It was pointed out today that the one thing everyone remembers about the 14th Army is that it was ‘The Forgotten Army’! It is to be hoped that today’s VJ Day commemorations will get people beyond that fact, to recognise what an incredibly diverse force it was and that it was, by and large, an Indian Army that won victory in Burma.
Of course, we are familiar with a forgotten, multinational force from an earlier conflict! So here is a brief celebration of Indian soldiers who served with the BSF which – had the war gone on into 1919 – was to have been ‘Indianised’.
Indian muleteers waiting for their loads at an Army Service Corps forage dump near Salonika, 1915. BRITISH FORCES DURING THE SALONIKA CAMPAIGN 1915-1918 (click on image to see full size) © IWM (Q 31674)
Indian harness makers at work in camp, Salonika, September, 1916. (click on image to see full size) © IWM (Q 32320)
The carpenter of an Indian transport camp smokes a home-made pipe, constructed from a pickle jar, a tin funnel and two hollow canes. He is crouching on the ground and wears sunglasses. THE INDIAN ARMY IN SALONIKA DURING THE FIRST WORLD WAR (click on image to see full size) © IWM (Q 32321)