India’s Farewell to British Troops In Bombay, 1948 Photo

This is an old 1948 photo of India’s farewell to the British Army in 1948. Although India attained independence in 1947 the last of the British troops left India’s shores only by mid-1948. Shown in this news photo of August 1948, is the departure of the Somerset Light Infantry. They concluded the ceremony with a farewell parade over the streets of Bombay (Mumbai). That ended at the Gateway of India in Apollo Bunder.

The departing British troops were hosted to a farewell ceremony at the Gateway of India. Crowds standing 20 to 30 deep cheered, clapped, and waved goodbyes. Elite units of the Indian army and navy performed the guards of honor before their embarkation to England. The huge gathering stood in rapt silence to the playing of the Indian and British national anthems.

The scene was a moving sight and an emotional moment for the crowd and soldiers. Many could not hide their emotions and wept openly. The country was formally free from British rule of 200 years. The background building that shows a packed crowd is probably the Green’s Hotel. The Greens Hotel was located adjacent to the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. It was acquired by the Taj Hotel and in its place a new building sprang up called the Taj Mahal Tower in 1972. Click on the photo for better view.

Read more Feb 1948: The British March Out of India. See a past post Taj Mahal Hotel Bombay -1907 Rare Advertisement.

Did you know- some data on the Indian Army of 1914- Peacetime strength 1914: 281,747 (204,794 Indian and 76,953 British troops); Reserves 1914: 34,767 (Indian troops); Total mobilised during the war: 1,440,437 (Indians only); Served overseas: 1,096,013 (Indians only).

From the collection- 1964 M. Suriyamoorthy Charcoal Art Abstract (#13)., Madras High Court – Old Postcard 1900.

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12x10 inch

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Keystone news photo