© 1999

Indian Voices of the Great War

Soldiers’ Letters, 1914–18


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxvii
  2. David Omissi
    Pages 1-22
  3. David Omissi
    Pages 23-130
  4. David Omissi
    Pages 131-262
  5. David Omissi
    Pages 263-343
  6. David Omissi
    Pages 346-358
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 359-382

About this book


Indian soldiers served in France from 1914 to 1918. This book is a selection of their letters. By turns poignant, funny, and almost unbearably moving, these documents vividly evoke the world of the Western Front - as seen through 'subaltern' Indian eyes. The letters also bear eloquent witness to the sepoys' often unsettling encounter with Europe, and with European culture. This book helps to map the imaginative landscape of South Asia's warrior-peasant communities.


army Europe France Front India

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of History and Centre for Indian StudiesUniversity of HullUK

About the authors

David Omissi is with the Department of History and Center for Indian Studies at the University of Hull.

Bibliographic information


'...provides an altogether rich and resonant testimony to the courage and stoicism of Indian soldiers and makes a valuable contribution to both Indian military history and to wider studies on the mind-set of soldiers at war.' - Apurba Kundu, Contemporary South Asia

'There's no shortage of first world war material around, but for me the most surprising and affecting remains Indian Voices of the Great War Soldiers' Letters 1914-18' - Kamila Shamsie, The Guardian's 'Best Holiday Reads' 2014