Remains of WWI Indian soldiers buried in France with military honours

ANI | Updated: Nov 13, 2017 23:31 IST

Laventie [France], November 13 (ANI): Mortal remains of two Indian soldiers who fought World War I in France on Monday were laid to rest at the Laventie Military Cemetery in France.

The two soldiers belonged to 39 Garhwal Rifles.

A delegation comprising of Commandant and Subedar Major of the Garhwal Rifles regimental centre, two bagpipers from the regimental pipe band and Colonel Nitin Negi, grandson of late Naik Darwan Singh Negi, Victoria Cross, attended the ceremony.

On the occasion, homage was also paid to the soldiers of Indian Meerut Division at Nueve Chapelle War Memorial by laying wreaths.

The Commandant expressed his gratitude to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWWGC) for the excellent care and maintenance of the War Memorial dedicated to Indian soldiers in France and Flanders.

He also thanked the Government of France for the conduct of the solemn ceremony.

In a symbolic gesture, the soil from the graves of these soldiers will be brought back to their homeland.

According to the reports, their remains were found on September 20, 2016 during an excavation on the southern side of the village of Richebourg near the cemetery, approximately 230 km from Paris.

The CWWGC office in consultation with the French Government and Indian Embassy in France decided to hold ceremony to rest them along with their comrades at Laventie Military Cemetery, with full military honours during the annual memorial service that is held to commemorate the Indian soldiers who were martyred in action in France and Belgium.

During World War-I, the Garhwal Brigade comprising of 1st/39th and 2nd/39th Royal Garhwal fought France and Flanders.

The Garhwal Brigade earned six Battle Honours and two Victoria Crosses.