A tribute to Indian soldiers on Haifa Day

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by Neil, Oct 3, 2010.

  1. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

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    New Delhi: A moving ceremony to remember some 900 Indian soldiers who laid down their lives in liberating the Israeli port city Haifa during World War I was held for the first time at the Haifa Cemetery on September 22.

    This is the first time such a ceremony was held to commemorate the memory of fallen Indian soldiers.

    The event was marked by a wreath laying ceremony by Ambassador of India to Israel, H E Navtej Sarna and other dignitaries. Speaking at the ceremony, Sarna underlined the important role played by the Indian soldiers during World War I and the valour shown by them in this theatre of operations.

    A large number of Indian soldiers sacrificed their lives in this region during the war and nearly 900 are cremated or buried in cemeteries across Israel.

    Every year on September 23, the Indian Army commemorates "Haifa Day" on which two brave Indian cavalry regiments helped liberate the city in 1918 following dashing cavalry action by the 15th Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade.

    In the autumn of 1918, the Brigade was a part of the Allied Forces sweeping northwards through Palestine in the last great cavalry campaign in history.

    During the battle for Haifa in September 1918, the Indian troops exhibited exemplary cavalry skills and bravery in a successful cavalry charge which finally culminated in the liberation of Haifa.

    Captain Bahadur Aman Singh Jodha and Dafadar Jor Singh were awarded the Indian Order of Merit (IOM) and Captain Anop Singh and 2 Lt Sagat Singh were awarded the Military Cross (MC) as recognition for their bravery in this battle.

    Major Thakur Dalpat Singh MC is known in the annals of history as the Hero of Haifa for his critical role in the battle for Haifa.

    The action of the Indian troops has been vividly recorded in the Official History of the War- Military operation Egypt and Palestine (volume 2): "No more remarkable cavalry action of its scale was fought in the whole course of the campaign. Machine gun bullets over and over again failed to stop the galloping horses even though many of them succumbed afterwards to their injuries". This remains the only known incident in military history when a fortified town was captured by cavalry on the gallop.

    A two-member Indian Army delegation led by Col. M.S. Jodha, grandson of Captain Aman Singh Bahadur, had especially come here to attend the ceremony.

    A tribute to Indian soldiers on Haifa Day
     
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  3. marcos98

    marcos98 Regular Member

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    Pictures thank to Mr. Arjun Kumar and Uri Weiner
     
  4. sesha_maruthi27

    sesha_maruthi27 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Excellent, Nice work by the government.
     
  5. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Naval chief visits Haifa; pays homage to fallen Indian soldiers


    Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma today visited the memorial of fallen Indian soldiers, who showed exemplary courage in the liberation of this Israeli city during World War I, and paid tribute by laying a wreath. He was joined at the ceremony by his Israeli counterpart Eliezer Marom on


    whose invitation he is paying a four day visit to Israel to promote "service to service cooperation". A large number of Indian soldiers sacrificed their lives in this region during the World War I, and nearly 900 were cremated or buried in cemeteries across Israel.
    A unique ceremony commemorating their sacrifice was observed this year of September 22 as part of the Haifa Day celebrations. The Indian army commemorates September 23rd every year as Haifa Day to pay its respects to the two brave Indian Cavalry Regiments that helped liberate the city in 1918 following a dashing cavalry action by the 15th Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade.

    In the autumn of that year, the Brigade was a part of the Allied Forces sweeping northwards through Palestine in what is seen as the last great cavalry campaign in history. "No more remarkable cavalry action of its scale was fought in the whole course of the campaign. Machine gun bullets over and over again failed to stop the galloping horses even though many of them succumbed afterwards to their injuries", is how the Official History of the War 'Military operation Egypt and Palestine: volume 2' describes the Indian troops bravery.

    Captain Aman Singh Bahadur and Dafadar Jor Singh were awarded the Indian Order of Merit (IOM) and Captain Anop Singh and 2nd Lt Sagat Singh were awarded the Military Cross (MC) as recognition for their bravery in this battle. Major Dalpat Singh (MC) is known in the annals of history as the "Hero of Haifa" for his critical role in the Liberation of the city.
     
  6. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    A tribute to Indian soldiers on Haifa Day

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    New Delhi: A moving ceremony to remember some 900 Indian soldiers who laid down their lives in liberating the Israeli port city Haifa during World War I was held for the first time at the Haifa Cemetery on September 22. (Read: Battle of Haifa - 23 Sep 1918)

    This is the first time such a ceremony was held to commemorate the memory of fallen Indian soldiers.

    The event was marked by a wreath laying ceremony by Ambassador of India to Israel, H E Navtej Sarna and other dignitaries. Speaking at the ceremony, Sarna underlined the important role played by the Indian soldiers during World War I and the valour shown by them in this theatre of operations.

    A large number of Indian soldiers sacrificed their lives in this region during the war and nearly 900 are cremated or buried in cemeteries across Israel.
    Every year on September 23, the Indian Army commemorates "Haifa Day" on which two brave Indian cavalry regiments helped liberate the city in 1918 following dashing cavalry action by the 15th Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade.

    In the autumn of 1918, the Brigade was a part of the Allied Forces sweeping northwards through Palestine in the last great cavalry campaign in history.

    During the battle for Haifa in September 1918, the Indian troops exhibited exemplary cavalry skills and bravery in a successful cavalry charge which finally culminated in the liberation of Haifa.

    Captain Bahadur Aman Singh Jodha and Dafadar Jor Singh were awarded the Indian Order of Merit (IOM) and Captain Anop Singh and 2 Lt Sagat Singh were awarded the Military Cross (MC) as recognition for their bravery in this battle.

    Major Thakur Dalpat Singh MC is known in the annals of history as the Hero of Haifa for his critical role in the battle for Haifa.

    The action of the Indian troops has been vividly recorded in the Official History of the War- Military operation Egypt and Palestine (volume 2): "No more remarkable cavalry action of its scale was fought in the whole course of the campaign. Machine gun bullets over and over again failed to stop the galloping horses even though many of them succumbed afterwards to their injuries". This remains the only known incident in military history when a fortified town was captured by cavalry on the gallop.

    A two-member Indian Army delegation led by Col. M.S. Jodha, grandson of Captain Aman Singh Bahadur, had especially come here to attend the ceremony.


    Read more at: A tribute to Indian soldiers on Haifa Day
     
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  7. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Haifa day in the Indian army memory for first world war - battle of Haifa 1918


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    Haifa Memorial site in Delhi
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    Haifa Day

    In order to keep his forces moving after the retreating Turks, it was vital to Allenby's 'Megiddo' plan that he secure Haifa with its harbour and railhead. Without Haifa, a lack of viable roads meant that it would be impossible for him to keep his army re-supplied.
    From the Despatch dated 31st October 1918, by Gen Sir. E.H.H. Allenby: item 19
    "........I ordered the Desert Mounted Corps to occupy Acre and Haifa. The roads leading to Haifa from Tul Keram are only country tracks, which, in the event of rain, might become impassable for motor lorries at any time. Any force, advancing northwestwards from Haifa along the coast, would have to depend on supplies landed at that harbour. It was necessary, therefore, to occupy the town without delay, in order that the harbour could be swept for mines, and the landing of stores could be taken in hand."



    A force of 700 Turks from the garrison of Haifa attempted to get to Tiberias, but at 0130 hrs on the morning of the 22nd September it reached the outposts of the 13th Cavalry Brigade and was attacked in moonlight by the 18th Lancers. A large number were killed, and 311 were captured together with 4 machine guns. The next air reconnaissance of Haifa now seemed to indicate that the town was evacuated and at 1330 hrs that afternoon a detachment of Light Armoured Cars under Brig Gen A. D'A. King advanced along the Nazareth road to occupy Haifa. Before the town was reached however they found that the road was barricaded. At this point they were shelled from the slopes of Mount Carmel and subjected to machine gun fire. The column withdrew with slight casualties.

    The next day, 23rd September 1918, the 14th and 15th Cavalry Brigades turned over their line to the 3rd Australian Light Horse Brigade and at 0500 hrs commenced their march on Haifa. Their route passed along the foot of the Mount Carmel range and was kept in a confined strip by the boggy ground along the River Kishon and its tributary streams. This left little room in which cavalry could manoeuvre. At 1015 hrs as the 15th Cavalry Brigade approached Haifa they came under fire from 77mm guns on Mount Carmel. The 14th Cavalry Brigade together with the divisional headquarters occupied the Kishon railway bridge and 'Harosheth of the Gentiles' at midday.

    At 1400 hrs the Jodhpur Lancers supported by 'B' Battery H.A.C. attacked Haifa and encountered strong resistance, the lancers making a brilliant charge in the face of the enemy's machine guns. A squadron of the Mysore Lancers (supported by a squadron of Sherwood Rangers) had meanwhile gone over Mount Carmel to turn the town from the south. They captured two naval guns on the ridge of the Carmel and also made a gallant charge against the fire of the enemy's machine guns.



    After street fighting, the town was captured at about 1500 hrs with 1,352 prisoners, 17 guns and 11 machine guns being taken. Not without cost however. In the main text of his Despatch of 31st October 1918, General Allenby particularly mentioned
    "Whilst the Mysore Lancers were clearing the rocky slopes of Mount Carmel, the Jodhpur Lancers charged through the defile, and riding over the enemy's machine guns, galloped into the town, where a number of Turks were speared in the streets. Colonel Thakur Dalpat Singh, M.C., fell gallantly leading the charge."

    from the CWGC
    THAKUR DALPAT SINGH
    Nationality: Indian
    Rank: Major
    Regiment/Service: Jodhpur (Imperial Service) Lancers
    Date of Death: 23/09/1918
    Awards: MC
    Additional information: Son of Thakur Hari Singh, of Deoli, Pali, Jodhpur, Rajputana.
    Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
    Memorial: HELIOPOLIS (PORT TEWFIK) MEMORIAL


    Colonel Thakur Dalpat Singh, M.C.,

    General Sir Pratap Singh had accompanied his Jodhpur Lancers on their 70 mile ride to Nazareth during a night and a day. Just short of 73 years old, the empire's faithful warrior was in Allenby's words "quite knocked up." He also had a fever. Allenby ordered him to rest for a few days, otherwise the old war horse would no doubt have joined his lancers in their action at Haifa. The anonymous author of 'Through Palestine with the 20th Machine Gun Squadron' is I believe mistaken when he refers to the death of Sir Pratap's son in this battle. He can only be referring to Colonel Thakur Dalpat Singh MC., and it may well be that this officer was the son of the same Thakur Hari Singh who had been Sir Pratap's AdC and boon polo companion. If that is so then it would be quite understandable that Sir Pratap was deeply distressed by the death, described as a loss "much regretted by his comrades, and all who knew him."

    In his 'History of the British Cavalry' the Marquess of Anglesey concludes his description of this action thus;

    "By 3 p.m. the battle was over and victory complete. A vital new supply base had fallen into British hands. Four days later the landing of supplies started. Without a doubt this was the most successful mounted action of its scale in the course of the campaign. It was won by a weak brigade of only two regiments and a single 12-pounder battery pitted against about 1,000 well-armed troops who had so far seen no action. These, skilfully deployed, occupied a naturally formidable defensive position with an impassable river on one side of a narrow defile and a steep hill on the other. That they had already received news of the general rout is certain and this may well have affected their behaviour, but there is little evidence to show that they put up less than a respectable resistance. The speed and daring, dash and boldness of the two Indian Imperial Service regiments, in conjunction with the skilful flanking movements devised by Holden [Lieutenant-Colonel H. N., the senior Special Service Officer] were what made the action such a success. The speed and good order demonstrated by the leading squadron of the Jodhpores when it was forced to change direction under heavy fire, were other vital ingredients in what was almost certainly the only occasion in history when a fortified town was captured by cavalry at the gallop."


    Jodphur and Mysore Lancers entering Haifa, 23rd September 1918

    India and her army have not forgotten their heroes of the Great War. The two famous regiments which took Haifa have been combined to form the republic's 61st Cavalry Regiment and annually India commemorates the 23rd September 1918 as Haifa Day
    [for example see Tributes to 'Haifa Hero'
    and http://news.bahai.org/story/69]


    Gen Sir Archibald Wavell in his biography 'Allenby – A Study in Greatness' has the following footnote on page 281

    "This is probably the only recorded charge of cavalry in which men of the Royal Engineers have ridden. The 15th Field Troop, R.E., happened to be alongside the Jodhpur Lancers just before the charge, and on the invitation of the Lancers' commanding officer armed themselves with lances and swords from casualties and rode in the charge. Though none of them had ever handled such weapons before they claim to have killed at least one Turk with the arme blanche."

    Source of most of the above information is from the Great War Forum "Haifa Day 23rd September 1918" thread :

    Haifa Day - Great War Forum
     
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  8. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Mysore Lancers and Jodhpore Lancers passing through Haifa
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    One of the German guns on Mount Carmel, above Haifa, as photographed in 1920
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    Lt Gen Sir Prathap Singh in World War One
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2010
  9. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Tributes to 'Haifa Hero'


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    Haifa Hero:Major Maj Dalpat Singh Shekhawat






    Marwar, the land of sand dunes, has always been the cradle of heroes where numerous chivalrous persons were nursed and, thus, this land became the nursery of brave and gallant people. One paladin nursed in this cradle was a military hero— late Maj Dalpat Singh Shekhawat, known in the annals of history as Haifa Hero.
    Maj Dalpat Singh was born and brought up in Jodhpur. His father, Col Hari Singh Shekhawat was a famous polo player. Under his guidance, Dalpat Singh grew and became an Army officer. He received his `King Commission' in 1912.

    During the first world war, on September 23, 1918 Haifa (now in Israel), a stronghold of the Britishers was captured. Maj Shekhawat was given the task of capturing back Haifa from the enemies. By showing his military skill, tactics and leadership in battle, he succeeded in his mission and won Haifa. However, he became a martyr while completing his task. Haifa victory was a great achievement of Maj Dalpat Singh and the British Government honoured him with 'Military Cross' in the battle field.

    Col Harvey, a British Army officer lamented on the death of such a heroic personality and in his words, "His death is a loss not only to all Jodhpuris, but to India and the whole of the `British Empire'. The British Government eulogised his heroic deed and adored him as Hero of Haifa.

    The Government of Marwar built `Dalpat Memorial Hall' in the premises of Pratap School in his memory. Maharaja Shri Umed Singhji got prepared his silver replica which is now a piece of glory for 61 Cavalary at Jaipur.

    Maj Dalpat Singh's valour has been depicted in the literature of Rajasthan. A great poet of Marwar, Mr Kishore Dan Baharat has written many poems in his memory named `Veer Vilas' and ‘Dalpat Raso’ in Rajasthani language. The supreme sacrifice of Maj Dalpat Singh was appreciated by the British Government. It got made his statue with two other first world war heroes' statues by an architect of London, Leonard Jennings in 1922. These statues were placed side by side on a monolith pillar in New Delhi.

    The 83rd death anniversary of late Maj Dalpat Singh Shekhawat was recently celebrated at his native place, Jodhpur. At a meeting held on this occasion the senior officers, of Indian Army and civil administration recalled the supreme sacrifice of this Haifa Hero.
     
  10. SpArK

    SpArK SORCERER Senior Member

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    Indian Soldiers to Get a Rare Tribute in Israel



    In a tribute to Indian soldiers, the municipality of Haifa has decided to include the stories of their valiant efforts in liberating the city during the First World War by incorporating them in Israeli school curricula as part of the history textbooks.

    "The residents of Haifa have learnt to appreciate the contribution of the Indian soldiers and as a mark of recognition, the stories of their brave deeds will be taught at schools here to preserve the city's history and heritage," acting Mayor of Haifa, Hedva Almog, said addressing a gathering assembled to pay respects to the fallen Indian soldiers.

    A large number of Indian soldiers sacrificed their lives in this region during the First World War and nearly 900 are cremated or buried in cemeteries across Israel.

    India's Ambassador to Israel Navtej Sarna released a book, Memorials of Indian soldiers in Israel, on the occasion as part of an initiative that will spread more awareness and greater recognition for the supreme sacrifice made by these soldiers.

    "It was no ordinary battle because the Indian soldiers, hailing from various parts of the country and belonging to different faiths, fought bravely for the British here while back home Indians were fighting against them for Independence," Sarna said.

    The commemoration is "a part of a mosaic of this very wide ranging Indo-Israel ties," the Indian envoy said.

    He also thanked the role of the Haifa Historical Society which has done an extensive research on the role of the Indian army in the region.

    The Indian army commemorates September 23 every year as Haifa Day to pay its respects to the two brave Indian Cavalry Regiments that helped liberate the city in 1918 following a dashing cavalry action by the 15th Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade.

    Residents of the Israeli city also celebrate Haifa Day the same day with a series of cultural programmes during the week.

    In the autumn of 1918, the Indian Brigade was a part of the Allied Forces sweeping northwards through Palestine in what is seen as the last great cavalry campaign in history.

    "No more remarkable cavalry action of its scale was fought in the whole course of the campaign. Machine gun bullets over and over again failed to stop the galloping horses even though many of them succumbed afterwards to their injuries", is how the Official History of the War (Military operation Egypt and Palestine: volume 2) describes the Indian troops bravery.

    Captain Aman Singh Bahadur and Dafadar Jor Singh were awarded the Indian Order of Merit (IOM) and Captain Anop Singh and 2nd Lt Sagat Singh were awarded the Military Cross (MC) as recognition for their bravery in this battle.

    Major Dalpat Singh (MC) is known in the annals of history as the 'Hero of Haifa' for his critical role in the Liberation of the city.

    He was awarded a military cross for his bravery.

    The municipality of Haifa also announced to organise a ceremony every year to commemorate the role of the Indian army in liberating the city from Turks after almost 402 years.

    Defence Attaches of several countries also laid wreath in honour of the fallen Indian soldiers.
    FILED ON: SEP 19, 2011


    news.outlookindia.com | Indian Soldiers to Get a Rare Tribute in Israel
     
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