The Indian Corps on the Western Front: A Handbook and Battlefield Guide contains in one convenient volume a description of the Indian Army in 1914 and the component parts that made up the Corps that landed in Marseilles from September 1914 onwards.
The Indians came to a country and a war totally beyond their experience and training. Thown into battle on arrival, sometimes with no time at all to acclimatize to their surroundings, their reaction to the strain of war and their battlefield performance has been challenged by some historians. Recent scholarship refutes these allegations and the conclusion is that the Indians performed well in France and Flanders, especially given the heavy losses they suffered in both officers and men and the difficulties of reinforcing them over Lines-of-Communication reaching back to India.
The Indian Corps, comprising two divisions, Lahore and Meerut, remained on the Western Front for a year, participating in ten major battles or operations as well as the constant trying routine of trench warfare. This was particularly grim during the first winter, 1914-15, when trenches were rudimentary and the supply of specialist weapons and other instruments of trench warfare was extremely limited.
Following the history and guides are chapters on cemeteries and memorials in France and Belgium, the Indian hospitals established in England during 1914-15 and particularly convalescence in Brighton, where 12,000 Indian soldiers were treated and seventy-four died. The final guide is to locations in Brighton, the hospital buildings and the two post-war memorials.
THE INDIAN CORPS ON THE WESTERN FRONT A Handbook and Battlefield Guide
As well as a complete history of the Indian Corps, covering its background and operational experience, this book contains detailed battlefield tour guides of all the main operations, with easy-to-follow instructions and specially commissioned maps. These are in colour coded sections to differentiate them from the historical narrative.