Honouring the contribution of the Indian soldiers to the freedom of France in the First World War, an Indian War Memorial has been unveiled at Villers Guislain, located 200 km from the French capital Paris.
The first national memorial for the Indian soldiers who died in France during the World War I was unveiled by India’s Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on November 10.
Naidu represented India at the centenary commemoration of the armistice of the First World War held at the iconic Arc De Triomphe, which was attended by dozens of world leaders, including US President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Around 72,000 Indian soldiers were killed in the First World War.
The memorial has been constructed by the Government of India through the United Services Institute (USI).
“I consider it my privilege to have this honour to be amongst you today and inaugurate the first War Memorial constructed by the Government of India in France and to pay homage to the Indian soldiers who fought selflessly and heroically during World War I and made the supreme sacrifice,” Mr Naidu said at the solemn inauguration ceremony, which was attended by Mayor of Villers Guislain Gerard Allart, and other dignitaries.
“India contributed immensely to the war effort in terms of both men and material. Her soldiers served with credit and honour in numerous battlefields around the globe: in France and Belgium, in Aden, Arabia, East Africa, Gallipoli, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Palestine, Persia and Salonika,” he added.
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