Memorial in France to Honour Indian soldiers, Mark Their Role in WWI

How does a nation express its gratitude to another for fighting for its freedom a hundred years ago? It offers its soil for a memorial that would remind generations to come how the principles of liberty, equality and fraternity were defended in the killing fields of France and Flanders in World War I.

On December 2, a unique Indian Armed Forces Memorial will be inaugurated at Villiers Guislain, right at the spot where the Indian cavalry had resisted a German counterattack during the Battle of Cambrai in 1917. The Indian Tricolour will be hoisted and French children will sing Jana Gana Mana. Besides cementing the historical bonds between the two countries, the memorial will honour Indian servicemen who have remained a footnote of history for a century.

"The land was a gift from the village of Villiers Guislain, and the Mayor Gerard Alart has been one of the key factors," said Squadron Leader Rana Chhina, who has been the driving force of this memorial from the Indian side.

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