World War II: 2 Indian soldiers’ remains to be buried in Italy after 74 years

Team India Sentinels Friday 12th of October 2018 09:21 AM

After a gap of 74 years, the remains of two Indian soldiers who fought in the Second World War in 1944, have been identified and will be buried at Girone Monumental Cemetery in Florence, Italy. The two Indian soldiers hailing from Rohtak and Hisar in Haryana had gone missing on September 13, 1944 while fighting in the battle of Poggio Alto where they were pitted against the 362 German Infantry Division. The remains have been identified as those of Hari Singh from Rohtak and Palu Ram from Hisar in Haryana. Both the soldiers were in their 20s and belonged to the 4th Battalion of the 13th Frontier Force Rifles. The regiment was re-orbatted to Pakistan Army after independence in 1947. The Frontier Force Rifles is the same regiment to which legendary Sam Bahadur Manekshaw belonged and rose to become the Indian Army Chief and later the Field Marshal. He had led the Indian Army to glorious victory in 1971 Indo-Pak War. Army sources said the mortal remains of the two Indian soldiers would be buried at Girone Monumental Cemetery, Florence. After the burial, soil from the graves of the two soldiers would be brought to India and handed over to their relatives. The sources said that some human bones were found in Poggio Alto near Florence in 1996 and the investigation began in 2010. DNA and anthropometric tests were conducted in 2012 and revealed the remains to be those of non-Europeans young adults of about 21 years of age. Data referenced from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission relating to the time and location of the battle and the list of missing persons led the probe to conclude that the remains were those of Hari Singh from Rohtak and Palu Ram from Hisar. The Army is working out on date for burial of the remains. In November 2017 also, mortal remains of two Indian soldiers of 39th Garhwal Rifles were cremated with full military respect at La Gourgue, France. However, the investigation failed to identify these soldiers but they were found along with their regimental insignia in September 2016. The remains were over 100 years old and are believed to be part of an engagement with Germans during WWI. The remains were found during a civic work and authorities got in touch with the regiment identifying them from the insignia found.


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