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The Glorious Dead Cenotaph, Calcutta (Kolkata)

June 5, 2013 1 comment

The Glorious Dead Cenotaph

Maidan, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Also see: World War I (WWI) Memorials in Calcutta (Kolkata)

Glourious Dead Cenotaph, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Glorious Dead Cenotaph, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Cenotaph literally means an empty tomb or monument erected in honour of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere.

Located on the Northern end of the Calcutta (Kolkata) Maidan the Glorious Dead Cenotaph is the most well known of the WWI Memorials of Calcutta (Kolkata). It is popularly but wrongly known as the “Memorial of Unknown Soldiers.”

Designed by architect Herbert William Palliser, the sandstone built memorial loosely resembles the Cenotaph of Whitehall, London.

Built in 1924 the  Glorious Dead Cenotaph commemorates those Calcutta British and Anglo Indians who gave their lives for King and Country between 1914 and 1918. The Eastern side of the cenotaph bears the inscription “Glorious Dead” on the lower portion.

The top portion of the Southern and Northern side contains strange inscription of MCMXIV and MCMXVIII respectively. But this are actually not random alphabets but Roman numerals representing 1914 and 1918, the beginning and end of the Great War. (M = 1000, C = 100, X = 10, V = 5,  I = 1).

Strangely the memorial contains no plaques with the names of those fallen and probably because of this the memorial is commonly known as the memorial of unknown soldiers.

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