Army gives final salute to its hero Major Gurdial Singh Jallanwalia
Wreaths were laid on behalf of chief of the army staff, General Manoj Mukund Naravane, director general artillery, general officer commanding-in-chief of Army Training Command, Shimla, XI Corps Commander general officer commanding and station commander Brig Manesh Arora.Updated: May 23, 2020 18:17 IST
The mortal remains of Major Gurdial Singh Jallanwalia (retd), one of the oldest war veterans in the country who passed away at the age of 102, was consigned to flames on Friday.
While politicians and bureaucrates forgot to pay homage, the army’s top command did not fail to salute it’s hero.
Wreaths were laid on behalf of chief of the army staff, General Manoj Mukund Naravane, director general artillery, general officer commanding-in-chief of Army Training Command, Shimla, XI Corps Commander general officer commanding and station commander Brig Manesh Arora.
His son Harmanderjeet said no one from the administration or the government called the family to pay their respects.
Major Jallanwalia, who was to turn 103 in August, was born on August 21, 1917. He had passed out from the Royal Indian Military School, Jalandhar, and joined the Mountain Artillery Training Centre in June 1935.
After completing his training, he was posted with the 14 Rajputana Mountain Battery at Abbottabad (now in Pakistan) and transferred to a Survey Troop at Campbellpur (also in Pakistan) in 1940.
Jallanwalia had participated in four battles, including World War II.
During the second world war in 1944-1945, he was posted in Burma (now Myanmar) and was shot on the lower abdomen by a Japanese soldier. But somehow, the soldier could not fire a second shot and Jallanwalia’s fellow soldier was quick to shoot the enemy.
In 1947 and 1948, Jallanwalia led a battle in Jammu and Kashmir region and during the 1965 war, he was posted in Amritsar.
After Independence, Jallanwalia participated in operations to check Pakistani infiltration in the Nowshera Sector in 1948. In the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war, he served as a counter-bombardment officer with XI Corps in the Amritsar-Lahore Sector.
He finally hung up his boots in 1967. His two sons – Harmanderjeet Singh and Harjinderjeet Singh – served the Indian Army and Indian Air Force, respectively, and were part of the 1999 Kargil conflict.
His grandson is also an Army officer. Major Jallanwalia’s father, Risaldaar Duleep Singh, had fought with the erstwhile British India Army in Mesopotamia during World War I.