New online files reveal experiences of Indian troops fighting in WWI

The National Archives is making 171 First World War diaries of the Indian Infantry units deployed to the Western Front available online to download via its First World War 100 portal and tag on Operation War Diary, the online crowdsourcing project.

These diaries cover the entire period of the units’ involvement in the war, including their journey by sea from India and the reception they received on arrival in Marseilles, with the first two brigades docking on 26 September 1914.

William Spencer, author and military records specialist at The National Archives said: “These diaries provide fascinating insights into the mobilisation of Indian Troops and how they were accommodated as part of the allied forces that fought on the Western Front. Now they are online, people across the globe can engage with the real stories of those that fought in the war.

The National Archives would like to invite people to get involved in Operation War Diary to tag the diaries to reveal the many stories still to be discovered.”

The National Archvies is encouraging people to take part in Operation War Diary to help uncover all of the many stories contained within the 1.5million pages of the unit war diaries from France and Flanders. Volunteers wishing to take part in Operation War Diary can join the project here:

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