More than 100 people lined the streets to bid farewell to one of the last Indian Army veterans who fought alongside the British in the Second World War.Sucha Singh Grewal died at the Queen’s Medical Centre on Christmas Day at the age of 98.
His funeral took place today at Bramcote Crematorium, followed by a wake at the Sikh temple on Nottingham Road.Mr Grewal, who is originally from a small village in the Punjab region but later lived in Wollaton Vale, served with the Royal Indian Army Service Corps for 20 years, having joined in 1940.About 20 members of the Royal British Legion attended and formed a guard of honour, while a bugler played The Last Post.
Major John Ahern, of the southern brigade at Chetwynd Barracks, said: “If you read Mr Grewal’s biography he got through the war, was injured and then carried on until 1959.
“It’s quite remarkable. To go through all of that and then live until 98, it’s amazing. It is an honour to be here to show our respects.
“Mr Grewal had quite an association with the brigade over the past few years and we could only wish to be here. I’m glad of the turn out.”
Mr Grewal was awarded numerous medals for his service in the war, including the rare Indian Bravery Medal and a number of King George Crosses.
He was also mentioned in despatches for distinguished service by King George VI in the London Gazette on January 10, 1946.
The mention was for defending a bomb and ammunition storage facility, which had been attacked by the Japanese.
He underwent 10 weeks of training and served in the Middle East for two months, before returning to India and being sent to the Burma Front for four-and-a-half years.
Peter Bacon, president of the Long Eaton branch of the Royal British Legion, said: “It’s an honour and a privilege for us to be here.
“Anyone who served for four years in Burma is worth the recognition.”
Mr Grewal retired from the Indian Army in 1959 and came to Nottingham where his brother was living.
He lost his wife Resham 11 years ago but is survived by children Paramjit Kaur Gill, Sharonjit Kaur Lalli, Dwinder Virks and Kulwinder Singh Grewal, as well as nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Kulwinder, Mr Grewal’s youngest son, who is married to Bhavjeet Kaur Grewal, said: “We pay tribute and celebrate the life of our father, who was a very loving, caring, brave, helpful man for both his family and the community.
“He always helped wherever he could. His motto in life was to work hard and celebrate success. He was a very humble, loving person.”
After his war service, he trained as a bus conductor with Nottingham Corporation and then went on to drive the buses for 26 years, before retiring in 1986.