Sources for researching the Indian Army during the First World War and the Muslim Burial Ground
For the main Exploring Surrey’s Past web page on the Muslim Burial Ground, which contains further sources and web links, click here.
Guide to tracing sources for the Indian Army – click here to download a pdf () copy.
Woking Muslim Mission has issued several articles on the Muslim Burial Ground and Shah Jahan Mosque during the First World War using contemporary reports from the Islamic Review, including:
- Muslims in Britain and the start of the First World War, compiled by Dr. Zahid Aziz, Website Editor, www.wokingmuslim.org – click here to download a pdf () copy.
- Burial of Indian Muslim soldiers of World War 1 in England — How it began in November 1914, compiled by Dr. Zahid Aziz, Website Editor, www.wokingmuslim.org – click here to download a pdf () copy.
Rachel Hasted, Indian Army WW1 deaths in England (researched using British Library and Commonwealth War Graves Commission sources), 2014. Click here to download a pdf () copy.
For an article by Rachel Hasted, ‘Remembrance and Forgetting: The Muslim Burial Ground, Horsell Common, Woking and other Great War Memorials to the Indian Army in England‘ click here to download a pdf () copy. (This paper was given at the University of Chester conference ‘Minorities and the First World War’, April 2014; the author retains copyright).
Tom Donovan, Muslim Brighton Casualties buried at the Muslim Burial Ground in Woking & Brookwood Military Cemetery, extracted from ‘The Chattri’, Durbar, the Journal of the Indian Military Historical Society, Vol 26, No. 2 (Summer 2009) and on the Sikh Museum’s ‘Dr Brighton’s Pavilion’ website http://www.sikhmuseum.com/brighton/remembrance/honour/muslim.html
Dr Santanu Das, 1914-1918: Indians on the Western Front (2104)
Dr Rozina Visram, Asians in Britain: 400 years of history (2002)
Dr David Omissi, Indian Voices of the Great War: Soldiers’ Letters, 1914-1918 (1999)
Dr David Omissi, India and the Western Front http://www.bbc.co.uk/history
For a podcast of a lecture given at The National Army Museum in November 2015 by Dr Omissi entitled Illiterate but Literary: The Censored Correspondence of Indian Soldiers in France, 1914-18, see http://www.nam.ac.uk/events/lunchtime-lectures/video-archive/illiterate-literary-censored-correspondence-indian-soldiers-
Simon Doherty and Tom Donovan, The Indian Corps on the Western Front: A Handbook and Battlefield Guide (2014)
Dr Santanu Das, The Indian sepoy in the First World War (British Library extract http://www.bl.uk/world-war-one/articles/the-indian-sepoy-in-the-first-world-war)
George Morton-Jack, The Indian Empire At War: From Jihad to Victory, The Untold Story of the Indian Army in the First World War (2018)
George Morton-Jack , Army of Empire: The Untold Story of the Indian Army in World War I, (2018)
Alan Jeffreys (ed), The Indian Army in the First World War: New Perspectives (War & Military Culture in South Asia), (2018)
Soldiers of Empire, BBC Radio 4 programme http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04l0zq5
The Indian Military Historical Society encourages research and the exchange of information on the military history of the Indian Subcontinent http://durbaronline.co.uk/
The National Archives are making the First World War diaries of the Indian Infantry units deployed to the Western Front available online to download via the First World War 100 portal. These diaries cover the entire period of the units’ involvement in the war. Highlights include:
- their long journey across the seas to what was an unknown destination at the time (WO 95/3926/1). Many men experienced sea-sickness and weather they had never encountered before. One diary even includes reports of a shark swimming around the ship on 1 September 1914 (WO 95/3920/1)
- the ‘magnificent reception’ they received from the French upon their arrival in Marseilles where crowds greeted them with fruit, coffee, biscuits, flags and flowers (WO 95/3926/1)
- how religious requirements were accommodated. One diary notes how Indian troops were allowed to go up to the promenade deck of the ship to pray, facing east towards Mecca (WO 95/3920/1)
The Stories of Sacrifice project exhibition at the British Muslim Heritage Centre features displays dedicated to the bravery and sacrifice of Muslim soldiers during World War One, including Mahrup Shah http://www.storiesofsacrifice.org.uk/exhibition/burials/ and Alaf Khan http://www.storiesofsacrifice.org.uk/exhibition/living-on/ The project website features online extracts from the exhibition and information about every facet of Muslim involvement during World War One http://www.storiesofsacrifice.org.uk/
Useful web links:
Click here to download a pdf () copy of a booklet by Said Adrus on Woking’s Muslim Burial Ground, ‘Lost Pavilion’. A viewing copy of the film made by Said Adrus on Woking’s Muslim Burial Ground is held with Screen Archive South East, University of Brighton, Grand Parade, Brighton BN2 2JY. Tel: 01273 643213; email: [email protected] Their searchable online catalogue is http://www.brighton.ac.uk/screensearch.
For Horsell Common Preservation Society’s web page on the Muslim Burial Ground see http://www.horsellcommon.org.uk/sites/the-peace-garden/
For English Heritage’s website featuring the Muslim Burial Ground, see https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/about/news/future-golden-for-muslim-burial-ground/
For more information about Woking Borough Council and the renovation of the Muslim Burial Ground please contact Woking Borough Council on Tel: 01483 743774 or email: [email protected] A news feature about the start of the renovation work can be seen on the BBC website http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-surrey-23593060
Shah Jahan Mosque http://www.shahjahanmosque.org.uk/
The Western Front Association http://www.westernfrontassociation.com
The Long, Long Trail http://www.1914-1918.net/corps.htm
Find out more about the life in the Indian Army during the First World War through the letters of the Guildford based Berryman family http://www.familyletters.co.uk/about-this-site/. Ted Berryman was a Captain in the Garhwal Rifles and served in France and Mesopotamia, while his brother, Richard, was an Indian Army Doctor in Bournemouth and France.
The ‘Forgotten Heroes Foundation ‘FH14-19’, is an independent organisation paying tribute to the hundreds of thousands Muslim soldiers/labourers who died in the First World War, see their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FHF1419.
The Subedar Khan Foundation website features the story of the first Asian soldier to be warded the Victoria Cross, and celebrates the contribution of Punjabi Muslim soldiers and the British Pakistani community http://www.subedarkhan.org.uk/.