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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
  • Saturday, October 31, 2009

    IC- 404 Lt Gen ID Verma

    Dear Kamboj
    It was with a sad heart that I attended the funeral the former SO-in -C, IC 404 Lt Gen ID Verma. He was the Commandant of the then School of Signals, when I landed in Mhow as a YO in 1955. I cannot express my feelings for him any better than given in the extract from my book as given below.
    Brig lakshman Singh (Retd)

    Brig A C Iyappa the Director Signals on a visit with the Commandant Brig ID Verma.......We would rush to Indore on Sundays and holidays to partake of Dahi-Vadas in Indore Coffee-House, see a movie as also for a change from the sleepy Mhow. Certain protocol in dress and travelling by the train was required yet very seldom followed. On one of such outings, late in the night, while waiting for the train to steam out of the Indore station, without Ties, while strolling up and down the length of the train a shock awaited us; whom do we see! The Comdandant (Brig ID Verma) himself sitting next to the window in a first class compartment, making us beat a hasty retreat. All the fun and joy of the day spent in Indore quickly subsided with our spirits getting deflated fast.

    The journey back to Mhow and the sleepless night was spent with visions of being marched up to the Commandant the next day haunting me. Mercifully nothing happened possibly he had not seen us, rather improbable under the circumstances, or he must have remembered his own days as a YO and let it go with a smile to himself.

    I am indebted to Lt Gen ID Verma, PVSM, the former SO-in-C for more reasons than one, not only for ignoring the peccadillo of the young YO back then when he was the Commandant of School of Signals but also for very kindly agreeing to preside over the function for the release of my book ‘Letters From The Border and Other Less Told Stories’.

    Friday, October 30, 2009

    Lt Gen I D Verma

    Dear Friends,
    I am sad to inform you about the demise of Lt Gen I D Verma, Ex Signal Officer in Chief, who passed away at 5.00 AM on 30 Oct 09, at New Delhi.
    Next of Kin: Mrs Nimi Verma
    Cremation: The cremation will take place today, 30 Oct 09, at 1200 hrs at Brar Square Cremation Ground, Delhi Cantt.
    Other Information about Officer
    1. Date of birth: 16 Feb 1921
    2. Date of retirement: 01 Jan 1971
    3. Date of demise: 30 Oct 2009
    4. Last appointment held: SO-in-C

    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 are sad to info you that Lt Gen I D Verma , Ex So - in -C, expired today morning at 0500h. Cremation will be at Brar Square Cremetorium at 1200h on 30 Oct 2009.
    NOK: Mrs Nimi Verma
    Brig KD Arya
    DDG SS

    Tuesday, October 27, 2009

    Lt Col VK Khorana

    Your first Commanding Officer is always special. When he is someone of the stature and personality of Lt Col VK Khorana, the relationship is even more special. And so, I am deeply anguished to learn that Lt Col VK Khorana is no more. He was my mentor who guided me as I transitioned from GC to Officer. Then, he moved on to his next assignment. But we kept in touch, me forever the callow youngster and he, the Tiger. Over the years, Colonel and Mrs Khorana were a part of every major development that life had in store for me.

    When I married, we both happened to be stationed at Mhow. So, soon after we landed there, Benita and I went to pay our regards to them. Among other things, Colonel Khorana, connoisseur and gourmet, taught us about different wine glasses. He shared with us a diagram that we diligently pasted on the inside of the bar cabinet till we realized, years down the line, that we could not rise to his expectations and remember what was sipped from which receptacle. Gracious and generous hosts, their den, resounding with the laughter and shouts of his two young sons Vikram and Nitin, almost became our second home.

    Colonel Khorana retired from Goa and settled in his ancestral house in Dehra Dun. We met again when I was posted there. By then, we were a family of three and loved visiting their home, verdant with Colonel Khorana’s amazingly healthy plants. The warmth of Colonel and Mrs Khorana’s welcome was matched by the woofs of Sheena, their affectionate and incredibly intelligent Labrador. With Sheena, we saw a side of Colonel Khorana I had barely noticed before: a keen empathy with animals and the unwavering patience to take her out, every pre-dawn she nudged him awake.

    Occasions like birthdays and anniversaries were a special treat since Colonel Khorana would stride into the kitchen and take responsibility for at least one exotic dish. Sir, no one can make fish curry quite like you!

    He retired from service but not from being an Armyman. He was always abreast of developments in the Services and especially in the Corps of Signals. He followed with keen interest the career graph of all his cubs and continued guiding me as I grew in service.

    In spite of indifferent health, Colonel Khorana never lost his sense of humour. In our conversations, he always referred to Mrs Khorana, who grew up in Kolkata, as his Tigress. That meant, he was her Tiger. Sir, wherever you are, we are sure few can match your roar.

    Mrs Khorana, may you find the strength to bear with this loss.
    Arup, Benita and Moen

    Monday, October 26, 2009

    Lt Col VK Khorana

    Dear Chander,
    As I mentioned to you the other day, I had two brothers-in-law in the Corps of Signals. We lost both of them within short period recently.

    On October 16, you were kind enough to inform everyone regarding Vijay Khorana's demise. You and several of his friends from the Army were able to attend his funeral and the Uthala ceremony. Needless to say that these personal visits and interactions were a great support to the family, particularly to Vijay's wife Rita, children, and to us.

    As you know, Vijay Khorana had commanded 9 Div Sig Regt in 1978-80. A few days ago, Rita received a telephone call from the present commanding officer of the Regiment conveying personal condolences and support. It was a bit of surprise for me. It was not merely a good gesture but also reflected the best of the Indian Army: paying tribute to a Regimental veteran, a spirit of camaraderie, our Regimental spirit and ethos.

    Even more touching was a conference call arranged by all officers who had served with Vijay in 9 Div Sig Regt. Each one spoke to Rita personally. They conveyed their respect, condolences, promised to remain in touch with her and to do whatever they could. It made all of us really proud of Vijay, the Corps of Signals, and the Indian Army.

    I hope, and wish, we can maintain such an exemplary Regimental spirit in all arms and services of the Army! Thanking you once again on behalf of the family and with best wishes,
    Ved Malik
    General V P Malik
    Former Chief of Army Staff

    Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    Lt Col Krishnan Vasudevan Nair

    Dev Kumar Vasudevan narrates the story of Late Lt Col Krishnan Vasudevan Nair who was a keen photographer and clicked some rare photos in 1948, when Mountbatten was relinquishing his post as the first Governor General of independent India.

    Lt Col Krishnan Vasudevan Nair (1925 - 2009), a senior veteran, expired in Mhow on May 21 after a long and protracted illness. He had served in the Indian Army, Corps of Signals, for 37 years till 1980.

    He had run away from his home in Varkala, Kerala to enlist in the British Indian Army. His first attempt to enlist had failed as his father, a prominent landlord, succeeded in convincing authorities in Trivandrum not to select him. He did not return home but succeeded in getting selected from Tamil Nadu, erstwhile Madras Presidency. After his basic military training in Bangalore he was sent to Jabalpur for specialised training in Signals.

    Some months before Independence he was among the first batch of Indian signalers who were selected for training in Ciphers. Prior to 1947 only British servicemen were used for Cipher duties. When Independence and partition became inevitable it was decided to impart cipher training to Indian and Pakistani personnel. The first batch was trained in Mhow and Delhi after a rigorous selection procedure.

    From December 1945 to June 1949 Nair was posted in GHQ Signals, New Delhi. This was one of few units in which British and Indian soldiers worked together. The meticulousness with which Nair worked ensured his selection in this elite unit. He replied in the affirmative when I asked him whether he and his Indian colleagues interacted with British soldiers and PBOR (Personnel Below Officer Rank). “They would interact with us only at work,” said Nair, “but there were times they would be out of money and would borrow money or cigarettes from us.”

    At the time of India’s independence this unit was entrusted with the additional responsibility of looking after the communications of the Prime Minister. They kept the PMO in touch with India and the world. As a young NCO Nair was one among a select few who would encrypt and decrypt messages meant for Pandit Nehru. In Sir Richard Attenborough’s film Gandhi there is a scene in which a young Signals officer is shown handing over a signal to an ashen faced Nehru. This could well be the only instance of a personnel of this unit being shown in a film.

    It was a thrilling experience for the young Nair to see Nehru and other national leaders in flesh and blood. When I asked him whether Nehru was hidden under layers of heavy security he smiled and shook his head, “Panditji used to go around Delhi with just one motorcycle outrider.” Those were different times indeed. Nair remembered August 15, 1947 as a very special day. When I asked him about this day he told me that outwardly it felt like any other day. But deep down he and his colleagues were thrilled. He felt lucky that he was there to see all the functions associated with Independence Day 1947. He remembered visiting the Red Fort and Parliament House on that day.

    This was a traumatic period in India’s history due to the violence of partition. And Delhi was overflowing with refugees from Pakistan. When asked whether he remembered any interesting incident Nair described an incident when a Signal Centre in a distant part of Delhi was attacked by a mob of rioters. They wanted the small arms that the Signalmen had been issued to protect themselves. The soldiers managed to barricade themselves. As the telephone lines were down they radioed Cairo and informed them of their predicament. Cairo informed London. And London informed Army Headquarters, New Delhi which immediately sent a quick reaction team to save the Signalmen.

    Nair also got an opportunity to photograph national leaders like Pandit Nehru, C Rajagopalachari (Rajaji), Indira Gandhi and the last Viceroy Lord Louis Mountbatten. The photographs published here are from the farewell ceremony to Mountbatten in June 1948 when C. Rajagopalachari took over as the first Indian Governor General of India. This post was abolished in 1950.

    In June 1949 Nair was a part of a three member team of the Corps of Signals which accompanied Nehru to Leh. During this visit he and his colleagues could interact with Panditji – something which was just not possible in Delhi. Nair cherished the fact that Nehru had borrowed a fountain pen from him to write a note. After the visit Nehru and his team returned to Delhi but Nair trekked from Leh to Kargil. He had been posted to a Para Brigade Signal Company. The walk took him seven days.

    Commissioned in 1957, Nair was posted in the Signals Intelligence Directorate as a captain in 1964. In May of that year he, along with thousands of other service personnel, took part in the funeral march of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

    He participated in the 1962 and 1971 wars. During the disastrous 1962 war with China he was posted at HQ IV Corps at Tezpur. He was posted in the Western sector as a member of a special team during the 1971 Indo-Pak war. He was also posted as senior instructor, Cipher Wing, MCTE, Mhow from 1968–72.

    His last posting was as Commander, Cipher Wing, MCTE, Mhow. At that time he was one of only two Lt. Colonels in the Indian Army from the Cipher department. He has always been seen as a father figure by the officers and men of this department.

    After retiring from the Army in 1980 he decided to settle in Mhow. He was among the founder members of the elite colony of Signals Vihar and worked very hard in giving it a concrete shape on paper and on ground. His eyes which scanned thousands of secret documents were rendered sightless during the last years of his life. He was afflicted with glaucoma – the silent thief of sight – and diabetic retinopathy. He is survived by his wife Ponnamma and three sons.

    The youngest is a serving Colonel in the Corps of Signals. The second son is working in the private sector after a nine year stint with the 62 Cavalry. The eldest has written this article.

    Dev Kumar Vasudevan is currently a freelance writer based in Mhow.
    The story of Late Lt Col Krishnan Vasudevan Nair

    Monday, October 19, 2009

    Lt Col VK Khorana

    1. It was a real sad news to learn of the demise of Lt Col VK Khorana. It was a personal loss to me as Lt Col VK Khorana (then Cpl), in 1958, taught us 1st termers(19th NDA) at NDA the values we should imbibe during our training there. Hence his guidance enabled us to take our first correct steps in the Academy & I for one will always remain indebted to him for this.
    2. Later too I chanced to meet him in Mhow & found him valuing the pluses of life even though he was passing through a very difficult time health wise. He was a true senior & an organisational officer, whose traits must have enabled many to prosper in their careers. For me he was an Icon in the true sense.
    3. In his passing away the Services fraternity has lost an able member & his loss will be felt. My wife joins me in offering our heartfelt condolences to Mrs Rita Khorana & the family. It is also our prayer to the Almighty that HE bless the departed soul with eternal peace & give the family strength & fortitude to bear the immense loss.
    With Regards,
    Inderjit Kashyap
    Maj Gen (Retd)

    Lt Col Vijay K Khorana

    Kalyani and I are deeply grieved to learn of the loss of a very dear friend Vijay. Khorana, my course mate, who has been my great friend for decades. We did degree course together at CME, EDPS at Mhow and served in Army HQ. Very seldom one gets such a friend who is a real philosopher and guide. While serving in EME Directorate in Army HQ, he used to advice from his MS 4 desk to go for my command criteria so that I do not miss my opportunities to go on foreign assignments. In fact he was so personally involved and annoyed with me that he used to scold me for not doing my criteria appointment before coming to EME Dte. He came all the way to the Signals Centre Goa, (in spite of his indifferent health) to escort us to his home when we visited Goa, a few years back

    It is very difficult to believe that he is not amongst us any more. We feel very sorry that we will not meet him on the IMA Course Golden jubilee reunion next JUNE at Dehradun.

    Rita , has been looking after him very well and her support is the major cause for his always being happy and energetic even when he was not keeping well. We convey our heartfelt condolences to Rita and all other family members and pray God to give them enough strength to bear this loss.
    May his soul rest in peace.
    Thyagu and Kalyani
    Brig V Thyagarajan (Retd)

    Sunday, October 18, 2009

    Lt Col VK Khorana

    I wish to express my deepest condolences to Rita and the family of Vicky Khorana my dear friend of the last 50 years. I was fortunate to meet Vicky and Rita at their residence in Goa last December, and have been in touch since then. Vicky had a brillaint mind and a great sense of humour inspite of his medical ailments which kept him back from greater glory in the Corps. Especially on behalf of the 16th SODE Course I wish to lay down these few words of remembrances to a wonderful colleague. May God rest his noble soul in peace and give his family the strength to bear this tragic loss.

    Col Cyrus Dalal

    Lt Col VK Khorana

    Pl convey our (my wife's,Mrs Savita Bhutani's, and mine) SINCEREST and heart felt CONDOLENCES to the family of Lt Col VK Khorana, thru' the 'RMS'
    It was a very sad news that one of our esteemed Vetern, Lt Col VK Khorana, passed away on 16th Oct 09. May God give peace to the departed soul and sufficient strength to the family, to bear this heavy loss.
    Through the 'RMS', we wish to convey to the family that we will go out of our way to DO ANY THING for the family, as and when called up on to do so. Give LOVE to your near and dear ones.
    Wg Cdr Subhash Bhutani

    IC-12044, Lt Col VK Khorana

    I am extremely sorry to learn about untimely demise of Col Khurana. Kindly convey my heartfelt condolences to the family of late Col Khurana. May Almighty grant peace to the departed soul. Amen!
    Bhupal Singh, Veteran

    Saturday, October 17, 2009

    Lt Col Vijay K Khorana

    Deeply grieved at the tragic loss of Vijay, my charlie squadron course mate from NDA. Vijay was a brilliant professional with a beautiful mind, a wonderful human being and a perfect gentleman whose career was affected by a medical problem and yet continued to live life with a smile. Do convey our deepest condolences to Rita and the entire family. May his soul rest in peace.

    Lt Gen Amit Mukherjee (Retd) & Swapna Mukherjee

    Lt Col VK Khorana

    Dear Friends,
    I am sad to inform you about the demise of IC – 12044, Lt Col VK Khorana, who died of a heart attack, around 6.0 PM on 16 Oct, at his son’s residence in Gurgaon.
    Col Khorana and his wife are otherwise are settled in Goa. They had come to celebrate Deepawali with their children at Gurgaon.

    Next of Kin: Mrs Rita Khorana, wife.
    Cremation: 17 Oct 09, at 4.00 PM, at Lodhi Road Electric Crematorium, New Delhi.
    Chautha Ceremony: On Monday, 19 Oct, around 4.00 PM, place not yet decided.

    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.