Modern Indian History-Events and Personalities

Heliopolis Memorial for Indian Soldiers


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Heliopolis Memorial

Mains level: NA


Central Idea

  • PM Modi will pay his respects at the Heliopolis (Port Tewfik) Memorial in the Heliopolis War Cemetery in Cairo, Egypt.
  • Here the names of nearly 4,000 Indian soldiers who fought in World War 1 in Egypt and Palestine are commemorated.

Heliopolis Memorial

  • Unveiling and Destruction: The original Port Tewfik memorial unveiled in 1926 and later destroyed during the Israeli-Egyptian War of 1967.
  • New Memorial: A new memorial was erected in Heliopolis Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery in 1980, commemorating Indian soldiers who died in the First World War campaigns in Egypt and Palestine.
  • Inclusion of Names: The new memorial includes the names of Indian soldiers, unlike its predecessor.

Role of the Indian Army in West Asia during World War 1

  • Significance of Indian Troops: Indian troops played a major role in securing the Suez Canal in Egypt and participating in campaigns in Palestine and Mesopotamia.
  • Battle of Haifa: Indian cavalry’s participation in the Battle of Haifa, commemorated by a war memorial in New Delhi.
  • Diverse Representation: The memorial commemorates numerous Indian regiments from the Indian Army and State Forces of princely states.
  • Princely States’ Contribution: Troops from princely states actively participated in various theatres of the war effort during World War 1.

Prominent Indian Soldier Commemorated  

  • Risaldar Badlu Singh: Risaldar Badlu Singh, a brave soldier and Victoria Cross recipient, is commemorated at the memorial.
  • Selfless Sacrifice: Risaldar Badlu Singh displayed exceptional bravery and self-sacrifice during a charge against enemy positions.


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