World War One-Centenary Commemoration of the Sacrifice, Gallantry, Tradition & Faith of the Indian Soldier – Few Facts

  • In 1914, the Indian Army was the largest volunteer army in the world with a total strength of 240,000 men and by November 1918 it contained 548,311 men, being considered the Imperial Strategic Reserve.
  • By the time the war ended in November 1918 , 1,105,000 Indian personnel had been sent overseas
  • In total, 800,000 Indian troops fought in all the theatres of the war with 1½ million volunteering to fight. They fought in most theatres of war including Gallipoli and North and East Africa. In all 47,746 were classed as killed or missing with 65,000 wounded.
  • The Indian Corps won 13,000 medals for gallantry including 11 Victoria Crosses.

  • At the First Battle of Ypres, Khudadad Khan became the first Indian to be awarded a Victoria Cross

                                             (c) National Army Museum; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

                                            Subedar Khudadad Khan -First V.C.Winner 


  • 53,486 Indian soldiers died in the war; 64,350 were wounded and 3,762 went missing or were imprisoned as on December 31, 1919.
  • One of the highest number of Indian casualties were recorded in Mesopotamia, including about 30,000 dead and 32,000 wounded
  • Indian contributed equipment and stores worth over £80 million to the war effort until 1918. In terms of direct monetary contribution, India gave £146.2 million to the war until the end of 1919-20.
  • 43,737 men were supplied to different theatres as Indian Labour Corps
  •  Indian troops were supplemented by 1, 72,815 animals and 36, 91,836 tonnes of supplies.

  Many more facts about World War One on



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