British Empire Books

Sepoys in the Trenches

The Indian Corps on the Western Front, 1914-15

AuthorGordon Corrigan
PublisherSpellmount Ltd
First Published1999
ISBN No.1862270546

The author has spared no effort in providing an extremely interesting look at the Indian Army and its men up to the outbreak of WW1, before moving on to describe their combat history in France. I have not previously had such a clear understanding of the differences between Jat's, Sikhs, Baluchi's, Ghurkha's, Gharwali, etc. etc. until I read this book. I knew the provision of food was something that had to be done with care, but this book gives a very clear picture of how important all this was. Of how fastidious the Indian troops were about things being done correctly, yet how obediently they followed their Saheb's into battle.

The book also clearly establishes the place British officers held and those of the Indian Officers in the Indian Army. The expectations of promotion and the pecking order among the Indian troops. There can be no doubt, that to command these troops called for officers with a very good knowledge of the men as well as their religious and other requirements.

Highly recommended for anyone researching British/Indian troops in any era from 1856 onward. It also includes an excellent 'Genealogy' of the Regiments. I have found it extremely interesting and instructive.

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by Stephen Luscombe