The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s new website Forever India brings attention to the contribution to Commonwealth war efforts by servicemen and women in what today are India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar (Burma), Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal.
These countries, referred to as Undivided India on the website, contributed 2.5 million volunteer servicemen and women during the First and Second World Wars. Of these, the Commission commemorates 161,219 in 50 countries—26,272 in identified graves and 134,947 with no known grave whose names are on memorials.
Troops from the Indian subcontinent won 13,000 medals in the First World War, including 11 Victoria Crosses; in the Second World War there were 4,000 awards for gallantry and 31 Victoria Crosses.
“By telling their stories, our belief is that they will always be remembered and honoured,” notes the website.
Indo-Canadians may search CWGC data bases online for records of relatives, including those who served in the Indian Army, who may be buried in a Commonwealth Graves Commission cemetery or commemorated on a memorial.
Among the information on the video Forever India at watch?v=9rxfAJxZ7xQ are stories of a few of the 12,000 troops from the Indian subcontinent wounded on the front lines in Europe during the First World War who were treated in Brighton, England, where there are memorials to Hindu, Muslim and Sikh soldiers who died on English soil.