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End of WW1 and Treaty of Versailles

Memorials and Commemorating WW1

The Centenary of Armistice Day on November 11,  2018 marked one hundred years of the origin of the Armistice treaty that ended WW1 on the western front.

On this day the UK acknowledged the contributions of Indians and the then British Prime Minister Theresa May, said: “We must never forget that over 74,000 soldiers came from undivided India and lost their lives, 11 of them won the Victoria Cross for their outstanding bravery. India’s contribution was diverse and inclusive of cash, material and manpower contribution.”


The contribution of soldiers from undivided India in WW1 is also acknowledged on war memorials across the world. The most significant amongst them are the


Chattri, Brighton, UK.

This war memorial is dedicated to all Indian soldiers who fought for the British Empire in WW1.

Coloured photograph showing a small white coloured domed building with rolling hills in the background
Chattri Indian Soldier Memorial in Brighton

The memorial is located in Patcham to honour 53 Hindu and Sikh soldiers who died in Brighton war hospitals between 1914 and 1915. The inscription on the memorials is written in Hindi, Urdu, English and Panjabi. It is translated as -“To the memory of all Indian soldiers who gave their lives for the King-Emperor in the Great War. This monument is erected on the site of the funeral pyre where Hindus and Sikhs who died in hospital at Brighton passed through the fire.”

Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres

Out of four memorials dedicated to the missing Indian soldiers in Belgian Flanders, The Menin Gate is one. It covers the area called the Ypres Salient. This area stretches from Langemarck in the north to Ploegsteert Wood in the south but it differed in shape and area throughout the war. 


Coloured photograph showing the memorial at night. It is a big square shaped building with a huge archway running through and two columns on each side of the arch
Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres

Below is a picture of the memorial wall that shows some of the names of the Indian soldiers.


Colour photograph showing names of the 9th Bhopal Infantry soldiers who fell in Belgium during WW1
Names of Indian Soldiers on Menin Gate Memorial

 The Ashoka Pillar, pictured below, was erected in the park next to the Menin Gate in 2014 to commemorate the Indian soldiers who sacrificed their life during the WW1.


Coloured photograph showing a stone memorial. There are multiple lion type animals sculpted and they are standing on a base with wheels and elephants
Indian Memorial at Menin Gate, Ypres

The Last Post

Everyday at 8 pm Ypres pays homage to the brave soldiers by playing the ‘Last Post’. Every night at this time the traffic is stopped at the Menin Gate and members of the local Fire Brigade play the Last Post under the Memorial’s arche.

Coloured photograph showing rows of bagpipe players in traditional Scottish dress.
Last Post, Ypres

This tradition was initiated in 1927 and continues till date. The only time it had a brief interruption was during WW2.

Neuve-Chapelle Indian Memorial, France

Over 4,700 Indian soldiers and labourers who lost their lives during WW1 in the Western Front and have no known graves are buried here.

Coloured photograph of a stone built memorial. There is a tall central column and on either side is a cat type animal
Neuve-Chapelle Indian Memorial, France

This memorial was designed by Sir Herbert Baker, topped by a lotus capital on a tall pillar and a representation of the Star of India accompanied by the Imperial Crown. Other architectural designs feature carved stone tigers and two small domed chattris or a dome-shape. Towards the bottom of the pillar is a stone representation with an inscription that says- "Their name liveth forevermore." The central inscription is in both English and French while the inscriptions in the column are written in English, Arabi, Devanagari and Gurmukhi. A special bronze panel was added to the memorial in 1964 which had names of 210 servicemen of undivided India who sacrificed their lives from 1914- 1918.