India gained independence from the British Empire in 1947 but, it wasn’t until 1948 that the last batch of the British army left our country. 

The 1st Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry was the last British regiment to leave India on 28th February 1948.

This archived footage gives us a glimpse of what exactly happened on that day. The farewell ceremony was held in Mumbai. 

A ceremonial parade was conducted through the streets of Mumbai and thousands gathered to watch the event. 

Major General Lashmer Whistler gave a farewell speech after which, the troops marched through the Gateway of India to the tune of the popular farewell song Auld Lang Syne (translated from Scottish as ‘For Old Times’ Sake’).

Both, the Indian and the British army exchanged salutes which was followed by the national anthems of both the nations- God Save the King and Jana Gana Mana

The British army was given parting gifts which included an oil painting, the Indian tricolour and a silver model of the Gateway of India. 

Raja Maharaj Singh, the post-independence governor of Bombay read farewell messages from Governor-General Lord Mountbatten and the first PM of India, Jawaharlal Nehru.

It was on this day that India was officially free from the Britishers who ruled the country from 1858 intil 1947. It was a moving sight and an emotional day for everyone. 

For those who don’t know, the Somerset Light Infantry was posted in India in 1822.  And they were involved during the First Burma War (1824-26), the First Afghan War (1839-42), and the Revolt of 1857 to name a few.