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ddycher

Little written history in India

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ddycher   
ddycher

Been traveling in India this week.

 

Whilst I was here I had challenged myself with finding some local reference material but failed miserably. What I did find was superficial, patchy and shot through with errors. Nothing to compare with the OH or regimental histories we can find at home. Disappointing as I was hoping for a different perspective.

 

The lack of local knowledge on the period is almost total even with the very smart young folks Im dealing with here. Shame really. What I see as shared history they seem to treat as ours. There is more standard western refs here than anything with local relevence. No contemporary local materials at all. Even materials on the Indian Army are wriiten by foreigners.

 

Got me wondering about others colonial era troops in the allied sphere.

 

Dave

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Steven Broomfield   
Steven Broomfield

Dave, there is some stuff out there: for example, I have just taken delivery of Sushil Talwar's excellent two-volume work on Indian MC winners (published and printed in Delhi), and Ashok Nath has produced some very good reference works. I have also just read a history of the First Sikh War, produced by an Indian author, Amarpal Singh (although this is most interested in proving the war was lost due to treachery by senior commanders, which is at odds with other works)

 

There are also a couple of very active FB pages which, unfortunately, suffer the sort of trolling and idiotic comments that FB can be famed for.

 

I think, for perhaps obvious reasons, the Great war and other wars of Empire are not that popular.

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Sepoy   
Sepoy

There are some pretty interesting books on Archive.org, if you search about, including Indian Army Lists (of Officers - British and Indian). WW1 Indian War Diaries, for France and Flanders, can also be found on Ancestry.
Is yours a general interest, or do you have a specific interest in a particular area of India, specific Indian Regiments, or specific Campaign, where Indian Forces were employed?

Sepoy

 

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QGE   
QGE

Many of the Indian Army War Diaries are an exceptionally rich source and generally speaking way more detailed than their British counterparts. The 15th Sikhs for example recorded more detailed information (words) in one year than the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Grenadier Guards managed during the whole of the War. The Indian Army war diaries are an embarrassment or riches and in my view need to be mined a lot more. The 129th Baluchis war diary for the year on the western front runs  to nearly 800 pages of tiny manuscript. It is something that has long puzzled me; why the Indian Army's unit diaries are so much more detailed than the BEF's

 

Morton-Jack and Corrigan have both done exceptional jobs on the Indian Army on the Western Front, and more recently this has been added to with Peter Stanley's book on the Indian Army at Gallipoli. All these books are of course constrained by page count and this limitation means that much valuable and interesting material has been left out. The mobilization of the Indian Army for example would warrant a book of its own. 

 

I am slowly wading through the IEF-A's diaries and aim to publish half a dozen of them very soon. The challenge is that the diaries are so incredibly detailed that they require a considerable amount of editing and I only have one editor (me). In addition the other sources one has avaiable to cross-check names, places etc are more scarce (Indian Army Lists, Published histories) or expensive (Regimental histories) which slows the process  

 

The following Western Front diaries will be published soon:

 

15th Sikhs

57th Rifles FF

58th Rifles FF

59th Rifles FF

1/1st KGO Gurkha Rifles

2/2nd KEO Gurkha Rifles

 

Some will be illustrated with contemporary photographs rom the British Library collection.

 

The following Gallipoli diaries have already been published:

1/4th Gurkha Rifles

1/5th Gurkha Rifles FF

1/6th Gurkha Rifles

2/10th Gurkha Rifles 

Headquarters 29th Indian Infantry Brigade

 

For an example of exceptional diary keeping, the Headquarters 29th Indian Infantry Brigade's diary is word a read.It almost reads like a book, such is the quality of the narrative. 

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Kimberley John Lindsay   
Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear Dave,

When I was in Jaipur to attend a posh wedding, I thought it would be a good idea to find IGS groups for my Indian Army collection, in the Indian equivalent of Antique Shops. Forget it! I found nothing, and people found my quest incomprehensible.

As an Australian, I spoke with old and young, expecting a love/hate regard of the British - after all, they built the railways, to mention just one aspect. To my dismay, they 1) regarded the Raj as a brief blip in their long history, and 2) not only did they not want to hear about it, but took the view that one man's Mutineer is another man's Freedom Fighter.

As far as records are concerned, I suspect vast IARO  and IDF records are mouldering or have already been destroyed in India. The best place to find Indian Army records is London!

Kindest regards,

Kim.

Edited by Kimberley John Lindsay

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ddycher   
ddycher

Folks

 

Thanks for the replies. 

 

Steven - going to dig deeper next trip. Best success i had was trolling through the 2nd hand bookshops in Bangalore yesterday. When I get back to the hotel I will post a list of what I have found. I had not heard of Talwars MC work. Will check that out. 

 

Sepoy my focus lies in the Egyptian / Palestine campaign and the Lahore Divisional Area. As you say Archive.org, along with the Digital Library of India are good sources for original material. What I was really looking for though was the Indian perspective and more detail on the British Indian Army in India during the war. On both counts i have not been successful this trip. 

 

GQE I agree the war diaries are the starting point. Over the years i have been able to obtain copies of most that cover the area I am interested in. When piecing together the Palestine campaign cross referencing the regimental histories and running the results against the diaries brought out some twists you do not see in an individual Divisional or Regimental history. The Indian diaries have proven, as you say, a mixed bag. Where there are no diaries, ie before mobilization, with the exception of the regimental histories from the 20's and 30's i am finding it hard to penetrate. On the commands in India i have almost nothing. 

 

Kim my experiences over the last week mirror yours. Incomprehension best sums it. All in all I'm back to the British Library and the DLI I think. Lets see what further nuggets can be found there. 

 

Thank you all. 

 

Dave

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Maureene   
Maureene

The impression I get is that even when the British were still in India, the British and Indian Armies were a separate, almost parallel society, and there was only a limited connection between the two societies.  I think there was virtually no interest in the Army from those who were not in the Army, so it is not surprising that the current attitude continues  this.

 

Sepoy in post 3 mentions some books on Archive.org, including Indian Army Lists. These are mostly mirror editions of books from the Digital Library of India, which in turn were mainly scanned from one Library, that of the United Services Institution of India.  The fact that there were vitually no other books relating to the Indian Army scanned from other Libraries, is I think a reflection of the lack of general interest in the Indian Army.

 

Note: The Digital Library of India is currently closed due to copyright issues, and has been for some months.

 

There may be material in Indian Archives, but from comments I have seen, this is often not catalogued, and may be in poor condition due to dust, insect damage etc.   Regarding  records about the Indian Army at the National Archives of India, another thread said : "There is a lot on the Indian Army at the NA of India. Most of it is of course part of the Army/Military Department collection but one can find some interesting files every now and then in the Home Department or the Foreign and Political Department. Unfortunately they do not allow researchers to make copies of the indexes and to the best of my knowledge there is no online reference. The only way to get to it is to go there yourself or engage a local researcher...Sadly they do not allow photography".[9]

(9.Risaldar. Murder of the CO of the Hyderabad Lancers Great War Forum 17 August 2016.) 

 (Researcher restrictions may apply. Some archives require you to be attached to a University) 

 

The United Service Institution of India seems to be about the only organisation interested in WW1.

The Indian Military Historical Society, based in the UK, has some Indian members, details about the Society in a FIBIS Fibiwiki page 

https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Indian_Military_Historical_Society

Cheers

Maureen

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QGE   
QGE

Some long shots...

 

A lifetime ago I dived deep into books on early travellers in India having been inspired by Peter Hopkirk's "The Great Game" and started to accumulate the bibliography; books such as "Travels into Bokhara: A Journey from India to Cabool, Tartary and Persia (3 Volumes)" by Alexander Burns etc.. Most paths led to the Asian Educational Services in Hauz Khas, New Delhi, a publisher that specialised in republishing antiquarian books. I made a pilgrimage to Hauz Khas and met the founder, Mr Jetly (now sadly passed away) who was a mine of information and I was able to accumulate facsimile reprints of books that had been out of print for over 100 years. The company is still run by the family. While the AES footprint might not extend to the Great War, I suspect that a conversation with them might accelerate your quest as they may well be able to point you in the right direction in India...somewhere within its 1.3 billion people will be someone who is the "go to" person

 

Separately the Indian Military Historical Society (as highlighted by Maureen) has proven to be very helpful with my own research. Their Indian membership is active and some (most?) are ex-military and can probably open doors that would otherwise be shut. They are definitely worth joining. Their publication "Durbar" is always an interesting read and occasionally touches on your area of interest. Back copies are available I believe.  

 

In the remote chance you are not aware of the Jullundur Brigade Association, that too is worth exploring. 

 

Lastly it might be worth writing to the British High Commissions in India and Pakistan and asking for some pointers on where the archive material might be stashed away...the Deputy High Commissioner to India is an academic. I think they still have a Military Attache as well who might be able to open doors into the Indian Army.

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Steven Broomfield   
Steven Broomfield
13 hours ago, Kimberley John Lindsay said:

 

As an Australian, I spoke with old and young, expecting a love/hate regard of the British - after all, they built the railways, to mention just one aspect. To my dismay, they 1) regarded the Raj as a brief blip in their long history, and 2) not only did they not want to hear about it, but took the view that one man's Mutineer is another man's Freedom Fighter.

 

 

And they're not really wrong, are they? 

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QGE   
QGE

Half of the Indian Army was recruited from areas that now lie outside of modern India. It is worth considering the the Indian Army recruited from a very narrow part of Indian society, a large part (35%) of which is now in Pakistan and another large part (15%) recruited from Nepal. If the Military Police Battalions were included, this proportion would increase as they were heavily dependent on Sikhs and Gurkhas which provided significant reinforcements for the Indian Army during the Great War.

 

In addition Britain never ruled all parts of India, leaving vast areas to be governed by local rulers who raised their own Armies. Some of these served with the British Army. Pre war a substantial part of the British Indian Army was based in the North West Frontier Provinces. The demographic recruiting skew along with the geographic concentration in what is now Pakistan might partly explain why there is little knowledge or interest in modern India. Ex 20 Gurkha Battalions, of the remaining 122 Indian Army infantry regiments 43 had their Regimental headquarters in what is now Pakistan - slightly over a third. A similar proportion had their battalions stationed in what is now Pakistan.

 

Rather like Eire one can understand why countries that had thrown of their colonial shackles would want to quietly forget the past and build a future. Somewhere in New Delhi is an old parade ground where the 1877 Coronation Durbar took place where Queen Victoria proclaimed Empress of India. It now has a large circle of forlorn statues of British monarchs and Governor Generals and other grandees - parked there in order to eradicate any vestiges of British rule. No surprise really.

 

This is worth a read:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-33317368

 

Edited by QGE

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ddycher   
ddycher

The Indian Military History Society is highly recommended. I joined last year. The quality of the material available through Durbar is excellent.

 

I had never heard of the Asian Educational Society. Will follow up on that. Thank you

 

Re GQE's link to Shashi Tharoor's article (thanks GQE I had not seen that before either but his comments mirror the view expressed by Shrabani Basu in her recent "For King and Another Country". She states that growing up ref's to the Great War were in the context of a "European War". She also states that the India Gate Memorial which was originally intended to commemorate the war has been redirected to more recent post independance actions and the original context lost. She also makes ref's to failed promises post the peace treaty and, like Tharoor, cites Amritsar as a clouding event.

 

Re. Material I located this trip. I came back with :

 

1. Shrabani Basu's "For a King and Another Country". Western Front focused but a good read. See above.

2. Vedica Kant's "India and the First World War". I bought this as it has alot of photographic material I had not seen before.

3. Amarinder Singh's "Honour and Fidelity, India's Military Contribution to the Great War". Had high hopes for this when I picked it up. Does not deliver on these hopes though.

 

By far the find of the trip was an original copy pf Philip Mason's "A Matter of Honour, An Account of the Indian Army, its Officers and Men". Whilst not focused on the Great War it is the best concise ref I have yet to the history of the Indian Army. The highlight though is the sources and book list he cites in the back of the text.

 

Regards

Dave

 

Edited by ddycher

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Maureene   
Maureene

A few miscellaneous items.

Perhaps the following may be of interest (noting you may not be able to read all the pages)

"The Indianization of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force Palestine 1918" by James E Kitchen. Chapter Five from The Indian Army in the Two World Wars edited by Kaushik Roy

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=nL6Ct0RDg6wC&pg=PA165 Google Books

 

The United Service Institution of India is planning a series of histories for different theatres http://indiaww1.in/ourpublication.aspx (this is part of the link in post 7 above)

 

Perhaps there may be something of interest in the following (both from the FIBIS Fibiwiki page Indian Army https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Indian_Army )

Compendium of the More Important Army Order 1919 Archive.org version. Full title: Compendium of the More Important Orders of the Government of India, Army Department and India Army Orders issued from the 1st August 1914, to the 31st December 1917.

 

Under Ten Viceroys: the Reminiscences of a Gurkha by Major-General Nigel Woodyatt 1922 Archive.org. He was in the Indian Army in India during the war.

 

Cheers

Maureen

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ddycher   
ddycher

Many thanks Maureen.

 

I have the "Compendium" and "Ten Viceroys". Can't open "Indianization". Will try again later with a VPN connection. Kicking myself for not having followed the USI thread better. Digging into that now so thanks for that. 

 

Been thinking that I had heard the theory that Great War was buried in India due to reneged promises given on the troops going overseas. Going to check refs this evening when I get home and see where this has popped up before. 

 

Starting to wander if instead of coming home as the conquering heroes they should have if there was actually a negative stigma attached to having served 

the Empire in the immediate war years. 

 

Regards

Dave

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Maureene   
Maureene

The following is of interest as it indicates how many men in the Indian Army were still overseas in what most would regard as the post war period, in the occupation period in Turkey.

 

Cheers

Maureen

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ddycher   
ddycher

How on earth did you find that ? 

 

The sentiment of supporting the "Kings War" rings through really clearly. Is this wishful thinking on the part of the author or is this the reality of how far thinking swung in the post war years ? From this to what I experienced last week appears to be more than just the passing of time.

 

Going to take this further. Something seriously missing in my context.

 

Thanks Maureen.

 

Dave 

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ddycher   
ddycher

All

 

The sentiments I referred to above on broken promises etc come from Dr Shyam Narain Saxena's "Role of the Indian Army in the First World War" published in 1987.  He states that "the British sought out India's help by throwing out certain vague proposal with regard to the transfer of political power". He cites Asquith as the source of this. 

 

There is more on this theme here :

 

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/southasia/2014/09/24/piecing-together-the-impact-of-the-great-war-on-india/

 

This also touches on the theme :

 

https://www.britishcouncil.org/voices-magazine/how-was-india-involved-first-world-war

 

So thoughts on broken promises and the Government of India Act of 1919 folks ?

 

Regards

Dave

 

 

Edited by ddycher

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QGE   
QGE

It is worth remembering that service in the Indian Army brought relatively economic benefits that were significantly greater to that available to the general population.. Service patterns in the Indian Army suggest men were happy to sign up for very long periods of service. Pensions were important and relative to being a peasant farmer, the income would have been stable and consistent (unlike the Indian climate and harvest). This continues to this day. In the Gurkha recruiting areas of Nepal there is fierce competition to gain one of the few places in the annual recruiting. A Gurkha soldier was (and is) relatively wealthy when compared to the impovershed lives led by those who remained in the mountains. 

 

Added to this some Indian Army awards came with extra money (pension) and grants of land. This last part is important as it effectively created an annuity and financial security. At some stage in history (certainly in the 1930s) because the Indian Army prioritised certain martial castes such as the Sikhs, this led to a tradition of Hindu families having a son adopted and brought up as a Sikh by a Sikh family in order to optimise his chances of being recruited into the Indian Army.  Service in the Army also provided access to a level of healthcare that was largely inaccessible to the great masses of India. There were many tangible and intangible benefits. These unseen factors are very important and may act as a counterbalance to populist views.

 

My impressions are that the Indian Army were treated as an instrument of the (British) Indian Government and those outside had different views of those on the inside. The Amritsar Massacre being a high profile example. The men squeezing the triggers were mostly Indian Army. Partition - a shameful part of British mismanagement -  of course made this even more complex, but it is noteworthy that the heads of the Indian and Pakistan armies immediately post partition were both British. Self determination by nations solves one large problem and creates a host of new problems. One only has to look at the shambles that most Colonial Governments left behind. 

 

I have not seen the Annual returns for the Indian Army but I would be surprised if it was under strength at any stage in its history. Unlike the British Army. 

Edited by QGE

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Steven Broomfield   
Steven Broomfield

Another factor to consider is that if Izzat - honour, for want of a better word.

 

Regarding Sikhism, I believe I am right in saying that Mason (mentioned above) comments that many believed that Sikhism may have died out were it not for the Raj's efforts in promoting it due to the admiration for Sikh militarism. I think I'm right in saying that one is not born a Sikh - even if the parents are Sikhs an entrant has to become a Sikh. That always left plenty of room for backsliding, which the army was happy to prevent.

 

There was also (again, I believe) ample furlough for the experienced soldier, which left plenty of time to return home and help with harvests or (in the case of the trans-Frontier tribes) blood feuds.

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ddycher   
ddycher

Martin / Steven

 

I'm with you on the benefits of being in the army at the time but I would have thought that these benefits would have generated a legacy element rather than the mass amnesia that seems to have happened.

 

Still pondering the apparent local view of reneged promises given the Government of India Act of 1919. Not buying into this one. Contemporary refs show that the changes were welcomed, if not as far reaching as hoped, and was seen at the time as moving in the right direction. National pride in their role in the Great War appears to have lasted into the mid 20's.

 

I am becoming a bigger supporter of Martin's second point re that the British Indian Army was a world within a world so to speak. When it was gone it was gone. There seems to be little cross over into normal life. India is still an armed camp with cantonments everywhere you go. Maybe within the military itself we would find more but typically the modern Indian Army is a very secular establishment which encourages little external interest. The general populace believing most things military a national secret.

 

To compound this I believe there is a general lack of interest in India re their recent / modern history prior to partition. This can be seen clearly as you go around the country in the neglect evident on any / all Raj era infrastructure. I have many before and after photo's of the splendour of the 1800's and 1900's which has now gone or fallen into disrepair. Very sad actually.

 

Fascinating discussion.

 

Dave

Edited by ddycher

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Kimberley John Lindsay   
Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear Dave,

Yes, we Great War Forum wallahs view such Raj buildings with 'spendour' in mind - but the Indian populace does not.

Even the combatitive Stephen Broomfield responded to my previous observation of the contemporary Indian assessment of the Raj ('one man's Mutineer is another man's Freedom Fighter')  with: 'And they're not really wrong, are they?' Quite.

I mean, I collect Officer medal groups to the Raj - with even Jemadars amongst the collection. Each group is thoroughly researched until a photograph of the gallant and capable Recipient is found (or not found). This requires great patience, a keen sense of history, and considerable so-called disposable income. This is perhaps not overly unusual for an Australian from a family with a military background. However, for the Indians of today, such trappings of the Raj (British Rule in India) are not worth worrying about...

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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ddycher   
ddycher

Thanks Kim

 

Had an interesting conversation in Bangalore last week with one of the hotel drivers. He was decrying the demolishing of the colonial bungalows and avenues replacing them with part finished roads and random modern buildings. It was atleast in his mind a tragedy.

 

All

 

http://www.csas.ed.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/48674/WP24_Shaheed_Hussain.pdf

 

This worth a read if you have not seen it before. Brings up another possibility in that the British Indian Army was very heavily biased to recruiting in the Punjab and northern provinces. A lot of which was partitioned into Pakistan (Hussain claims 65~75% subsequently making up the Pakistan Army). He also stresses the British Indian Army's normal separation from society, again supporting Martin's note earlier.

 

Regards

Dave

Edited by ddycher

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QGE   
QGE

I am not sure I would agree with Hussain's claims of 65%-75%.I think it is way off.

 

If we consider the Infantry at partition, there were 19 large Regiments mostly of 6 battalions (some were 5 or 4 Battalions) plus 10 regiments of Gurkha Rifles (2 Battalions each) making 126  battalions. Pakistan took 46 battalions and India took 60 Battalions plus 12 of the 20 Gurkha Rifle battalions (the others went to the British establishment). ..so India ended up (nominally) with 72 Battalions compared to Pakistan's 42 Battalions. Roughly speaking the India/Pakistan/British split was 57%/37%/6% [Edited for more accurate numbers by Battalion]

 

Edit 2. This article covers the numbers in detail and claims that the split after ethnic re-organisation of Battalions (Most had a various combinations of Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims) whereby men were offered transfers from the Indian Army to the pakistan Army (and vice versa). The author claims the original split was India 64 Battaliosn to Pakistan's 45 but subsequent to the voluntary reorganisation (Sikhs and Hindus leaving Pakistani units, Muslims leaving units destined for India) the split was India 76 against Pakistan's 33 (equivalent Battalions) and Britain's 8 Battalions so the 76/33/8 split gives 65%/28%/7% - see page 114 of the attached article. http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/14220/8/08_chapter 4.pdf

 

[Not sure where his original 64 Battalions for India come from v my 60. My calc is based on Appendix VI of Cook's "Battle Honours of the British and Indian Armies 1662-1982" which lists the Indian Amy by original title, 1903 title, 1922 title and destiny in 1947: India or Pakistan or British or disbanded]

 

Edit 3. An interesting article here with a relevant table showing alleged ethnic splits 1914-1930

http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00ambedkar/ambedkar_partition/tables/205f.html

 

After the restructuring of 1922 (large Regiments formed and 9 regiments disbanded) and 1933 (13 Battalions of Pioneers were disbanded)  It is slightly more complex as some old Battalions were also re-raised, but the general theme is that India ended up with more Regiments and Battalions than Pakistan.

 

Edit 4. This is a well worth read: Written by an Officer in the Jats describing the partition of his regiment.

http://www.dadinani.com/capture-memories/read-contributions/major-events-pre-1950/205-partition-army-sinha

 

Of the 21 Cavalry Regiments,13 went to India and 8 (included two that amalgamated) went to Pakistan

 

[Edited] What is unclear is how these regiments restructured after Partition.Many were still Class Company Regiments - Some regiments that went to India had Companies of men recruited from Sikhs, Hindus and Mulsims. Ditto Pakistan. For example in 1938 the six battalions of the 10th Baluch Regiment* was made up from Punjabi Musalmans, Pathans (Yusufzais and Khattaks) and Dogra Brahmins. It would be interesting to discover if the Brahmin companies were transferred.

 

Separately One might consider the size of the British India population compared to the size of the British Indian Army. According to the 1941 Census (nearest to partition) the population of British India and the Princely States (combined) was 380 million.compared to the British Indian Army of around 2.5 Million (including British troops) suggesting the Army/Population ratio was around 0.65% at best (the population would have increase between 1941 and 1948)

 

By comparison the British Army in WWII peaked close to 3 million men compared to a British population (1941 Census) of around 48 million. The Army/Population ratio was 6.25% or roughly 10 times greater than that of British India at partition. In addition, conscription and later national Service in the UK would make military service an integral part of male citizenship right up to the very early 1960s. Generally speaking, being an adult male of a certain age in the UK between 1939 and 1960 meant one was likely to be serving in the forces at some stage.

 

Even at its peak the Indian Army was small compared to the population with less than 1 person in 100 ever serving in uniform. The Indian Army is a distant thing to 99% of Indians. In 1997 The India Army stands at 2.21 million (including Reservists) against a population of 1.21 Billion (2011 Census) or roughly 0.18% meaning less than 1 person in 500.

 

Any mistakes are mine.

 

Martin

 

*formed in 1922 from the

124th DCO Baluchistan Infantry

126th Baluchistan Infantry

127th QMO Baluch Light Infantry

129th DCO Baluchis

130th KGO Baluchis (Jacob's Rifles)

 

Their combined Great War battle honours were:

World War I: Messines 1914, Armentières 1914, Ypres 1914, Gheluvelt, Festubert 1914, Givenchy 1914, Neuve Chapelle, Ypres 1915, St Julien, France and Flanders 1914–15, Egypt 1915, Megiddo, Sharon, Palestine 1918, Aden, Kut al Amara 1917, Baghdad, Mesopotamia 1916–18, Persia 1915-18, NW Frontier, India 1917, Kilimanjaro, Behobeho, East Africa 1915-18.

Afghanistan 1919.

 

 

Edited by QGE
Additional info.

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ddycher   
ddycher

Thanks Martin

 

Lots to take on-board. Will run through this evening.

 

Regards

Dave

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QGE   
QGE

This is worth a read...takes one through the ethnic composition of the British Indian Army from start to finish.It also refutes the claim that 70% of the Army in 1947 were Muslims and provides some decent analysis.

 

http://www.defencejournal.com/2001/feb/ethnicity.htm

Edited by QGE

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Steven Broomfield   
Steven Broomfield

With regard to the suspect Pathans, one source (McMunn?) comments that one issue for them was the old issues  of blood feuds and water rights. If too many men from a village were killed, there would be no-one left to ensure that the village could defend its land, grazing, water, etc, and also no-one would be left to undertake the local war against neighbouring villages. The recruitment of trans-Border tribes was always an odd relationship - the Pathan owed no loyalty to the Empire and always saw the relationship in a very pragmatic way; indeed, furlough could well be spent taking potshots at erstwhile comrades in arms.

 

The historian of the Scinde Horse (formerly the 35th Jacob's Horse and the 36th Horse) (Maunsell) notes that the regiments recruited Muslims from the Derajat (Dera Ismail Khan, Dera Fatteh Khan and the surrounding area), who were always troublesome (they were the only unit to recruit them), but this was stopped after the GW.

 

I belong to a few Indian FB groups on the military and never cease to be amazed at the mixture of extreme pride and deep ignorance many of the contributors demonstrate. Personally, I also find it difficult to reconcile myself to the glory heaped on Subhas Chandra Bose and the INA and Wermacht/SS Indian units.

 

And Kim: I didn't mean to be combative!

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