Royals honour India's First World War soldiersDate: Monday, 19 July, 2010
HRH the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall yesterday visited Neuve-Chapelle Memorial, in memory of soldiers from South Asia who gave their lives fighting for the British Indian Army in the First World War. Their Royal Highnesses met a delegation from the Sikh community and students from the United Kingdom and France.
Representatives of the Anglo Sikh Heritage Trail, the UK's foremost charity promoting Sikh heritage led the Sikh delegation. This included Jaimal Singh Johal, whose grandfather Subedar Manta Singh was wounded at Neuve Chapelle and later died at the Indian Military Hospital, Brighton.
Another member of the group, Rasnam Singh, a pupil of St Helens College, London, recited a poem dedicated to Harnam Singh of the Sikh regiment in the presence of HRH the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.
Harbinder Singh, Honorary Director of the Anglo Sikh Heritage Trail commented:
"The Battle of Neuve Chapelle is synonymous with the Sikh regiment. Along with other Indian troops they were here as volunteers to fight, not for their own freedom, but for the freedom of present day Europe"
"To allow the memory of their sacrifices to diminish would be the greatest travesty for it is due to them that we hold our heads high with pride today. This Royal visit serves to bestow rightful respect upon valiant deeds of these heroes who would fall on foreign soils never again to set foot in their homelands"