History KS3 / KS4: What was the contribution of Indian Sikhs in World War One?

Indian Sikhs played a key role in the British army during World War One.

Indian troops started arriving on the Western Front from September 1914.

Sikh soldiers fought bravely, receiving world wide news coverage of their involvement in the war.

The Sikh troops played a crucial role in the first battle of Ypres, yet their contribution was not widely rewarded after the war.

Britain imposed martial law on Punjab, ultimately leading to the Amritsar massacre.

Many Sikh soldiers were left angry and let down by the British government.

Teacher Notes

Your students could be shown a world map showing colonial powers in 1900.

They could be asked to explain how having an empire might help countries fighting in World War One and whether colonies might want to help.

After watching this short film, they could write a speech by Gandhi explaining why the Indian people feel betrayed by the British government and the changes they want to see in India.

Curriculum Notes

This short film will be relevant for teaching history at KS3 and KS4/GCSE in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Also at 3rd Level, 4th Level, National 4/National 5 and Higher in Scotland.