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A delegation of the Garhwal Rifles Regimental Centre today returned with soil from France where two soldiers of the 39 Garhwal Rifles had laid down their lives fighting in World War I. Two urns containing the soil were handed over to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman by the delegation comprising Commandant Brigadier Indrajit Chatterjee and Subedar Major Trilok Singh. The urns, brought from Laventie in France, would now be carried to the Garhwal Rifles Regimental Centre at Landsdowne. On September 20 last year, during an excavation on the southern side of Richebourg village near Laventie Military Cemetery, approximately 230 km from Paris, two human remains were found. They were identified to be of soldiers of the 39th Royal Garhwal Rifles. The office of Commonwealth War Graves Commission decided to hold a ceremony to rest them along with their comrades with full military honors during the annual memorial service that is held to commemorate the Indian soldiers who were martyred in action in France and Belgium. The decision was taken in consultation with the French government and Indian Embassy. On November 12, the remains of the two soldiers were sent on their final journey with full military honours at the military cemetery. During the First World War, the Garhwal Brigade comprising 1st/39th and 2nd/39th Royal Garhwal displayed unparalleled bravery in treacherous trenches of France and Flanders. Fighting shoulder to shoulder with British soldiers, the Garhwal Brigade earned six battle honours and was twice awarded Victoria Cross in France and Flanders Theatre.
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