Isolated First World War graves in India reached and restored
10 April 2015
First World War casualties are being commemorated at their
graves in India for the first time since 1947, the culmination of a
ten-year project spearheaded by the Commonwealth War Graves
The first of 100 CWGC headstones going into the ground this
month at Meerut Cantonment Cemetery in northern India was installed
today (pictured below).
Until now, the fallen have of course been commemorated, but
remotely on collective memorials at Delhi War Cemetery, Kirkee War
Cemetery and Madras War Cemetery.
By the end of 2015, 2,486 First World War graves will be
restored and CWGC headstones installed.
CWGC headstones are widely recognised for representing among the
most poignant and fitting tributes to the sacrifices made by
Commonwealth servicemen; they are uniform, with no distinction made
on account of military or civil rank, race or creed.
In 2005 the CWGC revisited the decision made in 1947 to
alternatively commemorate many Commonwealth war casualties buried
in remote inaccessible sites across India. It was established that
improvements to roads and infrastructure made it possible to
reach many previously of these isolated sites. Where sites were now
accessible and local maintenance could be implemented, the decision
was taken to revert commemoration to the war casualties' burial
The CWGC will ensure the graves are maintained and looked after
in perpetuity, along with those of the other 1.7million
Commonwealth servicemen and women in its care.
Keneilhouzo Sekhose, CWGC Sector Manager, India said:"Meerut
Cantonment Cemetery was chosen as the first Indian site to receive
replacement headstones as it contains the most world war
"This cemetery, along with the other cantonment burial grounds
in India, is not owned by the CWGC. However, we will work with our
partners in India to ensure the headstones are preserved to the
same standard as the other CWGC graves and memorials we look after
in over 150 countries."
Full press release available below: