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Terriers In India

British Territorials 1914-19

Series : War & Military Culture in South Asia 1757-1947 #11

Author : Peter Stanley

Terriers In India : British Territorials 1914-19


General - Pages : 364 | Images : 54 b/w photos, 9 b/w ills, 8 maps

Hardback - Date of Publication : February 2019 | Size : 234mm x 156mm | ISBN : 9781912390823 | Helion Book Code : HEL0973

Some 50,000 British Territorials served in India during the Great War. Astonishingly, it has taken a century for a book on them to be written. The Territorials – citizen soldiers, members of a force formed before the war for home defence – never expected to serve abroad, but volunteered for ‘Imperial Service’ at Lord Kitchener’s request. Instead of going to France, in 1914 they went to India, to release Regulars for the front. The Territorials – ‘Terriers’ – became responsible at first for garrison duty, not trusted to fight in Mesopotamia or on the North-West Frontier. Gradually, they gained the skill to be sent to war, and most of the 41 Territorial battalions sent to India saw active service, in Mesopotamia, in Frontier campaigns, in Aden and in the Third Anglo-Afghan war of 1919. (Territorials were retained in India for up to a year after the Armistice, unhappily.) Terriers in India, based on the abundant but almost untouched holdings of county archives and regimental museums mainly in southern English counties, tells their story for the first time. It shows how novice citizen soldiers learned to act as sahibs, how they responded to India and its people (often sensitively) and took part in the most dramatic upheaval in British India since the 1857 Mutiny. Terriers in India is a rich mix of social and military history, ranging from cantonment bungalows, bazaars and brothels to sangers on the Frontier and tragic actions on the Tigris; battles in which the Terriers played a full part.


"Copiously illustrated and with a wealth of personal recollection, I cannot praise this book too highly. For anyone interested in the Territorial experience or in wartime India, this volume is a 'must-have'. .This is a very important addition to the historiography of the Great War." Stand To!


"Overall, this is a very important books on a topic that has previously escaped the gaze of historians of India, the milotary, the First World War and the Territorial Force. The book's greatest strength is the breadth of its primary research and the deployment of personal testimony to enhance the narrative and analysis." Army Historical Research


"...the joy of the detail in the book, comes from the letters home... of from regimental newsletters. This book fills that gap and will provide an enjoyable read to anyone with an interest in military history in India. High recommended." Chowkidar

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