Dear Friends and Fellow Cottonians !….Greetings of a great Year ahead ..!!
It is worthwhile to mention hereby that Bishop Cotton School has been producing meritorious students par excellence in almost every field particularly our Armed Services. Highly decorated War Officers namely : Air Chief Marshal P.C.Lal – PadmaVibhushan, DFCCAS, Lt. Gen. Dewan Prem Chand – PVSM , Lt. Gen. N.C.Rawlley – PVSM, AVSM, MC, VCOAS, Lt. Gen. R.N.Batra – PVSM, OBE, Lt. Gen. I.S.Gill – PVSM, AVSM, GOC in C, Lt. Gen. M.S.Batra – PVSM, Lt. Gen. K.S.Randhawa – PVSM, AVSM, Lt. Gen. Baljit Singh – AVSM, VSM, Lt. Gen, H.R.S. Kalkat – PVSM, AVSM GOC in C, Vice Adm. R.N.Batra – PVSM, Vice Adm. Harinder Singh – PVSM, AVSM, FOC in C, AVM H.P.S.Sidhu, Maj. Gen. P.C.Gupta – MC, Maj. Gen. K.C.Khanna, Maj. Gen. J. Mayadas – VSM, Maj. Gen. S.Varma – VSM, Mention in Dispatch, Maj. Gen. Lalji D.Singh, Maj. Lalit Malhotra, Maj. Gen. S.K.Batra, Maj. S.P.Bhatia – VSM, Maj. Gen. C.S.Panag – YSM, VSM, Maj. Gen. R.Pandit – AVSM, SM, Maj. Gen. H.M.Singh, Rear Adm. R.Chopra – VSM, Mention in Dispatch, Brig. P.O.Myers –MC, BAR, Brig. Nadirshaw – VRC, Brig. H.Chukerbuti – 5 Blues in IMA, Brig. R.S.S.Kohli, Brig. P.K.H.Chand, Brig. H.K.Dhawan, Brig. J.N.Rudra, Brig. J.S.Bhullar, Brig. S.Dutt – VSM, Brig. Madhusudan, Brig. Arun Kochar, Brig. R.S.Brar, Adm. Bahl, Brig. H.S.Nagra, Brig. G.S.Padda, Brig. M.M.Badshah and many others have served our country with great valour.
Its been my longstanding wish to honour those gallant Officers Posthumously, who have lost their lives in line of their duty though a meagre effort, by putting up a Memorial Plaque of their name/s on a Wall of the War Memorial at BCS, Shimla. Since we do have a herculean task of finding out the names of such brave Officers, therefore, it is my humble appeal and request to all Old Cottonians worldwide that if they have any information regarding any of their batch-mates, whether Juniors or Seniors in School, who went on to join Army and sacrificed their lives in any Indo/China/Pak wars, please send information to the Webmaster/ firstname.lastname@example.org or to the OCA India Secretary – email@example.com
Forwarded on behalf of Hony. President Justice R.S. Sodhi
Ashwani Singh Virk – 9810194724
(Secretary OCA INDIA)
It’s an enviable view that Vijay Stokes has from his family home, Harmony Hall. It crests his very own hill in Kotgarh, 3 hours north-east of Shimla, and on a clear day he can see snow-capped Himalayan peaks ring the horizon while the Sutlej river snakes through the valley below. Pickaxe in hand, and dressed in his customary Pahari kurta and waistcoat, the 78-year-old is reworking an experiment his grandfather, Samuel Stokes, had begun nearly a century before him. And it has to do with an apple which was as much [continue reading…]
I am taking the liberty of forwarding an interesting piece of correspondence concerning an Old Cottonian, Vivian Chiodetti who passed out in 1912. Please read the exchange of mails that follows this note.
I happened to glance through the list of names from 1864-2004 http://www.oldcottonians.org/ocs1863-2004_listing.htm A quick read is interesting and lists some very distinguished people.
For the year 1926 it lists the name of Dewan Ranjit Rai (for more go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dewan_Ranjit_Rai) father of Arunjit Raiwhose mother lived just after First Bridge ahead of East Bourne. She was the half sister of our dear friends Sukhinder and Mukhinder Singh. Dewan Ranjit Rai was awarded the Mahavir Chakra posthumously and is listed as one of the officers who saved the Kashmir Valley for India in 1947.
I quote from Wikipedia ” He was the first officer of the Indian Army after independence to fight a battle on October 27, 1947. He was the first officer to be awarded the Mahavir Chakra. He died on October 27, 1947 in a paddy field near Pattan. Five generations of his family have served in the Indian Army, including his grandson Maj (retd) Shivjit Singh Shergill and great grandson Faridjit Singh Shergill”
The list for 1927 includes the name of Rustom Feroze Boga. I wonder if this gentleman was in any way related to the legendary sports person, Jal Boga, in the 1950’s. Jal Boga is an unusual Parsi because they have produced some of the best academics, lawyers and doctors but rarely an athlete!
That year also lists a few other interesting and charismatic people who made a name for themselves later in life. The Batra brothers both with the same initials R N with one being Rabinder and the other Rajinder. One of them became a General in the army and it was his son who was in Curzon house having finished in 1966 or 1967. The Batras carry the long life gene!!
This was a distinguished class because it also consisted of Mr E A Cuzen who was the Lefroy Housemaster in 1954 when I joined School. I just discovered that his first name was Edward. He left BCS in 1957 and I am informed his son, Neil, joined the Royal Air Force. They also had a daughter Glenda. Never really heard much about this family after they left BCS. Mr Cuzen taught history and was quite a distinguished batsman and a decent hockey player.
Leslie Sawhny who distinguished himself in the corporate world, leaving the army prematurely, was the brother in law of J R D Tata. Leslie Sawhny, based on the history of the Tatas was intuitive in bringing about the selection of Darbari Seth of Tata Chemicals. Leslie Sawhny was also the man who turned around the fortunes of Taj hotel in Bombay which was at one time considered a white elephant by bringing in a band of good people that included Ajit Kerkar. Leslie Sawhny’s untimely death on the golf course was a body blow for JRD who depended on him almost completely in developing and shaping the Tatas at that time. There are several institutions today named after Leslie Sawhny and it is said that his departure was deeply felt by JRD and the Tatas for a long time.
The following year, 1928, lists the name of Narottam Sahgal better known as the former husband of Nayantara Sahgal, the writer and daughter of Mrs Vijay Lakshmi Pandit. Narottam Sahgal was well known in Bombay as the Managing Director of Ciba-Geigy and he accomplished a major job in handling their pharmaceutical business and persuading the Swiss multinational to establish a research centre in Bombay when R & D was still not a fashionable word!!
So, we have quite a heritage of distinguished people and there are several others waiting to be written about. It would be a good idea to catalogue the lives of some of these legends. We always feel nicer by association when you have little to crow about !!
—– Original Message —–
From: OCA Webmaster
To: Aditya Sondhi
Cc: Ajay Thiara ; Praveen Dharma ; Sukhinder Singh ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com
Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2017 12:28 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: Fist Class Cricketers killed in World War Two
Mr Praveen Dharma who is an Old Cottonian himself and is a Staff Member at BCS Simla was able to look up the records of admission (called the Dooms Day Book!) and found that Mr Chiodetti was at BCS for just one year in 1912. Records appended to this email.
Yes, we are aware of your family Lambas who were at BCS.
Best regards Anil
On Mon, 10 Apr 2017 at 6:26 PM Aditya Sondhi wrote:
Dear Anil (if I may),
Thank you for writing back. I’m sure this will take Nigel’s efforts further.
It would be a pleasure for me to send your OCA a copy of my book on the alumni of BCBS (http://penguin.co.in/book/non-fiction/the-order-of-the-crest-2/) as also a copy to BCS Shimla. Would the School address be apt for both?
Incidentally, my dad grew up in Shimla but schooled at your rival St. Edward’s. Several uncles (Lambas) went to BCS though.
Aditya Sondhi, PhD
Additional Advocate General
State of Karnataka
On Mon, Apr 10, 2017 at 10:47 AM, OCA Webmaster <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
This is fascinating.
Yes, Mr. Vivian Chiodetti is listed as being of the 1912 BCS Batch.
You can view the listing
We do not have any photos on file though, and therefore am copying Bishop Cotton School Headmaster Mr Roy Robinson to seek his assistance. It could be possible that Vivian Chiodetti is listed on one of the School Honor Boards. I’m hoping that Mr. Robinson can depute one of the school boys to go look up the Boards and then send us a photo of the same. Maybe a photo of Mr. Chiodetti will also be found in the School records of class photos from for these do date back to 1912…
Webmaster for oldcottonians.org
On Mon, 10 Apr 2017 at 10:14 AM Aditya Sondhi wrote:
Dear Shimla OCA,
Please see the mails below. Would you be able to help?
Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.
|From: Nigel McCrery Sent: Monday 10 April 2017 00:28
To: Aditya Sondhi
Subject: Re: Fist Class Cricketers killed in World War Two
Dear Aditya, Many thanks for the reply. Yes if you know anyone that could help that would be wonderful. It would be a shame to go to print with just that photograph missing. He played several sports for the school including cricket, so I am sure there must be a pic somewhere. Nigel MCcrery
From: Aditya Sondhi <>
Sent: 08 April 2017 08:33:45
To: Nigel McCrery
Subject: Re: Fist Class Cricketers killed in World War Two
Dear Mr McCrery,
A pleasure to hear from you and to hear about your upcoming book. My research suggests that Vivian Chiodetti is from Bishop Cotton, Shimla while my old school is Bishop Cotton, Bangalore. They are not sister institutions, though they are founded and inspired by the Bishop, respectively.
Would you like to try contacting the alumni association of BCS Shimla ? I have an email id for them from some years ago and hope it still works – email@example.com
I would love to get hold of your book once it’s out. In my book – The Order of the Crest – sent to the MCC, I do refer to Old Cottonian cricketers martyred in WW1. Should I come across names from WW2, I’d be happy to share them with you.
Do take a look at the book if you find the time.
With warm regards,
Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.
|From: Nigel McCrery
Sent: Friday 7 April 2017 21:29
Subject: Fist Class Cricketers killed in World War Two
Dear Sir, Your name has been given to me by the MCC. They think you might be able to help. I am just finishing a book on Fist Class Cricketers killed in World War Two to be called, “The Coming Storm” To be published by Pen and Sword this July (Cover attached). I am trying to get information on an old boy of the Bishop Cotten School, a school I understand you are an expert on. His details are,
Major Vivian Alexander Chiodetti. he served with the 2nd Manchester Regt attached to the 3rd Burma Rifles when he was killed on 17 January 1942. He was also a First Class Cricketer playing for Hyderabad. I am looking for any information on this man and especially photograph. I have been in touch with the school but they have not been very helpful and are I feel a tad confused about what I want. With your links with the school I was hoping you might be able to help, fingers crossed. He was born in Rawalpindi on 31 May 1905 and joined the army in 1925. He played cricket for his school I understand. Any help very gratefully received. Many thank. Nigel McCrery
My brother Mark Wood-Robinson who was at BCS from 1940 to 1945 has just died (March 14) at the age of 86. He was Lighting Consultant for South West Electricity Board for about 30 years and designed the lighting, both interior and floodlighting, for a great many well known buildings, including several cathedrals, in the SW of England. He was an active Christian in a Bristol church and a runner for charity.David Wood-Robinson [BCS same dates].