They Fought World War-2: Col. Jack Allen

Devendra Budakoti

Lt.Colonel Pascal T Allen, popularly called Jack Allen was born in Bangalore on 27th March 1923. He got his commission in February 1943 and was first sent to 7th Gurkha Regiment, but once the British commanding officer knew that he was an Anglo Indian and not a pucca British, ( as in those days only the British/European officer were sent to the Gurkha regiments), he was told to give his next option. He then preferred the Madras regiment and was posted to the 4th Battalion of the Madras Regiment and soon sent to the Burma front. He is the recipient of the Burma star. In 1945, at the time of Japanese defeat and surrender he was posted with the 2nd. Battalion of the Madras Regiment and sailed to Singapore and later was in Ipoh in Malaysia, where he was in charge of about 700 Japanese POW. He fought in Uri sector (J&K) in 1947 and He fought the world war 2

commanded 2nd. Madras in the 1962 war and was in NEFA, now Arunanchal Pradesh. He was also group testing officer (GTO) with the Services Selection Board (SSB) at Meerut and Banglore. In 1967, when his juniors were promoted to the next rank of Brigadier he resigned from service. (in those days a Lt.Colonel on selection was promoted directly as Brigadier). He left for Australia and worked there for twenty years before coming back to Banglore with his wife in 1987. His son Andrew James Allen and his family still stay in Townswell, Queensland, Australia. On his return to India he did not find Bangalore suitable to settle and decided to move to some other place. He first went to his Regimental station wellington in Coornoor district and ooty but did not find a house and or land to settle, then tried Darjeeling and Gangtok and finally selected shilling. His brother in law, Colonel Snaize had settled in shilling and was married to a Local Kashi lady. Late Colonel Snaize was commissioned in December 1945 in the 1st. Battalion of the Assam regiment. Colonel Allen’s father worked in the postal department and his grandfather was in the army as a private-soldier and retired as a regimental sergeant major. His grandfather (Witt) fought the First Anglo Burma war in 1878 (period needs to be checked) and was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (at that time DCM was second highest ward after Victoria Cross according to Col Allen). The said DCM medal is well displayed in his house in Upper Shillong. At the time of World War-II, (1939 to 1945), many youth from colleges/universities and many from the Ranks (serving soldiers) were given emergency commission in the Army in that period. Many British youths and the British soldiers were also given emergency commission in the army. They were trained in Officers Training Schools in Mhow in MP, Bangalore and at the Indian Military Academy. The Britishers who had attended Public School were posted with the British regiments. After the end of the World War-2, the British officers who got emergency commission were called back and released and they had to seek civil employment in Britain and elsewhere. According to Col. Allen there were about 30,000 war times commissioned British officers who had to look for alternative employment. In India, It was the need of the time and the Indian world War-2 emergency commissioned officers were retained and later got regularized. Many got quick and fast promotion after Independence in 1947. The officers and men of the Indian National Army (Azad Hind Fauj ) of Subhas Chandra Bose, were not taken back in the army, but many of the INA officers after Independence were well placed in police forces and some in other government services.

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