Villers-Guislain, France - Indian War Memorial 10th November 2018.
Unveiling of the Indian Great War Memorial in Villers-Guislain (in the middle of a rainstorm) in the presence of the vice-president of India.
This is the first Indian War Memorial in France.
A project to build an Indian Armed Forces Memorial in France is being undertaken by the USI CAFHR as a part of the India and the Great War centenary commemoration project. It consists of the Indian National Emblem of the Ashoka Lions in bronze and is the second such overseas national memorial in the world, highlighting the sacrifice of Indian servicemen in the cause of world peace.
The suggestion of a suitable memorial was mooted by senior USI members and land for the memorial has since been gifted by the people of France in the village of Villers-Guislain on the site of the battlefield of Cambrai where Indian cavalry regiments were heavily involved in Nov/Dec 1917. Lance Dafadar Gobind Singh, 28th Light Cavalry, attached to 2nd Lancers, won the Victoria Cross for his death defying feats of gallantry close to the site on 01 Dec 1917.
During the World War I, Villers-Guislain had witnessed a fierce battle in which the British Indian cavalry regiments were heavily involved. The town was held by the Germans but was finally liberated by allied forces in 1918.