For King and Another Country: Indian Soldiers on the Western Front, 1914-18

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en Limba Engleză Paperback – 16 Jun 2016
Over a million Indian soldiers fought in the First World War, the largest force from the colonies and dominions. Their contribution, however, has been largely forgotten. Many soldiers were illiterate and travelled from remote villages in India to fight in the muddy trenches in France and Flanders. Many went on to win the highest bravery awards. For King and another Country tells, for the first time, the personal stories of some of these Indians who went to the Western Front: from a grand turbanned Maharaja rearing to fight for Empire to a lowly sweeper who dies in a hospital in England, from a Pathan who wins the Victoria Cross to a young pilot barely out of school. Shrabani Basu delves into archives in Britain and narratives buried in villages in India and Pakistan to recreate the War through the eyes of the Indians who fought it. There are heroic tales of bravery as well as those of despair and desperation; there are accounts of the relationships that were forged between the Indians with their British officers and how curries reached the frontline. Above all, it is the great story of how the War changed India and led, ultimately, to the call for independence.
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ISBN-13: 9781408880111
ISBN-10: 1408880113
Pagini: 272
Dimensiuni: 129 x 198 x 19 mm
Greutate: 0.22 kg
Editura: Bloomsbury Publishing
Colecția Bloomsbury Paperbacks
Locul publicării: London, United Kingdom


For readers of Indian Voices of the Great War edited by David Omissi, Everyday Life on the Western Front by Marguerite Helmers, Gordon Corrigan's Sepoys in the Trenches and all who love Downton Abbey.

Notă biografică

Shrabani Basu was born in Calcutta, graduated from St Stephen's College, Delhi, and earned her Master's at Delhi University. She has been the London correspondent of Ananda Bazar Patrika group since 1988, writing for Sunday, Ananda Bazar Patrika and The Telegraph. Basu has appeared on several radio and television programmes in the UK including Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4 and several documentaries on Queen Victoria, Noor Inayat Khan and curry. She founded the Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust in 2010 to campaign for a memorial for the WWII heroine. The memorial was unveiled by Princess Anne in November 2012. She is the author of Curry: The Story of the Nation's Favourite Dish, Spy Princess: The Life of Noor Inayat Khan and Victoria & Abdul: The True Story of the Queen's Closest Confidant.


A stirring, fascinating and fresh account of a part of our history that should be declared Not Forgotten
A beautifully written book that gently yet powerfully reminds of the debt freedom owes to the Indian soldier and nation. It is compellingly different and it's timing perfect. It serves humbly to remind we British of the debt we owe the people of the sub-continent and of the ties that irrevocably bind us together
Shrabani Basu has captured the epic drama and the human tragedy of World War I with an artist's eye and a historian's mind. Her narrative vivifies a chapter of modern history that had dullened into sepia
In this moving chronicle of dauntless courage and human fortitude, Shrabani Basu restores to history and to greatness valorous men orphaned by the king they served and forgotten by the country they loved
Basu's book tells us of children as young as 10 who fought in the frontline; of special arrangements made by the British to accommodate caste and religion, including separate funeral provisions; of the enduring blight of untouchability, even on foreign shores; and of outstanding examples of bravery, earning 11 Indians the Victoria Cross
In her new book For King and Country, the historian Shrabani Basu movingly explores the ordeals, and the achievements, of the million-plus Indian troops who fought for the Empire in the First World War