London/ New Delhi, Nov 11: An Indian has been honoured by the UK government for his contribution in World War 1. Series of statues have been erected at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London to honour the sacrifices made by over 3 million Commonwealth soldiers, sailors, airmen and labour corps who served in World War I, including from India.The campaign, part of an initiative by the armed forces charity 'There But Not There', involves the installation of three six-foot figures of World War I soldiers in the FCO to represent the contribution of Commonwealth servicemen from Asia, Asia, the Caribbean, Australasia and Canada. Among them is Hardutt Singh Malik, the first Indian to fly with the British Royal Flying Corps."Nearly 2 million Indian servicemen served in the First World War, Malik initially failed to qualify for the Corps but went on to be the sole Indian aviator to emerge alive from the war," the FCO said in a statement.Over 9 million servicemen died in Great War, including nearly 1 million from the Commonwealth, as they helped secure the victory for the Allied Forces Britain, France, Russia, Italy and the US.Nearly 2 million Indian servicemen served in the First World WarMalik initially failed to qualify for the Corps but went on to be the sole Indian aviator to emerge alive from the war," the FCO said in a statement.Over 9 million servicemen died in Great War, including nearly 1 million from the Commonwealth, as they helped secure the victory for the Allied Forces Britain, France, Russia, Italy and the US.Paying tributes to Indian soldiers who fought in World War I which ended a century ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said India was committed to peace and pledged to create an atmosphere where wars don't occur.President Ram Nath Kovind also saluted the Indian soldiers "for their sacrifice in East Africa and the Western Front, Gallipoli and the Gulf, the sea attack on Chennai and the skies above France. Their memory commits us to global security and global peace."Modi said: "Today, as we mark 100 since the end of the horrific World War I, we reiterate our commitment towards world peace and pledge to work to further an atmosphere of harmony and brotherhood so that the trail of death and destruction caused by wars does not occur.Remembering the soldiers who fought in the war, the Prime Minister said India was not directly involved in the conflict but Indian soldiers fought across the world for the cause of peace."I have had the honour of paying tributes at the Neuve-Chapelle Memorial in France and at the memorial in Israel's Haifa, places associated with India's role in World War I," he said."When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to India, we paid tributes at the Teen Murti-Haifa Chowk."World War I lasted from July 28, 1914 to November 11, 1918.
News24 Bureau/ Agencies