A delegation of the Garhwal Rifles Regimental Centre today returned with soil from France where the remains of two Indian soldiers of 39 Garhwal Rifles were laid to rest at the military cemetery in Laventie, France on Monday.

Two urns containing the soil were handed over to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman by the delegation comprising Commandant Brigadier Indrajit Chatterjee and Subedar Major Trilok Singh.

The urns, brought from Laventie in France, would now be carried to the Garhwal Rifles Regimental Centre at Landsdowne.

On September 20, 2016, during an excavation work on the southern side of the village of Richebourg near Laventie Military Cemetery, approximately 230 kilometres from Paris, two human remains were found and identified to be of soldiers of 39th Royal Garhwal Rifles.

The office of Commonwealth War Graves Commission decided to hold a ceremony to rest them along with their comrades with full military honours during the annual memorial service that is held to commemorate the Indian soldiers who were martyred in action in France and Belgium.

The decision was taken in consultation with the French government and Indian Embassy.

On November 12, the remains of the two soldiers were sent on their final journey with full military honours at the military cemetery.

During the First World War, the Garhwal Brigade comprising 1st/39th and 2nd/39th Royal Garhwal displayed unparalleled bravery in treacherous trenches of France and Flanders.

Fighting shoulder to shoulder with British soldiers, the Garhwal Brigade earned six battle honours and was twice awarded Victoria Cross in France and Flanders Theatre.

On the occasion, homage was also paid to the soldiers of Indian Meerut Division at Nueve Chapelle War Memorial by laying wreaths on behalf of the Chief of the Army Staff, Indian Army by Brigadier Indrajit Chatterjee, Commandant and Subedar Major Trilok Singh Negi, SM of the Garhwal Rifles Regimental Centre.