Major Dalpat Singh, the Hero of Haifa during World War I, will be honoured on Thursday by Narendra Modi who will unveil a plaque at the Haifa cemetery. Sources said the Prime Minister will pay a tribute at the memorial in a ceremony to remember Indian soldiers who laid down their lives while liberating the Israeli port city Haifa during the war.
Every year on September 23, the Indian Army marks Haifa Day. Two Indian cavalry regiments had helped liberate the city in 1918 following action by the 15th Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade. The two Indian regiments were the Jodhpur Lancers and the Mysore Lancers. Dalpat Singh was from the Jodhpur Lancers.
In the autumn of 1918, the brigade was part of the Allied Forces sweeping northwards through Palestine in the last great cavalry campaign in history. During the battle for Haifa, the Indian troops exhibited exemplary cavalry skills in a successful charge which finally culminated in the liberation of the port city. Major Thakur Dalpat Singh, who was awarded a Military Cross, is known as the Hero of Haifa for his critical role in the battle.
The action of the Indian troops has been recorded in the Official History of the War – Military operation Egypt and Palestine (volume 2). This remains the only known incident in military history when a fortified town was captured by a “cavalry on the gallop”.