Captain Hormusji FJ Manekshaw, IMS and Mrs Hilla H Manekshaw.

This rare photograph is of very proud parents who gave India a very famous son and another decorated less well known son, too.
They had six children. The gentleman was a Doctor who served in the (British Indian Armed Forces’) Indian Military Service.
Captain Hormusji FJ Manekshaw, IMS and Mrs Hilla H Manekshaw.
Parents of Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw, MC. And Air Vice Marshal Jimmy HFJ Manekshaw.
Hormusji, was born in Balsar (Valsad) and became a doctor. He was married to Hilla, a Parsi girl from Bombay whom he had met while studying medicine at the Grant Medical College.
Hormusji began practising in Bombay but later moved to Amritsar, where there were fewer doctors and better prospects for setting up a medical practice.
During World War I, he served in Mesopotamia and Egypt and was given the rank of a Captain in the Medical Services.
Hormusji and Hilla had six children, who were all born in Amritsar.
The eldest, Fali, joined Stewarts and Lloyds in Calcutta after getting his engineering degree from England.
Silla, the second child, was a lovable girl with a jest for life and sense of humour, qualities that endeared her to everyone in the family, especially her nephews and nieces.
Jan, the second son, followed his elder brother and studied engineering in England. He joined Calender Cables (later Indian Cables), from where he retired as Director.
The next was Sehra, who was considered the beauty of the family. She got married and settled in Bombay.
Sam was the fifth child, followed by Jimmy, the only one who followed his father and became a doctor. He joined the Air Force and was the first Indian to get his air surgeon’s wings from Pensacola, USA. Jimmy went on to become an AVM- Air Vice Marshal Jimmy H.F.J. Manekshaw .
Sam was initially given the name Cyrus, but one of his aunts changed it to Sam, because she had heard that a Parsi called Cyrus had been sent to jail, and she considered the name would prove unlucky for her nephew.
Sam’s eldest brother Fali did his schooling in Bombay, but the others boys – Jan, Sam and Jimmy were all sent to Sherwood College, Nainital for their education. His two sisters went to the Convent in Murree.
Hormusji was fond of music and gardening and all his children inherited these interests in some measure. Hilla was known for her cooking, and spent a lot of time in the kitchen especially when her ravenous brood was at home. She was an expert at Parsi dishes, and her speciality was chokha ni rotli (rice chapatti).
Her son Jimmy’s wife Bhikoo Manekshaw recalls that a pile of a hundred rotli cooked by her mother-in-law would be no higher than two inches, and if a silver rupee coin was placed on top, it would sink to the bottom.
We owe them eternal respect and a debt of gratitude from a nation. 🙏

One comment

  • Thank you for your deligence in posting a very grand chapter from our history that contributed to the Glory of BHARAT.

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