Remembering Indian Army in world war I

World War I ended on November 11, 1918 at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. This day marks 100 years of the Great War ending. The war was mainly waged between the Triple Entente (France, Russia, Britain) and the Triple Alliance (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy). 

It is quite surprising that India’s contribution is almost unknown to public when approximately 1.3 million Indian soldiers served in World War One, and over 74,000 of them lost their lives. But history has mostly forgotten these sacrifices, which were rewarded with broken promises of Indian independence from the British government, writes Shashi Tharoor. 

Veteran Army officer and noted author, Major General Bakshi shared the Poppy for our WWI vets. 

The Indian Army, as a part of British Empire fought against the German Empire in East Germany, German East Africa and Western front. Indian troops also served in Egypt, Gallipoli and nearly 700,000 served in Mesopotamia during world war 1. 

Current Union Minister for sports Major Rajyavardhan Rathore has a long history associated with Indian Army. He tweeted that his great grandfather fought in WWI and grandfather in WWII. Interestingly, the family legacy continued after independence in 1947 by his father who served during 1965 war (in Lahore sector) and 1971 war (in Tharparkar in Sindh) and himself as he served in Indian Army in J & K sector. 

As per British Council’s recent international survey that was carried out in Egypt, France, Germany, India, Russia, Turkey and the UK showed disappointing results. It showed that the UK public had very limited knowledge of the role commonwealth countries played during the First World War.

It would be appropriate if both Indian and British government initiate some deliberate action plan to create an awareness and recognition, and the honor  the forgotten soldiers.

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