Israel is a nation of history that goes back thousands of years. Many foreigners fought and died in the Holy Land. History must be remembered or it will die like those who are buried here. According to the Indian Embassy, “A large number of Indian Soldiers lost their lives in this region during the First World War and nearly 900 of them are interred in cemeteries across Israel.”
To commemorate the 101st Anniversary of the Battle of Haifa, and to pay tribute to the valiant Indian soldiers who laid down their lives, a Memorial Ceremony was held 23 September 2019 at the Haifa Indian Cemetery of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Ten years ago, the Tribute in Memory of Fallen Indian Soldiers was brought back to life by the Republic of India, State of Israel, and Municipality of Haifa.
This year, Group Captain Sundaramani Krishnan VM, Indian Defense Attaché welcomed dignitaries and guests. Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of India, Mr. Tshering W. Sherpa, articulated on the relationship Israel has with India and the growing connection between the two nations. Adv. David Etzioni, deputy Mayor of Haifa spoke about Haifa’s long history and appreciation of the Indian soldiers’ victory.
Wreaths were laid by dignitaries from Republic of Angola, Canada, Czech Republic, Republic of Finland, Republic of Germany, Republic of Poland, Slovak Republic, UK, USA, and Vietnam.
Both the Indian and Israeli National Anthems were played to a standing crowd of citizens, and military salute by those in uniform, followed by a silence to honor the fallen
The best way to learn our history is to go to the source: Indian Embassy website, “Indian troops played a crucial role in the defeat of the Ottoman forces. One of the battles was the Battle of Haifa. The city was captured by Indian Army’s Mysore and Jodhpur Lancers on September 23, 1918 in a famous cavalry charge.” The Indian Army commemorates September 23 every year as Haifa Day to pay its respects to the three Indian Cavalry Regiments – Mysore, Hyderabad and Jodhpur Lancers, that liberated Haifa following a dashing cavalry action.
“The victory was even more special as the Indian soldiers were armed only with lances (a kind of spear) and swords while the Turks had in their possession advance artillery and machine guns. The Indian troops displayed exemplary cavalry skills and valour during what was considered to be the last major cavalry campaign in military history. “No more remarkable cavalry action of its scale was fought in the whole course of the campaign,” the Official History of the War observed while aptly describing the resilience of the Indian troops. “Machine gun bullets over and over again failed to stop the galloping horses even though many of them succumbed afterwards to their injuries.” Indian Express.com