HISTORY

 

1.         The Madras Engr Gp was raised at St Thomas Mount, Madras on 30 Sep 1780, as two coys of Pnrs.  By 1803, these were expanded to two Bns of eight coys each. In 1830, the Madras Pnrs were converted into the Corps of Madras Sappers and Miners. The Corps was re-org in 1838 and again in 1846. The HQ mov to Mercara and in 1854, it mov to Dowleshwaram. The Corps finally est its HQ at Bangalore in Mar 1865. In 1876, the Corps became Queen Victoria’s Own Madras Sappers and Miners.  In 1897, the Madras Sappers was designated as sr most in order of precedence, followed by Bengal and Bombay Sappers. The Great War of 1914-18 saw units of the Corps serve in Mesopotamia, France, Egypt and the NW Frontier. In 1932, the three Corps of Sprs and Miners were amalgamated into the Corps of Indian Engrs.

2.         During the World War II, 101 units of the Gp served in various Theatres of war in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Far East. During this time, a peak str of 31,000 Sprs was recorded. In Italy, Sub Subramanian of the Gp was posthumously awarded the George Cross for conspicuous gallantry.   He was the first Indian to win this distinction.  In post World War II pd, the str was reduced due to disbandment and after Independence, especially 1960 onwards, the Gp again expanded considerably.

3.         The men of Madras Sappers, affectionately called ‘Thambis’ (meaning “Younger Brother”) have always distinguished themselves with their courage, loyalty and devotion to duty during various wars fought by the country.  Since Independence, most of the maj and minor units of the Gp have taken active part in all Ops and earned the following of “Chakra” services gallentry awards:-

SerNo Army No Rank Name Year of Award
MVC
(a) 3809 Civ/ Dhobi Ramchander 1947
(b) IC-11004 Maj VR Choudhary (Posthumous)      1971
VrC
 (c) SS-14240 2nd Lt R Kanikasami 1948
(d) 1305279 Spr Subash Thevar (Posthumous) 1948
(e) 77160 Spr Aruna Chalam (Posthumous) 1948
(f) 16851 JEM R Thangavelu 1948
(g) 1315743 L/Nk Raghavan 1962
(h) IC-22552 2nd Lt NCS Nair 1965
(j) IC-16054 Maj VK Bhaskar 1971
(k) JC-1311154 Nb Sub Duraiswamy 1971
(l) IC-7320 Lt Col BT Pandit 1971
(m) IC-16871 Capt RN Gupta (Posthumous) 1971
(n) IC-42748H Capt BNN Rao 1988
(o) SS-33103Y 2nd Lt Amandeep Singh Bedi (Posthumous) 1990
(p) IC-57301 Capt Rupesh Pradhan 2000
KC
(q) IC-6337 Capt GKK Iyangar 1958
(r) JC-139011X Sub PG Rama Gopal 1988
(s) 15318999Y Nk Sathish V 2009

4.         In peacetime, true to the Engrs Motto ‘Sarvatra’, the Madras Sappers have been called to render Aid to Civ Auth during natural calamities like earthquakes, floods, cyclones and drought, as also during civ emergencies like strikes, to man essential services.   Briefly, the Madras Sappers participated in the rescue Ops during the Quetta Earthquake of 1935 and helped in the constr of Tribhuvan Rajpath and Gaucher Air Fd in Nepal during 1956.   In 1958, 14 Fd Coy of our Gp sent a party for rescue Ops in flood affected areas in Sri Lanka.  In recent times, brs were constr on River Pampa at Ranni in Kerala and at Ugem in Goa and at Karaikal  in 1997,  1998  and 2005 respectively. A 750’ long bailey br constr on River Cauvery at Talakkad in 2010 has been the longest ever bailey br constr till now. During Op SAHAYATA (Gujarat) in Jan 2000, 12 and 13 Engr Regts actively carried out relief wk after the State was hit by a massive earthquake. In recog of their service, both units were awarded Unit Appre by the GOC-in-C, Southern Comd.  During the Tsunami disaster, relief colns of Madras Spr units were deployed to provide asst to Civ Adm in Tamil Nadu, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Sri Lanka.  MEG & Centre was awarded the Southern Army Cdr’s Unit Appre on 30 Dec 2008.  As on dt, the units of the Gp have the distinction of having recd five COAS’s and nineteen Army Cdr’s Unit Citations.

5.         The Gp has had representation in UN forces dply in the challenging peace keeping tasks in Cambodia, Somalia, Mozambique, Angola, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Gaza, Eritrea, Congo and Sudan.  The wk of 412 (I) Fd Coy and 417 (I) Fd Coy in Mozambique and Angola respectively, were commended by the then UN Secy General Dr Boutros Ghali.

Republic Day Parade.

6.         Madras Sappers have fielded marching contingents in the Army Day and Republic Day Parades in 1981, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1991, 1994, 1997 and 2003 and were adjudged “First” in the Army Day Parade each yr.  Thus, the Madras Sappers have the unique distinction of winning   the COAS Trophy instituted for the Best Marching Contingent every time they have participated. In recog of this feat, a new trophy was presented to the Madras Sappers by COAS on 15 Jan 1996.  In addn, the Madras Sappers won the Inter Services “Best Marching Contingent Trophy” in 1987 (the first yr of the institution of the trophy by the Def Ministry) and again in 1991 and 2003.

Sports.

7.         In the fd of sports, the contribution of Madras Sappers has been outstanding.  Madras Sappers have fielded six Olympians in Boxing, three in Hockey and one each in Swimming, Athletics, Yachting and Rowing and has a tally of one Padma Shri, ten Arjuna and two

Dronacharya Awards.  During the 9th Asian Games held at New Delhi in 1982, 12 Madras Sappers rep India in Rowing, Boxing and Water Polo events and five pers won medals for the Country.  In the 10th Asian Games at Seoul, eight Madras Sappers participated in Boxing, Hockey, Athletics and Aquatics. In 11th Asian Games at Beijing (China), six Madras Sappers participated in Kayaking, Canoeing and Boxing and won one Bronze medal. 10 Madras Sappers rep the Country in the 14th Asian Games at Busan, and won one Silver (Hockey) and one Bronze (Rowing) medal. In 16th Asian Games at Guangzhou, China Madras Sappers participated in Boxing, Rowing and Handball and won one Silver medal (Boxing).

8.         Sub Anil Kumar P, VSM, Athletics, was the fastest runner in the Country in 2005.  He not only equalled the 39 year old record in 200m held by Milkha Singh but bettered his previous est records.  His imp achievements incl participation in the Sydney Olympics, Busan Asian Games and winning medals in the South Asian Federation Cup every yr from 2004.  His timing of 10.29 sec for 100m remaind the fastest ever timing by an Indian till 2013. In X Country,  Hav Shanavas PM participated in SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon 2008   (21 kms) and stood first with a timing of one hr seven mins and 34 secs.

9.       Sub TA Sujith Swimming, broke the existing National record after 11 yrs to be titled as the fastest swimmer in the Country by winning the 50m Free Style event in 2002, which stood in his name till dt 2013.  The JCO won four Gold medals and set three new Games Records in  8th SAF Games 1999, four Bronze medal in 2nd Asian Age Gp Championship 2002, one Bronze medal in 1st Afro Asian Games 2003, five Gold medals and set four new games records in  9th SAF Games 2004.  In the yr 2006–07, he won three Silver medals, and one Bronze medal in 33rd National Games 2007, five Gold medals in 57th Inter Services Aquatics Championship, three Gold medals and one Bronze medal in the 61st National Championship. 

10.       Nb Sub V Johnson, Boxing,was chosen as best services sportsman in 2006.  Highlights of his achievements incl a Bronze medal in the 19th Commonwealth Games at Australia, a Silver medal in the 10th SAF Games at Sri Lanka, Bronze at World Mil Championship at Germany and a Bronze medal in the 15th Asian Games 2006 held at Doha. Hav Backiyarajan won the Bronze medal in Boxing Welter wt in the 4th Mil World Games held at Hyderabad in Oct 2007.  Rect Nb Sub V Santhosh Kumar rep SSCB in 57th Sahara Sr National Boxing Championship held at New Delhi during Jul 10 and won Gold medal.  He was selected for XVI Asian games held at Guangzhou, China and won the Silver medal in 64 Kg wt cat.  He was felicitated by Dr BS Yeddurapa, Chief Minister of Karnataka during a felicitation ceremony held at Banquet Hall, Vidhan Soudha, Bangalore on 05 Jan 11 and recd a sum of !7.00 lakhs.

11.       The Gp has performed commendably in Rowing in the recent past.  Nb Sub Manoj Augustine and Spr Manu Mathew won the Gold medal in the SAF Games at Colombo in  Dec 2006.  In addn, Spr Y Kiran won a Bronze medal in the 15th Asian Games held at Doha.  Spr Gavas VH was part of the team which won the Bronze medal in Volleyball in the 4th Mil World Games held at Hyderabad in Oct 2007.

12.       Army Sports Championship Trophy.

(a)       The Yr 1996-97 was a golden yr for the Madras Sappers in the fd of sports since the Gp Teams won Army Championships in the discp of Handball, Aquatics, Boxing, Volleyball and Best Physique. The Best Athlete in the Army and the Services, the Best Swimmer in the Army and the Most Muscular Man in the Army were Madras Sappers. This feat forced Army HQ to take notice and they instituted an Army Sports Trophy from 1997-98 onwards. In recog of our achievements in the Army Championship for the yrs 1996-97, Gen S Roy Chowdhury, PVSM, ADC, COAS awarded Madras Sappers with a cash award of !50,000/-.   Madras Sappers won the Inaugural COAS Overall Sports Championship in 1996-97 and continued to win in succession for the yr 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-00, 2000-01, 2001-02, 2002-03 and 2003-04 editions of the championship.  The Army Sports Championship was disbanded after the yr 2004 and Area Championship was introduced.  The Centre has won the ATNK & K Area Championship since its inception for the yr 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

(b)       Contribution of Sportsmen.   The Centre has contributed a large No of sportsmen to the Area/Comd teams, Army Sports Nodes for various sports and the Services teams.  The detl are as under:-

            (i)         Area Teams               -           48       
            (ii)        Comd Teams            -           36
            (iii)       Army Nodess            -           103
            (iv)       Services Teams        -           77 Sportsmen.

Adventure.

13.       Lt Gen (then Lt Col) KS Rao, PVSM, SC, SM (Retd) was the skipper of ’Round the World Sailing Expedition Trishna’ in 1985-86 for which he was honoured with the ‘Arjuna Award’.

14.       Five offrs and one Spr of the Gp participated in the mountaineering expedition to Eastern Karakoram. Hav Unnikannan APV was the forst Madras Sapper to summit Mt Everest on 20 May 2013.
15.       The Madras Sappers have contributed extensively towards est of permt stn in Antarctica in terms of providing tdn teams for the expedition. Participation of ‘Thambis’ in these expeditions has become a tradition.

16.       The Madras Sappers have contributed extensively towards est permt stn in Antratica in terms of providing tdn teams for the expedition. Participation of ‘Thambis’ in these expeditions has become a tradition.

Dronacharya Award 2006.

17.       Sub (Now Sub Maj) Ismail Baig (Rowing) and Sub Maj and Hony Capt M Venu, VSM (Retd) (Boxing) were the proud receipients of the prestigious Dronacharya Awards, felicitated by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, the then President of India at a ceremony held at New Delhi on 29 Aug 2006.

Arjuna Award 2008.

18.       Nb Sub Johnson Varghese was bestowed with the Arjuna Award at a packed Ashoka Hall by the then President of India, Smt Prathibha Patil.  The Arjuna Award comprises a cheque of !3,00,000/-, a statuette of the legendary archer Arjuna and a scroll of honour in recog of outstanding achievements at international competitions.

Sub Ignace Tirkey, VSM, of MEG & Centre, Bangalore is a proud recipient of the coveted ‘ARJUNA AWARD’ and was felicitated by the then President of India, Smt Pratibha Patil at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 29 Aug 09. 
As declared by Govt of India on 26 Jan 10, he has also been conferred the prestigious “Padma Shri” award. The fecilitation ceremony was held in the month of Apr 2010. The JCO recd a sum of !1,00,000/- towards payment of incentive for receiving Arjuna Award from Army Sports Control Board, New Delhi.