World War II Victory Day: Britain commemorates 75th anniversary with tributes to 87,000 Indian martyrs

The UK on Friday observed a two-minute silence to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day, which marked the end of World War II, including tributes to an estimated 87,000 Indian martyrs who fought as part of the British Army.

With 2.5 million men, the Indian Army of the Second World War during the British Raj era in the 1940s was the largest volunteer Army in history.

“Millions of people from communities across the Commonwealth and the world served in the British armed forces during the Second World War, and hundreds of thousands gave their lives serving on land, at sea, and in the air,” said the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), which has launched a digital campaign calling on the public to take part in an act of virtual remembrance given the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

“Indians served in theatres of war across the world, including India and Burma; Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong; the Middle East and North Africa; Greece and Italy. They served at sea and in the air, as well as contributing to support and medical care,” it added.

“The CWGC commemorates more than 87,000 people who lost their lives while serving with Indian forces during the Second World War. The CWGC works to ensure that those who served and died during the Second World War are never forgotten.”

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