London, 11 Rabi’ul Akhir 1438/10 January 2017 (MINA) – A study by British Future and New Horizons In British Islam reveal more than 400,000 Indian Muslim gave up their lives to fight in World War One for British.
The ‘forgotten army’ you never learned about in school – the hidden army of the British empire, The Mirror reported.
“Almost one-and-a-half million men from India took part in the war,” says Avaes Mohammed, project co-ordinator of the British Future. “That is more than all the other Empire countries put together.”
From the number, the Indian army was 1.3 million strong, with the ranks including 100,000 Sikhs and 800,000 Hindu troops.
The study also reveals just 22 per cent of British people knew an army of Muslims fought in the war – only two per cent of which were aware of the full extent of their sacrifice.
This means around 78 per cent of the public are clueless about the tens of thousands who stood side by side with British soldiers.
Avaes is now taking matters into his own hands by attempting to educate children about the role Muslims from India played in the Great War.
“We should not forget their contribution, because remembering it is so important to our contemporaries.
“Commemoration is a force of good in the community because it brings people together.
“It gives a sense of belonging in this country. It gives young people a stake in this country.”
The project is one of four across the country that makes up “An Unknown And Untold Story – The Muslim Contribution To The First World War”.
Of that massive force, 62,060 were killed in action. They gave their lives at epic battles such as the Somme and Ypres.
Hundreds were killed in a gallant, but futile, engagement at Neuve Chappelle.
More than 1,000 of them lost their lives at Gallipoli and nearly 700,000 sepoys fought in Mesopotamia.(T/RE1/RS05)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)