“Indian Troops in Europe” released by Ambassador Richier

On the occasion of the New Delhi World Book Fair 2015 (14th - 22nd February), H.E. Mr François Richier, Ambassador of France to India, released the book “Indian Troops in Europe” by Santanu Das (Mapin publishers, 2014), in the presence of M. Bipin, Director of Mapin Publishing House.

JPEG - 161.9 kb
Photo credit: Mapin Publishing

New Delhi, 20th February 2015

The publication of the book was supported by the French Government as part of ongoing commemorations of the First World War’s centenary, in acknowledgement of the crucial role that was played by Indian troops in liberating the land of France. Nearly 90 000 Indian men served in France, of which 8500 were killed and 50 000 were wounded.

This book is a visual record of their lives in Europe—in trenches, fields, farms, billets, markets, towns, cities, railway-stations, hospitals, prisoner-of-camps—as well as the world they had left behind in India, the relentless routine of travel and the way we remember them.

Santanu DAS is one of the best specialists of this historic period, reader in English at King’s College London. Among his other books, Touch and Intimacy in First World War Literature (Cambridge, 2006) and the referential Cambridge Companion to First World War Poetry (2013). From 2013-2016, he has been leading an international collaborative research project on “Cultural Exchange During the First World War”.

Indian soldiers in WW1: As Britain declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914, Lord Hardinge, the Viceroy of India, announced that India too was at war, without consulting Indian political leaders. Yet, the responses to the war within India, both from the native princes and the political elite, were largely enthusiastic. Of all the colonies in the British, French and German empires of the time, British India (comprising present-day India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Burma) contributed the highest number of men. Of them, over a million served overseas between August 1914 and December 1919.

French presence at the World Book Fair: The French pavilion will offer 1000 recent publications in partnership with Oxford Bookstore, which inaugurated its curated “French Corner” on 4th October 2013.

Related articles:

- The human faces behind the heroes: France’s tribute to Indian soldiers in WWI (opinion piece by H.E. François Richier, Ambassador of France to India in "Dainik Jagran" and "Punjabi Jagran", 31st October 2014).

- India and the First World War Photography Exhibition

Last modified on 20/02/2015

top of the page