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Press release on the Memorial Concert for the Indian Army in the Flanders Field from 1914-1918
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Press release on the Memorial Concert for the Indian Army in the Flanders Field from 1914-1918


On November 11, Armistice day – marking the centenary of the end of the Great War I on November 11, 1918, Municipality of Knokke-Heist and renowned Belgian Musician Mr. Hans Vermeersch held the 16th Commemorative concert to pay musical homage to the Indian soldiers who fought and gave their lives in the Fields of Flanders.

2. The Ambassador of India Smt. Gaitri Issar Kumar and H.E. Count Leopold Lippens, Mayor of Knokke-Heist addressed the 500 strong gathering. Military Attaché from India, officials of the Embassy of India Brussels and senior members of the Municipality of Knokke-Heist were present. Ambassador and Mayor recounted the valour, loyalty and sacrifice of the thousands of Indian soldiers who crossed the oceans in fall of 1914 to serve in the fields of Flanders. 1,38,000 troops from India were dispatched from Mumbai in August 1914. In September 1914, they disembarked at Marseilles and went straight to the battle. Around 7500 soldiers lost their lives. Names of the missing and dead are marked on grand monuments built in different part of Belgium by the Common Wealth War Grave Commission and recently, the Government of India. Ambassador also thanked the people of Knokke-Heist for their initiative and for hosting this solemn event with enthusiasm.

3. The 60 member orchestra played 21 tunes that evoked the ethos of poignancy, optimism, loyalty and longing, which included "Nai nai bhoy (Have no fear)" by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, Indian bhajan "Raghu Pati Raghava Raja Ram" and Indian Army's compositions like "Bol Vir Senani".



Brussels
12 November, 2018




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