History GCSE: Different cultural cooperation in World War One

How did the Indian Corps contribute to the Allied Powers on the Western Front?

Historians, David Olosuga, Santanu Das and Geoff Bridger explore the experience of Sikh soldier, Manta Singh, and other Indian soldiers brought over to bolster the British army during World War One.

The Indian Corps made up a third of the British army and they were some of the first troops thrown into trench warfare, where they experienced the full horrors of the front.

Manta Singh went into battle at Neuve Chappelle in 1915, when more than four thousand Indian soldiers were killed in 3 days of fighting.

He became friends with the British army officer, Captain George Henderson, and we hear how Manta Singh rescued Henderson after being shot.

Manta Singh was cremated at the Chattri Monument on the South Downs and the legacy of his friendship with Captain Henderson has continued down the generations in their families.

Teacher Notes

Students could develop their questioning and investigating skills by composing questions for Manta Singh.

These could revolve around his experiences of military training and his curiosity about a foreign, European culture.

Working in pairs, students could then try to answer each other's questions by putting themselves in his shoes.

Curriculum Notes

These films are suitable for teaching History at GCSE in England, Wales and Norther Ireland and at National 5 in Scotland.

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