Multi-Faith Service at Neuve-Chapelle Memorial Pays Homage to Indian War Dead
26 August 2015
On 30 August a multi-faith service will be held at the CWGC Neuve-Chapelle Memorial in France to commemorate those Indian servicemen who lost their lives in the First World War. The service will start at 2pm.
Led by the Interfaith Shaheedi Commemoration Association, a body set up by the Indian community in Europe to honour and raise awareness of the sacrifices Indians made during the war, the service will involve readings and prayers from the religions of those commemorated on the memorial.
The ceremony for the atmic shanti (inner peace) of the soldiers will be attended by people from all over Europe and India.
The Indian Memorial at Neuve-Chapelle commemorates over 4,700 Indian soldiers and labourers who lost their lives on the Western Front during the First World War and have no known graves.
The location of the memorial was specially chosen as it was at Neuve-Chapelle in March 1915 that the Indian Corps fought its first major action as a single unit.
The memorial takes the form of a sanctuary enclosed within a circular wall after the manner of the enclosing railings of early Indian shrines. It was designed by Sir Herbert Baker and unveiled in 1927.
For more information on the memorial and the Indian Expeditionary Force on the Western Front, visit http://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/144000/NEUVE-CHAPELLE%20MEMORIAL