Remembering the Indian Army on VJ Day

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 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. 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 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)

Author: scswebeditor

Robin Braysher joined the SCS in 2003 and from 2008 has been the Society's web editor. His interest in the campaign comes from his grandfather, Fred, who served as a cyclist with the BSF from 1915 to 1917, mainly in the Struma valley. Robin hands over the role in October 2021 to Andy Hutt. Andy's interest in the campaign comes from his grandfather, Arthur, who served as a Royal Engineer from 1916-1918. All posts prior to February 2021 are by Robin. Opinions expressed in these posts are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Society.

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