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Kodendera Madappa Cariappa

(1900-1993), Commander-in-Chief, Indian Army

Sitter in 4 portraits
Cariappa was amongst the first batch of Indians to be recruited to the Army for training in India After World War I, when there was mounting pressure from Indian politicians for the British to start recruiting Indian officers to the British military in India. He graduated from Daly Cadet College, Indore in 1919, scoring seventh top of his class. During his early career he toured Europe, United States, Japan, and China. His nickname "Kipper" was given by a British officer's wife, who found his name difficult to pronounce. He was promoted to the rank of Captain in 1927 and Major in 1938. In 1939 when the Skeen Committee was established to assess the options for the Indianisation of the Indian Army’s officer ranks, Cariappa rallied for more equality between the British and Indian officers in terms of promotions and benefits. In 1945 Cariappa was awarded an OBE for his services in Burma where his division played a pivotal role in pushing the Japanese back from Arakan. He was the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, succeeding General Sir Roy Bucher. After four years serving as the Commander in Chief, he retired from army service in 1953. He later served as Indian High Commissioner to Australia and New Zealand until 1956. To safeguard the welfare of ex-service men, he founded the Indian Ex-Servicemen’s League (IESL) in 1964. In recognition of his exemplary services, he given the honoury rank of field marshal on 28th April 1986 by the Government of India.

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Kodendera Madappa Cariappa

by Elliott & Fry
whole-plate glass negative, 20 May 1950
NPG x99525

Web image not currently available

Kodendera Madappa Cariappa

by Elliott & Fry
whole-plate glass negative, 20 May 1950
NPG x99526

Web image not currently available

Kodendera Madappa Cariappa with his Aides de Camp and Staff

by Elliott & Fry
half-plate glass negative, 20 May 1950
NPG x99535


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