Haifa (Israel): In a tribute to Indian soldiers, the municipality of Haifa has decided to include the stories of their valiant efforts in liberating the city during the First World War by incorporating them in Israeli school curricula as part of the history textbooks.

"The residents of Haifa have learnt to appreciate the contribution of the Indian soldiers and as a mark of recognition, the stories of their brave deeds will be taught at schools here to preserve the city's history and heritage," acting Mayor of Haifa, Hedva Almog, said addressing a gathering assembled to pay respects to the fallen Indian soldiers.

A large number of Indian soldiers sacrificed their lives in this region during the First World War and nearly 900 are cremated or buried in cemeteries across Israel.

India's Ambassador to Israel Navtej Sarna released a book, Memorials of Indian soldiers in Israel, on the occasion as part of an initiative that will spread more awareness and greater recognition for the supreme sacrifice made by these soldiers.

"It was no ordinary battle because the Indian soldiers, hailing from various parts of the country and belonging to different faiths, fought bravely for the British here while back home Indians were fighting against them for Independence," Sarna said.

The commemoration is "a part of a mosaic of this very wide ranging Indo-Israel ties," the Indian envoy said.

He also thanked the role of the Haifa Historical Society which has done an extensive research on the role of the Indian army in the region.

The Indian army commemorates September 23 every year as Haifa Day to pay its respects to the two brave Indian Cavalry Regiments that helped liberate the city in 1918 following a dashing cavalry action by the 15th Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade.

Residents of the Israeli city also celebrate Haifa Day the same day with a series of cultural programmes during the week.

In the autumn of 1918, the Indian Brigade was a part of the Allied Forces sweeping northwards through Palestine in what is seen as the last great cavalry campaign in history.

"No more remarkable cavalry action of its scale was fought in the whole course of the campaign. Machine gun bullets over and over again failed to stop the galloping horses even though many of them succumbed afterwards to their injuries", is how the Official History of the War (Military operation Egypt and Palestine: volume 2) describes the Indian troops bravery.

Captain Aman Singh Bahadur and Dafadar Jor Singh were awarded the Indian Order of Merit (IOM) and Captain Anop Singh and 2nd Lt Sagat Singh were awarded the Military Cross (MC) as recognition for their bravery in this battle.

Major Dalpat Singh (MC) is known in the annals of history as the 'Hero of Haifa' for his critical role in the Liberation of the city. He was awarded a military cross for his bravery.

The municipality of Haifa also announced to organise a ceremony every year to commemorate the role of the Indian army in liberating the city from Turks after almost 402 years.

Defence Attaches of several countries also laid wreath in honour of the fallen Indian soldiers.

(Agencies)