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Dear Members of the Corps of Signals fratenity,
With grief we are posting details of our colleagues who leave for their heavenly abode. We request members to forward their "shradhanjali". Kindly share with us the photographs, fond memories and association.
We await tributes from associates/ course mates for publication.
Blog Team

RMS Tributes
  • Amar Jawan: Roll of Honour of the Indian Armed Forces
  • The Kargil Memorial
  • Monday, February 25, 2008

    Tribute to Maj Gen RZ Kabraji, AVSM

    Maj Gen(Retd) RZ Kabraji of the Corps of Signals passed away in Pune on 21 Feb 2008 at a ripe age of 90 plus. 'Russi', as his contemporaries called him, was a very popular personality. He led by example and always maintained a happy and highly motivated team . His appointment to various important staff and instructional duties at premier institutions and command of mountain formations, speak of his high standards of professionalism. He had a passion for outdoor activity and excelled in golf and fishing. His undying interest in Amateur radio was sustained for many a year well into the latter years of his life. He was known the world over as VU2BK and General Kab and his CW(Morse) transmissions were referred to as “music to the ears“ by fellow Hams!

    He commanded the only Armoured Divisional Signals of his time, held prestigious staff appointments in the General Staff and within the Corps, commanded a mountain brigade and a mountain division and, having done the Staff College in Quetta, before partition of the country, was the Senior Army Directing Staff in Staff College, Wellington. He was the Deputy Commandant and later Commandant of the School of Signals (now re-named Military College of Telecommunications) His last appointment was Chief of Staff of a Command HQ from where he retired in 1970 and settled in Aundh in Pune.

    I take the liberty, on behalf of all the veterans of the Corps, specially those who, like me, had the privilege of being associated with him and of paying tribute to the very fine gentleman, officer and sportsman, that General Kabraji was, We mourn his departure from our midst and offer our sympathies and condolences to his son and other near and dear ones of his family.

    M S Sodhi
    Lt Gen (Retd)
    Former SO in C

    Obituary- Maj Gen RZ Kabraji, AVSM

    Maj Gen (Retd) Rustom Zal Kabraji, AVSM, who passed away on 21 Feb 2008 at a ripe age of over 90 yrs was a most venerable, illustrious and likeable personalities of our Corps. He had an extremely distinguished and enviable career both within and outside the Corps, which hardly anyone else has been able to match. He commanded the prestigious 1 Armd Div Sig Regt, was CSO of Eastern Command and SO 1 at both Eastern and Southern Commands.

    He held the appointment of Deputy as well as Commandant MCTE (then the School of Signals) and left his indelible mark. To quote the Editor of the Signalman from the July 1963 issue, “… he guided its (The Signalman) destinies and during this p[eriod it has grown in stature and quality… Commandant of the School of Signals he has left his mark in Mhow, particularly in the local populace, both military and civil……Brig and Mrs Kabraji were extremely popular in all circles, social and official.

    It was in being selected for appointments outside the Corps that Maj Gen Kabraji did the Corps proud. He was the First officer from the Corps to be selected to command a Brigade (61 Mtn Bde) and was the second officer of the Corps to command a Division (6 Mtn Div). He was also a DS Coord at the Staff College and the only officer of the Corps to be the Chief of Staff of a Command (Southern Command).

    While in Eastern Command, he was appointed, along with Lt Gen JS Aurora, by Lt Gen Henderson Brooks to pursue the famous ‘Henderson Brooks Report’.

    In the field of sports, hobbies and adventure, the late General was a very enthusiastic golfer and actively promoted the game at Mhow. He was also a keen angler and some of his fishing stories, especially when he was GOC 6 Mtn Div have gone down in history. He was a very active HAM (VU 2 BK) and pusued his hobby right till the end of his life. His excellent CW operating techniques were known the world over and foreign HAMs always comment “General KB…..his CW is like music to our ears!”.

    Some of our veterans who served under him fondly referred to General Kabraji as being the ‘Life of our Corps’. In his death the Corps has lost a leading light, a lovable personality and a role model. The General lived a full and active life to the very end and we in the Corps would always revere him for his contribution par excellence to our Corps.

    On behalf of all Signallers and particularly those at MCTE, pray to God for the departed soul to rest in peace and wish his near and dear all strength to bear this irreparable loss.

    Lt Gen YS Panwar, Commandant, MCTE

    Mr Zal Kabraji in conveying the sad news of the death of dear father to me said that the family wanted to convey the news only to MCTE because of the great emotional attachment the late General had with the institution he commanded for three long years.

    Facets of Maj Gen RZ Kabraji, AVSM

    Letter from son of late Maj Gen (Retd) Rustom Zal Kabraji, AVSM to LT Gen YS Panwar, Commandant, MCTE, Mhow.

    Dear General,

    This refers to our phone conversation regarding the sad demise of my father Maj Gen Rustom Zal Kabraji, AVSM (Retd).He passed away on the night of 21 February 2008. He was at the age of 90+. He was an old and respected officer in the Corps of Signals and some of his juniors aptly described him as the Life of the Corps !

    He retired from the army on 1 June 1970 as Chief of Staff,Southern Command, Pune. At this time he was also Hon. ADC General to the President of India. The other prestigious appointments held by him during his service career were :

    1. SO1 Eastern Command at that time located in Ranchi.

    2. CO 1st Armoured Div Signal Regiment. This Div at the time had the famous Gen J N Chaudhari as its GOC.

    3. G1 19 Div, Baramullah.

    4. SO1 Southern Command, Pune.

    5. Chief DS Coord, Staff College, Wellington.

    6. Dy Commandant and again Commandant, School of Signals, Mhow.

    7. CSO Eastern Command, Calcutta.

    8. Commander 61 Mtn Brigade, where he was responsible for the liberation of rebel held Mizoram. He is the first General Officer from the Corps of Signals to command a mountain brigade in the Indian Army.

    9. GOC 6 Mtn Div, Bareilly. He was then only the second General Officer from the Corps of Signals to command a fighting division.

    While in Eastern Command, he was appointed by Lt Gen Henderson Brooks to pursue the famous "Henderson Brooks" report along with Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora.

    He did his Staff College from Quetta.

    My father was a keen golfer and he promoted the game when he was Comdt at School of Signals, Mhow. He was a very keen Radio Ham (VU 2 BK) and actively pursued the hobby right till the very end. His First Class CW operating techniques are known world over and foreign hams always comment, General "KAB" as he was fondly known as - "his CW is like music to our ears"!

    He was instrumental along with Brig P S Gill to lead one of the first all army Ham Expeditions to Bhutan in 1962, giving the world Radio Amateurs to contact Bhutan for the very first time.

    He was a keen angler and some of his fishing stories have gone down in history, specially when he was GOC 6 Mtn Div in the UP-Tibet area.

    General, all this is from memory and as authentic as I can put down on paper, giving insights of my father, for the modern and newer generation Signal Corps.


    Zal Kabraji

    Address: 55 Aand Park, Aundh, Pune 411 007
    Tel: +91 20 2588 0759

    Sunday, February 24, 2008

    Snippets of Maj Gen RZ Kabraji, AVSM

    As is well known, he was a keen Ham. Another keen ham was Gen Umrao Singh,(US VU2) known as Uncle Sam. He was my wife's late uncle. According to him- I was then posted in Mhow in 1971/72- the worst signal was put out by the Signal School, and the only Ham in Signals was KAB.

    When he was a brigade commander, his sparrow was RK Chopra. He was doing SODE 20 when I was doing SODE 22. He lived opposite me in CME. I often saw Gen Kabraji visiting Chopra on Sundays. Chopra, of course, was a legendary character who rarely wore shoes to class - he was usually in Chappals. He told me the story about the line that was constructed by him when he was in Kabraji's brigade. I have written about it in Sam Manekshaw's biography in my book LEADERSHIP IN THE IiNDIAN ARMY - BIOGRAPHIES OF TWELEVE SOLDIERS. It is reproduced below.

    In December 1963, Sam was appointed GOC-in-C Western Command. He remained there for only a year, before moving to Eastern Command as Army Commander in November 1964. During one of his visits to Mizo hills, he found that the communications were very bad. When he asked the reason, he was told that the Post and Telegraph Department had been asked to provide the telephone line, but it was likely to take at least 4-5 years since the distance was over 200 Kms. " That is too much, " said Sam. " Can't we do it ourselves ?" He was told that according to the Telegraph Act, only the Post and Telegraph Department could own telephone and telegraph lines and the Army had to hire it from them. This conversation was taking place over a glass of beer in the brigade officers mess. Brigadier R.Z. Kabraji was the brigade commander. He called his Signals officer and Sam asked him how long it would take to lay the line.
    "Two months," replied the officer, "provided I have the stores."
    "Where can we get the stores?" asked Sam.
    "The P&T has a big dump at Silchar," replied the officer.
    "Then go and get it," said Sam. "But don't get caught."
    Sam had said this as a joke, but the Signals Officer, who was young, immature and impetuous, took it seriously. He took a fleet of lorries to Silchar and went straight to the P&T Department stores. When the official in charge protested, he brought him along with the stores and released him only after a week. The P&T Department raised a hue and cry and reported the 'theft' and kidnapping of their officer to the Ministry. Soon the matter reached Army HQ. The COAS ordered disciplinary action to be taken against the officer, as well as the brigade commander. By now the line was almost complete and the Army Commander was informed of the case. Though Sam had forgotten about the incident, he immediately wrote to the Chief assuming full responsibility for the officer's actions, saying that he had acted on his specific orders.

    Maj Gen VK Singh (Retd)

    Maj Gen RZ Kabraji, AVSM

    Maj Gen RZ Kabraji was a very distinguished Signal Officer. He was highly intelligent and made his mark within and out side the Corps. I saw him as GSO1 19 Inf Div in 1955. Those days this was a key appointment, as 19 Infantry Division looked after the Kashmir Valley, where most of the action was.

    Maj Gen Kabraji had great sense of humor and brought happiness all around. He also showed great courage of conviction and would not be cowed down.

    In his passing away the Corps has lost a very great Signaller and General Officer. May the departed soul rest in peace.

    Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh
    Former Signal Officer-in-Chief

    Saturday, February 23, 2008

    Maj Gen RZ Kabraji, AVSM

    Dear Members,

    I am very sad to inform you that one of the most loveable Signals Veteran, IC 796, Maj Gen RZ Kabraji, AVSM, left for his heavenly abode on 21 Feb 08. He was residing at Aundh, Pune. He was 91. The last rites were performed today morning, 22 Feb 08. We pray to Almighty to give peace to the departed soul and strength to the dear ones to bear this irreparable loss.
    His wife, Mrs Nargesh Kabraji, had expired about four years ago.
    The information was received from Lt Gen YS Panwar, VSM.

    In sorrow-
    Chander Kamboj

    We were very sorry to learn of the sad demise of Maj Gen RZ Kabraji. We had called on him in Jan 2004 during a brief visit to Pune at his house in Aundh and cannot forget the joy on his face and voice when he received me saying "Sodhi you have created history! You are the first SO in C who has come to my house after retirement!" We had a pleasant evening over a drink with him. He had the reputation of being a very fine commander and excellent in staff work too.

    MS Sodhi
    Lt Gen (Retd)

    On behalf of the "Airawat Signals" family, we offer our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. Gen Kabraji has been one of the illustrious predecessors of mine. During the reunion last year when we had contacted him, his son had mentioned that he was very pleased at our having reached out to him.
    May God bless his soul.

    Col Suyash Sharma
    Airawat Signals

    Late General Kabragi was an avid, Ham Amateur Radio enthusiast. He was the Commandant School of Signals when I was attending a course there. When we called on him one evening he quietly left us in the capable hands of Mrs Kabraji and left for his den, possibly he had a schedule to attend . Remembered Sadly.

    Lakshman Singh, VSM
    Brig (Retd)

    I wish to convey the sad news of the demise of one of our most
    illustrious veterans, Maj Gen (Retd) RZ Kabraji, AVSM at a ripe age of
    almost 91 yrs. He was not keeping too well for a couple of days and
    breathed his last on 21 Feb evening. The late Gen Kabraji was
    Commandant of MCTE (then the School of Signals) from May 60 to Apr 63.
    He commanded I Armd Div Sig Regt. Mrs Kabraji predeceased her husband
    4 yrs back.

    The last rites were completed early morning on 22 Feb 2008.

    YS Panwar
    Lt Gen

    My own connection goes back to 1947, when I was OC Miektila Coy of the Post-war 2nd & 3rd Courses Cadets at the IMA Dehra Dun. I visited the then School of Signals (MCTE) where Russi was Staff Officer to the then (British) Commandant, to ascertain the numbers I should select for the Corps. Russi Kabraji was a well-liked highly Intelligent & a jovial person.
    In early Fifties He & I were again together( J&K) in 19 INF DIV, then responsible for the entire Kashmir Valley, with URI on the Left & Tosh-Madan beyond LEH on the Right, together with KARGIL DRAS etc- he was the Divisional GSO-1 & me the C SIGS. We were together also in Late Fifties at MHOW He was the Commandant School of Signals & I his Deputy.

    He was a very keen HAM Radio enthusiast -VU2BK- and an excellent Morse Code operator - and thus was well known the world over at least in the HAM RADIO Firmament. While in MHOW we together built India's First Rotatable Three Band Cubicle QUAD Antenna. It was great Fun (My call -VU2PS).

    BRIG PS GILL (Retd)

    Friday, February 15, 2008

    Brig RN Lambah

    Dear Members,

    I am sad to inform you about the demise of IC-7840 Brig RN Lambah, of Signals, some time on 14 Feb 08, in RR Hospital, New Delhi.The cremation will take place at 11.00 AM, on 15 Feb 08, at Lodhi Road Electric Crematorium, New Delhi.
    The Chautha will be held, on Saturday, 16 Feb 08, from 1500 to 1600 hrs, in Club premises of Sector 15, Noida.
    We pray to Almighty to give peace to the departed soul and strength to all dear ones and near ones to bear this irreparable loss.

    In sorrow-
    Chander Kamboj, VSM
    Brig (Retd)