The French War Memorial, Pondicherry
The French War Memorial is located on Goubert Avenue (popularly known as Pondicherry Beach Road) in Pondicherry is a reminder of those brave soldiers who laid down their lives, for their country during the First World War. It is located diagonally opposite to the Gandhi statue. The war memorial is beautifully illuminated during the annual commemoration held on Bastille Day, the 14th of July. People from the whole of union territory and nearby cities gather to pay their respects to the brave soldiers who gave up their lives for the safety of others.
It was erected in 1937 and inaugurated on April 3, 1938 by the governor Crocicchia. Behind the memorial is a bronze bas-relief representing the arrival of Dupleix in Pondicherry in 1742. In the middle of four stark white columns - two on either side - stands a lone life-size statue of a soldier leaning on a rifle. Inscribed above him the words, Aux combattants des Indes Françaises morts pour la patrie, 1914 – 1918.
The monument itself is worth glancing at, but the huge sculptural metal plaque on its rear face can only be seen if the enclosing area is open, as it was for the ceremony described above. If you are walking along the seafront, you can hardly miss this monument. From a distance, the view is good enough. The significance and elegance of the French War Memorial has drawn the attention of filmmakers. One Two Three (2008), a Bollywood multi-starrer film, captures the landmark in some of the scenes.
The memorial is quite popular among tourists and is one of the major attractions of Pondicherry. It doesn’t take much time to stroll through the French War Memorial as it is quite small in area yet an intriguing place to be visited. The memorial has an enticing feel attached to it and is visited by students as well as tourist and people living in the nearby locality. Entry into the grounds of the war memorial is restricted.
The French War Memorial is located on Goubert Avenue (popularly known as Pondicherry Beach Road) in Pondicherry. It is located diagonally opposite to the Gandhi statue. It is located at a distance of about 3 Kms from Bus Stand. Take a Gorimedu bound Bus from Bus Stand and get down at Government Hospital (GH) Stop. The French War Memorial is just 500 meters from this Stop. From Railway Station take an auto to reach this place.