General Jacob, Bangladesh war hero, dies (updated)

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 With thanks: Maurice and Shaul

Update: Sam Marshall,
an
industrialist and President of the
Indian Jewish Heritage Center
, attended General Jacob’s funeral, together with
some 700 others who gathered to pay their last respects. All three Chiefs of Staff,
 the Minister of Defence, the former President of India, ambassadors
and fellow officers ‘who recounted many anecdotes of Jack’s past history’, the
Gurkha regiment, and about 12 other regiments, were represented. Marshall, a friend of General
Jacob for the past 25 years, delivered a eulogy:

 Jack Jacob:’a straight arrow’

 “Here lies a man who has served his country
with distinction. 

 “A man who devoted his life to his beloved India
with dedication, commitment and integrity.

 “A man who spoke his mind fearlessly even
though it got him into trouble at times with the Politicians and his
superiors.  Jack did not care.  He was what you call a ‘straight
arrow’.

 “Many a time he would counsel or admonish
me.  We had an unspoken almost spiritual bond.

 “We shall miss you dearly Jack.  You
were a wonderful human, an inspiration to us all.  Recognized wherever –
Bharat India, Bangladesh, Israel and amongst your many friends worldwide.

 You were a unique human being.  You have
done enough dear friend. Now is the time to sleep.”

Here is Sam
Marshall’s description of the funeral:

“Jack’s body was placed on a Gun Carriage with full
Military honours traversing the streets of Delhi and ending up at the Military
Centre at ‘BRAR’ Square.

His body was put in full view and accorded the
highest honour which only Heads of State or Royalty would normally receive.

Israel Danny Carmon and the Military Attaché Zeev
Mivtzari were also in attendance and remarked that this was an extraordinary
felicitation and very gratifying for Israel and India-Israel relations.

“It was indeed a privilege for me to be an integral
part of the whole process with interviews, assisting the Rabbi, the Kaddish,
made one feel truly humble to have played even a small part – very emotional
the whole affair.

We can all be proud of the heritage we have of this
Legend who is no more.  I am in discussion with Israel at various levels
to see how we can perpetuate his Name and his Legacy.”

Retired Indian Army Lieutenant General JFR Jacob passed away this morningin his 93rd year. The descendant of Baghdadi Jews who came to India in the 18th century, he is best remembered for his role
in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War, and the
liberation of Bangladesh, reports India Today.

Born
in Kolkata (then Calcutta) in 1923, Jack Farj Rafael Jacob grew up in a
conservative Baghdadi Jews household under the British rule. His family
had originally come from Iraq and settled in Bengal in the mid-18th
century.

Jacob did his schooling from Victoria School in Kurseong,
West Bengal. Living in the boarding school, he visited home only during
school holidays as a boy.

As a teenager, Jacob was strongly influenced by wartime poetry. In his interview to The Times of Israel, he said that his family had taken in a family of Jewish refugees from Hitler’s Europe.

Unmarried
and childless, Jacob wrote a moving open letter to the youth of Delhi
at 93, addressing them as his “sons and daughters”.

Read article in full

Indian PM pays tribute to General Jack Jacob (Times of Israel)


Jewish Chronicle obituary 

More about General Jacob

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