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The Andaman Club

South Andaman, Andaman & Nicobar Islands

March 23, 2022

Andaman Club

The Andaman Club was a witness to many momentous events in the history of the A&N Islands. It was the European Officer’s Club in the early 1920s.

It was here at the Gymkhana ground (Now Netaji Stadium), Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose addressed the Islanders on 30 December 1943. He hoisted the flag and declared the Islands the first Indian Territory to be freed from foreign rule.

Less than two years later, the Club was once again a witness to the surrender of the Japanese garrison to the Allied forces that marked the end of the Japanese regime from the islands. It was on a table laid outside the Andaman Club the instrument of surrender was signed on 8 Oct 1945. The Japanese Admiral handed over his sword, pistol, and badges of rank to Brig. A.J. Solomon, the Allied Commander and walked away as a Prisoner of War, later convicted and sentenced to death by the War Crimes Tribunal at Singapore

The present Netaji stadium was earlier known as Gymkhana Club. It was surrounded by well-kept lawns. The Officers spent their evenings here playing golf and indoor games.

Netaji Club Ground

The Netaji Club Ground is associated with the local-born community of the islands who are descendants of the convict parents. The members of the community formed an association called Local Born Association which later constructed a building on this ground. The building was then known as Browning Club but later came to be known as Netaji Club after it was visited by Netaji in December 1943. At a corner of the ground, there exists the grave of Zulfiqar Ali alias Sunny who was shot dead publicly on this ground by the Japanese Imperial Force within a few days after their occupation. Major A G Bird, a British POW was assassinated by the Japanese on 5 May 1942 in the Netaji Club Ground.

The old Netaji Club does not exist now as it was destroyed in a fire incident.

Source: Yashaswini B, IAS 2020 (AGMUT)