UK Government

Commonwealth War Graves Commission (National): War Graves Commission remembers the fallen from India

Press Release   •   Oct 29, 2010 12:44 BST

As Britain and the Commonwealth prepare to mark Remembrance Day, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission has released an introductory DVD about the often-overlooked contribution made by servicemen from undivided India during the First World War.

Every school in the UK will receive a copy of “Forever India”, which tells the incredible story of the hundreds of thousands of men who left their homes in the Indian sub-continent in order to fight for the Empire.

The Indian Army’s contribution, both on the Western Front and elsewhere, was vital and its involvement should never be forgotten. More than 74,000 died in this conflict and their stories of bravery and sacrifice are both inspirational and sobering.

The DVD makes fascinating viewing in its own right, but it is just the first phase of a joint project between the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the Indian government, which will explore both the First and Second World Wars in greater depth.

Alan Pateman-Jones, Director-General of the CWGC said: 
“With this film, the Commission is telling a story which many people remain unaware of. “Forever India” will allow young people to uncover the personal accounts from Indian servicemen and women who served and died, but whom the Commission continues to honour at memorials and cemeteries around the World.”

“Forever India” can be viewed at www.cwgc.org/foreverindia or by clicking here.

For further information, please contact the Commission’s PR & Media Manager Ranald Leask on 01628 507204 or 07887 860541 or ranald.leask@cwgc.org

Notes for Editors

1. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is responsible for marking and maintaining the graves of those members of the Commonwealth forces who died during the two world wars, for building and maintaining memorials to the dead whose graves are unknown and for providing records and registers of these 1.7 million burials and commemorations found in most countries throughout the world. For more information visit www.cwgc.org

2. “Forever India” is a 12 minute film which includes stories of Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and Gurkha soldiers who served in the First World War. It features Commission sites such as Brookwood Military Cemetery in Surrey, England and the Neuve Chapelle Memorial in France, which commemorates over 4,700 Indian soldiers who died on the Western Front. The film also includes the unveiling of the new screen wall at the Brighton Chattri, upon which 53 Indian soldiers’ names are inscribed.

Contacts

NDS Enquiries 
Phone: For enquiries please contact the issuing dept 
ndsenquiries@coi.gsi.gov.uk