Corps of Signals 100th Anniversary
1911 - 2011

Photographs and Report on 14th Reunion at Jablapur: 13- 15 Feb 2011

Saturday, 26 November 2011

US Signal Corps in India- Burma War 1945

US Signal Battalions
2nd Signal Service Battalion
Det F, 2nd Signal Service BN - New Delhi
23d Signal Battalion (Heavy Construction) - Myitkyina
31st Signal Battalion (Heavy Construction) - Dudhkundi; China (See CBI Unit Histories) Co. A - Rupsi
96th Signal Battalion - Shaduzup
Meritorious Unit Commendation: 23 Oct 43-31 Aug 44, GO 47, Hq USF IBT, dtd 19 Feb 45
Source: Ex-CBI Roundup, December 1980 Issue
The following citation was issued 19 February 1945 by Headquarters United States Forces, India-Burma Theater, APO 885:
CITATION FOR MERITORIOUS SERVICE UNIT PLAQUE
During the period 23 October 1943 to 31 August 1944, the 96th SIGNAL BATTALION was called upon to construct, maintain and operate an intricate signal communications system in the jungle of Burma under the most severe and adverse conditions of monsoon and disease and in the face of enemy action. This organization worked in a most exemplary manner to provide the highly efficient signal communications needed to make possible the capture of Northern Burma. The entire battalion saw prolonged service with combat units in Northern Burma serving side by side with Merrill's Marauders. It operated telephone, teletype and radio installations along the Ledo Road from Ledo to Myitkyina, where installations were made under intense enemy shell fire. The record of achievement of the 96th SIGNAL BATTALION is worthy of the finest traditions of the military service of the United States.
Source: Ex-CBI Roundup, February 1999 Issue
We left the USA from Hampton Roads, VA, across the Atlantic to Oran, North Africa. On November 23, 1943, found us pulling out of Oran and on a trip that was to be different than the watchful, but uneventful crossing of the Atlantic Ocean.
On November 26th, at about 1630, we were greeted by Heinkel 177s. For 2 1/2 hours, the air was full of death, terror and destruction. Although our ship, the Banfora, has suffered no more than near misses, the deck of our ship was splattered with falling fragments of anti-aircraft shells. Our sister ship, the Rhonda, suffered major damage and was sunk with a great many lives of American GIs were lost. Three days later, the "Jerries" came back for another visit using glider bombs. This time they were driven away. The rest of the trip was quiet and we were not to hear the enemy bombs again until we were deep in the wild Burma jungles.

The 96th Signal Battalion was known as the "Ballantine Battalion" due to the fact our army insignia on our equipment was the insignia of the Ballantine Beer. We landed into Bombay, taking the long train ride to Calcutta, down to Assam. From there the Battalion took the long trek in the land of MYSTERY, INTRIGUE AND LONLINESS, known to CBIers as "Burma". We had many stopovers such as Wawalun, Shaduzup, Bhamo, Lashio and finally into Myitkyina and then into Kunming. -- Mr. Fred Robertucci
219th Signal Service Battalion *
236th Signal Service Battalion - Dikom
Source: Mr. Zadoc A. Pool, TSgt, 236th Signal Co.:
The 236th Signal Company arrived CBI c. August 1943. It was redesignated as the 236th Signal Service Battalion late 1944; Hq at Dikom (near Chabua). I joined the outfit in February 1945 and continued as a member until April 1946; I went to Calcutta on points, and I think the unit was deactivated shortly thereafter.
Photo courtesy of Capt Douglas MacLeod, U.S. Army Signal Corps)

341st Signal Service Battalion*
428th Signal Battalion (Heavy Construction, Avn) (Colored) - Calcutta; Ledo; Loglai
Arrived India 20 Mar 44. Orders to reorganize to Heavy Construction Battalion
432nd Signal Battalion (Heavy Construction, Avn) - Calcutta, Kanchrapara (Less Co. B)
Co. B - Chuadanga
China Burma India Signal Units
CBI Unit histories: click here for more Pictures taken in India

Thursday, 24 November 2011

IGNOU Degree Under Project Gyandeep

Convocation for Award of IGNOU Degree Under Project Gyandeep
Wednesday, April 21, 2010 18:9 IST
Convocation function for award of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) degree to Personnel Below Officer’s Rank (PBOR) of Indian Army was conducted at DRDO Bhawan on 21 Apr 2010. The chief guest of the function was Lieutenant General Mukesh Sabharwal, PVSM, AVSM*,VSM, Adjutant General, Indian Army and Shri VN Rajasekharan Pillai, Vice Chancellor IGNOU, and the Guest of Honour was Lieutenant General VK Chaturvedi, AVSM,SM, Director General (Manpower Planning & Personnel Services). The function was also graced by the presence of Lieutenant General P Mohapatra, AVSM, ADC, Signal Officer-in-Chief & Senior Colonel Commandant, Corps of Signals, Major General SP Kochhar, AVSM, SM,VSM, Additional Director General Personnel Services, and Col Commandant Corps of Signals Brig SK Pillai, VSM, Commandant Community College, 1 Signal Training Centre.
click here to read the full article

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

LT Gen Kochhar releases Defcom India 2011 Brochure

NEW DELHI : Lt Gen S.P Kochhar, AVSM, SM, VSM, Signal Officer-іn-Chief along wіth Maj Gen V.P Srivastava, AVSM ADG Tactical Communication, Satish K Kaura аnԁ Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation οf Indian Industry released thе Brochure οf Defcom India 2011 аt thе curtain raiser ceremony іn Nеw Delhi οn Monday. Defcom India 2011 іѕ a joint initiative οf Corps οf Signals, Indian Army аnԁ thе Confederation οf Indian Industry wіth thе theme enabling Information аnԁ Communication Technologies (ICT) fοr Info Age Warfare tο bе presented іn a seminar scheduled οn 2nd -3rd November 2011 аt thе Manekshaw Auditorium, Swarna Jayanti Marg,
Nеw Delhi.
Thе objective οf thіѕ seminar іѕ tο provide participants аn understanding οf thе growth іn info structure tο achieve integrated mission capabilities аnԁ discuss future Information Technology аnԁ mаkе informed choices tο realise thеѕе.
Emerging technologies Ɩіkе data centres, cloud computing, virtualisation, IMS, NGOSS аnԁ enhanced optical transmission technologies hаνе ensured thаt delineation between communications аnԁ IT domains іѕ nο longer possible. In a drive towards modernisation аnԁ tο embrace thеѕе technologies a number οf communication networks hаνе bееn evolved іn thе Indian Army. Enabling ICT infrastructure οf thе armed forces fοr Information Age Warfare tο translate information superiority іntο combat superiority іѕ thе need οf thе hour fοr аƖƖ three services.
Future battlefields shall bе fluid іn nature. Therefore, thеrе іѕ a need fοr thе industry tο understand thе requirements οf thе armed forces іn terms οf convergence, interoperability аnԁ provisioning οf mission critical tactical communication grids аnԁ strategic networks.
Thеrе wουƖԁ аƖѕο bе a necessity tο converge wireless аnԁ wireline networks wіth adequate scalability аnԁ еnԁ tο еnԁ security. Thеrе аrе a large number οf challenges іn providing еnԁ tο еnԁ communications fοr defence networks, bе іt strategic οr tactical networks. Provisioning, operations, monitoring, reporting аnԁ security safeguards fοr communication networks need tο bе deliberated. Adequate redundancy іn terms οf optical backbone, satellite / radio networks wουƖԁ hаνе tο bе catered fοr besides having suitable monitoring аnԁ management infrastructure іn terms οf Network Operations Centres аnԁ Security Operations Centres. Defcom India 2011 wіƖƖ provide аn ехсеƖƖеnt platform tο stimulate innovative thinking аnԁ engender a wider аnԁ more common understanding οf thе tenets οf net centricity nοt οnƖу within thе Indian Armed Forces bυt аƖѕο асrοѕѕ thе defence industry, academia аnԁ R&D organisations.
LT Gen Kochhar releases Defcom India 2011 Brochure

Signallers perform despite heavy odds

During operation Vijay, the Signallers despite heavy odds, lack of resources and highly inhospitable terrain, acquitted itself creditably and provided speedy operational and rearward welfare communication to fighting formations. The electronic warfare support fielded in the valley played a significant role in gaining information about the enemy's devious plans in Kargil sector.

The Corps earned several gallantry and distinguished service awards, including the first Yudh Seva Medal (Col Sudhir Bhatnagar, CO, 8 Mountain Division Signal Regiment), the fourth Shaurya Chakra (late L/Hav Birbal) and four Sena Medals (posthumous). Six Commanding Officers in the field were also awarded for excellence in command during operations.

During Malpa tragedy, as part of the Army's rescue operations, when the entire hill region near Dharchula was virtually cut off, the Signals quickly moved communication detachments to establish vital radio and satellite communications at Dharchula, Joshimath, Pithoragarh, Kausani and neighbouring areas to rescue the stranded civilians.

During operation Sahayata, eighteen high frequency radio and satellite detachments were quickly moved to Bhubaneshwar and neighbouring areas to restore the communications. The personnel of the Corps worked round the clock and rendered humanitarian help in distribution of food, medicine and water.

The Signals continue to send their personnel abroad to broaden their vision/experience in various fields of telecommunications, information technology and electronic warfare including exposure to International Telecommunication Union (ITU) conferences on latest technology. In addition, the Signals also fielded communication detachments for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon and the United Nations Peace Keeping Force, Sierra Leone. The Corps also sent personnel to the Indian Army's training teams at Botswana and Mauritius.

As part of the modernisation drive, some of the major achievements of the Corps in the fields of communication and networking include; commissioning of the Army internet, proliferation of information technology in the Army including taking on the role of 'facilitator' for implementing the Army IT plan, development of MCTE as a centre of excellence in the fields of information technology and information warfare, planning for introduction of internet and related ISDN services in the Army, computer telephony integration (CTI) for better service to subscribers, Establishment of an Information Technology Institute of Calcutta, full fieding of plan AREN and finalisation of Tactical Communication System - 2000, for tactical communication in the new millennium, expansion of the existing ASCON networks to include all commands and areas in the east and finalisation of plans for future expansion, introduction of new technologies such as Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) switching for exchanges, introduction of state-of-the-art satellite communication systems in the valley and the North-East, including GMPCS, VSAT and Mobile Satellite Systems, introduction of new communication projects such as the UHF project, MODCOM - 102 (for improvement of communications in Siachen), Integrated Communication Network (ICN), and replacement of existing microwave links of ASCON with optical fibre cable (OFC), effective and real time communication for the counter-insurgency grids in the Valley and the North-East, strategic alliance with the DoT for joint communication projects in remote areas in the Valley and engineering of fall back communication to face any unforeseen contingencies and to ensure that no system failure occured due to the Y2K problem.
Click here to read more

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The Wartime Memories Project - WW II

My late father Charlie Reynolds, served in the Royal Signals and received the India Star. I am very keen to get some information on how long he was there and the part the Signals played. He was also in the desert for about 3yrs. He adored his time in the Army and although de-mobbed in 1946 he always talked about those times with pride.
If anyone from the Regiment/ or Corps knew my father or can shed some light on this campaign I would be very grateful.
Elaine Carver
The Wartime Memories Project - The Second War

The 1939–45 Star was a campaign medal of the British Commonwealth, awarded for service in the Second World War. The medal was awarded for operational service between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945. Army personnel had to complete 6 months service in an operational command.
Description: The 1939–45 Star is a six–pointed star of yellow copper zinc alloy, with a height of 44mm and maximum width of 38mm. The obverse has a central design of the Royal Cypher, surmounted by a crown. The cypher is surrounded by a circlet containing the words ‘The 1939–45 Star'.
The reverse is plain, with the recipient's name impressed only for Australians and South Africans.
The ribbon has three vertical stripes of dark blue, red and light blue. The dark blue stripe represents the Naval Forces and the Merchant Navy, the red stripe the Armies and the light blue stripe the Air Forces. The ribbon for this medal, along with those of the other Second World War campaign stars, is reputed to have been designed by King George VI, with the three equal bands representing the equal contributions towards victory of the Royal Navy, Army, and the Royal Air Force respectively.

Lt Gen S P Kochhar takes over as the 23rd Signal Officer-in-Chief

Lt General S P Kochhar took over as the 23rd Signal Officer-in-chief of the Indian Army on September one from Lt General P Mohapatra. At the helm of the Army's Corps of Signals, the arm responsible for engineering the Army s telecommunications requirements, Lt Gen Kochhar will have the role of overseeing the digitisation of the Indian Army, as part of transformation and modernisation. The General Officer in an illustrious career spanning over 38 years, had held various technical logistic and human resource related command and staff appointments including the Additional Director General of Personnel Services at Army Headquarters. Lt Gen Kochhar has been conferred with the Ati-Vishisht Seva Medal, Sena Medal and the Vishisht Seva Medal. UNI AKM LR SY CS2258
New SOinC

Lt Gen Mohapatra, Corps of Signals retired from service on 31 Aug 2011 after four decades of meritorious service to the Nation. The General Officer had taken over as the 22nd Signal Officer-in-Chief on 01 Aug 2008 and during his three year tenure, the Corps of Signals grew by leaps and bounds. His characteristic imprint can be found in practically all strategic, operational, tactical level communication and data networks in various stages of implementation.
In recognition of his distinguished services, he has been awarded the Param Vishist Seva Medal and Ati Vishist Seva Medal by the President of India. He has also been conferred with the title of Honorary Aide-de-Camp to the President of India.
The General Officer was given a warm farewell in a grand ceremony held at 1 Army Headquarters Signal Regiment on 30 August 2011 in which he was given the Guard of Honour.
Lt Gen Mohapatra, Signal Officer-In-Chief, On Superannuation
click here to read PIB release: Indian Army’s Signal Officer-in-Chief

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Act of Remembrance: Indian Signals WWII

Remembering Signalmen who served in Imphal, Kohima, Chindits and Burma War
On Sunday those members who were able travelled by car to the National Memorial Arboretum to attend the 1100am Act of Remembrance. At the end Lt Col Pat Soward told the congregation about the ceremony to follow and invited those not in our party to join us if they wished. He explained the
significance of the day, 65 years almost to the day (2 Sep 45) since the signing of the ‘Instrument of Surrender’ aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay which formally ended the Second World War.
Led by L/Cpl Samir Rai, a piper from 22 Sig Regt, standard bearers carrying the AFSA, Indian Signals Association and Birmingham Branch standards processed to the Far East Air Force Grove where Rev Jim McManus, Chaplain to the AFSA, blessed a tree and dedicated it to all those who had served in 19 (Air Formation) Sig Regt. It appeared that most of those in the chapel had taken up the offer and a goodly number followed to watch. A wreath was laid by Mr Charles Little MBE, who had served in India and Burma with the Regt and after the Exhortation a bugler signalled a silence.
The procession then continued to the Far East area to the tree ‘Planted for all ranks, Royal Signals and Indian Signals, lost in Burma in WW2’ where a new plaque had been installed. The tree was re-dedicated and wreaths laid by Maj Tom Bewsey OBE, chairman of the now disbanded Indian Signals Association, and Lt Col Pat Soward, on behalf of Lt Col Robin Painter in memory of his comrades in the Chindits and at the siege of Imphal who
didn’t return.
After the Exhortation and Kohima Inscription the bugler signalled a further silence after which the parade dismissed. The Indian Signals Association Standard was carried by Mr George Hedge for its last outing before being laid up in the Blandford Garrison Church. George’s father had served in Burma in WW2 and George proudly wore his Burma Star and other medals.
Extracted from: The Wire of Royal Signals

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

IGNOU’s satellite teaching centre for Army Launched in Leh

The Army in alliance with IGNOU today inaugurated a satellite connection with Leh for facilitating distance education to its staff in remote areas, apart from announcing the setting up of an Information Technology Academy together with Microsoft India. Army Chief General V K Singh inaugurated the IGNOU satellite connection with a military base in Leh, thus extending the university’s educational online resources to the army troops set up in the Ladakh region.

This ability, as part of the university and the Army’s combined project Gyandeep, will be simulated soon in other parts of the nation, the Army announced in the occurrence of IGNOU Vice Chancellor Prof Rajashekaran Pillai, Microsoft India chairman and vice president Ravi Venkatesan and Army Western Command chief Lt Gen S R Ghosh.

The IT Academy, which is part of the Army- Microsoft’s ‘Kshamta’ project of the last 1 year under the umbrella of ‘Samarth’ initiatives, would teach Army personnel in IT courses of a variety of levels to authorize them with skills to discover an option post-career retirement.

The flagship plan under ‘Samarth’ is ‘Gyandeep’, which recognizes ‘in service’ training done by soldiers and makes them entitled for the award of guarantee by IGNOU.

Under this plan, over 68,000 soldiers have been registered so far and over 2,300 of them have been awarded diplomas and degrees by now.

‘Kshamta’ was an result of a thoughtful collaboration with Microsoft India aimed at imparting specialized skills like Information Technology and spoken English to soldiers.
IGNOU’s satellite teaching centre for Army Launched in Leh

Gurkha Corps of Signals

31: Gurkha Corps of Signals Badges
History 31: Gurkha Corps of Signals- click here

Royal Corps of Signals (March Past Music)

The Royal Corps of Signals (often simply known as the Royal Signals - abbreviated to R SIGNALS, is one of the combat support arms of the British Army.
The march past music is called, "Begone Dull Care".
Performed by the Band of the Royal Corps of Signals.

Lyrics:
Begone, dull care!
I prithee begone from me;
Begone, dull care!
Thou and I can never agree.
Long while thou hast been tarrying here,
And fain thou wouldst me kill;
But i' faith, dull care,
Thou never shalt have thy will.

Too much care
Will make a young man grey;
Too much care
Will turn an old man to clay.
My wife shall dance, and I shall sing,
So merrily pass the day;
For I hold it is the wisest thing,
To drive dull care away.

Hence, dull care,
I'll none of thy company;
Hence, dull care,
Thou art no pair for me.
We'll hunt the wild boar through the wold,
So merrily pass the day;
And then at night, o'er a cheerful bowl
We'll drive dull care away.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Visit to 2 STC

BEVERLY EX BOYS ASSOCIATION
Chairman Mick Teague Secretary Tony Hull as reported in The WIRE

Whilst on holiday in Goa, India, we were travelling back from a visit to a waterfall, when we passed a military establishment and I saw young recruits with a “Jimmy” on their singlets. I made the taxi driver stop so that I could take a photograph of a young recruit.

He stood so proudly to attention for me. He belonged apparently to 3 Trg Regt, Indian Signals, near the city of Margao.
After 2 weeks in South Goa, we moved up to the capital, Panjim. On our journey we passed another building displaying “Jimmies”. I found out that this was 2 Sig Trg Regt, and decided to pay them a visit.
We were taken into a secretary’s office, and explained the reason for our visit. When the Adjt heard that I was an ex-boy, he called us in immediately.
We were given tea and had a long chat with him. He explained that they have a “Raising Day” on 15 February every year and every unit celebrates this. He said the CO would like to meet us and we were taken upstairs, where we were greeted, very cordially, by Brig K A Cariappa and treated with the utmost courtesy.
The first thing that the Brig said to me was that he would like to confiscate my straw hat, which has the Corps colours and the RSA badge. He went on to explain that they have 4,562 recruits in trg. The recruits used to be taken in at sixteen and a half, but the age has been raised to seventeen and a half, due to an international ruling.
The Army is very important in India because of all their borders and they often have to deal with areas of unrest. The Army has over a million soldiers.

Brig Cariappa presents Indian Signals Corps tie to Tony Hull

Brig Cariappa very kindly presented me with their Corps tie and also a copy of The Signalman, their magazine which is equivalent to The Wire.
Extracted from The WIRE of Royal Signals

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Original Treaty of Surrender is displayed in 2STC

Goa Liberation: Goa publicising wrong Treaty of Surrender doc
PTI, PANAJI | 05 July 2011 13:54 IST




The original historic `treaty of surrender’ signed between Indian Army and Portugal Government while liberating Goa, 50 years back, is not with the state government, who are publicising the `letters during surrender’ as the treaty, historians claimed today.

In what could be startling revelation, the historians, who researched the incidents during December 19, 1961, when Goa was liberated after 450 years of Portuguese rule, have said that the original treaty remains to be out of bound of state government.

Sanjiv Sardesai, a historian, said that the original copy is with the Indian Army’s 2STC office in Panaji displayed on the wall. “What we are showing to the public as treaty of surrender is not the original one,” he said.

He pointed out that state government’s official diary has printed an unsigned letter by then Portuguese Chief Commandant of Armed Forces General Manuel Antonio Vassalo e Silva as the treaty.

The confusion over the treaty continues as another different letter in Portuguese signed by Silva is displayed in the Goa state Museum’s gallery on `Goa Freedom Struggle.’

Sardesai said that the actually original treaty has signatures of Major General K P Candeth, who led Operation Vijay to liberate Goa and Silva, who was commandant of armed forces of states of Portuguese India. “It is in Portuguese and same text is translated in English below it,” he explained.

Another historian, Rohit Falgaonkar, said that `the original copy should have been displayed in the Goa state museum so that the people know about it.’

Falgaonkar said that state government should do activities that would bring people closer to the history of the state.

Director of Goa State Museum, Radha Bhave, said that the copy on display was a facsimile from the book on a freedom struggle, which was put as an exhibit since 2004.

“If there is an original copy available, which is different from that, we will surely try to procure it,” she said.

The confusion about the events preceding Goa’s liberation has also percolated to the students. As per the Secondary School Certification examination book `History of Goa’, the treaty was signed between both the parties below the headlights of car of the Governor.

“The document of surrender was signed at 7.30 p.m. on a street at Vasco-da-Gama under headlights of the Car of Portuguese Governor General and submitted to Brig, K S Dhillon,” the para in the book reads.

Sardesai, pointing out at the original treaty, has said that it was signed in Panaji city and that too at 8.30 p.m.
Goa publicising wrong Treaty of Surrender doc

Comment: The Original Treaty of Surrender needs to find its place in the Corps Museum, before it vanishes

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

US Army Signal Corps Invents Glass Fiber Optics

The Inventors of Glass Fiber Optics at the US Army Signal Corps
The following information was submitted by Richard Sturzebecher, it was originally published in the Army Corp publication "Monmouth Message."
In 1958, at the US Army Signal Corps Labs in Fort Monmouth New Jersey, the Manager of Copper Cable and Wire hated the signal transmission problems caused by lightening and water. He encouraged the Manager of Materials Research, Sam DiVita, to find a replacement for copper wire. Sam thought glass fiber and light signals might work, but the engineers who worked for Sam told him a glass fiber would break! In September 1959, Sam DiVita asked 2nd Lt. Richard Sturzebecher if he knew how to write the formula for a glass fiber capable of transmitting light signals. (Sam had learned that Richard, who was attending the Signal School, had melted 3 triaxial glass systems, using SiO2, for his 1958 senior thesis at Alfred University under Dr. Harold Simpson, Professor of Glass Technology.)

Richard knew the answer. While using a microscope to measuring the index-of-refraction on SiO2 glasses, Richard developed a severe headache. The 60% and 70% SiO2 glass powders under the microscope allowed higher and higher amounts of brilliant, white light to pass through the microscope slide into his eyes. Remembering the headache and the brilliant white light from high SiO2 glass, Richard knew that the formula would be ultra pure SiO2. Richard also knew that Corning made high purity SiO2 powder, by oxidizing pure SiCl4 into SiO2. He suggested that Sam use his power to award a Federal Contract to Corning to develop the fiber.

Sam DiVita had already worked with Corning research people. But he had to make the idea public, because all research laboratories had a right to bid on a Federal contract. So, in 1961 and 1962, the idea of using high purity SiO2 for a glass fiber to transmit light was made public information in a bid solicitation to all research laboratories. As expected, Sam awarded the contract to the Corning Glass Works in Corning, New York in 1962. Federal funding for glass fiber optics at Corning was about $1,000,000 between 1963 and 1970. Signal Corps Federal funding of many research programs on fiber optics until 1985, thereby seeding this industry and making today's multibillion dollar industry that eliminates copper wire in communications a reality.
Today, at age 87, Sam DiVita still comes to work at the US Army Signal Corps every day.
The Inventors of Glass Fiber Optics at the US Army Signal Corps

Monday, 27 June 2011

Snooker orginated in Nerbudda Club Jabalpur

A letter by Compton McKenzie which appeared in the Billiard Player publication of April 1939. The details of the letter have become accepted as fact as to the origins of the game of snooker.

The Billiard Player – April 1939
Last year an article in "The Field" put forward the theory that the game of snooker had its origin at the Royal Military Academy (RMA), Woolwich, where officers of the Royal Artillery and the Royal Engineers receive their training as cadets.

The theory was plausible, because a first-year cadet at "The Shop", as the RMA is familiarly known, is called a "snooker," the soubriquet being time's corruption of the original word for a newly-joined cadet, which was "Neux." It must be remembered that the RMA was founded as long ago as 1741.

The writer of the article stated that the original rules of snooker were copied out by Lord Kitchener from those at "The Shop," brought by him to Ootacamund, India, and there hung up in the Club.

This assertion was formally contradicted by General Sir Ian Hamilton in a letter to "The Field" of July 11, 1938. In point of fact Lord Kitchener never visited India until many years after snooker had become a popular game out there.

Investigation has established that so far from snooker having originated at "The Shop," the game was invented at Jubbulpore in the year 1875 by Colonel Sir Neville Chamberlain, who is fortunately still with us and whose memory is perfectly clear on the subject.

It befell during the "Rains" that Sir Neville, then a young subaltern in the Devonshire Regiment, anxious to vary the game of Black Pool which was being played every long wet afternoon on the Mess billiard table, suggested putting down another coloured ball, to which others of different values were gradually added.

One day a subaltern of the Field Battery at Jubbulpore was being entertained by the Devons, and in the course of conversation told young Chamberlain about the soubriquet "snooker" for first year cadets at Woolwich. To quote Sir Neville's own words: "The term was a new one to me, but I soon had an opportunity of exploiting it when one of our party failed to hole a coloured ball which was close to a corner pocket. I called out to him: 'Why, you're a regular snooker!'

"I had to explain to the company the definition of the word, and, to soothe the feelings of the culprit, I added that we were all, so to speak, snookers at the game, so it would he very appropriate to call the game snooker. The suggestion was adopted with enthusiasm and the game has been called snooker ever since."

In 1876 Sir Neville Chamberlain left the Devons to join the Central-India Horse, taking with him the new game. A year or two later came the Afghan War, a more serious potting game in which young Chamberlain was himself potted.

However, fortunately for himself and the great game which we enjoy so much today, he recovered from his wound, and when at the close of 1881 General Sir Frederick Roberts became Commander-in-Chief of the Madras Army, the inventor of snooker served on his personal staff, and was with Roberts when every summer he moved to the hill station at Ootacamund known to all and sundry as "Ooty"

Here came officers from big garrisons like Bangalore and Secundderabad and planters from Mysore. All of them enjoyed snooker as a speciality of the "Ooty" Club where the rules of the game were drawn up and posted in the billiards room, but not by Lord Kitchener.

During the eighties rumours of the new game in India reached England. One evening Sir Neville Chamberlain when dining in Calcutta with the Maharaja of Cooch Behar was introduced to a well-known professional billiards player whom he had engaged from England for some lessons.

This professional told the Maharaja he had been asked in England to obtain the rules of the new game snooker and the Maharaja introduced Sir Neville Chamberlain to him as the best person to give him the information he wanted because he was the inventor of it.

In a letter to "The Field" of March 19, 1938, Sir Neville regretted he did not know the name of the professional but thought he was probably a contemporary of John Roberts and W. Cook. A week or two later Mr. F. H. Cumberlege wrote to Sir Neville Chamberlain to say that the professional must have been John Roberts himself who came out to Calcutta in 1885. Mr. Cumberlege added that he remembered showing the Maharaja the new game of snooker at Cooch Behar after a shooting party in the spring of 1884.

Sir Neville Chamberlain has received from several other distinguished authorities confirmation of his claim to be the inventor of snooker. Major-General W. A. Watson, Colonel of the Central India Horse (his old regiment) wrote: "I have a clear recollection of you rejoining the regiment in 1884. You brought with you a brand new game, which you called snooker or snookers. There were the black, the pink, the yellow and the green. We all understood it was your own invention. We took to it very keenly."

Major-General Sir John Hanbury Williams (Colonel of the 43rd Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry) wrote: "I was always under the impression that you introduced the game of snooker to the 43rd. in 1884-5. Certainly the 43rd never played snooker till you came and introduced it to us. Hope you will stick to the honour of its invention."

Field Marshal Lord Birdwood wrote: "I remember well you introducing the game of snookers into the 12th Lancers' Mess, when I was a subaltern in the Regiment at Bangalore in '85."

Sir Walter Lawrence, Bt., wrote: "When we first met in Simla in 1886, when you were with Lord Roberts, the Commander-in-Chief, and afterwards when we served together in Kashmir, I always looked upon you as the inventor of snooker, and I know that this idea was common to many of my friends. Quite recently, last year (1937) I was telling some of my friends in England who were discussing snooker, that I had the honour of knowing very intimately the inventor of the game."

The testimony of these and other highly distinguished officers finally disposes of the theory advanced with some emphasis by the writer in "The Field" that the game of snooker originated at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and it has been a privilege for me to assemble in print such incontrovertible evidence.

There is nothing to add except that all the many thousands of snooker players the world over will wish Colonel Sir Neville Chamberlain, who is now in his 84th year, many another year to enjoy the honour of being the inventor of a game, now 63 years old, which has added so much to the gaiety of nations.
– Compton McKenzie. (1938)
Click here to read the original article

Friday, 3 June 2011

1 STC Jabalpur home to Boys Company and Scouts

Brig Narinder Dhand, on March 20, 2011 said ...
After the War, there were only two Centres left in the country one in Jabalpur and the second in Bangalore. On partition, the assets of the Centre at Bangalore were transferred to Pakistan. Colonel R J Moberly OBE commanded the centre at the time of partition. A function was held in Jabalpur to bid farewell to those comrades who had opted to go to Pakistan. Major P N Luthra, the senior most Indian Officer who commanded the Military Training Regiment at the time, presented a scroll to the Pakistan Signals Corps officers at a farewell parade. On 1 December 1947, Col Moberly returned to UK and Colonel Apar Singh MBE had the honour of taking over as the first Indian Commandant of the Training Centre. The centre is considered, traditionally, the home of all Signals personnel. At the time of partition, the Centre consisted of a Headquarters, a Military Training Regiment, two Technical Training Regiments, a Boys Regiment, a Depot Company and the Signals Records.

Lord Baden Powell's Army tenure in Jabalpur
Scouting began in 1907 when Robert Baden-Powell, Lieutenant General in the British Army, held the first Scouting encampment at Brownsea Island in England. As a military officer, Baden-Powell was stationed in British India and Africa in the 1880s and 1890s. Since his youth, he had been fond of woodcraft and military scouting, and—as part of their training—showed his men how to survive in the wilderness. He noticed that it helped the soldiers to develop independence rather than just blindly follow officers' orders.
Army Life: In 1876 at the age of nineteen, Lt Gen Baden Powell graduated and joined Army. He got second rank in cavalry and forth rank in infantry among 1700 candidates. Immediately after his training, he was sent with 13th Husars Regiment as sub‐lieutenant to Lucknow.
On 6 February 1921 in Jabalpur procession, B.P. as the Chief Scout addressed to the Scouts that he had love for Jabalpur as this was his first posting as Lieutenant. Baden Powell was promoted in the army as Captain at the tender age of 26 because of his rare qualities and leadership skills. He was equally adored and liked by his seniors as well as juniors. In the army, he developed interest in horse polo, pig sticking and soothing.
In 1880 Baden Powell was moved to Kandhar (Afganistan) with 13 Army Husars as the General of the regiment. 1882 he was appointed as Musketry Inspector and travelled 900 KMs from Northern India to Mathura with the Regiment.
In 1884 he published a book – ‘Reconnaissance and Scouting’ which became popular among British’s school boys. In 1887 Baden Powell was sent to Zulu province, South Africa for peace establishment of the disturbed area. He showed great courage, bravery and leadership during the operation.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Hundred Years of Signalling 1911 to 2011

100 YEARS OF SIGNALLING (1911-2011)-SEMAPHORE TO SATELLITE (Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh, PVSM)
The journey of Corps of Signals through 100 years of its existence has been aSaga of rich heritage, providing communications often under fire, in hostile climatic and terrainconditions, in undivided India, after independence and in many corners of the world. The Corpshas excelled in fulfilling its role during war, in insurgency milieu, peace, in aid to civil authorityduring man made or natural disasters and for peace keeping under the United Nations in a number of countries. Its performance has stood up to its motto of Certa Cito,Tez-o-Sahi(after Independence) and afterwards Teevra Chaukas. Many brave Signallers paid the supreme sacrifice but kept the communications THROUGH, in the best traditions of the Corps of Signals and theIndian Army. We pay homage to them.The means of signal communications available at various times through these 100 yearsdepended on the technology in vogue, to fulfill the war and peace time requirements of the IndianArmy at different times. Before Independence, the British brought in the technology, ideas andmeans of communications from England, for both military and civil communications in India.After Independence on 15 Aug 1947, the sources of technology and equipment were diversified.While, the Soviet Union became major supplier for lethal weapons and platforms like aircraft, shipsand tanks, the communication equipment bore the stamp of Western countries. Gradually, localassembly and manufacturing capacity was set up in India, mostly in the Public Sector. After theeconomic and industrial liberalization in 1991, the electronics scene in India changed and it became possible for the civil sector to start supplying equipment, at times with foreign collaboration. Thecontributions of our Defence Scientists and the public and private sector companies has been of very high standards.
The Corps has excelled in adapting available technology and modernization/updating of means of communications to meet the changing operational scenarios. Those at the helm in SignalsDirectorate showed great vision and organizational skills to keep the Corps contemporary in itsthinking, communication systems, equipment, training and organizations.The Corps of Signals has also been responsible for introducing new systems likeComputers electronic warfare, signal intelligence in the Army and training personnel of all armsand services as also the Navy and the Air Force.
Read more ...100 YEARS OF SIGNALLING (1911-2011)-SEMAPHORE TO SATELLITE 1911 to 2011 by Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh, PVSM

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Facets of Corps History

History of Corps of Signals
Corps of Signals provides the life line for the army in providing communications of all sorts. The Corps of Signals of Indian Army enables all commanders to exercise command and control over their troops during operations. Until the telegraph was adopted by the army its communications were operated by various means including the blue and white flags by day and by lamps at night. Later on the messages were transmitted by means of buzzer keys across field cables. There is a record of a signal service in India in 1857. Telegraph lines were also laid for the assault on Lucknow during 1857 with much success. Its communication channels are high speed radio, teleprinters and field telephones.
Objective of Corps of Signals
The main objective of Corps of Signals is to make the Indian Army Network Enabled Force and Network Centric Force. This will implicate consolidation of all networks so as to provide the Indian Army with an optimum, secure, reliable and robust infrastructure that can meet both operational and peacetime requirements and one that is capable of withstanding technical and physical degradation. The Corps of Signals remains the lead agency and nodal centre for information and cyber security both within the Defence Services and at the national level. A holistic approach has been adopted to develop the Communication and IT infrastructure in all its dimensions of the military organisation. With the experience gained in various operations, it was decided in 1911 to organise signals as a separate establishment under the protection of the corps of army engineers and miners. A signal company formed a part of each division and a nucleus of a wireless company for the lines-of-communications. Further developments were interrupted by the declaration of the war. The Royal engineers and the Indian army provided officers for the signals. In October 1914 a Signal Service Depot was formed at Kirkee which was to be responsible for training reinforcements which were needed very urgently for the rapidly expanding corps. Corps of Signals was established in 1922.
The Signal Training Centre and the Boys Company
1 STC and Depot was located at Jabalpur. The Army Signal School and Wireless Training Section were responsible for the training of regimental signallers and personnel for wireless units. The field units consisted of four cavalry brigade signal troops, seven divisional signals, two corps signals and two signal parks. In 1933 a new experiment was started in the Corps with the inauguration of the Boy's Company at the Signal Training Centre which proved a great success.
Courtesy: Indianetzone

Friday, 27 May 2011

Corps of Signals- 21st Century

Uploaded by IndiaDefence on May 1, 2011
In keeping with the 21st century vision of the Corps of Signals 'to achieve electronic and information superiority for effective functioning of the Indian Army', the Corps has embarked upon a multidimensional and challenging task of establishing a converged, robust, broad band and secure IT infrastructure, at peace and operational locations of the Indian Army.

A holistic approach has been adopted to develop the Communication and IT infrastructure in all its dimensions. ASCON Phase III, fully redundant and secure backbone network already implemented and presently project ASCON Phase IV is under implementation to cover voids. Also state of the art Zonal/Metro access networks have been established at a number of stations and at other locations these networks are under implementation. Simultaneously, access networks down to formation/unit level, especially in Northern, Eastern and Southern Commands, are being established based on OFC and UHF systems. Exclusive, satellite-based networks shall provide converged data and voice networks for different users which include use during aid to civil administration, especially during natural calamities.

Signals are essentially the NERVES of the Army. The nerves in our body connect the brain to the sensory organs and also to the limbs. It is through the nerves that the brain receives inputs from the various sensory organs. The processing of these inputs results in a set of commands being issued to the various limbs which execute them to provide the response that our body makes to the external stimulus. In the same manner, the Generals, being the brains of the Army, receive inputs from the troops in contact and from other sources through the Signals. These inputs are processed at the Headquarters and converted into action plans. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the Signals to convey these operational plans to the troops who execute them. Therefore, it is obvious that the Signals are intimately intertwined in all aspects of the functioning of the Army both in war and in peace. Signals are present at all levels and at all places, just as we have nerves in all parts of our body.

The vision of Signals Corps is to attain and maintain informatic ascendancy by developing infostructure to cater for Network Centric Warfare in a digitized battlefield of tomorrow. The aim and objective of Signals Corps is to make the Indian Army Network Enabled Force by 2012 and Network Centric Force by 2017. This will entail consolidation of all networks so as to provide the Indian Army with an optimal, secure, reliable and robust infostructure that can meet both operational and peacetime requirements and one that is capable of withstanding technical and physical degradation. The Corps remains the lead agency and nodal centre for information and cyber security both within the Defence Services and at the National level.

The offrs at all levels are aware of the strategic, operational and tactical dimensions to enable a pragmatic application of technology in support of combat ops. Training centres are developing directives and processes that can prepare all ranks to acquire a high level of multiple skills needed in the diverse terrain, technological and op environment of our army in gen and Signals in particular. The training centres are designed to facilitate the pursuit of a continuous trg philosophy at unit level through on-the-job trg and by harnessing e-learning, thereby reducing the gap between the "haves" and the "have-nots".

The momentous strides made by the Corps in the last few decades have truly been stupendous and without parallel. It has transited to a network enabled force, propelled by the intellect, sustained hard work and the inherent urge to excel which have been so vividly displayed by all officers and men. The domain of enhancing communication in the Tactical Battle Area and the facilitation of synergy of C4I2 elements are going to be the major thrust areas for the future. The Corps is forward looking, with finely honed procedures and exacting standards for execution of tasks. The Corps has always had an abiding and strong ethical foundation. With character comes reputation, and the esteem that the Corps enjoys today stems from the value system and ethos which need to be continually preserved and nurtured. The Corps has also evolved drills and procedures that ensure the provision of reliable and responsive communications to the Army under harsh terrain and tough battle field conditions and is living up to the motto of the Corps - "TEEVRA CHAUKAS" or "Swift and Secure".
India Defence Channel

Forgotten Freedom Fighters

Signalmen of 1 STC Jabalpur Rebel against British Rule in India
The navy rebellion in Bombay in 1946, after which the army saw a mutiny in Jabalpur

On the quiet morning of February 26, 1946, some 120 men of the 'J' company of the Signals Training Centre (STC), Jabalpur, defied their British superiors and broke free from their barracks. Part of a radio signalling unit, they were angry at the abuse heaped on them by their British counterparts.

They were also upset at the incarceration of two Indian National Army (INA) officers at Red Fort in Delhi.
The Jabalpur mutiny had the British worried about what they took for granted—the British Indian army's loyalty.

The ranks of the mutineers swelled to 1,700 men, armed with nothing more than Congress and Muslim League flags. Shouting slogans, the patriotic mutineers protested peacefully for some days till a bayonet charge by the Somerset Light Infantry brought the mutiny to a halt.

Eighty men behind the mutiny were court-martialled and dismissed without pay and pension. Forty-one others were sent to prison. But the incident was quickly hushed up. The British officers stationed in Jabalpur were replaced by Indian officers and most of the records destroyed. And so, a chapter in India's struggle for freedom was virtually buried. The recognition due to the soldiers for standing up to British might was denied them.

In sharp contrast, the naval ratings who mutinied just days ahead of the Jabalpur mutiny were recognised as freedom fighters. The mutiny was officially recognised as part of the freedom struggle by the government of India. The men were allowed to serve in the navy of independent India and retire with full pensionary benefits, pay and allowances. What's more, they were awarded special freedom fighter's pensions. All that the mutineers of Jabalpur received for their efforts was a bayonet charge, rigorous imprisonment and dismissal without benefits.

The Jabalpur mutiny, though lost to public historians, left a deep impact on the British. The then commander-in-chief of the British Indian army, Gen Sir Claude Auchinleck, sent several secret cables back to London, discussing a quick transfer of power from British hands to the Indians.
M.A. Kochuvareed, a survivor of the mutiny, says a Nehru speech impelled signalsmen to defy the British.

Seeing the Jabalpur and the navy mutiny of Bombay together, the British were worrying about the probability of a larger insurrection. Therefore, when the men of the 'J' company stood in defiance, they made history—this was the first and only major instance of Indian army regulars challenging the British.

The effect was telling. The naval mutiny—and another in the air force, a few days earlier—could be contained. But the shock was from the Jabalpur mutiny, for the British Indian army and its loyalty was considered the backbone of British rule in India.

Maj Gen V.K. Singh and his book
The account of the Jabalpur mutiny has now been recorded in The Contribution of the Indian Armed Forces to the Freedom Movement, a recent book by Maj Gen V.K. Singh (retd), chairman of the signals corps's history cell.

Singh chanced upon the few remaining records of the Jabalpur mutiny while working on the official history of the Corps of Signals. He has already published the second volume of the corps's history and is busy collating material for the third and final volume. "I saw what Gen Sir Claude Auchinleck wrote to the army commanders, worried that the loyalty of the Indian troops couldn't be taken for granted anymore. This had a profound impact on the British and probably quickened the departure of the British from India," Singh told Outlook.

It was in 2002, when Singh reopened dusty files of the Corps of Signals, that he lighted upon this forgotten chapter of the mutiny. "It seems that the men were agitated at the result of the INA trials, in which two officers were sentenced to rigorous imprisonment. The fact that Indian troops were treated as inferior to the British and paid less also added to their anger," says Singh.

He immediately took up the cause of getting the mutiny recognised as a part of the freedom struggle. However, he only ran into the impenetrable Indian bureaucracy. As letters flew between Singh, the directorate of signals, ministry of defence, and the ministry of home affairs (MHA), the bureaucratic machinery continued to hold out. Singh took pains to point out to any official who would care to hear him out that the Jabalpur men had been ignored while recognition had been accorded to the naval ratings who participated in the Royal Indian Navy mutiny, which ironically took place a couple of weeks before the Jabalpur mutiny.

A list of the court-martialled-Click picture for large image

Meanwhile, one of the survivors of the mutiny, Lance Naik Neelakantan Nair, went to the Kerala High Court seeking directions to the MHA. In July 2003, the court directed the MHA and the state government to look into the matter and report back in six months. But nothing came of it. Finally, in a letter dated February 14, 2003 (No 8/2/2003-FF-P), the MHA stated that the issue of granting freedom fighter status to the mutineers had been "considered and it has been decided at the level of the home minister that they cannot be treated as freedom fighters."

The then home minister and currently the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, L.K. Advani, as the letter states, did not find the mutiny and its impact adequate enough to club it with the freedom struggle. After much persuasion from the signals corps, some of the participants, 41 out of over 1,700 mutineers, were granted a meagre pension while the others were dismissed since official records showed that they had been "discharged on administrative grounds". What the MHA forgot to look into was a small but critical detail on the discharge certificates. The men had been discharged, the certificate stated, for taking part in the "Jubalpore STC mutiny".

"It is absurd. All the naval mutineers have been recognised and feted by the government as freedom fighters. They too were discharged on administrative grounds. But the same logic didn't hold true for the men who suffered for decades for participating in the mutiny," says Singh. Ironically, the naval mutineers were also radiomen just like the ones in Jabalpur.

M.A. Kochuvareed, a mutineer

Eighty seven year old M.A. Kochuvareed, who was a havildar during the Jabalpur mutiny and is one of its few survivors, has laboured to seek recognition from the government for nearly 60 years. His memory is fading, but Kochuvareed still remembers those fateful days of the uprising in great detail. "Just two weeks before the mutiny, we had heard Pandit Nehru at a rally in Jabalpur. He told us that even a chotta harkat (minor move) on our part would be enough to bring down the British flag and raise the Indian tricolour. Many were already agitated and we decided to take on the British soon after that. A few days after the mutiny began the British sent in a bayonet charge that killed nearly eight people and injured 30 others," Kochuvareed recounted to Outlook.

Indian officers such as Brig Terence Baretto and Maj Gen K.K. Tiwari, both then war-weary captains in the British Indian army, were rushed to Jabalpur by army headquarters and the command of the unit was handed over to another Indian officer, one Lt Col Mukherjee. "As an adjutant I was in charge of the quarterguard where the men had been incarcerated and we heard from them about how they had been ill-treated by their British counterparts. I learnt a lot from them," remembers Tiwari.

So why did the British hush up the Jabalpur mutiny? They feared trouble if the news of the revolt spread to other army units across British India. A year later, as independent India finally became a reality, the brave men of Jabalpur became a footnote in the forgotten records of the Corps of Signals.
Radioactive Rebels? Signalmen of the Jabalpur mutiny of 1946- wonder why they aren't heroes by Saikat Datta in Outlook

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Dare Devils- World Records

DARE DEVILS
In 01 may 1965, the DR Display Team of Corps of Signals was formally launched at 1 Signal Training Centre, Jabalpur. The first coach and captain of the Motor Cycle Team was Colonel SN Bhatia. The DR display team is stationed at Jabalpur and placed under command of Commandant 1 Signal Training Centre. The conduct of tour is controlled by Staff Duties Directorate, at the Army Headquarters. The Team, composed of 2 Officers, 2 Junior Commissioned Officers and 38 other ranks, is popularly called 'THE DARE DEVILS'. It has given excellent performances at various national events and has won appreciation. This team has performed even at the dizzy heights of Leh.
World Records
The Dare Devils' have to their credit FIVE World Records since 1991. Three of these World Records have been endorsed in Guinness Book of World Records
  • The first World Record was made at Gwalior in 1991 with 40 men on seven motor cycles covering a distance of 400 metres.
  • The second World Record was made at Pune in 1993 with 81 men on nine motor cycles covering a distance of 200 metres.
  • The third World record was made in 1996 with 140 men on eleven motorcycles covering a distance of 100 metres.
  • The fourth World record was made at Jabalpur in 2001 with 201 men on ten motorcycles covering a distance of 100 metres.
  • On 11 Jun 08 "DARE DEVILS" team has created a new Record by moving human pyramid of 251 men on 11 motorcycles covering a distance of 240 meters. The earlier record of 201 men on 10 Motorcycles and moving a distance of 129 meters on 05 Jul 2001 was also held by Corps of Signal DR Display Team.
    Honours and Awards
    It was a matter of pride for all Signallers while achieving a rare feet of being awarded one Shaura Chakra and three Sena Medals (Gallantry) during Independence Day 2007 and one PVSM, one AVSM and three VSM on Republic Day 2008. 12 COAS and 13 VCOAS Commendation Cards have been awarded to pers of Corps of Signals on the occasion of Independence Day 2008.
    Credit: Indian Army Webpage

    Corps History Part III covering period from 1947 to 1972
    The onerous task was assigned to Maj Gen VK Singh (Retd) and the book volume was released during the Commemoration Ceremony at the 14th Reunion cum Centenary Celebrations which concluded in 1 STC Jabalapur on 15 Feb 2011. click here

    Trivia from Corps History
    Who was Colonel Commandant, Indian Signal Corps in 1947- Independence Day?
    Gracey, Sir Douglas David, General (1894– 1964) Indian Army.
    When India was partitioned in 1947 Gracey became Chief of the General Staff and Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army before succeeding Frank Messervy as Commander-in-Chief Pakistan Army in 1948. Gracey did not send troops to the Kashmir front and refused to obey the order to do so given by Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Governor-General of Pakistan. Gracey argued that Jinnah as Governor-General represented the British Crown of which he himself was an appointee. Similar to Gracey, the early heads of Pakistan’s air force and naval force were Englishmen. He retired in 1951.
  • Thursday, 12 May 2011

    Royal Signals hands over to Corps of Signals Indian Army- 15 Aug 1947

    Sunset on The Raj

    The end of colonialism in india. Lord Louis Mountbatten under the command of reigning monarch George VI- 15 Aug 1947
    Royal Signals were based in Quetta and Jubbulpur India 1938-1948

    GHQ Signals Regiment (Army HQ Signal Regiment)
    GHQ Signals Regiment stationed in New Delhi played a vital role in communications during the period 1946-1948. The regiment was responsible for supplying information to both the Indian and British governments of all the upheavals that took place at that time. Information was gathered from all over India, and this passed to the world media via government sources. Names of Signal Officers who were involved with the ceremonies that took place on August 15th 1947 will be found in the Corps History.
    The duties were taken over by Indian Army towards the end of 1947. Bombay signals, southern command signals (known as Bombay Signals) stationed at Colaba in Bombay. Commnding Officer Major Higgins (served as corporal under Capt H Sunderland).
    Signals Training Centre - STC(1) Mhow. Major RH Farlow, April 1947.
    Signals Squadron Deolali, 14070401 Sgmn Cutler L, British Brigade Group, Signals Squadron Deolali, India - Command, 28th February 1948 returned.
    Waziristan Signals HQ Dera Ismail Khan, 14695948ws sgt Banbde signal sec, Razmak signal sec, 1945 to Aug 1947.
    Communications Security School Attached to the Signals Training Centre
    MHOW, India. Major Prince CJ Capt Denton. Lt Williams EJ Instructors included: Sgt Symons JR, CSM Stansford DJ, Sgt Rattenbury S, Sgt Knighton JK, Cpl Perkins ML.
    This team were responsible for training members of The Communications Security personnel from units throughout the British Army in India Under the badge of the Royal Signals.
    The cipher was high grade to Top Secret standard and was vital for the army units all over India, especially during the years 1945-48. Thanks to John Beal for this entry.
    2nd Indian Airborne Divisional Signal Regiment I was a member of the South Staffordshire Regiment, but was attached to 2nd Indian Airborne Division Signal Regiment after being converted to Ciphers in 1946. The Regiment was, at that time, stationed in Clifton which was part of Karachi, and the until was under the command of Lt.Col David Horsfield. Later that year the unit relocated to Malir, some 10 miles from Karachi, and occupied what was previously an American Army camp. Lt Col Horsfield was recalled to Europe and the unit was then commanded by Major, and later by Lt Col DG Jones.
    Towards the spring of 1947 the unit relocated yet again to Quetta, and it was here that it saw the Independence of both India and Pakistan in the August of that year. 2nd Indian Airborne Divisional Signal Regiment was designated an 'Indian Army Unit' and moved very quickly from Quetta (Pakistan) into India. The British Army content, which then comprised approx 40 other ranks and 5 officers detached themselves from the 'Indian' unit, and under my command moved to the transit camp in Karachi from where we were repatriated to the UK in November/ December 1947 on the troopship 'Empire Trooper'. Thanks to Norman Logan for this entry.
    Ceylon Signal's Squadron, Colombo, Ceylon. Echelon Barracks, Colombo. Major J Badcock, Major PAM Tighe.
    Courtesy: Sunset of The Raj

    Monday, 25 April 2011

    History of the Royal Corps of Signals

    Courtesy: Royal Corps of Signals
    CAPTAIN MONTAGUE LAMBERT RE
    He was the first Commander of 'C' Telegraph Troop, Royal Engineers which was formed in 1870.
    The first communication device the heliographs were mainly made in India. The heliograph was used extensively during the various campaigns on the North West Frontier of India and continued in an active service role during World War 1 and even in the desert campaign of World War 2. The next major set forward in military communications was the invention of the telephone in 1876 and its introduction into military service.
    Formation of The Royal Corps of Signals
    The first official agreement to form a separate Signal Corps was made in 1918, before the end of World War One. Due to various policy delays, the formation of the 'Corps' was delayed until 1920.
    A Royal Warrant was signed by the Secretary of State for War, the Rt. Hon Winston S Churchill, who gave the Sovereign's approval for the formation of a 'Corps of Signals' on 28th June 1920. Six weeks later, His Majesty the King conferred the title 'Royal Corps of Signals'.
    Campaigns After Formation
    During the 1920s and 1930s, the Corps increased its strength and had personnel serving in overseas stations such as Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Ceylon, Egypt, Jamaica and many other 'out-posts of the Empire'.
    The largest portion of the Corps was overseas, one third being concentrated in India. Throughout World War Two, members of the Corps served in every theatre of war and, at the end, the Corps had a serving strength of 8,518 officers and 142,472 soldiers. Indian Signal Corps strength was 2,830 officers and 47490 soldiers.
    In the immediate post-war period, the Corps played a full and active part in numerous campaigns including: Palestine (1945-1948); the long campaign. in Malaya (1949-1960); the Korean War (1950-1953); ; the Suez Canal Zone (1956); the various operations in Cyprus, Borneo, Aden, the Arabian Peninsula, Kenya and Belize.
    Throughout this time, until the end of the Cold War, the main body of the Corps was deployed with the British Army of the Rhine confronting the former Communist Block forces, providing the British Forces' contribution to NATO with its communications infrastructure.

    Thursday, 21 April 2011

    Coffee Table Book

    The Defence Minister, Shri A. K. Antony unveiled the Corps of Signals coffee table book Feb 17, 2011

    The Defence Minister, Shri A. K. Antony unveiled the Corps of Signals coffee table book on the occasion of Corps of Signals Centenary celebrations, in New Delhi on February 17, 2011.
    The Minister of State for Defence, Dr. M.M. Pallam Raju, the Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology and Home Affairs, Shri Gurdas Kamat, the Chief of Army Staff, General V.K. Singh, the Deputy Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. V.S. Tonk and the Signal Officer-in-Chief, Lt. Gen. P Mohapatra are also seen.
    What is a Coffee Table Book?
    A coffee table book is a hardcover book that is intended to sit on a coffee table or similar surface in an area where guests sit and are entertained, thus inspiring conversation or alleviating boredom. They tend to be oversized and of heavy construction, since there is no pressing need for portability. Subject matter is generally confined to non-fiction, and is usually visually-oriented. Pages consist mainly of photographs and illustrations, accompanied by captions and small blocks of text, as opposed to long prose. Since they are aimed at anyone who might pick the book up for a light read, the analysis inside is often more basic and with less jargon than other books on the subject. Because of this, the term "coffee table book" can be used pejoratively to indicate a superficial approach to the subject.
    History
    David R Brower is sometimes credited with inventing the "modern coffee table book". While serving as executive director of the Sierra Club, he had the idea for a series of books that combined nature photography and writings on nature, with, as he put it, "a page size big enough to carry a given image’s dynamic. The eye must be required to move about within the boundaries of the image, not encompass it all in one glance." The first such book, "This is the American Earth", with photographs by Ansel Adams and others and text by Nancy Newhall, was published in 1960; the series became known as the "Exhibit Format" series, with 20 titles eventually published.

    Sunday, 17 April 2011

    Corps of Signals History- Challenges

    Corps History Committee
    Though no history of the Corps was published during the period 1947-72, most of the work including the writing of the script of Volume I covering the period 1911-39 was completed during this time. The story of the ups and downs connected with the publication of the book has been covered in ‘History of the History’ which forms Appendix 1 of Volume II. However, the deliberations of the Corps Committee concerning the history of the Corps and other subjects within the purview of the Corps History Committee which are relatively unknown will be covered here.

    The Corps Committee, in its very first meeting held in September 1946, ‘agreed that it was most desirable that the history of the Indian Signal Corps should be compiled’. However, nothing much seems to have been done during the next few years except a visit to the Historical Section in Simla by the Deputy Director Signals in early 1953 and the initiation of a case for a lieutenant colonel to write the Corps history. The lieutenant colonel and his staff were sanctioned, but due to acute shortage of officers in the Corps, no officer could be provided for this task. 69

    Fortunately, Colonel T Barreto was posted as Deputy Director of Signals from 1953-56. Without any mandate from the Corps Committee, he had begun collecting material in 1951, when he was at the Staff College, and continued his efforts during his tenure at Delhi. This naturally came to the knowledge of Brigadier Akehurst and Brigadier Iyappa, who succeeded him in 1954. In 1957, the Corps Committee agreed that the compilation of the history of the Corps is a long outstanding necessity. They appreciated the effort already put in by Brigadier Barreto and requested him to accept the responsibility to complete the Corps history, sanctioning a sum of Rs. 1000/- for expenses.

    By this time Brigadier Barreto had moved to Poona as CSO Southern Command. He was nominated Chairman of the Corps History Committee, an appointment he held until his retirement in 1965. During his tenures at Poona (1956-60); Simla (1960-63) and Mhow (1963-65), he continued to work assiduously on the project. He presented the first report of the Corps History Committee during the 11th Corps Committee Meeting in 1958. Thereafter, he presented progress reports in every meeting of the Corps Committee up to 1965, which was the last meeting he attended. During this meeting, he informed the Committee that the manuscript of Volume I of the History of the Indian Signal Corps was almost ready. In the absence of the Chairman, Lieutenant General Iyappa, the meeting was chaired by the Co-Chairman, Major General Batra, who stated that he had discussed the matter with the Senior Colonel Commandant. As the printing of the Volume would require last minute coordination with the printers, it would be printed in India. It had been decided that the services of Lieutenant Colonel Proudfoot be engaged for technical vetting of the manuscript and processing till its final publication.

    The decision to engage Lieutenant Colonel Proudfoot could not have been taken kindly by Brigadier Barreto. It indicated a lack of confidence in his abilities which was totally unjustified. That this was done without consulting him was even more galling. Due to various reasons, he put in his papers and retired prematurely in June 1965, when he was the Commandant of the School of Signals. Before he retired, he was asked to hand over the manuscript and all the material collected by him painstakingly over the previous 10-15 years.

    Though the manuscript had been completed by Brigadier Barreto before he retired, the project went into limbo after his departure, with the Corps not being able to find a suitable replacement to head the Corps History Committee. The next meeting of the Corps Committee records:
    Since the retirement of Brig T BARRETO a new Chairman of the Corps History Committee has not yet been appointed in his place. No report has, therefore, been prepared for discussion. CSO Central Command stated that the present system of collecting data for the compilation of Corps History entailed delay and therefore the system should be revised and the responsibility entrusted to a training establishment to whom copies of war diaries and other materials of historical value to the Corps should be made available. He also stated that it may be advantageous to employ a retired officer who may progressively compile the History and keep it up-to-date.

    In 1967 the Corps Committee was informed that the only nomination received so far for ‘writing’ the Corps history was that of Lieutenant Colonel A Asirvadam of the School of Signals. Brigadier KD Bhasin stated that he had informally contacted Brigadier Barreto who had declined to undertake the task. The Chairman, Lieutenant General Iyappa, asked the SO-in-C, Major General ID Verma to discuss this issue with Brigadier Barreto during his next visit to Jabalpur. Meanwhile, all the material still held with Brigadier Barreto was to be taken over from him and properly compiled to facilitate further work. Major GY Sowani of 1 STC was to carry out processing of Volume I and start writing the draft for Volume II. The draft written Major Sowani was to be passed on to Colonel SN Mehta for vetting and finalisation.

    For the next four years literally nothing was done with regard to the Corps history. The subject was also not discussed by the Corps Committee during the meetings held in 1968, 1969 and 1970. In 1971 Commandant 1 STC placed before the Corps Committee the list of items which had been collected from Brigadier Barreto and kept in the Corps Museum. The Chairman, Lieutenant General Iyappa then suggested that it is time we take some concrete action to publish the Corps history. CSO Southern Command stated that Lieutenant Colonel GY Sowani had volunteered to do the work. (This had been approved by the Committee four years earlier). Initially he should be moved to Jabalpur on temporary duty to make an assessment of the volume of work involved and later he may be posted to Jabalpur if necessary.

    In the event, after Colonel GY Sowani also begged off, various other writers approached, including Lieutenant Colonel CL Proudfoot, Colonel Pyara Lal Colonel V Anantahraman, Major KS Kapur Brigadier KD Bharagava and Lieutenant Colonel JC Dhamija. Volume I of the Corps History was finally published in 1975, ten years later after its completion by Brigadier Barreto. The book was a verbatim reproduction of the original draft except for a change in the title. The preface written by Brigadier Barreto was omitted and so was his name as the author. One can only wonder at the lackadaisical manner in which the Corps history project was addressed by the Corps Committee and the callous manner in which it treated one of its most distinguished members. Brigadier Barreto had been the longest serving member of the Corps Committee, except for General Iyappa. 6/7/2010
    Maj Gen VK Singh (Retd)
    Comment: Wonderful insight into the ordeals and challenges confronted in getting the Corps History Published. Brig Barreto and Maj Gen VK Singh are the true time keepers of Corps of Signals for perpetuity.

    Wednesday, 13 April 2011

    Corps of Signals War Memorial

    Corps of Signals Centenary Celebrations and 14th Reunion 1 STC Jabalpur



    To honour the sacred memory of those brave brethren who laid down their lives during World War I and II in service of the Corps and the country, a War Memorial was erected on the Parade Ground of 1 Military Training Regiment of 1 Signal Training Centre, Jabalpur. The Memorial was unveiled at a solemn ceremony on 13 February 1961 during the Golden Jubilee Reunion. This Memorial is a 305 cms high wall made of Katni stone and a matching base. The column mounts the original Corps Badge (Emblem) of the Indian Signal Corps in brass and Dedicatory Plaque with the inscription 'IN MEMORY OF THE THOSE WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE SERVICE OF THE COUNTRY'.
    As a matter of Corps custom, only white roses are grown and floral tributes of white roses only are paid. In Feb 1970, the current Emblem of the Corps was mounted beneath the old one. This memorial adorns the Parade Ground of 1 Military Training Regiment in Anderson Lines that has, since 1920, been watered by the sweat of the recruits who joined the Corps. It is on this Drill Square, in the shadow of this symbol of supreme sacrifice that they pledge their loyalty to the service and the nation on entering the Corps. There is no better backdrop than that of this parade ground to attest the recruits on their entry into the Corps as trained soldiers. The Regimental Attestation Parade has therefore, become an important ceremony, which is held in the shadow of the War memorial. For all these ceremonies, the Roll of Honour is brought ceremoniously and kept at the foot of the War Memorial to enliven the memory of our brethren who have given their lives in the service of the Corps and the Country.
    Corps of signals War Memorial

    Tuesday, 12 April 2011

    Souvenirs and Memorabilia

    14th Reunion at 1STC Jabalpur
    Similar to souvenirs, memorabilia (Latin for memorable things, plural of memorābile) are objects treasured for their memories; however, unlike souvenirs, memorabilia are valued for a connection to an event. Examples include Reunions, sporting events, historical events, culture and entertainment. Such items include playing cards, carry bags, publicity photographs, posters, caps, cups, clocks and such other collectables.
    14th Reunion had an array of such items:
    1. Corps tie
    2. Corps scarf
    3. Reunion folder with brochures and posters
    4. Wall clocks and wrist watches
    5. Hand Bag
    6. Cups
    7. Ladies Handkerchief
    8. Caps

    Monday, 11 April 2011

    Autographed India Post Stamp and Cover

    Centenary Celebration of Corps of Signals- India Post releases Postage Stamp






    Dear Sir,
    I am sending the photographs of signals postage stamp issued during centenary celebrations and veteran signallers has signed on this issue of stamps. Please circulate through your “report my signal”.
    With warm regards
    Col S C Ghose (Retd)

    Friday, 1 April 2011

    The Modernisation Process and the Poineers

    Supreme Commander Inaugurating 100th Anniversary
    The Modernisation Process
    The Corps of Signals is well poised to exploit the state-of-art modern communication techniques for meeting the requirements of the Indian Army of the 21st Century. The ASTROIDS (Army Strategic Operational Information Dissemination System) and the DCN (Defence Communication Network) are other networks which have been visualised to cover communication requirements of all three services at the strategic level. Some of the areas where the Corps is already in the process of exploiting are the cellular radios - in both GSM (Global Satellite for Mobile Communications) & CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) modes, WLL (Wireless Local Loop), OFC (Optical Fibre Cable), mobile trunk radios, mobile satellite systems, etc. Advanced data transmission methods such as SDH (Synchronous Digital Hierarchy) and PDH (Plesiochronous Digital Hierarchy) are also being used.
    Personnel of the Corps are regularly sent abroad to expand their knowledge in numerous areas of telecommunications, information technology and electronic warfare including attending conferences such as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to keep abreast with the latest in communications technology. The Corps also fielded communication task forces for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon and the United Nations Peace Keeping Force in Sierra Leone. Signals personnel have also attended the Indian Army's training teams at Botswana and Mauritius.
    Poineers in computerisation
    To start the computerisation process, a middle level officer of the Corps of Signals, Maj OA Pereira was deputed to undergo a one year computer course at the statistical institute, Calcutta. On his return, the nucleus of a computer cell was formed at the AHQ. Around the same time, a training facility was organised by the Government at Delhi based on a Honeywell mainframe computer system. The scope of such training was, however, limited to fundamentals of computer technology and programming in COBOL with an exposure of FORTRAN. Simultaneously, officers were also sent to US Army School at Fort Monmonth, New Jersey for regular computer courses. Notable amongst these trainees were Lt Col MS Sodhi and Lt Col Harbhajan Singh, later both of them rose to the rank of Lt Gen's as SO in C. Prominent amongst the early computer poineers were Lt Col (Maj Gen) BS Paintal and Maj (Brig) VM Sundaram. They played a leading role in educating and spreading compuer awareness. Subsequently Maj Gen Gopal Das and Maj Gen Ganga Prasad made significant contribution for the planning and organisation of computer education and training. Brig SVS Chowdhry was closely associated with the computer education activity, first as a faculty member at MCTE, Mhow and later on in the planning and coordination of computer training during his two tenures at the Army Headquarters.

    Thursday, 31 March 2011

    India Post releases stamp on Corps of Signals

    India post has released a stamp on Corps Of Signals. The Corps of Signals are more popularly known as the Information Warriors of the Indian Army Corps Of Signals (depicted on the stamp) have played an important role played by all ranks in enabling net centric warfare in the present information age. Raised on the 15 February 1911 as a separate entity under Lt Col S H Powell, the Indian Army Signal Corps contributed immensely during World War I and II. After Independence, Brig CHI Acehurst was the first head of the Corps of Signals. Major expansion of the corps took place after the 1965 and 1971 wars. The regimental colors were formally presented to the corps on 20 February 1965 and on 15 February 1981. The corps has a college of telecommunication and engineering at Mhow. The Corps of Signals has made rapid progress in establishing a world-class Information Communication Technologies (ICT) infrastructure and has also acquired capabilities to negate the same of our adversaries through effective use of electronic warfare and signal intelligence. The Corps of Signals has achieved a milestone by launching strategic broadband satellite network, ASCON and AWAN. It has graduated from pigeons to latest technologies like micro cellular, Wimax, software defined radios and has been successful in integrating these networks and systems to deliver the army the 'Network of Networks'.
    India Post Released New Stamp on Corps of Signals

    Wednesday, 30 March 2011

    The Indian Army Signal Corps Motorcycle Expedition to Blandford Camp

    Courtesy THE WIRE, DECEMBER 2010, Royal Corps of Signals
    After a year of planning and last minute route changes, 10 members of the Indian Army Signal Corps Motorcycle Expedition 2010 finally completed their month long 3000 mile journey to Blandford Camp on Friday 17 Sep 10,2010. The team led by Lt Col Vks Tomar which included 2 female officers, Captains Ravinder Kaur and Tashi Thapilyal arrived at RHQ Royal Signals to be greeted by the fanfare trumpeters of the Corps Band and a reception party headed jointly by the SOinC(A), Brig Tim Watts OBE ADC and the Military Attache, Brig Anil Mehta from the Indian High Commission in London. After the team was introduced to the SOinC a special introduction was made to Maj (Retd) Tom Bewsey OBE (93 years of age) the last Chairman of the Indian Army Signal Corps Association. With only 3 members still living it was a particular privilege for the visiting riders that one of the surviving veterans who served in the Indian Army Signal Corps before partition in 1947 could also make the journey to Blandford. The motorcycle expedition was devised as a suitable way in which the Indian Army Signal Corps could reconnect with their heritage and visit the Home of the Royal Corps of Signals to make a small presentation in their Centenary celebration year. The Indian Army Signal Corps will officially reach its 100th birthday on 15 Feb 2011 when the major commemorative events including a reunion will take place at the Signal Training Centre at Jubbulpore. Following their epic journey and the formal arrival and presentation ceremony the riders were entertained to an evening of well deserved relaxation and reminiscing before once again mounting their 250cc Royal Enfield motorcycles in order to watch the White Helmets undertake their last performances for this display season at the Royal Berkshire Show. The expedition members have been on the road for almost a month and after completing a number of wreath laying and other ceremonies in Brighton, London and Camberley will return to India by air on 29 Sep 10, 2010.
    THE INDIAN ARMY SIGNAL CORPS MOTORCYCLE EXPEDITION 2010
    Related Blog Report
    Siver Stride Motorcycle Expedition

    Oldest British Officer from Indian Signal Corps
    Maj (Retd) Tom Bewsey OBE of Indian Signal Corps, talking on "Operation Overlord". Tom is known to a very large section of the local community where he he has been involved in many activities notably being a founder member of the Sidcup Symphony Orchestra, being a Governor of Harenc School, and three times President of this Society. War time experience in the Royal Corps of Signals led him to a peacetime career in maritime radar and marine engineering. The talk on " Operation Overlord" was a lucid and interesting account of Tom's involvement with the planning of the Royal Signals part in the D Day landing. He showed how extreme secrecy was maintained before the actual invasion. His Signals unit was stationed on the Isle of Wight where they were aware of the possibility of a German Paratroop landing which however did not occur. Occupying high ground on the Isle of Wight gave him a ring side view of "the greatest amphibious operation in history". Although the story of the Normandy landings is well known much of Tom Bewsey's talk was of the part played by Royal Signals in carrying out a meticulously planned deception campaign. This resulted in the retention by the Germans of 12 divisions in the Calais area and a further 12 divisions in Norway. Fictitious military units were set up in Scotland and in the South East of England with dummy tanks and trucks. This deception was planned by Jasper Maskelyne, the grandson of the famous Edwardian Illusionist. Not all the Signals activities involved 20th Century science. Carrier pigeons were used to convey messages from France and one particular bird received the Dickin Medal for Animal Bravery on account of several successful flights.