By Lt. Col. (Retd) H. Bhuban Singh
Free India`s IMA, Dehra Dun; now in Uttar Pradesh, saw Brigadier Barltrop at the helm of affairs at IMA. D`DUN. Being a visionary, he realized that IMA needed to be reoriented, to train officers (offrs) for an independent India. He asked for an Indian of distinction and got Lt. Col. Thakur Madheo Singh DSO (Distinguished Service Order), who commanded his battalion with distinction in Italy during the Second World War.
2. He also asked for an Adjutant from the British Army and who did Not Know much about India and got Major James Wilson, who had participated in the Tunisian to Italian campaigns and got a Military Cross.
3. Thus the tone was set in the subcontinent of India, which by a strange quirk of fate, fell upon three soldiers – two Brits and one Indian, to steer the IMA. D, DUN in the formative years of free India.
4. The Indian public wanted to produce offrs of unshakable loyalty and faith in our country, for patriotism, at its best is vital to India`s existence.
5. Sardar Baldev Singh, the then Defence Minister on 15 August 1947 took the salute at the Passing-out parade at IMA. D` DUN. Again, Sat, 20th Dec. 1947 was a very special day. IMA, D’ DUN was to witness Indian National Flag hoisting and ceremonial passing – out parade of the Second post-War period.
6. In presence of about one thousand distinguished guest. Hon`ble Sardar Baldev Singh Def. Minister of India as Reviewing officer, one hundred and eighty nine G.C.s. took the final step and became the first to receive their commissions in independent India. This tradition of G.C.s marching into Chetwode Buildings with slow steps to the strain of “Auld Lang Syne (old song)” was introduced in 1936. As the Indian Flag was hoisted to the strains of “Jana Gana Mana” followed by final steps taken by the passing out course, the die was cast for IMA to forge ahead in its quest for excellence.
7. Chetwode Hall of IMA. D`DUN was named after Lt. Gen. Sir Philip Chetwode, Corps Commander of 20th Corps, in Jan. 1918.