Spot-light on OCs: Brig Rajendra Shamsher Singh Kohli – Curzon 1927-37

Peter Kohli writes a letter about his father Brig Rajendra Shamsher Singh Kohli [Curzon 1927-37] and has sent in a few photographs reproduced below:

Gen-Kohli-the-beach-041wBrig Rajendra Shamsher Singh Kohli, just had his 90th birthday on August 26 of this year.

After passing out of Bishop Cotton School in the 1930s, he went on to study at Caius College, Cambridge for a short while, before transferring to Kings College in London. He was studying Chemistry when World War Two broke out in September 1939, and instead of waiting to be drafted, he applied to the British Army. He was initially a Private in The Cheshire Regiment before being selected for Officer Candidate School at Aldershot. Once he was commissioned, he was sent back to India where he was assigned to the 3/1st Punjab Regiment.

After his training he was deployed and saw action with the 10th Indian Division initially in North Africa, before being sent with his Division to Italy. He spent the latter part of the war fighting up the coast from Taranto to Faenza, which is which east of Bologna where he was severely wounded. He had his left ear blown off by a German tank shell. He does not remember anything for the next 36 hours however, Regimental history details that he, and what remained of his company, attacked the German tank and took prisoners. For this action he was recommended for the Military Cross, which he refused to accept! 

norah-eggleton-wWhen he finally woke up, some 36 hours later, he was in a hospital in Naples and his nurse was my mother, Lieutenant Norah Eggleton. To make a long story short, and actually this is the subject matter of a book to be released next year, they were married and lived in India. My father continued in the Army but, upon partition, transferred to the 3thd Battalion the Grenadiers where he was the first Indian Commander. He retired in 1967 and my mother died in December 2002 a few days before her 90th birthday.

My father stills lives in India, in a village called Barlowganj, near Mussoorie. Hopefully, I have provided you with enough information but, should you need more then, please fell free to contact me. Thanks for your patience.


Peter Kohli