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India’s First Field Marshal Remembered on His Death Anniversary

by Raju Vernekar
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By Raju Vernekar
Mumbai, June 28:

A homage was paid and the wreaths were laid on the occasion of 14th death anniversary of India’s First Field Marshal SHFJ Sam Manekshaw, across the country by serving and retired servicemen on Monday.
In Mumbai, the wreaths were laid at an event organized at Colaba Military Station in South Mumbai. The wreaths were laid by Lt Gen H S Kahlon, General Officer Commanding, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Goa area, and veterans of the three services. Jehan Manekshaw, the grandson of the field marshal was a guest at the event. Prominent members of the Parsi community were also present.
In Jamshedpur (Jharkhand) the “Akhil Bhartiya Purva Sainik Parishad”, a body of ex-servicemen observed the death anniversary by offering floral tributes to the portrait of Manekshaw at Baridih.
Sergeant Naval Kishore Pathak while narrating the tales of valour of Sam Manekshaw recalled that he was the first Indian army officer to be promoted to the rank of Field Marshal and took over as Chief of Army Staff on January 8, 1969. They said that he was a man with unflinching moral courage and exemplary leadership qualities and his life would always remain a source of inspiration to the armed forces and the Nation.
Manekshaw’s death anniversary was also observed at Wellington Military Station, Coonoor (Tamil Nadu) . The wreaths were laid at the final resting place of the revered soldier at Parsi Zoroastrian Cemetery in Udhagamandalam on behalf of the three Services Chiefs, Southern Army Commander and General Officer Commanding, Southern area. The senior-most General Officer of the Wellington Station Lieutenant General S Mohan, Commandant, Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, and Station Commander, Wellington laid wreaths and paid their respects. 
Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw (April 03, 1914 – June 27, 2008), was born to a Parsi family in Amritsar, Punjab. His father Hormusji Manekshaw was a doctor in the British Indian Army during First World War. His younger brother Jemi Harmusji Framji Manekshaw served in the armed forces as well.
Sam Manekshaw (Sam Bahadur (“Sam the Brave”), was the Chief of the Army Staff of the Indian Army, during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971, and the first Indian Army officer to be promoted to the rank of field marshal. His active military career spanned four decades and five wars, beginning with service in the British Indian Army in World War II.
Manekshaw joined the first intake of the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun (Uttarakhand) in 1932. He was commissioned into the 4th Battalion, 12 th Frontier Force Regiment. In World War II, he was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry. Following the partition of India in 1947, he was reassigned to the 8 th Gorkha Rifles. He was seconded to a planning role during the 1947 Indo-Pakistan War and the Hyderabad crisis ( the Indian Armed Forces invaded the erstwhile Nizam-ruled princely state, annexing it into the Indian Union). 
He became commander of the 167 Infantry Brigade in 1952 and served in this position until 1954 when he took over as the Director of Military Training at Army Headquarters. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan and the Padma Bhushan, India’s second and third highest civilian awards. He breathed his last on June 27, 2008, in Wellington Tamil Nadu at the age of 94.

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