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National Army Museum Honors British Indian Army's World War I Contribution

  • Posted on September 30, 2023
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  • By Sanchi
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National Army Museum



The National Army Museum, in collaboration with the United Service Institution of India, is currently housing a temporary exhibit named "British Indian Army: Soldiers of the First World War." The British Indian Army played a critical part in the First World War, and this exhibition aims to shed light on that.


Museum Liaison Officer Julian Farrance remarked that the display places special emphasis on the "absolutely vital" role that Indian soldiers played in the war on a variety of fronts and in a variety of campaigns. Some of the museum's earliest collections feature Indian soldiers, who were a vital part of the British Indian Army's history.

Temporary exhibition in the National Army Museum highlights the British Indian Army's WWI role.
Temporary exhibition in the National Army Museum highlights the British Indian Army's WWI role.

The exhibition, which runs from August to November 5, showcases the service of nearly 1.4 million Indian men, constituting the largest volunteer force of the time. It highlights their indispensable role in major theaters like the Western Front, Gallipoli, Mesopotamia, and lesser-known Asian fronts.


Featuring photographs, artwork reproductions, documents, and medals of Indian soldiers, the exhibition underscores that the war could not have been prosecuted in the same way without their contribution.

National Army Museum Honors British Indian Army's World War I Contribution
National Army Museum Honors British Indian Army's World War I Contribution

While the role of Indian troops is often overlooked in the UK's popular memory of the war, Farrance stressed the importance of acknowledging their contribution to provide a more comprehensive historical understanding. The National Army Museum consistently highlights the British Indian Army's role as one of the most significant contributors throughout British military history.

Through this exhibition, the museum pays tribute to a vital part of its origins and collections while recognizing the enduring legacy of the British Indian Army's service during World War I.

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