Punjab State War Memorial : Jalandhar

The Memorial was constructed at a cost of Rs 13 lakhs out of which Rs 3.44 lakhs were provided from the Defence Relief Fund, Red Cross, individual contributions and the balance by State Govt. The task for the construction was entrusted to the Improvement Trust Jalandhar headed by Shri DS Chaudhary, IAS. The design of the Memorial was conceived by an eminent Architech S Amarjit Singh of Amritsar. Maj NS Nijjar, the then District Sainik Welfare Officer, was closely associated with the construction work.

The Memorial’s central Monument consists of a 50’ high monumental pillar in white marble and red sand stone on hexagonal platform under which the sacred soil collected from all the villages of Jalandhar District was laid. On the sides of the hexagonal raised platform, the names of gallantry award winners since 1947 have been engraved on black granite stone. Around this altar, a platform of red sand stone and also benches have been provided. The monument stands independently as a symbol of sacrifice and pride. The total project of the War Memorial was conceived not only as a monument to commemorate our martyrs but also to provide facilities for intellectual pursuit.

The Memorial was inaugurated and dedicated to people of Punjab by Hon’ble Air Chief Marshal OP Mehta, PVSM (Retd), the Governor of Maharashtra on 04 Apr 1981 and the function was presided over by Sardar Darbara Singh, the then Chief Minister of Punjab.

The Punjab State War Memorial at Jalandhar which was built and maintained by Improvement Trust was lying in a most neglected state ever since its construction was completed in 1981. After deliberate discussion by the then Deputy Commissioner Jalandhar Shri Sudhir Mital, IAS with the local Army Formations and Director Sainik Welfare, Punjab, its maintenance responsibility was entrusted to Lt Col Manmohan Singh, Deputy Director Sainik Welfare in July 1990. This officer with its uncanny foresight and consistent efforts, gave new shape to Memorial and brought it to a befitting state. The Monument was transformed to an imposing complex through various additions, alterations & improvements as follows: -

  1. 1.Hall of Fame,
  2. 2.War Library
  3. 3.Beautification of Area
  4. 4.Worn out Rajashtani Sand Stone where the names of War decorated soldiers killed in action were inscribed was replaced by black granite stone slabs during 1990.
  5. 5.Construction of Boundary Wall
  6. 6.Amar Jawan Jyoti

A well planned arboriculture development plan in the form of sprawling lawns, rose beds and plantation of Ashoka tress along the boundary wall was carried out. Beautiful pots of seasonal flowers and plants were added. The tube well which was lying in a dilapidated state was repaired and recommissioned.

Like ‘British Hall of Fame’ the details of war casualties and gallantry awardees of the state killed in action in post independence era have been inscribed in golden letters on the wooden boards displayed in the ‘Hall of Fame’ District wise/Operation wise in an alphabetical order. The details were obtained and authenticated from the records available at Historical Section of Army HQ.

The annual Armed Forces Flag Day function is held at the War Memorial complex every year to pay homage to the War Heroes in a befitting manner. The function is normally presided over by General Officer Commanding HQ 11 Corps.

War Memorial stands out gracefully as a majestic monument and a place worth a visit to remember and pay homage to the War Heroes of the post Independence era. It goes to the credit of Lt Col Manmohan Singh, Deputy Director Sainik Welfare, Jalandhar that with his perception and dedication this memorial has been restored to an entity of glory. His outstanding involvement in this matter has been rewarding and is commendable indeed.

We record with utmost gratitude of the Defence Forces, the involvement and the wholesome contribution of the respective administrators and the staff of Improvement Trust Jalandhar, in having constructed and maintained this State War Memorial till it was handed over to the District Sainik Welfare Officer Jalandhar in 1990.