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Tributes paid to Indian major, 94, who played a large role in Redbridge's Asian community

PUBLISHED: 13:30 15 May 2017

Maj Joginder Singh Brar died on May 2. Photo: Inder Singh Jamu

Maj Joginder Singh Brar died on May 2. Photo: Inder Singh Jamu

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Tributes have been paid to a popular 94-year-old grandfather and leader of Redbridge's Asian community, who died earlier this month.

Maj Joginder Singh Brar, a Second World War veteran of Kinfaun Road, Goodmayes, died on May 2 after a brief struggle with a brain tumour.

A father to three children, and a grandfather to seven, the major was a prominent member of Ilford’s Asian community.

Born in Punjab, India, in January 1923, in April 1941 he joined the British Army, and after surviving the war was promoted to the rank of major before retiring in 1977.

During those years he served in the Middle East with General Montgomery’s 8th army, and struggled to come to terms with the deaths of many of his men from dysentry and malaria while fighting the Japanese in Burma.

In 1984 Maj Brar migrated to England and helped form The Undivided Indians Ex-servicemen Association (UIEA).

His role in the UIEA saw him regularly attend the annual Chhatri memorial service in Brighton to represent Indian servicemen until he was no longer fit enough to travel.

Maj Brar’s son Jaspreet will remember his father as a pillar of the local Indian community.

“Everybody knew him, he was a big deal in the local community because of the work he did after the Second World War with Indian servicemen,” said the 52-year-old.

“The Queen used to invite him to events every year and until a few years ago he would always go along.

“He was a very giving man and a lovely person. He would go out of his way to help other people.”

And Jaspreet told the Recorder he will remember his father as a vibrant man full of energy who had time for everyone, even as he got older.

He said: “He was always very disciplined and healthy, he would easily have lived to 100 if it weren’t for the tumour.

“I’ll miss him very much.”

Family friend Inder Singh Jamu said: “He was, as I knew him, a man of the community, He will be greatly missed.”

Maj Brar’s funeral was held at Hainault Park crematorium yesterday.

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