The Great War Part 94, June 3rd 1916

366 The Great War realisation of European strength than ever before. The Indian soldier had shown himself brave inaction. He had proved his ability to fight by the side of European troops. So long ashe had his European officers leading him he had never failed to respond to any demands made on him He had time after time taken part in advances with the greatest gallantry. On the other hand it was undoubtedly true that the Indian temperament severely felt the strain of modem mechanical war. The men of the hills were warriors from childhood and warriors b y descent. The Indians of the plains were among the best-drilled and best-trained soldiers in the world. But to them war Was a Indians and matter of personal combat. Let them trench warfare charge against a foe and none could excel them in daring. Give them a forlorn hope, and they Would prove their strength. Send your hillman out as scout or sniper and he would show the utmost skill, subtlety and courage in pitting his wits against the wits of his foe. But in this war the requirements were of another kind. The soldier had to stand day after weekday after week, in the highways of invisible death. A large proportion of the men even those in the front trenches never came in touch with a single German from first to last. They waited in muddy trenches facing a yellow sodden country­side opposite them. They could see one or two slight ridges a few score yards ahead. The crack of shots fired from the opposite side which could be almost continu­ously heard was the main evidence that the enemy was alert. Every now and then there would come a heavy cloud of greyish-black smoke on the ground among them,as a high-explosive shell burst ahead or a sudden break of INDIAN CAVALRYM ANON PATROL DUTY. These men displayed marked pluck and resourcefulness. ON GUAUD. Indian sentry on duty at a camp in France pitched in a scene of rural calm. firelit white cloud in the sky as shrapnel exploded over­head. The Indian soldier had not been trained for this kind of warfare. The Indian Army was essentially one of cavalry and infantry not of artillery. It had now to- accustom itself to novel and terrible forms of death. Still more surprising and awesome to the men of the East were the aeroplanes which came scattering bombs among them and the submarines which threatened them with death When on the sea. “We shall fight even as tigers for Jarj Panjam !”(King George) said the men. They were thrilled to the heart with pride that they were fighting as brothers side by side with white troops. They proved their valour by their casualties. In the first year of the war the Indians lost 22,935, men. Of these no less than 17385 were killed or wounded on the western front. But it took all their courage and discipline to stand the strain. toAdded the novel nature of the war they were exposed to the most severe climatic con­ditions. Week after week they crouched in the muddy trenches and countryside of Severity of Flanders. They knew little of trench life climatic conditions and understood even less than our white troops did at that time of the right way to modify its severity. These men of the East accustomed to the sun and the bracing mountains must have thought the terrible dampness and penetrating cold of the Low Countries a foretaste of their hell. They had few chances of showing, their best fighting qualities. Of what they had they availed themselves to the full. They were at war under- conditions least suited to their experience or temperament. They stood the strain not only without demoralisation, but in away that earned them the utmost credit. As is well known the British officer plays a large part in ?the life of the Indian regiment. He is the father his-of
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