'The Neuve Chapelle Memorial: Commemorating the Indian Corps on the Western Front' with Mark Connelly
16 Nov

India made a huge contribution to the British Empire's war effort between 1914 and 1918 including the despatch of over a million men to the fighting fronts. An Indian Corps arrived on the Western Front in the autumn of 1914 and played a vital role in the defensive battles around Ypres. In the spring it took part in the series of offensives launched by the British, most famously at Neuve Chapelle.

Following the war, the Imperial War Graves Commission commenced work on commemorating the Indian dead and approached Herbert Baker, who at that time was working with Edwin Lutyens on the plans for New Delhi. The final result was a memorial of stunning beauty and grace. This talk will explore the development of the plans as well as the other memorials and cemeteries dedicated to the Indian Corps.

Mark is Professor of Modern British Military History at the University of Kent and Director of Gateways to the First World War.

He has been our guest in the past, with talks on 'Notes and Swearies: The Use of Blasphemy and Swearing in the BEF 1914-1918' (July 1919) and 'This Painful Sacrifice: The death of Prince Maurice of Battenberg, Princess Beatrice, and the burial of a royal body’ (June 2018), but this is the first time he has joined us since the pandemic.



Photo: Indian Memorial at Neuve Chapelle, taken on the day of unveiling, 7th October 1927 (National Army Museum accession number 1965-10-221-94)


Walthamstow Cricket Tennis & Squash Club, 48a Greenway Ave, London. E17 3QN
16 Nov 2023 19:30