Serving the Raj: The Indian Army and the War Effort of Rawalpindi in WWI

Misbah Umar


The article deals with the war effort of Rawalpindi district during First World War, primarily, with the supplying of manpower to the Indian Army in which the district took lead in recruiting soldiers not only in Punjab but across India. After annexation of the Punjab military dependence on Punjab increased and the region emerged as a chief recruiting area for the Indian Army. Punjab made a great contribution during First World War. All of its districts were mobilised for generating recruits. But the Rawalpindi district distinguished itself over and above. The changed system of recruitment backed by civil administration proved helpful in recruiting campaign in the district. Recruiting activities were intensified and the district provided the maximum number of recruits. Like recruitment, the district earned prominence in Punjab in receiving the greatest number of military awards for devotion to duty and gallantry of its soldiers. The district was also rewarded with generous civil awards for active collaboration of civilians with the state in war services.


Keywords: First World War, Indian Army, British Raj, Punjab Frontier Force, Peel Commission, Punjabi Muslims, Great Game, Kim

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