Indian Soldiers Neuve-Chapelle
Neuve Chapelle Epitaph
To the Indian Soldiers Who Died WW1
"Tell them at home,
There's nothing here to hide:
We took our orders,
asked no questions,
Heathcote William Garrod
The memorial commemorates some 4,742 Indian soldiers of the Indian Army Corps with no known grave who fell in the First World War. The location of the memorial was chosen because of the participation by troops of The Indian Army Corps at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle.
The Battle of Neuve Chapelle. A battle! Where in one split second, hundreds of men were buried alive.
The Neuve-Chapelle Indian Memorial is a World War 1 Memorial in France.
Located on the outskirts of the commune of Neuve-Chapelle, in the département of Pas de Calais
176th Tunnelling Company
Attestation of Hugh Boyle was on 15th April 1915. Answering a Secret "Call to Arms." He would volounteer immediately.
The 176th Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers.
Was formed in April 1915 and was one of the first Tunnelling Coy formed immediately after the Battle of Neuve Chapelle. War Diary Entry
Tunnelling Coy were formed to counter the successful German tunnelling offensive at Neuve chapelle and the vast Western Front.
German sappers. Leading up to the start of the Battle of Neuve Chapelle had undermined the trenches of The 9th Bhopal.
They had built and would explode a mine beneath them with devastating effect.
The Indian Army Corps had suffered and witnessed first hand, being buried alive.
On the 21st of April 1915 they would join the 176th Tunnelling Company at the very start of the Tunnellers War.
"930/16 On the 21st of April 1915. 1st Army Head Quarters Letter 930/16 to Indian Corps giving instructions for Company to be formed under orders of this Corps (176th Tunnelling Company)" War Diary Entry
Indian Army Corps with
176th Tunnelling Company
Men of the Indian Army Corps were drafted to the 176th Tunnelling Company.
- 1st Army Head Quarters sends letter 930/16 to Indian Corps giving instructions for Company to be formed under orders of 176th Tunnelling Company.
- 7th Meerut Division 24 Men drafted to 176th Tunnelling Company. War Diary Page 1 Entry Date 27/04/1915
- Lahore Division 6 Men drafted to 176th Tunnelling Company. War Diary Page Entry Date - 27/04/1915
The 9th Bhopal Infantry Regiment of WW1
Volounteer and professional soldiers the 9th Bhopal were Sikhs, who were drawn from the Punjab region of North West India and garrisoned at Firozpur. The 9th Bhopal Infantry Regiment were part of the Ferozepore Brigade of the Indian Army Corps. By the end of 1915, the Indian Army Corps in 14 months had lost 34,252 men. 4,843 of whom have No known Grave.
From the time of its arrival in France in 1914 to April 1915, The 9th Bhopal was virtually decimated on the Western Front. The regiment suffered heavy losses at the Battles of La Bassée, Neuve Chapelle, Festubert, Givenchy and the second offensive of Ypres.
In 1915, the 9th Bhopal were sent to the Tigris Front in Mesopotamia. Where as in France, they were engaged in fierce fighting.
Marshal Ferdinand Foch
"Return to your homes in the distant, sun-bathed East and proclaim how your countrymen drenched with their blood, the cold northern land of France and Flanders, how they delivered it by their ardent spirit from the firm grip of a determined enemy; tell all India that we shall watch over their graves with the devotion due to all our dead. We shall cherish above all the memory of their example. They showed us the way, they made the first steps towards the final victory."
Marshal Ferdinand Foch, French Army. 7 October 1927
Only 15 returned to their Homeland
By the time the 9th Bhopal regiment returned home to their garrison at Firozpur in March 1919.
Only 15 Men remained of those who had sailed for France in 1914.
Along with Germany, Ireland, France, Britain, Canada and the USA, they would carry Spanish Flu back home. Killing over 40 Million World wide.
A Legion of souls.
A million more souls than the conflict which spawned it.
Punjab The Land of the Five Rivers
Those brave and honourable Hindi & Sikh were to lose their Homeland when the British Government partitioned India in 1947. Borders would be drawn by a Boundary Commission, led by British lawyer Cyril Radcliffe Cutting the Punjab and Bengal regions in half. leaving Hindu and Siekh to the mercy of their Muslim neighbours. It is estimated that more than a million people from all sides would die throughout India in the mass migration which followed.
On the continent of India today, over a billion people suffer the consequence of partition and live in it's stalemate shadow.
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- 9th Bhopal Infantry,
- 176th Tunnelling Company,
- La Bassée,
- Marsall Ferdinand Foch,
- Neuve Chapelle,
- Royal Engineers,
- tunnellers war,