First World War

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First World War information relevant to British India, including the involvement of the Indian Army and of Anglo Indians in the British Army. During the First World War compulsory service was deemed necessary and the Indian Defence Force Act was passed in 1917. European British men between the ages of 18 and 41 were subject to compulsory service within India. Thus men serving overseas were not sent as conscripts, but had voluntarily joined either the Indian Army, or the British Army.

Hampshire Regt WW1 Shield with India noted

General information

Expeditionary Forces

Seven expeditionary forces served during World War I

  • Indian Expeditionary Force A served on the European Western Front
  • Indian Expeditionary Force B served in the East African Campaign
  • Indian Expeditionary Force C composed of the Imperial Service Infantry Brigade served in British East Africa
  • Indian Expeditionary Force D served in the Mesopotamia Campaign
  • Indian Expeditionary Force E served in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign
  • Indian Expeditionary Force F served in the First Suez Offensive
  • Indian Expeditionary Force G served in the Gallipoli Campaign

The Indian Divisions of 1914-1918 [1]

Division Theatres Arrival in first theatre
1st (Peshawar) - Remained in India
2nd (Rawalpindi) - Remained in India
3rd (Lahore) France & Flanders, Mesopotamia October 1914
4th (Quetta) - Remained in India
5th (Mhow) - Remained in India
6th (Poona) Mesopotamia From November 1914
7th (Meerut) France & Flanders, Mesopotamia October 1914
8th (Lucknow) - Remained in India
9th (Secunderabad) - Remained in India
10th Egypt Formed in Egypt 1914
11th Egypt Formed in Egypt 1914
12th Mesopotamia Formed in Mesopotamia 1915
13th - Not formed
14th Mesopotamia Formed in Mesopotamia 1916
15th Mesopotamia Formed in Mesopotamia 1916
16th - Remained in India
17th Mesopotamia Formed in Mesopotamia 1917
18th Mesopotamia Formed in Mesopotamia 1917
Burma Division - Remained in India
1st Indian Cavalry France & Flanders November 1914. Renamed 4th Cavalry Division in November 1916
2nd Indian Cavalry France & Flanders December 1914. Renamed 5th Cavalry Division in November 1916


“Britain's declaration of war on Germany in 1914, brought immediate mobilization in India and by 1915, the British war drain produced hundreds of officer vacancies in the regular army which became accessible to Anglo-Indians for the first time since the East India Company's ban of 1791. Conscription was enforced systematically among the Anglo-Indians at odds with the experience of other Indian communities treated more leniently. (Abel:1988) By 1916, perhaps 8,000 Anglo-Indians had joined British units as in the case of the many "India-born" recruits accepted by the Dorset Regiment. Jhansi's Anglo-Indian Battery, part of the Anglo-Indian Force, attached to the 77th Royal Field Artillery, had the largest concentration of Anglo-Indian conscripts and volunteers and earned a distinguished record in the Mesopotamian conflict. In total, 50-75% of the adult Anglo-Indian population saw active service although non-emergency enlistment in the British Army remained closed to them. (Dover:1937) Most were immediately sent abroad while others were employed by the sudden munitions and supply boom, for instance, at Kanpur where the army's leather processing centre had been located since after the Mutiny. (Thomas:1982)” [2]

In 1916 the Anglo-Indian Association was asked to raise a battalion of Anglo-Indian soldiers - an Anglo-Indian force; some of them served in Mesopotamia[3]. By the September of 1917 the Anglo-Indian Force had drawn more than 950 men.[25][4]

The Anglo Indian Battery, an Artillery unit which was part of the Anglo Indian Force, served in Mesopotamia and returned to India at the end of the war and was based at Trimulgherry. The Government of India decided the unit should be a permanent part of the forces, but it appears not to have survived the cuts of the post war slump

Temporary Commissions & Indian Army Reserve of Officers 1917-1921

IOR Ref - (L/MIl/9/435-623)

The First World War necessitated a reserve force of British Army officers for the Indian Army to supplement regular recruitment of cadets from Sandhurst, Wellington and Quetta. Temporary commissions were, therefore, granted to British Officers, NCOs and enlisted men of the required educational standard.

Fortunately, the individual names in this section are listed in searchable indexes on the National Archives Access to Archives website (See External links. The full record will show birth details and army service.

In the same index volume, on the open shelves in the British Library, is a further typed list of about 2,500 names compiled from a card index relating to medal claims. This index gives rank, unit , date of release and post-release address.( It does not actually show medal entitlement)

Finally the volume contains an index of 815 British Army other ranks commissioned into the Indian Army during the First World War. Fuller reference is shown as WO339 (pieces 139092 -139906) held at The National Archives – (See War Office: Officers' Services, First World War, Long Number Papers (numerical) in External links

The British Library has the book, in five volumes, covering the First World War, Alphabetical list giving particulars of officers of the Indian Army Reserve of Officers / [issued by] Army Headquarters, India, Military Secretary’s Branch. The catalogue entry states "Contents: [v.1]. 26th June 1916 _ v.2. 24th January 1917 _ v.3. 31st December 1917 _ v.4. 30th June 1918 _ v.5. 31st December 1918". The shelfmark is OIR 355.37 Open Access. There are also the records, Applications for appointments to the India Army Reserve of Officers ‎ (1916-1918) IOR/L/MIL/9/552 to IOR/L/MIL/9/552. Search by name, in the British Library's Archives and Manuscripts catalogue.

FIBIS database: A List of Officers (I.A.R.O.) recruited to or Re-engaged during the Year 1916 and up to the middle of January 1917

Fibis members can contact Fibis research should they wish to access further detail from these records. [email protected]

British Army Territorial Force troops in India

Territorial Force troops were sent to India so that regular units could be released for service in France.[5]

On 22 September 1914 the government of India agreed to send 32 British and 20 Indian regular army battalions to Europe in exchange for 43 Territorial Force battalions. [6]

  • The 43rd (Wessex) Division - All units assembled at Southampton on 9 October. Sailing via Malta and Suez, the main body of the Division went to Bombay, landing on 9 November, with three units (4th, 5th and 6th Devons) landing at Karachi two days later. [6]
  • The 44th (Home Counties) Division - All units that were going to India assembled at Southampton and sailed on 30 October. They all went to Bombay, landing between 1 and 3 December.[7]
  • The 45th (2nd Wessex) Division On 25 November 1914 it was decided to send from the 2nd Wessex 10 battalions of infantry and the artillery. Two battalions (2/4th Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry and 2/4th Hampshire Regiment went to Karachi (arriving 9 January 1915) via Aden; the rest landed at Bombay (4-8 January 1915).[8]

See British Army Territorial Force troops arriving in 1914‎ for those Regiments and Batteries arriving with the first two Divisions above, and their initial postings.

The Territorial Battalions in India generally experienced a movement of personnel, as drafts were provided for Regiments in Mesopotamia, and men transferred to specialist services. The Battalions in India in turn received drafts from Britain. As an example, 1/5th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry lost nearly half its original personnel in 2½ years in India. [9] Wounded and other ill soldiers from Mesopotamia were returned to India for treatment and convalescence. Some of these sadly became part of the group of soldiers who died in India.[10]

A regimental history which describes experiences of Territorials in India during the Great War is A Strange War: Burma, India and Afghanistan 1914-1919 by C P Mills. The Regiment was the 2/5th Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry.

Garrison Battalions

Garrison Battalions were made up of soldiers unfit for front line duty. This decision was made at time of enlistment or after previous front line service where the soldier had suffered wounds or sickness. They were sent to various parts of the empire on garrison duties to release fit soldiers for front line duty.[11] By the end of the war there were 18 Garrison Battalions in India.[12]

In India, men unfit for frontline duties in regiments about to leave India for war zones, were transferred into Garrison Battalions already serving in India.[13]

Some of the soldiers who served in the Garrison Battalions in India served on the North West Frontier in Afghanistan in 1919, in the 3rd Afghan War, almost certainly along the lines of communication.[14]

Very little has been written about the Garrison Battalions of World War I in post-war regimental histories. Battalions were disbanded within days of returning from service overseas and their four or five year existence was apparently regarded as of little consequence in regimental history. [15]. A diary, including a description of the journey to India of a “unit of middle-aged and medically downgraded men”, and letters home may be found in 1st Garrison Battalion The Manchester Regiment, India, Singapore, Hong Kong & Siberia by Robert Bonner.

The April 1919 Indian Army List[16] shows the following Garrison Battalions: 1st, 2nd and 3rd Garrison Battalions, Bedfordshire Regiment; 1st Garrison Battalions Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), East Yorkshire Regiment; 2nd Garrison Battalion, Essex Regiment, 1st Garrison Battalions Gordon Highlanders, Lincolnshire Regiment, Manchester Regiment, Norfolk Regiment; 2nd Garrison Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers; 1st Garrison Battalions Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, Royal Irish Fusiliers, Royal Irish Rifles, Royal Scots Fusiliers, Somerset Light Infantry, South Staffordshire Regiment and Yorkshire Regiment.

Special Service Battalions

Formed from April 1919 in India from drafts of demobilisees (from Mesopotamia) arriving by ship in Bombay. See "Mutiny in India 1919" for more details about these Battalions. One Special Service Battalion, No.17, served in the Third Afghan War

External links

Historical books online

Regular British Army troops in India

Indian Army troops in India

Indian Army troops were involved in actions on the North West Frontier.



At sea

During the First World War ships of the Royal Indian Marine carried troops and other war stores from India to Egypt, Mesopotamia and East Africa. When mines were detected off the coasts of Bombay and Aden during the First World War, the Royal Indian Marine went into action with a fleet of minesweepers, patrol vessels and troop carriers. The Royal Indian Marine also played a leading role in landing troops in Mesopotamia and their small river craft did very useful work on the Euphrates and Tigris rivers.[19]

  • Merchant Adventurers, 1914-1918 by F. A. Hook 1920 A "compilation of the war records of the P. and O., British India and associated lines." Unfortunately the file is lacking the illustrations which should be in the book. British Library digital file, with illustrations, which may be rotated. A different digital file: Pdf download, Digital Library of India.
  • Crew Lists of the British Merchant Navy-1915 National Maritime Museum The crews originated from all over the world and on some vessels the British nationals were in a minority.
  • Also see Royal Navy, which also includes some information about the Merchant Navy.

Recommended reading

  • Yeats-Brown, Francis Lives of a Bengal Lancer . An autobiographical account of a Bengal Lancer covering the period from 1905 until the end of the First World War. Describes his deployment in India, France and Mesopotamia. See review in Biographies reading list. Also see Mesopotamia Campaign.
  • Spencer, William First World War army service records : a guide for family historians The National Archives, 2008 See Review in Military reading list.


British Library holdings

  • Also see Medal Rolls for British Library records in respect of rolls of honours and rewards.
The links for the following catalogue references are National Archives Discovery links. For British Library equivalent links, search directly in the British Library’s "Search our Catalogue Archives and Manuscripts".
  • IOR/L/MIL/14/142 1914-1921. Indian Army Officers Casualty Returns: Alphabetical lists of casualties by death among British officers of the Indian Services in the Great War giving rank, age, unit, date, place and cause. Possibly may provide information additional to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database information (refer below). British Library article about these records, which indicates Warrant Officer (Conductor) and NCOs (i.e. men other than privates) deaths are included.
  • IOR/L/MIL/15/22 British Army in India: Burial returns of officers and others in India, 1914-1918. Also available on LDS microfilm 2029981 ( see FamilySearch Centres). Possibly may provide information additional to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database information (refer below)
  • IOR/L/MIL/7/17154-18939 Collection 425 First World War 1914-1918 ‎ (1914-1920). There is no TNA catalogue link, but it appears most of the records have been destroyed.
  • IOR/L/MIL/17/5/245-299 1903-1947. Military Department Library: Indian Army Orders. Includes volumes coving the war years from IOR/L/MIL/17/5/256 1914
  • IOR/L/MIL/17/5/1133-1231 Military Department Library: Indian Army Divisional and Brigade Movement Programmes/Distribution Lists. The dates appear to be for 1914/early 1915, and 1920 only. Most are titled "Distribution of the troops...."
  • IOR/L/MIL/17/5/2380-2420 Military Department Library: Indian Army First World War - General ‎ (1914-1931)
  • IOR/L/MIL/17/5/2421-4246 1914-1921. Military Department Library: Indian Army First World War - War Diaries.
The entries which include War Diary in the individual entry are from IOR/L/MIL/17/5/3001. War diary, Army Headquarters India, Indian Expeditionary Force 'A' [France]. IOR/L/MIL/17/5/3086-3149; IE Force 'B' and ‘C’ [East Africa] IOR/L/MIL/17/5/3150-3222; IE Force 'D' [Mesopotamia] IOR/L/MIL/17/5/3223-3892, including IOR/L/MIL/17/5/3788 A table of the contents of the war diaries of the Mesopotamian Campaign; IE Force 'E'/'E' & 'G'/Egypt and F. IOR/L/MIL/17/5/3893-3950; IE Force 'G' [Mediterranean] IOR/L/MIL/17/5/3951- 3953; Aden Force IOR/L/MIL/17/5/3954-4056; India, Afghan War IOR/L/MIL/17/5/4057-4065; India, Frontier Operations IOR/L/MIL/17/5/4066-4121; Persia IOR/L/MIL/17/5/4122-4223.
Some of these volumes are Indian Army Casualty Returns, explained in the British Library article "Finding Indian soldiers who served in World War One"
  • The Military Department Library also contains items relating to the First World War catalogued according to regions including IOR/L/MIL/17/15/41-138 Iraq ‎ (1914-1944)
  • History of the Great War based on official documents by direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence. Consists of 108 volumes published 1920-1949. For details of the different volumes, refer External links below, Some volumes are available online, refer Historical books online below.
  • An account of the operations of the 18th (Indian) Division in Mesopotamia, December 1917 to December 1918, with the names of all the units which served with the division and a nominal roll of all the officers by Walter Edward Wilson-Johnston 1919.
  • See also Temporary Commissions & Indian Army Reserve of Officers 1917-1921, above
  • See also Indian Army

The National Archives

Included in the many records held at the National Archives Kew is the series WO 95 - War Office: First World War and Army of Occupation War Diaries.

In addition to Battalion war diaries, there may be higher level Brigade and Division war diaries, which may provide information about Battalions not be found in the relevant Battalion diaries, or some Battalion diaries may not have survived. The vast majority of war diaries for RFA units [Royal Artillery] were kept at the brigade level.[20]

Some War Diaries, many of which are handwritten, have been digitised and are available (on a pay basis) online from various sources: from the National Archives through the Discovery catalogue[21] (download as one file, rather than page by page); from Naval and Military Archive (Western Front only)[22], part of Naval & Military Press, which also publishes print and DVD-ROM versions; and through Ancestry which contains two databases "UK, WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-1920" and "UK, WWI War Diaries (Gallipoli and Dardanelles), 1914-1916", containing selected, and at times part, war diaries only.[23][24] (Download page by page). The Ancestry databases also contain War Diaries for some Indian, Australian, New Zealand, and other regiments.
Transcribed (the handwriting has been deciphered for you!) (series title) Gallipoli Diaries edited by Martin Gillott, publisher Great War Diaries and some Western Front (series title) Great War Diaries from the same editor/publisher, both series for British and some Indian Army regiments, are available through [25] in Kindle editions which have a Search facility (anyone with Kindle Unlimited can read them for free). (Download of a free Kindle App is available onto a PC, Mac or tablet - you don't need Kindle).

  • The TNA downloads include for "other" (non infantry/cavalry) units the very informative "List of Royal Artillery, Army Service Corps, Machine Gun Corps and Medical Units" WO 95/5494. Includes Tank Corps.[26]
  • Details of War Diaries available at the National Archives, Kew, UK for Indian Army Regiments.
Category:India including Category:All Indian units The website also includes pages in respect of British, American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and other units.
WO 95/5484: 1915 Nov. - 1920 Mar., WO 95/5485: 1920 May - 1921 Dec., WO 95/5486: 1922 Jan.-Dec.

The National Archives also holds many maps relating to operations during the War, which however have not been digitised. For more details, see the Research Guide Military maps of the First World War. As an example, military maps for Mesopotamia are to be found in WO 302.

The Australian War Memorial website[27] contains Australian and New Zealand Army War diaries (available for free).


Findmypast, a pay website, contains a database "British Red Cross Register Of Overseas Volunteers 1914-1918"[28] (located in Armed forces & conflict/Regimental & service records) which appears to be transcripts of data from the British Red Cross website. This database also contains records for members of other volunteer organisations: Friends Ambulance Unit (FAU), First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY), Order of St. John Ambulance, Scottish Women’s Hospital, Voluntary Aid Detachments (VAD) and Liverpool Merchants’ Hospital. There is also a findmypast database "British Army, British Red Cross Society Volunteers 1914-1918"[29], (located in Armed forces & conflict/First World War), also of transcripts from the British Red Cross website.
Details of Red Cross work may be found in the 1921 HMSO publication of 823 pages: Reports by the Joint War Committee and the Joint War Finance Committee of the British Red Cross Society and the Order of St. John of Jerusalem in England on voluntary aid rendered to the sick and wounded at home and abroad and to British prisoners of war 1914–1919, with appendices, now available in a reprint[30] edition, which in turn is available to read online on the Ancestry owned pay website fold3, refer Historical books online below.

Related articles

External links

"Northeasterners in the World Wars" by P. Ramirez. includes an Excel file download for all CWGC Indian Army deaths for WW1. Brahmaputra Studies Database.
  • Records for the War Dead of WW1 Includes sources for the Royal Navy and for some European, and American nationals, including online sources.
  • The Long, Long Trail: The British Army in the Great War of 1914-1918
  • Great War Forum is a message board for the First World War which was originally part of the website "The Long, Long Trail", but is now a separate, independent entity.
  • The Western Front Association (WFA) Although the main emphasis is on the Western Front, other areas are also included.
  • The World War I Document Archive
    • There is an older version of this website still in existence , which in at least the section Diaries, Memorials, Personal Reminiscences has content which is not included in the current site.
    • In respect of the Category "The Medical Front" there is an associated website available on which has later updates- a later Bibliography has been noted, so this website appears preferable.
    • The World War I Document Archive includes a category The War at Sea which includes the category Bibliography. A slightly later dated Bibliography than appears on the website is WWI Naval Bibliography
  • The British Official Histories of the Great War Details of the volumes. (Note, The Occupation of the Rhineland also includes general information on the repatriation of POWs). In addition, a further Official History was issued titled The Occupation of Constantinople 1918–1923 by Brigadier-General J. E. Edmonds. Originally written in 1944, it was not finally published until 2010. (Imperial War Museum/ Naval & Military Press).
History of the Great War Wikipedia.
Digital First World War Resources: Online Official Histories — The War At Sea And In The Air by Dr Robert T Foley
  • British Army Medical Categories 1914. The criteria subsequently changed at various times throughout the War.[31]
  • A Guide to WW1 Causes of Discharge - Paragraph 392 of King's Regulations 1912
  • War Records Revealed. British, Commonwealth and other military records. Information about various categories of records and medals, especially relating to WW1.
  • Geoff Sullivan’s Great War Assortment.
  • Cross & Cockade International (CCI) Journal of the First World War Aviation Historical Society. Cross & Cockade GB was formed in, and published from, 1970 as the British arm of Cross & Cockade in the USA, which was formed in 1960. The name changed to Cross & Cockade International when the US society ceased in 1986. In 1986 Cross & Cockade [USA] amalgamated with/became associated with Over the Front, Journal of the League of WWI Aviation Historians, which holds the archives of Cross & Cockade [USA] 1960-1985. British Journals are available at the British Library and Imperial War Museums. The IWM catalogue lists the USA Journals holdings as C&C Vol 1 1960- Vol 23 1982 (LBY E.J. 5156 but also see LBY E. 45573), OTF Vol 1 1986- Vol 11 1996 (LBY E.J. 64).
CCI Journal Index. CCI Journals include a series of articles "Gazetteer of Flying Sites in the UK and Ireland 1912–1920", catalogue details.
The Indian Army - 1st January 1917: Cavalry Regiments by Paul Watson October 4, 2006, now archived.
The Indian Army - 1st January 1917: Sappers and Miners; Railway Battalion; Divisional Signal Companies by Paul Watson November 15, 2006, now archived.
Indian Army 1917 Mountain Artillery Batteries by Paul Watson November 22, 2006, now archived.
"Indian Labour Corps" by Radhika Singha.
"The Short Career of the Indian Labour Corps in France, 1917–1919" by Radhika Singha. Abstract of an article, with footnotes. Also with a link to "supplementary materials", containing downloads of photographs. International Labor and Working-Class History Volume 87 Spring 2015 , pp. 27-62.
"North East India and the First World War" by Pratap Chhetri February 4, 2016. The Indian Labour Corps: Lushai Labour Corps, Khasi Labour Corps, Garo Labour Corps, Naga Labour Corps, Manipur Labour Corps and enlistments from Tripura. These men served on the Western Front, in Mesopotamia and in Egypt. "The Centre for Hidden Histories" [WW1]

Historical books online

Official histories, political memoirs, etc.

  • History of the Great War Based on Official Documents: Military Operations. See the various Fronts mentioned above.
  • Moments of Memory: Recollections and Impressions by Herbert Asquith 1938. The author was the son of H H Asquith who was Prime Minister of Great Britain at the commencement of the war until December 1916. Contains chapters about the beginning of the war. Herbert Asquith (poet)
  • War Memoirs of David Lloyd George. New edition 1938. Volume I, Volume II Originally published in 6 volumes 1933-1937. I; II; III; IV; V not available online; VI. USA edition (volumes split slightly differently) 1914-1915, 1915-1916, 1916-1917, 1917, 1917-1918, 1918 It is stated elsewhere that the new edition is complete and unabridged apart from essential revisions. David Lloyd George was Prime Minister of the UK 1916-1922.
  • The World Crisis publications by The Rt. Hon. Winston S Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty 1911-1915.
The World Crisis 1911-1914 First published 1923; The World Crisis 1915 F. p. 1923; The World Crisis 1916-1918 Part I F. p. 1927; The World Crisis 1916-1918 Part II F. p. 1927; The World Crisis The Aftermath F. p. 1929; The World Crisis The Eastern Front F.p. 1931
The World Crisis 1911-1918. Abridged and Revised edition 1932, first published 1931. Sandhurst editon of The World Crisis 1933
The World Crisis 1911-1918 Revised edition 1938. Volume 1, Volume II
Order of Battle (4 volumes) are available to read online at HathiTrust Digital Library.

Medical Services

  • History of the Great War Based on Official Documents: Medical Services; General History by G W Macpherson Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3 includes Egypt and Palestine, Volume 4 includes Mesopotamia, Gallipoli, Salonika, East Africa. Published 1921-1924.
Other books in this series: Medical Services: Diseases of the War Volume I, Volume II; Medical Services: Surgery of the War Volume I, Volume II; Medical Services: Pathology 1922-1923

General history of the war, including origins

Atlas to accompany The World War: a Short Account... Link to pdf download, Combined Arms Research Library [CARL] Digital Library [USA].
The Role Of British Strategy In The Great War by CRMF Cruttwell 1936

Corps, Munitions, Equipment, Railways etc.

All volumes have been reprinted by Naval & Military Press, which in turn are available as one online book on the Ancestry owned pay website fold3 (located in World War II/Military Books/Britain).
The Great Munition Feat, 1914-1918 by George A B Dewar 1921
Doing their Bit: War Work at Home by Boyd Cable 2nd impression 1916 (first printed 1916 also) Also see Western Front for works of fiction by this author.
The "Tanks" : (by request, and with permission) by Colonel E.D. Swinton, Royal Engineers. 1918. Reprinted from The World’s Work (a monthly magazine, published in New York).
Eyewitness. Being Personal Reminiscences of Certain Phases of the Great War, Including the Genesis of the Tank by Major-General Sir Ernest D Swinton, R E (Retired) 1933 Hathi Trust Digital Library
Tanks, 1914-1918; the Log-Book of a Pioneer by Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Albert G Stern 1919. Missing at least the first illustration. 2nd file Both
There are additional online Tank books linked on the page Western Front.
The rise of rail-power in war and conquest, 1833-1914, with a bibliography by Edwin A Pratt 1915

In the Air

Zeppelins, the Past and Future by Edwin Campbell 1918
Zeppelins against London by Kenneth Poolman 1961. Lending Library


  • History of the Great War based on Official Documents: Naval Operations. Volumes I-III by Sir Julian Stafford Corbett, Volumes IV-V by Henry Newbolt. Published 1920-1931. and Hathi Trust (Vol. V): Volume I, Volume II, includes Gallipoli. Volume III Includes Gallipoli and Mesopotamia. Volume IV , includes Mesopotamia. Volume V. has transcribed editions which additionally contain maps from a separate case for Volumes II and III.
History of the Great War based on Official Documents: The Merchant Navy by Archibald Hurd 1921-1929. Volume I, Volume II, Volume III is available as a transcribed edition on
  • Naval Episodes of the Great War by John Buchan. First published March 1938. HathiTrust Digital Library. May be unavailable in USA etc. Consists of selections from John Buchan's History of the Great War (4 vols.), (available online, see History series and periodical publications, below.) Covers the important naval operations of the war.
  • Books by E. Keble Chatterton, late Lieutenant-Commander RNVR :
Q-Ships and their Story 1923 Q-ship Wikipedia. Q-Ships were armed ships, originally merchant ships, designed to lure submarines into making surface attacks.
Danger Zone; the Story of the Queenstown Command 1934 Hathi Trust Digital Library.
Seas of Adventures: the Story of the Naval Operations in the Mediterranean, Adriatic, and Aegean [1914-1918] 1936 Hathi Trust Digital Library.
Also see Gallipoli and East Africa (First World War).
The Naval Memoirs Of Admiral Of The Fleet Sir Roger Keyes. Scarpa Flow to the Dover Straits 1916-1918
  • Pushing Water by Eric P Dawson, Lieutenant, RNVR. 1918 The Auxiliary Motor Boat Patrol, also known as the Mosquito Fleet.
  • The Dover Patrol, 1915-1917 by Admiral Sir Reginal Bacon [1918] Volume I, Volume II. A later edition was published 1932, which although titled The Concise Story of the Dover Patrol, included much new and additional material.
The Dover Patrol : the Straits, Zeebrugge, Ostend : including a Narrative of the Operations in the Spring of 1918 by Jackstaff (J J Bennett) 1919
Dover during the Dark Days by a "Dug-Out" (Lieut.-Commander Stanley W Coxon RNVR). With contributions by other officers of the Dover Patrol. 1919 A volume in the On Active Service Series.


  • From Private to Field-Marshal by Field-Marshal Sir William Robertson 1921 He held many senior positions during the War, including Chief of the Imperial General Staff.
Soldiers and Statesmen 1914-1918 by Field-Marshall Sir William Robertson 1926. Volume I (but incorrectly catalogued); Volume II
  • Experiences of a Dug-Out, 1914-1918, by Major General Sir C E Callwell 1920 The author was appointed to the high ranking role of Director of Military Operations (DMO) at the War Office at the outbreak of the war. [Dug-Out: a retired officer, recalled to employment].
  • The First World War, 1914-1918: Personal Experiences of Lieut.-Col. C. à Court Repington 1920. [An autobiography]. Volume I, Volume II Charles à Court Repington 1858-1925. Wikipedia. The author was a former British Army officer who was military correspondent for The Times 1904–1918, who had many influential contacts with officers in the Army's highest ranks.
  • War and Revolution in Russia, 1914-1917 by General Basil Gourko 1919 First published 1918 as Memories and Impressions of War and Revolution in Russia, 1914-1917 by Vladimir Iosifovich Gurko.
  • My Mission to Russia and other Diplomatic Memories by Sir George Buchanan, British Ambassador, Petrograd [Saint Petersburg], 1910-1918. Vol. I, Vol. II published 1923.
Petrograd, the city of trouble, 1914-1918 by Meriel Buchanan, daughter of the British Ambassador 1918

Secret Service and Spies

India and the Indian Army. The Empire.

History series and periodical publications

  • Deeds that Thrill the Empire. True stories of the most glorious acts of heroism of the Empire's soldiers and sailors during the Great War, etc. Volume I, Volume II To view the file, Flash must be enabled. If you see a Flash icon, click on it. Published c 1917 as a two volume set, c 900 pages, and also published as a five volume set. Information about the contents ( advises 56 VCs are covered.
  • The Times History of the War. Illustrated. 22 Volumes including Index. Appears to be based on (but not a reprint of) the weekly publication by The Times, London from August 25, 1914 to July 27, 1920; Title varied: pts. 64-273, The Times History and Encyclopaedia of the War.[35] Individual volumes include Contents, Index (at the end) and alphabetical Index of Illustrations (at the end). Vol 22: Index 1921. Vol 1: The Battlefield of Europe 1914. (This title appears to be the American edition); Vol 2, Vol 3, Vol 4, Vol 5 all 1915; Vol 6, Vol 7, Vol 8, Vol 9 all 1916; Vol 10, Vol 11, Vol 12, Vol 13 all 1917; Vol 14, Vol 15, Vol 16, Vol 17 all 1918; Vol 18, Vol 19, Vol 20 all 1919; Vol 21 1920.
  • Nelson’s History of the War by John Buchan Link to the 24 volumes in the series, published 1915-1919: Vol. 1, From the Beginning of the War to the Fall of Namur; Vol. 2, From the Battle of Mons to the German Retreat to the Aisne; Vol. 3, The Battle of the Aisne and the Events down to the Fall of Antwerp; Vol. 4, The Great Struggle in West Flanders; Vol. 5, The War of Attrition in the West; Vol. 6, The Campaign on the Niemen and the Narev; Vol. 7, From the Second Battle of Ypres to the Beginning of the Italian Campaign; Vol. 8, The Midsummer Campaigns, and the Battles on the Warsaw Salient; Vol. 9, The Italian War, the Campaign at Gallipoli; Vol. 10, The Russian Stand, and the Allied Offensive in the West; Vol. 11, The Struggle for the Dvina, and the Great Invasion of Serbia; Vol. 12, The Retreat from Bagdad, the Evacuation of Gallipoli, and the Derby Report; Vol. 13, The Position at Sea, the Fall of Erzerum, and the First Battle of Verdun; Vol. 14, From the Fall of Kut to the Second Battle of Verdun; Vol. 15, Brussilov’s Offensive and the Intervention of Rumania; Vol. 16, The Battle of the Somme; Vol. 17, From the Opening of the Rumanian Campaign to the Change of Government in Britain; Vol. 18, From the German Overtures for Peace to the American Declaration of War; 19, The Spring Campaigns of 1917; Vol. 20, The Summer Campaigns of 1917; Vol. 21, The Fourth Winter of War; Vol. 22, The Darkest Hour; Vol. 23, The Dawn; Vol. 24, Victory.
A revised, largely rewritten and condensed series was published in 1923 as A History of the Great War by John Buchan Volume I, Volume II, Volume III, Volume IV
These volumes appear to have most, but not all, of the content of the weekly periodical The War Illustrated (, archived) which in turn was republished in at least nine volumes, which however do not appear to be available online, except for The War Illustrated Weekly issue 12 August 1916, No.104, Vol.4.
Sixteen volume series, mostly Vol. 1; Vol. 2; Vol. 3; Vol. 4 (includes The Dardanelles); Vol. 5; Vol. 6; Vol. 7; Vol. 8; Vol. 9 (includes Mesopotamia, East Africa); Vol. 10; Vol. 11; Vol. 12; Vol. 13, (includes Palestine); 14; 16 Hathi Trust Digital Library
Eight volume series Vol.1; Vol. 2; Vol. 3 (includes the Dardanelles); Vol. 4 (includes Mesopotamia); Vol. 5 (includes Mesopotamia, East Africa); Vol. 6; Vol. 7 (includes Palestine and Mesopotamia); Vol. 8
  • The Great War by George H Allen et al. 1915-1921. v. 1. Causes of and motives for.--v. 2. The mobilization of the moral and physical forces.--v. 3. The original German plan and its culmination.--v. 4. The wavering balance of forces. --v. 5. The triumph of democracy. First Volume, Index; Second Volume, Index; Third Volume, Index; Fourth Volume, Index; Fifth Volume, Index
  • The Great World War: A History. General Editor Frank A Mumby. Published 1915-1920.
Volume I

To December 1914

Volume I

To April 1915

Volume III

To August 1915

Volume IV

To December 1915

Volume V

To May 1916

Volume VI 1917

To February 1917

Volume VII 1919

To February 1918

Volume VIII

To November 1918

Volume IX1920


Index- All Volumes

  • The Times Documentary History of the War published 1917-1920
Volume I Diplomatic-Part 1 Volume II Diplomatic-Part 2

Index Vols I, II

Volume III Naval- Part 1


Volume IV Naval-Part 2


Volume V Military- Part 1


Volume VI Overseas-Part 1


Volume VII Naval-Part 3


Volume VIII Military- Part 2


Volume IX Diplomatic-Part 3


Volume X Overseas-Part 2


Volume XI Naval-Part 4


  • Current History: A Monthly Magazine of the New York Times. Initial volumes also had the title The European War. A similar series issued quarterly (same content) included the title European War for all quarterly volumes up to Volume XX to October 1920.
Volume I From the Beginning to March 1915


Volume II April 1915-September 1915


Volume III October 1915-March 1916

Table of Contents and Index

Volume IV April-September 1916


Volume V October 1916-March 1917

Index Part 1-Index Part 2

Volume VI April-September 1917

Index Part 1-Index Part 2

Volume VII October 1917-March 1918

Index Part 1-Index Part 2

Volume VIII April-September 1918

Index Part 1-Index Part 2

Volume IX October 1918-March 1919

Index Part 1-Index Part 2

Volume X April-September 1919

Index Part 1-Index Part 2

Volume XI October 1919-March 1920


Volume XII No Index.
Volume XIII October 1920- March 1921


Volume XIV April-September 1921


Volume XV October 1921-March 1922


Volume XVI April-September 1922


The final volume of the quarterly series of the same monthly magazines, Volume XX of the quarterly series, appears to be an update of the earlier periods and may include content which is not included in the half yearly volumes. The content for the quarterly series up to June 1919 appears to be identical to the half yearly volumes. Volume XX July 1919-October 1920, Cumulative Index of the quarterly series. At least some of the quarterly editions are available on
The series includes Includes Economic And Social History Of The World War: British Series 9 online volumes, classified by the submitting library, as Volumes 1-9. Volume 1 Rural Scotland during the War (1926); Vol 2 British War Budgets (1926); Vol 3 War & Insurance (1927); Vol 4 The War and the Shipping Industry (1927); Vol 5 British Food Control (1928); Vol 6 Dictionary of Official War-Time Organizations (1928); Vol 7 An Economic Chronicle of the Great War for Great Britain & Ireland 1914-1919. With a Supplement dealing briefly with the years 1920,1921 and 1922 by N B Nearle (1929); Vol 8 Taxation during the War (1932); Vol 9 The Consequences of the War to Great Britain (1934). Additional volumes in the British series A Manual of Archive Administration including the Problems of War Archives and Archive Making by Hilary Jenkinson 1922. Labour Supply and Regulation by Humbert Wolfe 1923.
  • Official German Documents relating to the World War, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 1923. Volume I, Volume II Pdf downloads, Digital Repository of GIPE, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics [Pune].
  • Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, Supplement, The World War, a publication of the US Department of State, is available for the following years (scroll down): 1914; 1915; 1916; 1917, Supplement 1, Supplement 2, the latter Volumes I and II (total 3 Volumes for 1917); 1918, Supplement 1 (Volumes I and II), Supplement 2 (total 3 Volumes for 1918)
A text version, which is searchable, is available on the US Department of State: Office of the Historian website: 1914, 1915, 1916, for 1917 and 1918 scroll down to items 97-99 and 104-106.
Papers relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States. The Lansing papers, 1914–1920 (in two volumes): United States Government Printing Office Washington 1939 and 1940. Transcribed, searchable editions from Office of the Historian: Volume I, Volume II. Digitised editions: Volume I, Volume II Robert Lansing was a lawyer, diplomat, Secretary of State during the Wilson Administration, and member of the American mission to negotiate a peace treaty following World War I.
  • Blackwood’s Magazine, sometimes shortened to Maga. (Earlier editions were titled Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine) Contains many war related articles.
Vol.196, 1914:2 (poor quality file), Vol. 197, 1915:1, Vol. 198, 1915:2, Vol. 199, 1916:1, Vol. 200, 1916:2, Vol. 201, 1917:1, Vol. 202, 1917:2, Vol. 203, 1918:1, Vol. 204, 1918:2, Vol. 205, 1919:1, Vol. 206, 1919:2, Vol. 207, 1920:1, Vol. 208, 1920:2, Vol. 209, 1921:1. Vol. 210, 1921:2, Vol. 211, 1922:1, Vol. 212, 1922:2. For those in North America etc, Hathi Trust Digital Library. Google Books Vol. 196 or Vol. 196 may be better quality files.

Those who died

  • The Bond of Sacrifice: a Biographical Record of all British Officers who fell in the Great War. Volume I: August-December 1914 edited by Colonel L A Clutterbuck, and Commander W T Dooner (Only two volumes were published, Volume 2 covered the first six months of 1915 and is available in some areas such as North America on the Hathi Trust Digital Library). Both volumes are available on findmypast (pay website).
  • Officers died in the Great War, 1914-1919. London : His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1919. Also available on findmypast and Ancestry (pay websites). British Library digital file.
  • The Roll of Honour. A biographical record of all members of His Majesty's naval and military forces who have fallen in the war by the Marquis De Ruvigny. Volume I, Volume III. Volume II, Volume IV, Volume V Requires Flash turned on (click if you see a Flash icon). versions Vol. II, Vol. IV. Vol. V. Only published in these five volumes, the majority of the biographies relate to deaths in the early years of the war. Families needed to pay to be included, so entries reflect wealthier service personnel. All volumes are available on the pay websites Ancestry and findmypast.


Prisoners of War


A Book of Poems for the Blue Cross Fund (to help horses in war time) 1917 Poems about horses.
A Check List of the Literature and Other Material in the Library of Congress on the European War by Herman H B Meyer 1919

After the War

  • The Armistices of 1918 by Sir Frederick Maurice 1943
  • Series: Peace Handbooks World Digital Library, a project of the U.S. Library of Congress, contributed by Library of Congress. In preparation for the peace conference that was to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section with the responsibility of preparing background information that might be needed by British delegates to the conference. Stated to be 158 volumes for multiple countries. Click on "narrow results" or Place filter, if all volumes do not display.
  • Treaties of Peace 1919-1923 by Lt.-Col. Lawrence Martin 1924. Published by Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Vol. I Hathi Trust Digital Library, Vol. II
  • Disenchantment by C E Montague 1922 Originally a series of articles which had appeared in the Manchester Guardian over the previous two years. Charles Edward Montague Wikipedia.
  • The Present State Of Germany. A Lecture delivered in the University of London on November 20th, 1923, with an Introduction by J H Morgan [John Hartman]. 2nd impression 1924. For more online books by J H Morgan, see General history of the war, above. Morgan also wrote Assize of Arms: The Disarmament of Germany and her Rearmament (1919–1939) (1945).
  • Peace Patrol by Lt.-Col. Stewart Roddie 1932., Public Library of India Collection. Roddie served in the Inter-Allied Commission of Control in Germany in the 1920s.
  • Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler. 1941 USA complete and unabridged translation of the first German edition of two volumes, 1925 and 1927. Contains chapters on the First World War years. Also previously published in a 1939 unabridged translation by James Murphy, reprint version, published in London and as My Struggle an abridged version, unknown translator possibly E T S Dugdale, first published 1933, cheap edition July 1938. The latter version appears also to have been published as My Battle. German edition 1936, both volumes. All versions
  • Documents On British Foreign Policy (1919-1939) First Series. Edited by E L Woodward and Rohan Butler HMSO. Volume I 1919 1947; Volume II 1919 1948; Volume III 1919 1949. Details of all the volumes Scroll down.


  • Spy thrillers by John Buchan featuring lead character Richard Hannay, set immediately prior, or during WW1.
The Thirty-nine Steps by John Buchan. First published 1915. Librivox Audio Wikipedia details of the book.
Greenmantle by John Buchan 1916 Librivox Audio, catalogued Version 2. (Other files are available). Wikipedia
Mr. Standfast 1919 Librivox Audio Wikipedia.
  • Ashenden or The British Agent by W Somerset Maugham. Reprint edition, first published 1928. Short stories based on the author’s experience “in the Intelligence Department during the war, but rearranged for the purpose of fiction”. Audio of some of the stories. About the book Wikipedia. Includes chapter headings.
  • It’s Me Again: The Journals of Bartholomew Bandy Volume Three by Donald Jack 1975 Lending Library. Volume Three in the series The Bandy Papers, or The Journals of Bartholomew Bandy. A series of novels chronicling the exploits of a World War I fighter ace Bartholomew Wolfe Bandy. The Bandy Papers Wikipedia. “The books are noted for their humour and word play, as well as technical and historic accuracy.” Review of Volume III, the final volume set in the WW1 period, the initial volumes being Three Cheers for Me and That's Me in the Middle.


  1. Order of Battle of Divisions :India (scroll down) The Long, Long Trail. The British Army in the Great War of 1914-1918. Accessed 23 May 2018.
  2. "Some Comments on stereotypes of the Anglo-Indians: Part II" by Megan Stuart Mills from the International Journal of Anglo-Indian Studies 1996, quoting
    • Abel, Evelyn. (1988). The Anglo-Indian Community. Chanakya Publications: Delhi.
    • Dover, Cedric. (1937). Half-Caste. London: Martin, Secker and Warburg.
    • Thomas, David A. (1982). Lucknow and Kanpur, 1880-1920: Stagnation and Development under the Raj. South Asia. 5, 68-80.
  3. "Christopher Hawes in Conversation with Glenn D'cruz" in The International Journal of Anglo-Indian Studies Volume 3, Number 1, 1998.
  4. "Loyalty, Parity, and Social Control-The Competing Visions on the Creation of an ‘Eurasian’ Military Regiment in late British India" by Satoshi Mizutani The International Journal of Anglo-Indian Studies Volume 10, No. 1, 2010, quoting
    • [25] Anonymous (ed.), The Anglo-Indian Force (Allahabad, 1918), p.40. This book, by C T Robbie, is available in the India Office Records at the British Library IOR/L/MIL/17/5/4318
  5. Territorial Force Wikipedia accessed 18 Feb 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 The 43rd (Wessex) Division “The Long, Long Trail”. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  7. The 44th (Home Counties) Division “The Long, Long Trail”. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  8. The 45th (2nd Wessex) Division “The Long, Long Trail”. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  9. Page 96,The History of the Somerset Light Infantry (Prince Albert’s) 1914-1919 by Everard Wyrall 1927.
  10. Khyber Pass 1/5th Royal West Surrey, Murree, Aug 1916 Great War Forum 28 August 2015. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  11. Anderson, Donny CSM David Moody 12673, Gordon Highlanders Rawalpindi War Cemetery Great War Forum 3 July 2010. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  12. ddycher [Dave] Garrison Bn's to India 1917 Great War Forum 31 May 2015 Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  13. ddycher Garrison Bn's to India 1917 Great War Forum 6 June 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  14. Frogsmile Sgt William Connelly, 1st Batt Gordon Highlders, NW Frontier Victorian Wars Forum 26 March 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  15. themonsstar 1st Garrison Battalion The Manchester Regiment Great War Forum 21 January 2014. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  16. Indian Army List April 1919, page 672
  17. Royal Sussex Regiment “The Long, Long Trail”. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  18. Alexandra, Princess of Wales’s Own (Yorkshire Regiment) (“Green Howards”) “The Long, Long Trail”. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  19. Abstract of a paper "Royal Indian Marine in the First World War" by Kalesh Mohanan presented at the India And The Great War Conference at The United Service Institution of India, New Delhi: 5-7 March 2014, now an archived webpage
  20. rflory. ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY Great War Forum 2 December 2018. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  21. Discovery catalogue
  22. Naval and Military Archive
  23. UK, WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-1920 consisting of WO 95/1096–3948 records. However, within this series, there appears to be a further selection of diaries available - not all are included. Also UK, WWI War Diaries (Gallipoli and Dardanelles), 1914-1916 consisting of WO 95/4263-4359 records. Similarly, not all diaries within this range may have been included. Ancestry.
  24. stiletto_33853 Ancestry vs National Archives Great War Forum 26 January 2018. Retrieved 26 January 2018. Ancestry diaries may have large parts (many months) missing compared to TNA files
  25. Gallipoli Diaries and Great War Diaries
  26. WO 95/5494 List of Royal Artillery, Army Service Corps, Machine Gun Corps and Medical Units with the Division, Corps or Army they fought with. The National Archives.
  27. Australian Imperial Force unit war diaries, 1914-18 War
  28. British Red Cross Register Of Overseas Volunteers 1914-1918 findmypast
  29. British Army, British Red Cross Society Volunteers 1914-1918 findmypast
  30. Reports by the Joint War Committee and the Joint War Finance Committee of the British Red Cross Society and the Order of St. John of Jerusalem in England on voluntary aid rendered to the sick and wounded at home and abroad and to British prisoners of war 1914–1919, with appendices Naval & Military Press reprint edition.
  31. Muerrisch [Langley, David]. level of fitness needed for service Great War Forum 15 November 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  32. frev. Norwegian Matron on Indian Hospital Ship Great War Forum 3 October 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  33. History of the Ministry of Munitions Volume XI
  34. "Monocled Mutineer, Percy Toplis"
  35. "I: ‘The Times’ History and Encyclopaedia of the War – its early issues and ambition"
  36. List of Places of Internment Naval & Military Press reprint edition.