Commemorations at the Indian Memorial, Neuve Chapelle, March 13th 2015 (Photo: © Office de tourisme de Béthune-Bruay)

Centenary Update: more photos of Neuve Chapelle ceremonies

Posted on on 25 March 2015
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Centenary News has more pictures of ceremonies marking the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Neuve Chapelle and India's sacrifice in the First World War.

The Indian Ambassador to France, Arun K. Singh, and senior diplomats from Britain, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa gathered at the Indian Memorial on the outskirts of the village of Neuve Chapelle on March 13th 2015.

Wreaths were laid to more than 4,700 soldiers and labourers from undivided India who died on the Western Front, and have no known grave.

(Photo: © Office de tourisme de Béthune-Bruay) 

The service was also attended by French military representatives, as well as local schoolchildren, the Mayors of the villages of Richebourg-Neuve Chapelle, and the President of Pas-de-Calais Département.

A three week programme of community events, highlighting India's contribution to the Allied war effort, draws to a close in Richebourg-Neuve Chapelle on March 29th.

Indian troops made up half of the attacking force in Britain's first major Western Front offensive at Neuve Chapelle from March 10th-13th 1915.

Ambassador Arun K. Singh pays tribute at Neuve Chapelle (Photo courtesy of Commonwealth War Graves Commission)

The Indian Memorial was designed by Sir Herbert Baker, who together with Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Reginald Blomfield, was one of the principal architects of the First World War cemeteries now in the care of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

India was part of the British Empire during the First World War. At centenary ceremonies in Delhi, President Pranab Mukherjee said: "Even though our country was under colonial rule, Indian soldiers etched their name in world history through their bravery and valour."

Information & © images supplied by Office de tourisme de Béthune-Bruay; Commonwealth War Graves Commission (Ambassador Arun K. Singh)

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News