World War 1: National memorial for Indian troops to be inaugurated on Nov 10 in France

Team India Sentinels Monday 22nd of October 2018 05:00 AM

Aiming to commemorate all those who fought and lost their life during first World War in 1914-18, India will inaugurate its second overseas national war memorial at Villers-Guislain in France on November 10. The first national memorial was built in Belgium a decade back. It is likely that Vice President Venkaiah Naidu would inaugurate the memorial. The United Service Institution of India (USI) which is one of the oldest military think-tank has initiated the work with the help of Indian Army and the government. “The memorial has been erected at a small village named – Villers Guislain. Dafadar Gobind Singh got the Victoria Award for fierce fighting at this battlefield only in December 1917. In this battle only, the tank was used for the first time,” said USI Secretary Sqn Ldr RTS Chhina (Retd). This memorial would also be distinct in a case as it will have State Emblem of India. The United Kingdom is also supporting the USI in this cause. The centenary commemorations have thus afforded India with a three-fold agenda --- to revive the memory of a forgotten legion and to honour its sacrifice, to build bridges with partner nations through acknowledgement of a shared past and to highlight the futility of war and the urgent need to work towards its eradication as a means of settling disputes among nations, said USI Director Lt Gen PK Singh (Retd). During World Wars, Indian Army contributed a large number of divisions and independent brigades to the European, Mediterranean and the Middle East theatres of war in World War I. Over 1.5 million Indian troops served overseas, of whom over 70,000 died and another 67,000 were wounded. The USI has also brought into mainstream the descendants of those soldiers who fought and died during the war. It has also got response from Pakistan, which was undivided India during World War. However, the Pakistan government did not take much of interest in such activities. During her visit to Paris in June, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had announced the construction of war memorial in France. The French government gave somewhere around 1000 meters of land at a token cost of Euro one. They were of the view that a memorial should be created for those India soldiers who fought for liberating the parts of France.


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