Academic Paper by S.B Jatar

This is a paper written by Dr Sadashiv Bhikaji Jatar, our great-grand-uncle, who was living in Manchester at the time. It was first published in 1908 and Dr Sadashiv Jatar must have been around 36 years old at the time.

The paper is a reference to the Municipal School of Technology in Manchester (UK). The name of the article is “Volumetric estimation of iron and chromium by means of titanous chloride” and probably is difficult Continue reading “Academic Paper by S.B Jatar”

Dr Sadashiv Bhikaji Jatar – a great grand uncle to most of us

One of the fascinating and mysterious people in our family is Dr Sadashiv Bhikaji Jatar, the half-brother of Shriram Bhikaji Jatar. Sadashiv was born in Wai, Maharashtra, in 1872 and died in 1924 at the age of  52. In today’s day and age, that seems so very young! His story is interesting because it is mysterious. Born in a small village in Maharashtra, he was educated in England, studied medicine, and thereafter remained there, without much contact with any of his relatives in India. As of now, I do not have a photograph but if I discover one will certainly post it here.

He must have visited India but as no one of his generation is alive today, we do not know for sure.  What we do know is that he was very close to his nephew Bapurao, the eldest son of his older brother Shriram.

Bapurao and Sadashiv may have been uncle and nephew but they were almost the same age (Bapurao was born in 1871). I guess that is why they were close. This is proved by the fact that in his will he left his money to Bapurao.

Not much is known about my mysterious second grand-uncle (he is my great-grandfather’s younger half-brother) because he spent his life in England and apparently did not marry.

He certainly led a busy life as he was around during the London plague. It was mandatory to report plague Continue reading “Dr Sadashiv Bhikaji Jatar – a great grand uncle to most of us”

Dr Arvind Talwalkar (AKT)


My father, Dr Arvind Talwalkar, son-in-law of Lt Col Sir Nilkanth Shriram Jatar (son of Shriram Jatar) went to Grant Medical College and passed his MBBS with medals in most of the subjects. He did his residency with Dr Parmar and then went to England and passed his FRCS at first shot, which was very rare for an Indian doctor.

He returned to India and practised General Surgery at KEM Hospital. There he met Dr Katrak, an orthopaedic surgeon and with his encouragement he went back to Liverpool and did his MCh (Master of Surgery) degree in Orthopaedics. He travelled to Mayo Clinic and also saw well known orthopaedic surgeons’ work in Paris. It is fair to say that he was the first well trained Orthopaedic Surgeon in India. Little wonder that he got very very busy and had patients from all walks of life. Politicians, actors, actresses, businessmen and so on. He was humble, hard working and always cheerful. I think when a person gets to do what he enjoys his work becomes play and it no longer stressful. He travelled abroad several times to learn the latest techniques in Orthopaedic Surgery.

He married my mother Leela Talwalkar née Jatar after he came back from the UK after completing his FRCS.

I have met some of his patients in Canada and they were very grateful for the treatment they received. I have met some of his students and they are very grateful for his guidance. He started scholarships through Johnson and Johnson and Smith and Nephew to send Orthopaedic Surgeons to major centres in India and abroad, all expenses paid. No wonder they were very grateful as he went beyond the call of duty.

I was travelling from New Delhi to Pune by Indian Airlines and next to me was the famous actor Dilip Kumar. We started talking, and he learned that I was in Canada practising medicine. He asked me several questions about the medicines he was talking about keeping fit etc and when he learnt that I was AKT’s son he said oh I know your dad, he treated me for joint problems a few years back. I believe that was after my father had passed away and I was visiting my mother in Pune, probably in 1990 or so.

(Submitted by Dr Prafulla Talwalkar, son of Dr Arvind Talwalkar and Leela Talwalkar )

His daughter Lata (popularly known as Charu) says:

My father Dr Arvind K Talwalkar (AKT) did pioneering work in the field of orthopaedics and still I meet many of his students/acquaintances/patients who have tremendous respect for him. Even on international level he was respected in his field. Not only was he very bright,studious and hard working, he was helpful also. He was very interested in sports and could play bridge, table tennis etc very well. He also started scholarships.

Bhausaheb’s awards

My grandfather, Lt Col Sir Nilkanth Shriram Jatar, the son of Shriram Jatar and known as Bhausaheb in the family, was the recipient of many awards, and several of them were gallantry awards for bravery. He was also knighted by the Queen of England in 1946. The medals can be seen below:
Bhausaheb's medals
He got several awards for distinguished service like the Star in 1914-1915, the War Medal of 1914-18, the War Medal of Wazirstan 1919-21, Medal for the Great War of Civilization 1914-19, the Medal George V and Queen Mary 1910-1935 and the Queen Elizabeth Medal 1935 (Coronation Medal).
However the Serbian Order of the White Eagle with Swords (a gallantry award equivalent to the Military Cross of the British Empire and the Vir Chakra of India) is one of his special awards. He got this in Mesopotemia while serving with the 8th Army. When surrounded by the Turks, and after the death of the unit commander, Bhausaheb took over the leadership of the infanty company although he was the medical officer attached to the infantry battalion. He held on to the defensive position and did not surrender until the 8th Army Commander, General Townsend, himslef surrendered the entire Army. The Battalion, and in fact the whole of the 8th Army was captured by the Turks. But Bhausaheb’s bravery was rewarded by the Serbs and later by the British. For this same action he recieved the DSO (Distinguished Service Order equivalent to the Maha Vir Chakra) from the British.

He got his second DSO (called DSO and Bar) during the fighting in the North Western Frontier. Here too he showed his bravery. In those days battles were fought from dawn to dusk in a designated battlefied and Bhausaheb as the medical officer was to treat the wounded on the spot. He was not expected to go deep into action but that is what he did. He would go in the line of fire to help the wounded and that was how he took seven bullets, one in his left wrist, and several in his right leg as he knelt down to help the wounded soldiers. Inspite of that he continuted to treat the wounded and finally had to be evacuated.

During those days the British were trying very hard to capture the North Western Provinces of Afghanistan as it would open the route into Central Asia. Later it was the Russians who succeeded afer World War II. They again lost out when the Taliban with the help of the US had a regime change in Afghanistan. This is known as the ‘Great Game’ and it still continues.

As Bhausaheb lay in bed wounded, it was necessary to amputate his leg as those days there were no antibiotics or penicillin.  His leg had become gangrenous. Later he told his children that when he lay in the hospital bed, his CO came to see him and in his presence asked the doctors whether Jatar would live. The doctors said that yes, he would, and the CO said, that if he had died, he would have recommended him for the Victoria Cross. Bhausaheb was just 32 years old. He had an artificial leg fitted in England.

Bhausaheb later was awarded his second DSO for this bravery. He was the first Indian officer to recieve the DSO and bar. The DSO is equalivalent to our gallantry award, the MVC (Maha Vir Chakra.) Later in 1938, Bhausaheb also got the CIE (Companion of the Indian Empire award) which is roughly equivalent to our Padmashree award. Our family has three CIEs. Grandfather Shriram, Bapurao and then Bhausaheb. This is some sort of a record.

Bhausaheb’s elder brother when Bhausaheb lay in hospital. These are the contents of the letter which was written on the 6th of January 1920:

Dear Mr. Jatar,
Further to the wire I sent you this morning, I write now to give you further particulars I can of your brothers wounds. The battalion was out yesterday as covering party for construction of a permanent piquet some distance from our present camp. The enemy had evidently been lying up in the nullah waiting for our retirement, and as soon as withdrawal commenced he opened fire. Several men of the advanced companies were wounded, and in endeavoring to recover their bodies a number of other men were also hit, there being a heavy fire on all those who exposed themselves.
Under these circumstances, Capt. Jatar himself went forward very gallantly, and was himself wounded. Whilst being carried away he was again hit twice. His brave conduct, however, did very much to help in a very much difficult situation, and we are very proud that he was attached to this regiment.
Your brother’s wounds are severe. He is, however, getting on well, and I hope will be fit for evacuation in a very few days.
Capt. Jatar had, during the few months he has been with us, made himself a great favorite with all ranks, and officers and men will all miss him greatly.
We sympathize heartily with you, and wish him very speedy recovery.
If I can give you any further information I shall be only glad to do so.

Yours sincerely,
Col .V. A . Parrett. Capt. AdJt.

Bhausaheb was a much respected figure in the Jatar family and this post makes it clear as to why. He was devoted to his family. His physical description: Height: 5 feet 8 inches. Complexion: Fair. Imposing mustache.

(Contributed by Nita with inputs from Sudhir Jatar)

Bhausaheb’s HMV Gramophone presented to Kelkar Museum


His Master’s Voice

The gramophone displayed here belonged to Bhausaheb. He purchased it sometime in 1919 after his return from active service in Mesopotamia in World War I. We presented to Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum on at Pune 30 December 2002. It is displayed prominently in the Museum.
The above painting is of Nipper the dog, who was born in Bristol in 1884 and so named because of his tendency to nip the backs of visitors’ legs. When his first master Mark Barraud died destitute in Bristol in 1887, Nipper was taken to Liverpool by Mark’s younger brother Francis, a painter. In Liverpool Nipper discovered the Phonograph, a cylinder recording and playing machine and Francis Barraud “often noticed how puzzled he was to make out where the voice came from.” This scene must have been indelibly printed in Barraud’s brain, for it was three years after Nipper died that he committed it to canvas.
Nipper died in September 1895, having returned from Liverpool to live with Mark Barraud’s widow in Kingston-upon-Thames in Surrey. Though not a thoroughbred, Nipper had plenty of bull terrier in him; he never hesitated to take on another dog in a fight, loved chasing rats and had a fondness for the pheasants in Richmond
Park! In 1898 Barraud completed the painting and registered it on 11 February 1899 as ‘Dog looking at and listening to a Phonograph.’
The enclosed painting is the finished product that hung on the wall of Gramophone Co., Ltd. It was first used as a trademark in 1900 in England and was called “Dog and Trumpet.” In May 1900, Emile Berliner, inventor of the disc gramophone, visited the company and so admired the painting that he returned to the United States and began using the trademark before he had registered it as “Nipper and the Gramophone.” He did register the trademark in the U.S. on May 26, 1900 and also in Canada soon afterward. Berliner founded the company that later became the Victor Talking Machine.

(Contributed by Sudhir. Maj Gen. SCN Jatar (Retd.)