INDIAN ARMY IN WWI - By the numbers



Migrated to Europe from Asia


The start of the war triggered the largest single migration of people from Asia to Europe with an estimated 1.5 million people making the journey from India to Europe to aid in the war effort. 


Indian Troops fought in WWI


The Indian Army contributed a large number of divisions and independent brigades to the European, Mediterranean and Middle East theaters in WWI. Over one million Indian troops served overseas, of whom 62,000 died and another 67,000 were wounded.  Nowhere were the causalties more severe than the early days of the war on the Western front, where fully half of some garrisons were lost in the trenches. 


Indian Men Volunteered for the Army


By the year 1918 over 827,000 Indian men had volunteered for the Army.  Another 400,000 volunteered for non-combat roles.


Indian Troops in France


As the German Army advanced through France, more Allied troops were in desperate needed for the Western Front.  The Indian Army and 161,000 of it's trained men answered the call.  Shortly after their arrival in Europe they were thrust into some of the fiercest fighting around Ypres.  The average battalion landed in August with 764 men fit for duty.  By late November, in many cases that number was cut in half. 


Medals of Honor


Nk Darwan Singh Negi of the Garhwal Rifles, had the distinction of being the first Indian soldier to be presented with the Victoria Cross.  It was personally presented to him by the King Emperor who traveled from the battle front in France at Locon to over see the ceremony.  In all the Indian Army Corps were awarded over 13,000 medals for gallantry including 12 Victoria Cross, the highest medal of distinction.