Glorious Dead Cenotaph, Kolkata - war memorial

Cenotaph - Calcutta - 1924 Flickr

The Cenotaph on Whitehall London

A cenotaph (an English word derived from Greek) is referred to an empty tomb or a monument erected in honour of a person or group of people whose mortal remains are elsewhere. It can also be a basic  tomb for a person who has since been re-interred elsewhere. Normally a preponderance ofones iwere built in memory of  groups of individuals, such as missing soldiers in a war or in civil disturbances  of a country or of an empire. Thy are known to exist from ancient times and there were many cenotaphs in Egypt and north Greece.

Among  three monuments in Calcutta, to honour the Indian soldiers who died in the First World War, the most significant one is the Glorious Dead Cenotaph.  Located on the northern end of the Calcutta Maidan, right across the Akashvani Bhawan and adjacent to the statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, the  impressive Cenotaph was built in 1924 and its architect is
Herbert William Palliser who drew inspiration from the Cenotaph of Whitehall, London that was  designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and replaced Lutyens' identical wood-and-plaster cenotaph erected in 1919 for the Allied Victory Parade.  Simplicity personified, the cenotaph 
is made of solid  sandstone (sedimentary rock) and is dedicated to the memory of Kolkata-based British and Anglo-Indian soldiers who fought for the British, and, in the process, lost their lives in the world war between 1914 and 1918.  The memorial was unveiled in 1921 by the Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VIII.

The Cenotaph has no artistic works worth  its name  except for the two wreaths on either side, but, in spite of it, this simple structure  is majestic to look at. But for the Lower portion of the eastern side of the cenotaph that bears the inscription “Glorious Dead”and the southern and northern sides that contain the inscription of MCMXIV and MCMXVIII (respectively, these Roman  numerals represent 1914 and 1918- years of conflict), there are no other details available. For unknown reasons, the original brass

The Cenotaph, Kolkata

 Above image:  Lower portion of the eastern side of the cenotaph bears the inscription 
“Glorious Dead" ........

British slodier, The Victorian Web

Above image: On the Maidan in Calcutta (The soldiers flank the stone cenotaph, which was designed by William Ingram Keir). Photographs and caption by Robert Freidus. Here you can view one of the soldiers with his rifle upside down.............

plaque bearing  the names of the fallen soldiers was shifted to the famous St. John’s Church. An eye-catching feature is the two English made  bronze statues of British soldiers with heads bowed and bayoneted rifles at reverse-arms flank on the sides as  the silent guards /sentinels at the entrance of the area. 

A Remembrance Service is held every year on Sunday closest to 11 November  at 11 am at the Cenotaph to honor the British and Commonwealth servicemen and women who lost their lives in the  two World Wars and later conflicts. This cenotaph is quite visible in the vicinity of this part of Kolkata.

Recently, the Police Memorial has been erected in the vicinity of the Glorious Dead Cenotaph, dedicated to the memory of the Police personnel killed while on duty.