Narendra Modi reflects on the First World War at Neuve Chapelle (Photo: courtesy of Commonwealth War Graves Commission)

India's Prime Minister pays tribute at Neuve Chapelle Memorial

Posted on on 12 April 2015
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The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has praised the dedication of India's First World War soldiers during a visit to Neuve Chapelle in Northern France.

In comments at the Indian Memorial, Mr Modi said: 'Our soldiers who fought in foreign lands in the Great War have won the admiration of the world for dedication, loyalty, courage and sacrifice. I salute them.

"I would like to express my gratitude to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for the excellent care and maintenance of this monument dedicated to Indian soldiers," Mr Modi wrote in the visitors' book.

The Prime Minister laid a wreath at the memorial to more than 4,700 soldiers from undivided India who died in France and Belgium.

Troops from the colonial Indian Army made up half the attacking force in Britain's first major Western Front offensive at Neuve Chapelle in March 1915.

Narendra Modi's visit on April 11th 2015, part of a trip to France, was the latest in a series of official Indian tributes marking the First World War Centenary.

More than one million troops and other personnel from British-ruled India (now India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) were sent overseas. They fought in the Middle East, Africa, and at Gallipoli as well as on the Western Front. 

Information & images supplied by Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News