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In the heart of Heliopolis, amidst the serenity of the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery, stands a memorial that echoes the valour and sacrifice of countless souls. This hallowed ground bears witness to the indomitable spirit of Indian soldiers who fought gallantly in Egypt and Palestine during the tumultuous days of the First World War.
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Heliopolis Memorial, Egypt
The Heliopolis Memorial in Egypt is located within the Heliopolis Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery. It was constructed in 1980 to replace the original memorial that stood at Port Tewfik, now known as Port Suez, which was destroyed in 1967. The new memorial proudly displays the names of 3,727 Indian soldiers who valiantly fought and made the ultimate sacrifice in various campaigns in Egypt and Palestine during the First World War.
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Heliopolis Memorial Importance
The Heliopolis (Port Tewfik) Memorial holds significant importance due to the following reasons:
- Commemoration: The memorial pays tribute to 3,727 Indian soldiers who lost their lives in the First World War campaigns in Egypt and Palestine. It serves as a solemn remembrance of their sacrifice.
- Historical Significance: The original Port Tewfik memorial, unveiled in 1926 at the entrance to the Suez Canal, represented a symbol of honour. Despite its destruction during the Israeli-Egyptian War of 1967, a new memorial was erected in 1980 to ensure the memory of the Indian soldiers was preserved.
- Inclusion of Names: Unlike the original memorial, the new Heliopolis Memorial bears the names of Indian casualties from the First World War campaign in Egypt and Palestine. This inclusion honours and acknowledges their specific contributions.
- Preservation of Memory: The Heliopolis Memorial serves as a site where people can reflect on the bravery and sacrifice of the Indian soldiers. It helps maintain the historical memory of their participation in the war.
- Symbol of Remembrance: The memorial, with its distinctive features such as the central column and two roaring lions, stands as a poignant symbol of remembrance and gratitude towards those who fought and fell in the line of duty.
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Heliopolis War Cemetery
The Heliopolis War Cemetery is a Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery located in Heliopolis, a suburb of Cairo, Egypt. It serves as a final resting place for soldiers from various countries who lost their lives during World War 1 and World War 2. The cemetery contains beautifully maintained graves, memorial walls, and commemorative plaques, honouring the sacrifice and bravery of the servicemen and women who fought for their respective nations.
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