Left: Brig Iyappa the Director Signals on a visit to regiment With CO and other Officers
Right: Corps Birthday Celebrations The Cycle Rickshaw Race, Mrs Pettengell the passenger
On posting to XI Corps Signals Regiment, after the YO's Course at School of Signals Mhow, located at Jalandhar, the then Lt Col Pettengel was my first Commanding officer. Holidays were over for now and as regimental officers we were driven really hard, good in more than one way as it did make us tough mentally and physically the reason for the whip being used so often and hard I learnt much later.
The reason as to why the regiment was being run the way it was became clear years later when I had already retired and while researching for my book "Letters from the Border" had visited late Lt Gen EG Pettengell PVSM MBE who in 1992 was then settled in Dehradun and lead a quiet life shared with his friends a lovely dog and a bit of Golf. On learning of the early demise of my wife he was kind enough to share his own trauma on the untimely passing away of Mrs Pettengell. He took me down the memory lane about the wonderful albeit hard days in XI Corps Signal Regiment.
It did throw a light as to why we were driven so hard by him. He had assumed command of the Regiment; the only Corps Signal Regiment those days when it had just been declared unfit for war. The Corps Commander Lt Gen Kulwant Singh had given him two months to put it back on rails. The quickest way was to drive the regiment on the route of Drill, Weapon Training, Physical Training and sprucing and up the Quarter Guard the show- piece of any unit. He did succeed in satisfying the Corps Commander in the process, we especially the young officers had to go through a rough and hard time.
Brig Lakshman Singh VSM (Retd)
Report My Signal Blog Team thanks Brig Lakshman for sharing and recollecting his days in the famous XI Corps Signal Regiment. Other CO's one remembers are Brig RA Rajan, Maj Gen YK Gera, Brig VA Subramanyam and Brig AK Sharma. All of them were excellent Golfers too.
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