Heliopolis Indian Soldiers Memorial

  • PM Modi will pay his homage at the Heliopolis (Port Tewfik) Memorial in Cairo, Egypt’s Heliopolis War Cemetery.
  • Nearly 4,000 Indian soldiers who fought in World War I in Egypt and Palestine are remembered here.

Unveiling and Destruction of the Heliopolis Memorial

  • The first Port Tewfik memorial was inaugurated in 1926 and later destroyed during the 1967 Israeli-Egyptian war.
  • In 1980, a new memorial was erected in Heliopolis Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery to commemorate Indian soldiers who perished in the campaigns in Egypt and Palestine during World War I.
  • Names: Unlike its predecessor, the new memorial includes the names of Indian soldiers.

The Indian Army’s Role in West Asia During World War I

  • The Importance of Indian forces: Indian forces were instrumental in protecting the Suez Canal in Egypt as well as engaging in wars in Palestine and Mesopotamia.
  • The participation of Indian cavalry in the Battle of Haifa is recognised with a battle memorial in New Delhi.
  • Diverse Representation: The memorial honours many Indian regiments from the Indian Army and princely state state forces.
  • Contribution of Princely realms: During World War I, troops from princely realms actively participated in many theatres of the war effort.

Prominent Indian Soldier Commemorated 

  • Risaldar Badlu Singh, a valiant soldier and recipient of the Victoria Cross, is remembered at the memorial.
  • Risaldar Badlu Singh demonstrated extraordinary bravery and self-sacrifice during a charge against enemy positions.
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