14 July 2016
One hundred years ago today a British-Indian cavalry force spurred their horses to the gallop across the Somme battlefield at High Wood and charged the German trenches.
For a brief moment General Haig's vision of cavalry sweeping through the trench lines became a reality as "… Germans, being alarmed at the sight, turned and fled". Many of those who took part in this remarkable feat were from India.
Today, the centenary of the charge of the 20th Deccan Horse marks the launch of a new initiative to ensure that the sacrifice of Indian servicemen and women in both world wars is properly remembered. The CWCG is in Delhi, with our partners in the United Service Institution for India (USI) and The Big Ideas Company to launch "India Remembers". The project aims to transform the culture of remembrance in India, engaging communities within the country whilst also highlighting India's contribution to a global audience.
"India Remembers" proposes that India adopts a Day of Remembrance, or Sainik Smriti Divas, on 7th December, to coincide with the Armed Forces Flag Day. We hope that the Marigold flower will join the poppy as a new Indian symbol of remembrance.
We'll keep you updated on this exciting new initiative as it unfolds.
Colin Kerr, The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Director of External Relations spoke to BBC Radio 4's World at One about today's launch of the India Remembers project. [at 42.15]
With marigold, 'India Remembers' flowers on centenary of WWI Indian cavalry charge. [The Times of India]
The Panel for the Launch -right to left- Virginia Crompton, Colin Kerr, Lt. Gen. PK Singh, PVSM, AVSM (Retd.), Director, USI, Lt. Gen. Ajai Singh,PVSM, AVSM (Retd), Lt. Gen. Aditya Singh, PVSM, AVSM (Retd.), President, Cavalry Officers Association, Sqn Ldr Rana TS Chhina (Retd)
Students from Springdales School, Pusa Road, New Delhi, reciting a poem 'Gift of India' by Sarojini Naidu.
[Images courtesy of India Remembers Project]
"Why India needs to remember 'forgotten' fallen of world wars" - bbc.co.uk [External Link]