The Indian Army during World War I contributed a large number of divisions and independent brigades to the European, Mediterranean and the Middle East theatres of war in World War I. ⁣

Over one million Indian troops served overseas, of whom 62,000 died and another 67,000 were wounded. In total at least 74,187 Indian soldiers died during the war.⁣

In 1914, the Indian Army was one of the two largest volunteer armies in the world. It had a total strength of 240,000 men while the British Army had a strength of 247,432 regular volunteers at the outbreak of the war.⁣

In 1914-15, Kasturba Gandhi worked in Indian Army hospitals – on England’s southern coast – set up for some 16,000 Indian soldiers who had been wounded in France and Belgium.⁣

Pratap Singh, an aristocratic officer of the Jodhpur Lancers, had an incomparable mix of energy, professionalism and charm. He was 73 years old when he went to war in 1914, becoming the oldest soldier in the British trenches on the western front. But he was still young at heart.⁣

Khudadad Khan became the first Indian to be awarded a Victoria Cross. He was a machine gunner with the 129th Baluchi Regiment. A total of 11 Victorian Crosses were won by Indian soldiers.⁣

The normal annual recruitment for the Indian army was 15,000 men, during the course of the war over 800,000 men volunteered for the army and more than 400,000 volunteered for non-combatant roles. In total almost 1.3 million men had volunteered for service by 1918. Child soldiers, some as young as 10 years old, were enlisted to fight in the war.⁣

The Indian Army was taken into the war without consulting the Indian leaders. The army fought the war hoping the British would award the country independence in return.⁣

However, India was denied its promise after the war ended. Instead, the country was ‘awarded’ Rowlatt Act (The Anarchial and Revolutionary Crimes Act of 1919) that effectively authorized the British government to imprison any suspected person for up to two years without a trial.⁣

The India Gate in New Delhi, built in 1931, commemorates the Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting in World War I.⁣