By Gajendra Singh

Within the global Wars, thousands of Indian sepoys have been mobilized, recruited and shipped out of the country to struggle for the British Crown. The Indian military used to be the manager Imperial reserve for an empire below hazard. yet how did these sepoys comprehend and clarify their very own warfare stories and certainly themselves via that have? How a lot did their tales comprehend and replicate their very own fragmented identities as either colonial topics and imperial policemen?

The stories of Indian infantrymen and the 2 international Wars attracts upon the debts of Indian fighters to discover how they got here to phrases with the conflicts. In thematic chapters, Gajendra Singh lines the evolution of army identities below the British Raj and considers how these identities grew to become embattled within the praxis of soldiers' struggle tales mainly letters, depositions and interrogations. It turns into a narrative of mutiny and obedience; of horror, loss and silence. This booklet tells that tale and is a vital contribution to histories of the British Empire, South Asia and the 2 global Wars.

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Extra resources for The Testimonies of Indian Soldiers and the Two World Wars: Between Self and Sepoy (War, Culture and Society)

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43 Even Sikh Jats within these areas were not all suitable for military service. Innumerable distinctions were made between gols of Jats of ‘not very good quality’44 and those sub-castes within both the Majha and Malwa areas that were seen as being especially suited to the military life.  . The Sindhus] are the finest of the Amritsar peasantry. 46 Lastly, although ‘Sindhu Jats’ were ‘fine specimens of the human race’47 when recruited from Tarn Taran tahsil, the sons of military pensioners who were settled in the canal colonies of western Punjab evidently were not.

The Sindhus] are the finest of the Amritsar peasantry. 46 Lastly, although ‘Sindhu Jats’ were ‘fine specimens of the human race’47 when recruited from Tarn Taran tahsil, the sons of military pensioners who were settled in the canal colonies of western Punjab evidently were not. 48 Bingley’s Handbook, therefore, attempted to rank Sikhs in accordance with a racial rather than religious understanding of Sikhism. However, it did not prove as authoritative as either he or his superiors would have liked.

38 Although the direct pay of sipahis remained low throughout the British Raj, the irregular payments and bonuses attached to being a soldier made it financially worthwhile. The special privileges that a sipahi could accrue continued into retirement and extended to their families. It was regular practice for Indian soldiers who had served in the Army for 20 years or more to be awarded a gratuity in kind or in cash. Pensions were available to former soldiers from the mid-nineteenth century, and if an individual had distinguished himself during his military service by winning a medal or award, the level of pension would be increased further.

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