NEUVE-CHAPELLE 1939-1945 CREMATION MEMORIAL
|Region||Pas de Calais|
|Total identified casualties||6 Find these records|
|Casualties from||Second World War|
The village of Neuve Chapelle is some 5 kilometres north of La Bassee and 20 kilometres west-south-west of Lille. The Neuve Chapelle Memorial is 800 metres south-west of the village on the east side of the road from La Bassee to Estaires.
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In 1964 the remains of 8 Indian soldiers (including 2 unidentified) were exhumed from Sarrebourg French Military Cemetery Extension and Cremated. The names of the 6 identified soldiers are engraved on panels at the Neuve Chapelle Memorial, together with the following inscription: 1939 - 1945 IN HONOUR OF THESE SOLDIERS WHO DIED IN CAPTIVITY IN NORTH-WEST EUROPE AND WHOSE MORTAL REMAINS WERE COMMITTED TO FIRE. The Neuve Chapelle Memorial takes the form of a circular enclosure, in the foreground of which is a column nearly 15 metres high, recalling the pillars of Asokar, surmounted by a Lotus capital, the Star of India and the Imperial Crown. On either side of the column two carved tigers guard this temple of the dead. The column and the tigers are supported by a "podium", on the near side of which is carved "INDIA 1914-1918", while on the far side are the Battle Honours of Indian units on the Western Front. From the ends of the podium a pierced stone railing extends half-way round the circle, and the ends of the semicircle are marked by two small domed "chattris", roughly East and West. The far semi-circle is enclosed by a solid wall on which are carved the names of over 4,700 soldiers of the Indian Army. Also engraved on the Memorial is the following inscription: TO THE HONOUR OF THE ARMY OF INDIA WHICH FOUGHT IN FRANCE AND BELGIUM, 1914-1918, AND IN PERPETUAL REMEMBRANCE OF THOSE OF THEIR DEAD WHOSE NAMES ARE HERE RECORDED AND WHO HAVE NO KNOWN GRAVE. In 1964 a Special Bronze Panel was designed to add to this memorial the names of 210 servicemen of undivided India who died during the 1914-1918 war, whose graves at Zehrensdorf Indian Cemetery, East Germany, were unmaintainable. Although this plaque still exists, these graves were reinstated following the renovation in 2005 of Zehrensdorf Indian Cemetery in Germany and which is now the official point of commemoration.