).
Major Narinder Singh Jallo, the third generation to take to soldiering was with the Army Service Corps in 1963-68 and later a National Cadet Corps officer. He is now a politician. His elder son RB Singh served in the 80s with 6 Madras and is now in the corporate sector. KB Singh, the younger son was again a short-service officer in the same period. After serving with 23 Rajput he joined the Punjab Police and is now an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer. The country badly needs to emulate these traditions of service and send more of its best and brightest to the Services.
15 Artillery Brigade’s goldenjubilee
15 Artillery Brigade located at Amritsar celebrated its golden jubilee on 1st August. Starting life as 37 Artillery Brigade at Mathura the formation plunged into combat within a year of it’s raising and affiliation with the Panther Division in 1965. The war was marked by intense artillery duels with Pakistan’s gunners with lavish ammunition expenditure on both sides. In 1971 also the brigade rose to the occasion and helped 15 Division to achieve it’s objectives fully supporting the infantry particularly at Ranian on the night of December 3-4 and in the elimination of the Pakistani enclaves this side of the Ravi.
I continue to receive calls from veterans from across the country wanting to be updated on the position regards implementation of OROP. The truth is that there seems to be little substantive movement on the matter after the defence minister’s meeting on the 16th of July. The issue of a policy letter is still hanging fire. This has led to obvious and very visible disappointment among ex-servicemen and their well-wishers. All one can say is that the implementation of OROP brooks no delay and certainly no dilution. While the govt debates internally time is running out for the more senior among the veterans fraternity.
(Please write in with your narratives of war and soldiering to email@example.com or call on 093161-35343)