Books about the Indian Army in the First World War

The books below are some of my recommendations if you are interested in learning more about the role of the Indian Army during the First World War.

Indian Army on the Western Front

If you are interested in the Indian Army on the Western Front there are four books I would recommend. The first is Sepoys in the Trenches: The Indian Corps on the Western Front by Major Gordon Corrgian. This is the book I recommend to my clients.

If you are visiting the battlefields where the Indian Army fought I would recommend combining Corrigan’s book with The Indian Corps on the Western Front: A Handbook and Battlefield Guide by Simon Doherty and Tom Donovan. This book is crammed full of photographs of the battlefields and maps.

The best book on the Indian Army in Europe is The Indian Army on the Western Front: India’s Expeditionary Force to France and Belgium in the First World War by George Morton-Jack. A detailed review of the book can be read on the Institute of Historial Research. The downside to this book is its cost, which is very expensive. You may be able to find a cheap copy on Abebooks.

There was also an official history produced during the war which has been reprinted by the Naval and Military Press: The Indian Corps in France by Lieutenant-Colonel Merewether. This book is very useful if you are interested in finding out about acts of gallantry by British and Indian soldiers. You can read the book online for free by clicking here: The Indian Corps in France.

The Indian Army at Gallipoli

There is only one book focusing on the Indian Army’s role at Gallipoli and it is excellent and I cannot recommend it enough: Die in Battle, Do not Despair: The Indians on Gallipoli, 1915 by Peter Stanley. I took this book to Gallipoli and have found it to be very useful, well written and packed full of information. If you are interested in the Gurkhas then this is the book for you

Indian Regimental Histories

I have only picked two regimental histories which I thought would be of interest to the general reader. Both are well written and provide excellent insights into the Indian Army during the First World War from a regimental level. The first is The Fourth Battalion Duke of Connaught’s Own Tenth Baluch Regiment in the Great War by W. S. Thatcher. This was 129th Baluchis which fought on the Western Front and East Africa during the war.

The second is a History of the 19th King George’s Own Lancers 1858-1921 by H. Hudson which covers both the 18th King George’s Own Lancers and 19th Lancers Fane’s Horse. While the book records the history of the units from their creation to amalgamation in 1922, the bulk is concerned with the First World War.