Khadi poppies
Politics

Prime Minister Pledges To Wear Khadi Poppy

Theresa May paid tribute to the "vital contribution" made by those serving around the Commonwealth.

Khadi poppies

The Prime Minister has pledged to wear a khadi poppy to remember the "crucial role" of India's soldiers during the First World War.

Theresa May paid tribute to the "vital contribution" made by those serving around the Commonwealth before next month's ceremony at the Cenotaph marking a century since Armistice Day.

Her comments came as Tory chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Tom Tugendhat asked the Prime Minister to join him in wearing a khadi poppy.

Theresa May
The Prime Minister said she will wear a khadi poppy 'at some stage over the period before Armistice Day' (Picture: PA).

He said: "Will she join me when she goes to the Cenotaph next Sunday in paying tribute not only to our own war dead from this country but to those three million who came from the Commonwealth to serve in the cause of freedom?

"The reason for which is the homespun cotton that remembers Gandhi's and India's contribution to the effort, [which] is a vital reminder to all of us here of our links around the world but particularly to India."

Mrs May replied: "Can I thank him for highlighting this vital contribution that was made by soldiers from around the Commonwealth, and he has highlighted particularly those from India, and I also pay tribute to him for his own military service.

"We must never forget that over 74,000 soldiers came from undivided India and lost their lives.

"Eleven of them won the Victoria Cross for their outstanding bravery and he will know they played a crucial role in the war across multiple continents.

"I will certainly be interested in wearing a khadi poppy at some stage over the period as we lead up to Armistice Day."

The cotton-made khadi poppy was launched this year by Lord Jitesh Gadhia and the Royal British Legion as a symbol of India's contribution to the First World War.

More than 1.3 million Indian soldiers served in the war across continents, contributed the equivalent of £20 billion, 3.7 million tonnes of supplies, over 10,000 nurses and 170,000 animals.