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Delhi's Teen Murti Memorial's Connection With Israel's Haifa

Edited By: Mirza Arif Beg

News18.com

Last Updated: July 06, 2017, 18:58 IST

A war memorial known as "Teen Murti" (Three statues) in New Delhi November 8. The memorial was built in memory of soldiers, officers and men of the 15th imperial service cavalry brigade, composed of cavalry regiments from Indian states, who lost their lives in the great war of 1914 - 1919 in Sinai, Palestine and Syria. (Reuters)

A war memorial known as "Teen Murti" (Three statues) in New Delhi November 8. The memorial was built in memory of soldiers, officers and men of the 15th imperial service cavalry brigade, composed of cavalry regiments from Indian states, who lost their lives in the great war of 1914 - 1919 in Sinai, Palestine and Syria. (Reuters)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday saluted the Indian soldiers, who laid down their lives during the World War I while protecting the city of Haifa from the Ottoman Empire forces, saying the sacrifices made by them were a mark of enduring bond between the two nations.

New Delhi: An Indian Prime Minister for the first time visited the cemetery of Indian soldiers at Haifa. Soldiers from three different princely states -- Jodhpur, Hyderabad and Mysore -- had fought and died under British command, successfully fighting Ottoman Turks in 1919 in and around Haifa.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday saluted the Indian soldiers, who laid down their lives during the World War I while protecting the city of Haifa from the Ottoman Empire forces, saying the sacrifices made by them were a mark of enduring bond between the two nations.

Four years after Indian soldiers had liberated Haifa from Turk rule, in 1922, Teen Murti memorial was constructed to honour the bravery of Indian soldiers. They had, with just lances and swords, defeated Turks, who were fighting with heavy artillery and machine guns and had ruled over Haifa for 402 years.

It was in September 1918 when lancers from the 15th (Imperial Service) Cavalry Brigade, from the three princely states, fighting under the leadership of British General Edmund Allenby, defeated the Turkish-German forces.

It is for this reason that on Prime Minister Modi's final day of his visit to Israel, this connection between Haifa and Teen Murti needs to be revisited.

As per government's statement, released after Prime Ministers of India and Israel visited the cemetery, "The three bronze statues at Teen Murti represent the Hyderabad, Jodhpur and Mysore Lancers who were part of the 15 Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade. The brigade carried out the victorious assault on the fortified city of Haifa on 23rd September 1918, during World War I. There are various accounts of this battle – all narrate the brave valour with which the Lancers undertook the assault on the garrisoned town protected by a joint force of Ottomans, Germany, Austria and Hungary. The capture of Haifa cleared a route for the Allies to supplies to the city through the sea."

The Indian Army commemorates September 23 every year as Haifa Day to pay its respect to the brave Indian soldiers who fought in, what today is part of the Gaza Strip, 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.

Modi also unveiled a plaque commemorating the bravery of Major Dalpat Singh, known as the 'Hero of Haifa', who died fighting the Turks, and is remembered for his critical role in the liberation of the city.

"I am deeply honoured to stand here today to salute the valiant Indian soldiers, who led down their lives for the liberation of Haifa during the WW I," Modi wrote in the guest book.

"The exceptional bravery and supreme sacrifice of Major Thakur Dalpat Singh MC, the "Hero of Haifa" and his men will be remembered forever and continue to inspire generations to come. Next year, the centenary of the battle of Haifa will present another opportunity to mark this enduring bond between India and Israel," he wrote.

Earlier this year, the New Delhi Municipal Council had passed a resolution to rename the "Teen Murti Marg" to "Teen Murti Haifa Marg", ahead of Prime Minister Modi's visit to Israel. While the proposal was floated, it has yet to accepted by the council.

first published:July 06, 2017, 18:34 IST
last updated:July 06, 2017, 18:58 IST