Prince Charles questions why blacks, Indians not recognised as UK war heroes

July 21st, 2010 - 4:21 pm ICT by ANI  

London, July 21 (ANI): Prince Charles has questioned why black and Asian war heroes of Britain have gone unrecognized so far.

He believes a rewrite of history is required to bring the contributions of ethnic minority leaders to light.

According to a royal aide, the Prince is concerned about the way black and Asian troops had been marginalised from our history and has decided to highlight the issue.

“If you are trying to build a country that is at ease with itself then it’s important for everybody to be able to be proud of what their forefathers did,” the Daily Express quoted the senior aide to the Prince, as saying.

“People from ethnic minorities in Britain are always asking him why all of our war heroes are white and why we don’t recognise the contribution played by non-white people in our history,” he added.

It was that concern which prompted Charles to visit a First World War memorial at Neuve Chapelle in northern France on Monday so that he and Camilla could pay tribute to 4,700 Indians whose deaths in two battles in October 1914 and March 1915 are commemorated there.

They were among 140,000 Indians who saw active service on the Western Front in the First World War.

At the memorial Charles and Camilla learned about the exploits of Rifleman Gobar Singh Negi, who won a posthumous Victoria Cross for his bravery fighting in the trenches with the 2nd Battalion, 39th Garhwal Rifles at Neuve Chapelle on March 10, 1915.

Charles and Camilla also met Jaimal Singh Johal, 74, a retired sub-postmaster from Maidenhead, Berkshire, whose grandfather Manta Singh, a junior officer in the 2nd Sikh Royal Infantry, was fatally wounded at Neuve Chapelle, dying in hospital in Brighton aged only 27.

“It means a lot that they have come to see this memorial and that my grandfather is being recognised in a foreign country,” said Johal.

The royal couple also chatted with schoolchildren from Leeds, Lille, and Turin learning about the role played by British Empire forces in the First World War. (ANI)

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