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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
  • Tuesday, December 30, 2008

    Col OP Kalra (Tommy, Omi)

    It has taken quite a while to adjust to not having Col OP Kalra (aka Tommy & Omi) around. I am late in this Shradhanjli to my NDA coursemate. Forgive me Tommy. And Mamta, Novi & Tannu.

    If there ever was an officer, a gentleman, of sterling qualities- great head, heart, spirit & cheerfulness, it was Tommy. He would bear no malice, ever, to any one. We have a number of ‘genius’ level officers, but ease of effort and ‘bindaas’ intelligence wise Tommy towered head & shoulders above. He never wanted to be in the rat race and was happy with the way life was panning out. Tension was taboo to him. A great sportsman, who would never be found alone; we all sought his company. He was spontaneous with help whenever anyone approached him.

    He was rechristened ‘Tommy’ during our Degree Course because of his smiling, simple boyish ways & looks and his gurgling laughter (refer photo). His school friends and Squadron mates preferred ‘Omi’. Meera recalls his amiabilty and sauntering across to have a genial conversation with each lady particularly coursemates, at any gathering.

    His professional versatility- CO 11 Inf Div Sig Regt; OC Computer Wing, MCTE; Battalion Commander IMA & He was the Founding Father of the Army Institute of Technology (AIT) Pune. His aptitude for ‘EDP’ developed early and he went on to make a very successful second career in the field of Computers after opting for premature retirement.

    Tommy was ‘genuine’ 24 carat human, yet unassuming, humble and devoid of airs and that made him the most valuable asset of our course. The news of his illness hit us all hard but his passing away was a shock to all those who knew him.

    We pray for his soul to rest in peace and for the Almighty’s Blessings to family and friends to bear this most untimely loss. We will miss you Tommy, immensely…

    In fond memory of a really good human being.... Tommy.

    Thanks & Regards
    Maj Gen BS Keron VSM

    Monday, December 29, 2008

    Brig Subhash K Datta 'The Gentle Giant"

    At the very outset, Meera joins me in our heartfelt condolences to Mrs Datta and the family, the 1 Armd Div Sig Regt family, to the Corps and to the Corps Veterans Fraternity for this sad and untimely loss.

    We first met (then) Col Subhash Datta at Patiala in Feb 1986, when he came as my relief as CO of 1 Armd Div Sig Regt (above). Mrs Datta had just been blessed with a daughter.

    The Regt was getting its first full Col CO (his 3rd command) and I was handing over command of an illustrious Sig Regt, as a Lt Col, after a tenure of almost 3 years.

    Despite his formidable appearance and walrus moustache, he came across as a very Gentle Giant. It was great to see the uniformed Gentle Giant cradling his infant daughter in his brawny arms, ever so gently. That image has endured in my mind over the decades gone by! (below)

    The handing taking over was very smooth and Col Datta was effusive in his praise for the predecessor COs and the team, very courteous and professional, with a hearty laugh at regular intervals, full of anecdotes and endeared himself immensely to one and all.

    Thereafter, he led the Regt through BrassTacks very effectively in his own characteristic style and one always heard of his contributions to the Regt in the most positive manner.

    Later, everytime we met, it was very pleasant to exchange 'khabar-shabar' on lots of issues. He was a gracious host (emphatic as ever on the liquid diet) when we visited them at their New Delhi home and was always most cordial, helpful and affectionate even when I met him at his Cabinet Sectt office.

    The best part about Brig Subhash Datta was that invariably, everyone who spoke of him, always had some good things to say about him, large hearted and ebullient that he was. Truthfully, I have never heard anyone say anything to the contrary and that is how , his memory lives with us. The Gentle Giant with a Big Heart.

    My colleagues, serving and retired, of 1 Armd Div Sig Regt, will permit me to record, on their behalf, our pride and happiness that Subhash Datta was the 18th Commanding Officer of the Airawat Signal Regiment and will always remain a part of our history.

    May his soul rest in peace and May the Almighty give us all the strength to bear his loss and to emulate his hearty laugh and bear hug warmth.

    Thanks & Regards
    Maj Gen BS Keron VSM

    Saturday, December 27, 2008

    Brig H Chukerbuti

    I have very fond memories of Brig Chukerbuti. When I was posted in Wellington in 1991-92, he was our local Colonel Comdt. I have enjoyed their hospitality many times at Bonnie Nestie. His son was with me in MS Branch in 1995-96. If I remember correctly Isabel Ellen was a WAC (Womens Auxiliary Corps) officer during WW II and she and Brig Chukerbuti both attended the same staff course! Perhaps some old timer will authenticate the story.

    I recall one incident that occurred when I was at Wellington. A group of British tourists were visiting Ooty. It included Gen Horsfield of Royal Signals and his wife. (General Horsfield had served with Indian Signals before 1947 and was later the president of the Indian Signals Association in UK). I think when they were in Madras they rang up Brig Chukerbuti and told them of their plans. They were to reach Coimbatore next day by train and then drive up to Ooty.

    Brig Chukerbuti decided that Gen Horsfield must be received in true Signals style. The Comdt was kind enough to give staff car. When the group got off the train they found a gleaming car, complete with a flag and two stars, standing right on the platform. Brig Chukerbuti received the Horsfields and conducted them to the car, telling the rest of the group that he would drop them at Ooty by nightfall. The British group was surprised when they found that two members of their group had been ‘kidnapped’, but were also impressed with the esprit de corps of Indian Signals.

    Needless to say, Brig Chukerbuti asked us to join them during lunch at Bonnie Nestie. After spending a few hours at Wellington, the Horsfields were driven to Ooty in the same staff car by Brig Chukerbuti to join up with his group.

    Brig Chukerbuti was our oldest signal officers when he passed away. The ones who were senior to him were AC Iyappa, JR DeSouza, BD Kapoor, BS Bhagat, RN Batra, SN Bhatia and Apar Singh. With his passing away, another of the old guard has left us.

    Maj Gen VK Singh

    Thursday, December 18, 2008

    Lt Col N Banerjee

    Dear Signallers,
    Reference email received from Dte Gen of Signals appended below.
    I am sad to inform you about the demise of IC - 29629N Lt Col N Banerjee, a Signals Veteran, on 7 Dec 08.

    We pray to Almighty to give peace to the departed soul and strength to all near ones and dear ones to bear this irreparable loss.

    Those of you who wish to write a "Shradhanjli" for him, may kindly send it for being posted to our weblog -
    The Shradhanjli be kindly emailed to - Col James Kanagaraj, The Moderator at -

    In sorrow -
    Chander Kamboj.

    Dear Sir
    We regret to inform you the sad demise of IC-29629N Lt Col N Banerjee (Retd) on 07 Dec 2008. The particulars of offr are as under:-
    1. IC No, Rank & Name: IC-29629N Lt Col N Banerjee (Retd)
    2. Name of NOK: Shri NK Banerjee (Father)

    Lt Col AS Mankoo
    Dir Sigs Adm

    Friday, December 12, 2008

    Brig S K Datta

    Its an extremely distressing and sad news for me personally because Brig Datta is a Role Model for me. My adoration and admiration for him are too deep rooted to express in words. I was fortunate to be his Adjutant in 1 Fd Sub Gp at Delhi during 1983 to 85. Initially he used to get annoyed with me but as time went by he used to appreciate me a lot for my work. His sense of humour was so good we used to laugh a lot even under tense situations. I became a better person as well as a better officer under his able guidance. He was fiercely protective of his subordinates and never allowed any superior to interfere with his Command. He never passed on the buck.

    Once he asked me to have a HOWLERS BOOK kept in my office. I took my own time and after being reminded once or twice I compiled some howlers and put up the book to him with a note "Draft Howlers are put up for approval please". Right came the reply with his remarks "Howlers are never drafted. This will be the first howler. Keep it up". I don't know if that book is still in existence at 1 Fd Sub Gp. When a JCO applied for sanction of expenditures for dentures he wrote" As a SJCO his bark should be bigger than his bite. What does he need dentures for?" His sense of humour was commendable and I am fortunate to have served under him.

    His respect for customs and traditions needs a special mention. When he forwarded his name for attending the dining out of a retired signal offr at Signals Enclave, I casually inquired if he knew the offr previously. Pat came the reply, "No I don't know him. But we must respect his services to our Corps all these years. By attending his dining out I am doing that". I was taken aback by his reply. He is such a noble soul and man of great qualities with inspiring leadership traits, I wish to salute him. I have cried for the first time after my parents death.

    I can go on and on because he is a friend philosopher and guide to me. But nobody can deny that he was a cut above the rest in my view. The Signal Corps had lost a great stalwart in his demise. I and my family pray to God Almighty to bless his soul to rest in peace and give the courage to his family to bear this irreparable loss with fortitude

    Col C V Mohan (Retd)

    Brig SK Datta

    1. The untimely and sudden demise of Brig SK Datta, (who was my boss as Col 'Q' at H Q 28 Inf Div at Nimu) will always be remembered as my friend, tutor and a perfect gentleman. He taught me the intricacies of staff work, how to be happy, show confidence and keep balance in crisis situation. Brig Datta was full of life and had a very imposing personality. His presence in all social gatherings always inspired others to follow him. He was very kind, had polished manners, spoke very well and enjoyed lighter side of life. He met me always with a satisfying face. He inspired me to work hard and yet live like a king.

    2. His untimely demise is indeed so tragic and sad. We pray to almighty to grant peace to the departed soul and express our deep sorrow and condolences to the bereaved family.

    3. His loss will be much felt by me and the Corps fraternity. Our deepest condolences to the Bereaved Family.

    May God rest the departed soul in peace.

    In sorrow,
    Col Vinod Batra (Retd)

    Wednesday, December 10, 2008

    Brig SK Datta

    The sudden and untimely demise of Brig SK Datta is indeed so tragic and sad. We pray to almighty to grant peace to the departed soul and express our deep sorrow and condolences to the bereaved family.

    Brig Datta was full of life and had a very imposing personality. His presence in a professional or social gathering was always noticeable.

    He was professionally very sound and proved his abilities within and outside the Corps in important assignments. His loss will be much felt by the Corps fraternity..

    Harbhajan Singh
    Lt Gen
    Former Signal Officer-in-Chief and Senior Colonel Commandant

    IC 13593W Brig SK Datta

    All Signals Officers,

    I am sad to read the contents of the email received from Gen VK Singh appended below.

    This is the first intimation I have received about the demise of Brig Datta. No information has been received from Dte Gen of Signals also.

    We pray to Almighty to give peace to the departed soul and strength to near ones and dear ones to bear this irreparable loss.

    In sorrow
    Brig Chander Kamboj VSM (Retd)

    Dear Brig Kamboj,

    On 8 Dec at about 1630 I received an SMS message (Sigs - Teevra Chaukas) that the cremation of IC 13593W Brig SK Datta will be held at Brar Square cremation ground at 1600 hrs on 08 Dec 2008.

    Surprisingly, there has been no intimation about his demise on Report My Signals. Do you have any intimation in this regard? I could not go for the cremation but would like to attend the Chautha. Subhas Datta was my DCC in NDA when I joined in 1961. He was also with me in RAW. I held him in high esteem and was saddened by the news.

    Maj Gen VK Singh (Retd)