Design

The memorial was designed by Sir Herbert Baker and is characterised by Indian architectural styles. It takes the form of a sanctuary enclosed within a circular wall after the manner of the enclosing railings of early Indian shrines. British sculptor Sir Charles Wheeler (1892-1974) carved the lions on either side of the column.

 

The column in the foreground of the enclosure stands almost 15 feet high and was inspired by the famous inscribed columns erected by the Emperor Ashkora throughout India in the 3rd century BC.

The column is 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.

On the lower part of the column the words: “GOD IS ONE, HIS IS THE VICTORY”, are inscribed in English, with similar texts in Arabic, Hindi, and Gurmukhi.

The far semicircle is enclosed by a solid wall on which are carved the names of more than 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”

Architects and Designers

Sir Herbert Baker, Sir Charles Wheeler

Sir Herbert Baker

Sir Herbert Baker

Sir Herbert Baker was born in 1862. As one of the first three Principal Architects, he designed Tyne Cot Cemetery and its memorial in Belgium. Tyne Cot Cemetery is the largest CWGC cemetery in the world. His other work for the Commission includes Loos Memorial, Adanac Military Cemetery and Neuve Chapelle Memorial. He also worked in India and South Africa, where he designed a number of government buildings.