It’s the centenary year of the Great War, and while Britain and other more developed countries have received their due slices of history’s pie, fewer historians have chronicled the large role India had to play during World War I. As the German army’s advancements through France & Belgium became more aggressive, it became apparent that more Allied troops were needed by the British army and India (their colony at the time) and its 161,000 strong army seemed to be the perfect fall-back.
From most historic accounts that have been gathered, losses were extremely heavy and India’s soldiers, more prepared for colonial warfare, were shell-shocked by the fierce fighting that was ensuing in foreign lands. In fact, The British Library’s collection of war correspondence even recovered letters from Indian soldiers during the period with one man even writing home to say, ‘this is not war; it is the ending of the world.’ (You can read more about these letters here.)
Today, India’s contribution has been largely forgotten but Al Jazeera has done its best to breathe new life into old memories, with this video: