A member of the Royal Indian Army Services Corps, c1940.
In World War 2, the Indian Army was called on to support Britain in its war effort, providing vital raw materials and manpower. India raised one of the largest volunteer armies in the world with over 2.5 million men under arms, including Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims. Many Indian sailors worked on merchant ships to help keep the supply lines open and assist troop movements. Asian men and women worked in British factories and as ARP wardens, nurses and firemen.
The Indian army fought in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. Tens of thousands of Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims were killed fighting for the British Empire, a similar number wounded, and more tens of thousands taken prisoner. The British decorated 4,000 of these men for valour.
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