A solemn ceremony organized at Delhi War Cemetery in Delhi Cantonment today by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, marked Remembrance Day to honour the martyrs of the two World Wars and subsequent battles. The Commonwealth War Graves commission in India has been organising a ‘Remembrance Day Ceremony’ every year at the Delhi Cantonment to commemorate the martyrs of the two World Wars and subsequent battles. Officers and soldiers of the Indian Army, members of the British High Commission and a number of military and civil dignitaries from both nations have been attending the ceremony over the past years.
The Indian Army’s contribution during the two World Wars in shaping the course of history is well documented. The valour of the Indian soldier in some of the fiercest battles fought across the Indian sub-continent in battlefields afar and environs unknown was acknowledged even by the enemy commanders. The trying and testing conditions under which the Indian soldiers served and acquitted themselves with honour and glory is by itself unique in the annals of military history. Many War Memorials in Europe, Africa and Asia across some of the most famous battlefields of the 20th century record with distinction the names of the Indian soldiers who fought and fell in these battles, hundreds of miles from their native land. Recently the Indian Embassy in Cario, Egypt organised a memorial service to salute the martyrs of the Indian Army in the famous battle of El Alamein during World War II.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has been carrying out a yeoman service in keeping the story of these brave men alive. This annual event is an occasion to remember the valour and sacrifice of the valiant soldiers who fought and made the supreme sacrifice in battlefields far from their native land under extremely trying conditions. After the memorial service the dignitaries moved to St James’ Church also known as the Skinners’s Church, one of the oldest churches in the city near Kashmiri Gate to offer prayers and pay homage to the martyrs.
The memorial service at the Delhi War Cemetery had many distinguished civil and military dignitaries from the two countries. The British military fraternity was represented by two Cavalry officers from the British Army including a Major General who is also the Honorary Colonel of 4 HORSE (British Chapter). These officers are in India to kick start the celebrations of the famous ‘Battle of Phillora’ where 4 HORSE distinguished itself under the dynamic command of then Lt Colonel later Brigadier MMS Bakshi who was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra for his inspiring leadership during the intense battle. The epic battle turned the tide of war in India’s favour in the Punjab Theatre during the Indo Pak War of 1965. 4 HORSE was at the forefront of the battle, unhinging the enemy defenses at Phillora.
As part of the PHILLORA DAY celebrations, the Cavalry Officers’ Association is organizing a Cavalry Memorial Lecture in honour of Late Brigadier MMS Bakshi of 4 HORSE. The lecture scheduled on 19 November will be delivered by the Chief of the Army Staff, General Bikram Singh.