Indian Soldiers in the First World War

All welcome for the second in our series commemorating 100 years since the end of WW1

Inderpal Dhanjal: ‘Indian Soldiers in the Great War’ – Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Dunsden Village Hall, RG4 9QG at 7.30pm – entry on door, £4 including refreshments.


Inderpal leads the Legacy of Valour Society (, a national community-based initiative that undertakes research on Sikh and Indian soldiers’ history. The Society launched an exhibition, ‘Indian Soldiers in the Great War’ at Reading Museum in August 2015. This award-winning display was subsequently presented with great success at the Houses of Parliament and throughout the UK. It will be seen for the last time in Slough from 29 July to12 August, this year. Admission is free. Subsequently, it will be permanently displayed at the Sikh National Museum in Derby.

India provided Britain with a massive volunteer army in its hour of need. Over 1.5 million Indian service personnel (one in six) served during 1914–18, fighting in all major theatres of war. India provided not only manpower but also significant quantities of finance, materiel and other supplies.

Inderpal’s talk will provide an intriguing introduction to this heroic and little-known aspect of the First World War. His talk goes beyond the headlines to provide detailed analysis in addition to some unfamiliar historical insights. It also looks at the economical, political, social and military impact of the India’s involvement in the Great War.

The talk also provides an opportunity to better understand the relationship between Sikhs and the British and explains the ‘Spirit of Khalsa’ and its ethos of ‘Sacrifice and Martyrdom’ that won them so many battlefield laurels. Indian soldiers won the Victoria Cross 11 times (the highest military honour in the British army). Overall, 13,000 gallantry medals were awarded to Indian soldiers. Indian War dead from WW1 are buried or commemorated in 38 countries.

The Legacy of Valour Society is currently developing another exhibition called ‘Sikh Martial History’ which will be shown in Slough from 29 July to 12 August, 2018. A book is also being produced to accompany the exhibition. Admission will be free.





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