Bravery of Indian soldiers in World War 1

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At Brighton, England there is a memorial "Chhatri Memorial" erected to the memory of Indian soldiers who were killed on the Western Front during WW1 (1914-18).

The memorial known as the Chhatri was designed by Stanislite Mr. Elias Henriques of Bandra and erected in 1921, over the platform where Hindu and Sikh soldiers evacuated from the Front and who died in Brighton hospitals, were cremated.  1.5 million Indian soldiers fought in WW1 and 12,000 wounded were evacuated to Brighton.

One of the Indians mentioned on the memorial is Jemadar Jahan Singh of the Poona Horse, who led the only Cavalry charge of the Battle of the Somme on the evening of July 14, 1916.

Lt. Beatle a British officer says "it was an incredible sight, an unbelievable sight,they galloped on their chargers up the slope with their lances and pennants flying" straight towards the well entrenched German machine gunners and riflemen. "It was an absolute rout. A magnificent sight. Tragic".  NOT A MAN SURVIVED.

Seeing the red poppies in the fields, reminded me of these brave men who laid down their lives in the line of duty.

"THEIRS NOT TO REASON WHY, THEIRS BUT TO DO AND DIE."

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Contributed by Major (Retd.) Leon Fonseca


Sesquicentenary Inauguration
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