The Australia India Heritage Committee Invites you to join hands to honour The servicemen& women of Australian-Indian origin who fought in World Wars I & II

The Australia India Heritage Committee Invites you to join hands to honour The servicemen& women of Australian-Indian origin who fought in World Wars I & II

By Surendra Prasad

Chairman- AIHC

This is to seek your support for a monument to honour Indian-Australian servicemen and women at the Sunnybank Returned Services League, Australia (RSL). This is a first for Queensland and we need the help of all those in the community working at grassroots level or otherwise to make this dream a reality.

India made the largest contribution to World War I of all Britain’s colonies and dominions. Indian soldiers played a vital role in Gallipoli and in many theatres of war around the world such as Italy, France, Belgium, Turkey and Iraq. Of the 1.3 million Indian soldiers who fought in World War I, 74,000 were killed. Up to 15,000 Indians fought with allied troops in Gallipoli. An estimated 1,400 Indians died in Gallipoli and another 3,500 were wounded.

picThe contribution in World War II was equally great. The Indian Army began the war, in 1939, numbering just under 200,000 men. By the end of the war it had become the largest volunteer army in history, rising to over 2.5 million men in August 1945. Serving in divisions of infantry, armour and a fledgling airborne force, they fought on three continents in Africa, Europe and Asia. Indian women also participated in this war but it is difficult to find accurate numbers.

Yet till recently Indian service men and women have remained forgotten in Australia. We have no monuments or events to remember the bravery and sacrifices they made fighting thousands of miles away from their families, home and motherlands or the bonds of friendship they forged with soldiers from Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere.

The proposed monument will be a first step towards creating a collective public memory. But we cannot do it by ourselves. To make this dream a reality we need the contributions (monetary and non-monetary) and collaboration of Indians residents in Australia and our other Australian friends and supporters.

We seek your assistance to:

  • Raise funds for the monument. We will need at least $30,000 in the first instance.
  • Provide names of Indian communities and soldiers who may have been involved so that they can be acknowledged. We have been able to locate a few but need more.
  • Send photographs of personnel and any memorabilia such as medals and letters which can be uploaded on the Facebook page for the Australia India Heritage Committee (under construction).

Every contribution counts. If you have any other suggestions or information you wish to share, please write to us at aihcommittee@gmail.com  or call us on 0413 004 100 / 0416 150 911.

If you wish to get involved, please contact any of the members below:

 Name                                                                Email Address                                                    Phone/ Mobile

Surendra Prasad                                            surendra1@bigpond.com                                 0413004100

Norma Todkill                                                 Norma.Todkill@aph.gov.au                             33442622

Robin Jaggessar                                              amin@intech.edu.au                                        0416150911

Viral Shah                                                        viral.shah@sidhvi.com.au                                0410549689

Shyam Dass                                                        targettt@bigpond.com                                        0412031301

Graham Perrett MP                                       graham.perrett.mp@aph.gov.au                   33442622

Steven Haung                                                 macgregor.ward@bcc.qld.gov.au                   34078500

Rashpal Singh                                                 rashpal@singhfab.com.au                               0411036597

Parnam Singh Heir                                        parnamheir@gmail.com                                   0434259285

Harry Classon                                                 harrycc@bigpond.net.au                                  0422525575

Kushagra Bhatnagar                                      kushagra.bhatnagar@ofbjp.org.au                 0450348432

Rakesh Sharma                                               rs.spar@hotmail.com                                        0411289202

Dr Indrani Ganguly                                         iganguly@bigpond.com                                   0432382250

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