New Delhi, Mar 9: Ten decades after the start of World War 1 which saw at least 74,187 Indian soldiers martyred, the Army will be commemorating the gallantry and sacrifice of its troops by holding a tribute for them here this week.
The Army will be commemorating the centenary of the First World War (1914-1918) from March 10-14 in memory of the 1.5 million Indian soldiers who fought in the war.
March 10 coincides with the Battle of Neuve Chapelle marking the British offensive in Artois region of France in which the Garhwal Brigade and Meerut Division of the Indian Corps participated. The period between 2014 and 2018 is being commemorated as the WW1's centenary.
As part of the commemorative events, on the eve of the centenary of the Battle of Neuve Chapple in which maximum Indian soldiers were martyred, President Pranab Mukherjee and diplomatic heads of nations part of World War 1 participated in a wreath-laying ceremony organised today at Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will place his wreath tomorrow before he departs on a three-nation official visit.
The highlight of the commemoration is expected to be an exhibition at Manekshaw Centre, which will be inaugurated by the President tomorrow. "This is an endeavour of the Indian Army to commemorate the supreme gallantry and sacrifice that Indian soldiers rendered in various theatres of the World War 1," Maj Gen N P Singh, Chief of Staff of the 2 Corps told PTI.
Singh, who is organising the event, said the Indian Corps won 13,000 medals for gallantry including 11 Victoria Cross, the highest gallantry award in England. He added that the exhibition promises to take one back to the WW1 era. The 'Corner of Remembrance' in the exhibition will have old letters, an old home in neglect with belongings of soldiers, giving a feeling of anxiousness of the families waiting for their sons to return home.
The 'Sacrifice Hall' will include replicas of Amar Jawan Jyoti, Indian memorials, busts and paintings of Victoria Cross Winners in India and abroad. The outdoor props of the exhibition will give a glimpse of the dress, equipment, bunkers, guns and replica of Brighton Hospital.