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MINISTRY OF INFORMATION SECOND WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION �

South Asian contribution to British war efforts in both World Wars

Increasingly, for both World Wars One and Two, the contribution of soldiers from across the Commonwealth, and beyond, has been coming to light.

“What many people remain unaware of is that of the 8.6 million soldiers that fought over 2.1 million were from the Indian subcontinent- troops alongside an Indian volunteer force from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.”

Courtesy of the Imperial War Museums Collections

THE GALLIPOLI CAMPAIGN, APRIL 1915-JANUARY 1916

MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIRST WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION – Brooks, Ernest (Lieutenant) (Photographer)

Troops of the 14th Sikhs of the 29th Indian Infantry Brigade examining a piece of shell from “Asiatic Annie” that fell in their camp.

 

THE BRITISH INDIAN ARMY ON THE HOME FRONT, 1914-1918

Troops of the Indian Lancers Cavalry Regiment on a parade.

INDIAN OFFICIAL COLLECTION
First World War
Indian Army official photographer

Recruits of the 2nd Lancers Cavalry Regiment with RisaldarMajor, an Indian senior officer (front).

INDIAN OFFICIAL COLLECTION
Indian Army official photographer

 

THE BRITISH ARMY IN THE SINAI AND PALESTINE CAMPAIGN, 1915-1918

Two Palestinian women leaving a well which is guarded by an Indian soldier, November 1917.

 

INDIAN FORCES IN THE MIDDLE EAST

On 15 December 1915 a British expeditionary force was besieged at Kut Al Amara on the Tigris River.

The garrison, two thirds of which was Indian, surrendered on 29 April 1916. During the ensuing period of captivity in Anatolia many died from heat, disease and neglect.

FIRST WORLD WAR AGENCY COLLECTION

This emaciated sepoy was photographed after he had been liberated during an exchange of prisoners.

Sepoy was the term for an Indian soldier serving under British or other European orders.

 

THE CAMPAIGN IN MESOPOTAMIA DURING THE FIRST WORLD WAR

A Lance Naik (Lance Corporal) of the Indian 112th Infantry, 34th Brigade (17th Division), kneeling in a trench during the Battle of Sharqat, Mesopotamia 28-30 October 1918. Two days later the Turks surrendered and an armistice was declared.

MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIRST WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION

 

An Indian nurse at an ARP First Aid Post in Calcutta.

MINISTRY OF INFORMATION SECOND WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION

 

India 1944: A Gurkha soldier transporting a wounded man on his back through the jungle.

MINISTRY OF INFORMATION SECOND WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION

 

Mounted Infantry of the Tochi Scouts about to set out on patrol from Fort Meranshar on the North West Frontier of India.

MINISTRY OF INFORMATION SECOND WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION

The Tochi Scouts were a part of the Frontier Corps in Pakistan,  created in 1907 by Lord Curzon, the then viceroy of British India.

 

Workers at an Indian railway workshop now employed in the construction of armoured vehicles, 1942.

WAR OFFICE SECOND WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION

India 1944

MINISTRY OF INFORMATION SECOND WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION Beaton, Cecil

Sikh recruits at bayonet practice at a Frontier Constabulary Training Post. Their puggarees (turbans) are lined up in the foreground.

 

The Maulvi carrying the Koran before rows of Muslim recruits at the swearing-in ceremony

WWII Beaton, Cecil

Muslim soldiers serving with the (British) Indian Army at prayers –  Second World War

No 9 Army Film & Photographic Unit

MINISTRY OF INFORMATION SECOND WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION. Ministry of Information Photo Division Photographer

Amongst the congregation at prayer at the East London Mosque are Muslims from India, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Sudan, Palestine, Transjordan, Syria, Arabia, Aden and Somaliland, and they include soldiers and merchant seamen.

MINISTRY OF INFORMATION SECOND WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION

Men of the Royal Indian Army Service Corps at prayer during the Eid ul Fitr ceremony in a tent, which has been set up alongside Woking Mosque.

 

TWENTY-THREE YEARS WITH THE INDIAN NAVY

ADMIRALTY OFFICIAL COLLECTION

21st October 1943, Londonderry.

Twenty-three years with the Indian Navy.  Two men of the Royal Indian Navy whose service  totals 46 years;  Abbas Tajuddin , Chief Stoker (left) and Yusuf Ali Chief Mechanic. Thet are both from Ratnigari, and have both served in the Royal Indian Navy for 23 years. They are at present serving in the Indian Sloop Kristna.

 

THE BRITISH INDIAN AIR FORCE DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR

Two Indian Air Force pilots (Flight Lieutenant Lal and Flying Officer M M Sakhre) pose with their Vultee Vengeance dive bombers at an airfield in Assam, India, from where they attacked the Japanese in Burma.

AIR MINISTRY SECOND WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION

 

George Cross awarded to Captain Mahmood Durrani, Creator Royal Mint

 

 

Men of the 2/9th Gurkha Rifles training in the Malayan jungle, October 1941

WAR OFFICE SECOND WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION Creator Palmer (Lt)

WAR OFFICE SECOND WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION Creator Palmer (Lt)

WAR OFFICE SECOND WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION

INDIAN LECTURERS VISIT INDIAN TECHNICIANS: WAR INDUSTRY AT LETCHWORTH, HERTFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND, UK, 1943

MINISTRY OF INFORMATION SECOND WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION
Ministry of Information Photo Division Photographer Smith Jack

Mr M Ghiasuddin (second from right) talks to a Sikh technician in a factory setting at the Letchworth training centre. Two other Indian technicians can be seen in the background, getting on with their work.

 

INDIAN WRENS VISIT ROSYTH,
3 JUNE 1945

ADMIRALTY OFFICIAL COLLECTION

Chief Officer Margaret L Cooper, Deputy Director of the Women’s Royal Indian Naval Service (WRINS), with Second Officer Kalyani Sen, WRINS at Rosyth during their two month study visit to Britain.

 

THE Ceylon RNVR on war service. 1942, Colombo, CEYLON.

ADMIRALTY OFFICIAL COLLECTION” Made by: Oulds, D C (Lt)

Officers and men of the Ceylon RNVR, manning patrol vessels and minesweepers round the island. Men on training and on active service.

Sinhalese ratings of the Ceylon RNVR undergoing instruction in signalling.

Cambridge South Asian History Month was launched by Cambridge City Council on 15 June 2020. Join the conversation on our facebook page @CamSouthAsianHistory

 

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