Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw
Courtesy: Indian Strategic Studies

New Delhi. 27 June 2020. It has been 12 years since Indian Army lost its most respected and loved Field Marshal and India its greatest soldier , who not only gave direction and strength but also prestige to the Indian Army on the global platform.

A wreath laying ceremony was organised by Defence Services Staff College, Wellington on 27 Jun 20 at Parsi Zoroastrian Cemetery, Udhagamandalam to commemorate the 12th death anniversary of Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, MC. On behalf of the tri-services fraternity, Lt Gen YVK Mohan, AVSM, SM, VSM, Commandant Defence Services Staff College, Wellington laid a wreath at the final resting place of the revered soldier amidst presence of local Parsi community.

Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw was born on 03 April 1914 at Amritsar. He had an illustrious military career spanning over four decades. As a young Captain in WW-II, he saw action in Burma and was severely wounded. He was awarded Military Cross in 1942 for the conspicuous gallantry displayed in the face of enemy. During 1946-47 Field Marshal Manekshaw was posted in Military Operations Directorate and oversaw the planning and administration of various issue related to partition and subsequently military operations in Jammu and Kashmir. As Corps Commander during the 1962 operations, he demonstrated distinguished leadership and positively impacted the conduct of operations. He was also the Commandant of Infantry School, Mhow and Defence Services Staff College, Wellington. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1968.

Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw took over as Chief of Army Staff on 08 January 1969. He successfully crafted India’s greatest military triumph by leading Indian Army into 1971 Operations which resulted in the liberation of Bangladesh within a short duration of 13 days. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 1972. In recognition of the outstanding contribution made by the General Officer to the armed forces and the nation, he was elevated to the rank of Field Marshal on 15 January 1973. He breathed his last on 27 Jun 2008.

Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw had settled down at Wellington after active service. His association with the station goes back to the time when he was Commandant of Defence Services Staff College. He shared a special bond with the Nilgiris and was equally endearing to the local population. In remembrance of the close association of Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw with the populace, assistance was provided by Defence Services Staff College to the needy by distribution of essential items through local NGOs. A man with unflinching moral courage and exemplary leadership qualities, his life would always remain a source of inspiration to the armed forces and the Nation.