Indian Army is Commemorating the Centenary of the First World War from 10 Mar to 14 Mar 2015 in New Delhi in memory of the 1.5 million Indian Soldiers who fought in the war and over 74000 who made the supreme sacrifice. 10th March coincides with the Battle of Neuve Chapelle marking the British Offensive in Artois region of France in which the Garhwal Brigade & Meerut Division of the Indian Corps participated. The time period 2014 to 2018 is being commemorated as the Centenary of World War-1.
As part of the Commemorative Events, a wreath was laid at Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate by The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi on 10 Mar 15. Raksha Mantri, Rajya Raksha Mantri, Service Chiefs, Defence Secretary and senior serving officers of the Regiments that took part in the War, also graced the occasion.
A Commemorative Exhibition is also being held at Manekshaw Centre from 10 to 14 Mar 2015. A Veterans Run to be flagged off by Vice Chief of Army Staff will carry the inaugural Flame ‘Heritage Torch’ from Commonwealth War Cemetery, Brar Square to Manekshaw Centre, Delhi Cantt. The last Veteran Runner Honorary Captain (Retd) Bana Singh, PVC, will hand over the ‘Heritage Torch’ to the Hon’ble President for lighting the symbolic ‘Flame of Remembrance’ (Inaugural Flame) and inaugurating the Commemorative Exhibition at 6 PM today.
The Chief of the Army Staff will address the dignitaries and highlight the role and sacrifices of the Indian Soldiers during the First World War. The President will thereafter release a Commemorative First Day Cover. The President will also view the exhibition which includes a ‘Gallantry Hall’, highlighting how the ‘Great War’ was fought and won, its impact on Indian Soldiers lives on the frontline and at home. It will showcase 13 Campaigns, wartime weapons and equipment, memorabilia and various artifacts.
The ‘Corner of Remembrance’ in the exhibition will display old letters, an old home in neglect with belongings of Soldiers and depicting a feeling of anxiousness of the families waiting for their dear ones to return home. The ‘Sacrifice Hall’ will include replicas of Amar Jawan Jyoti, Indian memorials, busts and paintings of Victoria Cross Winners in India & abroad.
The outdoor props of the exhibition will give a glimpse of the dress, equipment, bunkers and guns. A replica of miniature Brighton Hospital will depict the treatment and the trauma that the Indian Soldiers went through. The live props will highlight the role played by various Arms/Corps in the War including Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery, Engineers, Signals and ASC. A dynamic band display by the Indian Army brass & pipe bands will also be conducted as part of the mega event.
The descendants of some of the Victoria Cross Awardees and the Param Vir Chakra Awardees of Independent India will also be present for the function and will interact with the Hon’ble President.
The Commemoration Exhibition of World War -1 at Manekshaw Convention Centre at Delhi Cantonment would be open to the public and Schools and Colleges from 11 to 13 Mar 15.