The Hague [Netherlands], Nov.9 (ANI): The Embassy of India on behalf of the Commonwealth-Netherlands Joint Committee of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, will host a Commonwealth Remembrance Day Service at the Westduin Cemetery in The Hague on November 12, 2017 to honour the sacrifices of Commonwealth forces in the First and Second World Wars.
Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of The Netherlands Venu Rajamony will lay a wreath on the graves of the soldiers along with the Ambassadors of the other Commonwealth countries. The Ambassador will read the poem 'The Gift of India' by Indian poet Sarojini Naidu which speaks about the contribution of Indian soldiers in World War I.
A special photo exhibition showcasing the contribution of Indian soldiers in World War I will also be displayed by the Embassy of India at the Westduin cemetery after the service. The photo exhibition will be moved to the City Hall in The Hague and will be displayed at the Atrium from November 13th to November 17th.
The forces of undivided India played a significant part in both World wars Her 163,000 dead are buried and commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in war cemeteries in 60 countries.
The Commonwealth-Netherlands Joint Committee organises the Remembrance Day ceremony annually and different embassies host the event in turns. The event also pays tribute to The Stijkel Groep, a group named after Hans Stijkel, leader of a group of individuals actively involved in Dutch resistance to German occupation during the Second World War, after the invasion of the Netherlands on 10 May 1940.
The Westduin Cemetery in The Hague contains 87 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, majority of whom are airmen. Memorial stones in honour of The Stijkel group have also been erected at the cemetery.
There is a total of four Commonwealth cemeteries in The Hague. The Hague General Cemetery at Kerhoflaan and The Hague Roman Catholic Cemetery contain war graves of the First World War. The Hague (Westduin) Cemetery and The Hague (Oud Eik En Duinen) Cemetery contain war graves of the Second World War.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission set up the Commonwealth-Netherlands Joint Committee in 1951 to express a join interest in the commemoration of the war dead of the Commonwealth and the Netherlands. The Commonwealth Graves Commission marks and maintains the graves of the Commonwealth forces who died during the two world wars, maintains memorials to the dead whose graves are unknown and provides records of these 1.7 million burials and commemorations found in most countries throughout the world. (ANI)