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Though India was not directly involved in World War 1, over 1.4 million Indian soldiers and non- combatants volunteered between 1914 – 1918 to support the Allied forces overseas in their eventual victory. Apart from the troops who were a part of the British forces, the armies of the Princely states were called out to form the Imperial Service Troops which also served in the Great War. In 1914, the Indian Army was one of the largest volunteer armies to be involved in the war. Indian soldiers won 8 Victoria Crosses, on the Western Front out of a total of 11 awarded in the war.

When the First World War broke out in 1914, as part of the British Empire, India rallied to the support of Britain. More than 1.4 million Indian soldiers and non-combatants served in the war, with over 138,000 Indian soldiers seeing action on the Western Front. They suffered heavy casualties, fought with courage and won eight Victoria Crosses on the Western Front out of a total of 11 awarded during the war. (Loyalty and Dissent – Our new classroom resource on Indian soldiers in the First World War, 2017)

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INDIAN CONTRIBUTION TO THE WAR