GOPAL GURUNATH BEWOOR was the second son of Sir Gurunath Bewoor, born 11 August 1916 at Seoni. Schooled at RIMC Dehra Dun and commissioned into 2nd Green Howards in July 1937 winning both Sword of Honour and Gold medal at IMA. He moved to 5th Baluch a year later and fought against Japanese in Burma from Dec 43 to Jul 45 as a Coy Cdr.
His nickname was ‘Gopal baluchi’. In Feb 1944 his elder brother Madhav was killed in action during the Irrawady Crossing with the XIV Army of Field Marshal Slim. After Staff College in Quetta, Gopal served as Under Secretary Military in the Viceroys Coordination Council the only Indian to be so appointed. Later he was Secretary Army Partition Committee and saw his paltan go away to Pakistan and joined 2 Dogras. Appointed first Director of NCC as a Colonel, from Apr 48 to Jul 51, Bewoor became India’s youngest Maj Gen in Feb 1959 as Chief of Staff, Western Command under Lt Gen Kulwat Singh in Simla. In May 1960 he became Colonel Commandant of 11 GR. As recalled by his wife Radhika, “Gopal has served in Army HQ in every rank from Capt to General.” Gen Bewoor was India’s ambassador to Denmark from Feb 76 to Feb 78.
Gopal Bewoor was very approachable and generous as remembered by many contemporaries. When Bewoor was Army Chief the author’s friend from school wanted a posting to Delhi and conveyed the request through the author. The General’s advice was ‘If he is seeking a favour as a Rimcollian, which I too am, then ask him to contact me directly’. Late Brig Nahar Singh who was his first ADC met Bewoor in Jalandar and over a drink told his new boss “Sir, this is my first job as an ADC”. Bewoor replied, “This is also my first job with an ADC”. He had this remarkable ability to put everyone at ease as substantiated by his two daughters-in-law Vinita and Nandini.