Neuve-Chapelle Indian Memorial

Article and photos by Doug Slowski

India made a vital contribution to Allied success in the First World War. The Indian Army grew from some 150,000 in 1914 to nearly 1.4 million by 1918. More than one million served overseas. They served with distinction in every theater of war: the Western Front in France and Belgium, Aden and Arabia, East and West Africa, Gallipoli in Turkey and Salonika in Greece, Mesopotamia, Palestine and Persia and Russia and China.

The Neuve-Chapelle Indian Memorial is a World War I memorial in France, located on the outskirts of the commune of Neuve-Chapelle, in the department of Pas de Calais. The memorial commemorates some 4,742 Indian soldiers with no known grave, who fell in battle while fighting for the British Indian Army in the First World War. The location of the memorial was chosen because of the participation by Indian troops at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle.

There are two recipients of the Victoria Cross are commemorated on the Neuve-Chapelle Memorial: Gabar Singh Negi and William Arthur McCrae Bruce.