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Defence Minister receives sacred soil of two soldiers martyred in WW-I

Defence Minister receives sacred soil of two soldiers martyred in WW-I

New Delhi, Nov 14 (UNI) Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday received two urns containing sacred soil of the resting place of as many soldiers of Garhwal Rifle regiment who were martyred in the First World War.

The urns were brought by the delegation of the Garhwal Rifle Regimental Centre which went to France to represent their regiment and Indian Army at the burial of the martyred soldiers. The urns will be carried to the Regimental Centre at Landsdowne near Meerut.

On 12 November 2017, mortal remains of the two soldiers were sent on their final journey with full military honours at Military Cemetery, Laventie, France. A delegation comprising Commandant and Subedar Major, two bagpipers from the Garhwal Rifles Regimental Center and Colonel Nitin Negi, grandson of late Naik Darwan Singh Negi, Victoria Cross, were present on the occasion.

On behalf of the Chief of the Army Staff, homage was paid to the soldiers of Indian Meerut Division at Nueve Chapelle War Memorial (France) by laying of wreaths by Brigadier Indrajit Chatterjee, Commandant and Subedar Major Trilok Singh Negi.

On 20th September 2016 during an excavation work on southern side of the village of Richebourg near Laventie Military Cemetery, approximately 230 kms away from Paris, two human remains were found and later identified to be of soldiers of 39th Royal Garhwal Rifles.

The office of Commonwealth War Graves Commission in consultation with the French Government and Indian Embassy in France decided to hold ceremony to rest them along with their comrades at Laventie Military Cemetery, with full military honours during the annual memorial service that is held to commemorate the Indian soldiers who were martyred in action in France and Belgium.

During World War-I, the Garhwal Brigade comprising 1st/39th and 2nd / 39th Royal Garhwal showed unparalleled bravery in treacherous trenches of France and Flanders. Fighting shoulder to shoulder with British soldiers the Gharwal Brigade earned six Battle Honours and two Victoria Cross in France and Flanders theatre.

UNI AKS RSA 2123/2233

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