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.