Pune: Major Uday Parshuram Sathe (Retd), a fifth generation Army officer from Pune, will relive the proud moments 100 years after his grandfather Subedar Shripad Hari Sathe ‘Bahadur’ was awarded by the British for his contribution in the World War I (WWI).
Maj Sathe has been invited by the British High Commission in New Delhi for celebrating the centenary of the Armistice Day ie the day when armistice was signed in France on November 11, 1918, and WWI ended. Nearly 1.5 million Indian soldiers participated in WWI as part of the then British Indian Army, of which 1.3 million fought overseas in places such as Flanders (Belgium), East Africa, Gallipoli, Aden, Egypt, Iraq, Palestine, Persia and China. Some 74,000 Indians lost their lives.
To commemorate the centenary of the WWI, there are elaborate programmes scheduled from November 9 to 11 in New Delhi. On November 9, there will be a joint Indo-UK international seminar, titled ‘India and the Great War in Research, Memory and Commemoration’. On the next day, there will be a joint Indo-UK military band concert, followed by a joint reception at the British High Commissioner’s residence. On November 11, there will be World War Remembrance Service at the Delhi War Cemetery.
Maj Sathe told Sakal Times, “My grandfather Subedar Sathe took part in the WWI. He fought the war from beginning to end and out of that gratitude the British High Commission has invited me to celebrate the centenary of the Armistice Day.”
Maj Sathe himself is a veteran of the 1971 Indo-Pak War. He earned the Vir Chakra, the third highest gallantry award presented for acts of bravery in the battlefield, and the Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar. He was commissioned as a Gunner Officer in the Regiment of Artillery (the famed mountain gunners).
Sathe’s father, Maj Parashuram Sathe, was a commissioned regular officer in the Indian Army in 1941 during World War II.
His great great grandfather, Atmaram Govind Sathe was martyred during the First War of Independence in 1857. He was one of the ‘Sardars’ with Nanasaheb Peshwa.
Who was Subedar Shripad Sathe?
Subedar Shripad Hari Sathe, ‘Bahadur’ was born on December 18, 1886. He entered service on September 14, 1915. Awarded Indian Meritorious Service Medal (IMSM) for services rendered in Egypt during WWI. During WWI he was serving in the Indian Subordinate Medical Department which became Indian Medical Department in mid-1919. He received his Order of British India (OBI) Second Class with the title ‘Bahadur’, with effect from January 1, 1943. Also served in North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Afghanistan, Mesopotamia and Turkey. During WWII, he served in Europe and once again in Egypt and North Africa with the 4th (Red Eagles) Indian Division under 8th Army commanded by later Field Marshal Montgomery. He was involved in the siege of Tobruk and won the OBI during the breakout of this siege.