To Mayfair this morning for the memorial service for Stanley Menezes, or to give him his full rank and title, Lieutenant General Stanislaus Francis Leslie Menezes.
He was born into a Goan Catholic family, wanted to join the Indian civil service, but with recruitment on hold during the war, he joined the Indian army in 1942 and was commissioned as an officer the following year.
During partition he showed immense heroism shepherding his troops back to Bombay through Pakistan, and an attack by hostile armed tribesmen. More than twenty of his soldiers died.
In late 1947, he was a staff officer at HQ in Delhi, and from that vantage point saw India fight Pakistan (armed tribesmen, then regular army) in Kashmir. Soon after, he was posted to Baramulla and got to know some of those whose stories featured in my book on Kashmir. He later became the second most senior officer in the Indian army.
Stanley, though somewhat austere, was a generous raconteur, a man of integrity, and himself a splendid historian. His obituary in the Daily Telegraph tells more - written by his partner and fellow historian, Rosie Llewellyn-Jones, who also organised today's memorial service.
The venue, right in the heart of the Establishment, was Farm Street Church (the Church of the Immaculate Conception). It can't be often that that cloistered edifice resounds to an organ reniditon of 'Jana Gana Mana', India's national anthem.
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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