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9789390742097 613217abaeb3b78639e574f7 The Indian Contingent: The Forgotten Muslim Soldiers of the Battle of Dunkirk https://cdn1.storehippo.com/s/607fe93d7eafcac1f2c73ea4/613701ac5bff089b12594c62/webp/123.webp

‘An important and essential work’ SATHNAM SANGHERA

‘An incredible and important story’ MISHAL HUSAIN

‘Groundbreaking ... a riveting and moving account’ YASMIN KHAN

‘A fitting recognition of the contribution of Dunkirk’s forgotten soldiers’ ANAS SARWAR

The incredible untold story of the Indian soldiers at Dunkirk.

On 28 May 1940, in the early days of the Second World War, Major Akbar Khan marched at the head of 299 soldiers along a beach in northern France. They were the only Indians in the British Expeditionary Force at Dunkirk. With Stuka sirens wailing, shells falling in the water and Tommies lining up to be evacuated, these soldiers of the British Indian Army, carrying their disabled imam, found their way to the East Mole and embarked for England in the dead of night. On reaching Dover, they borrowed brass trays and started playing Punjabi folk music, upon which even ‘many British spectators joined in the dance’.

What journey had brought these men to Europe? What became of them and their comrades captured by the Germans?

With the engaging style of a true storyteller, Ghee Bowman reveals for the first time the astonishing story of the Indian contingent – the Muslim soldiers who fought in the pivotal Battle of Dunkirk – from their arrival in France on 26 December 1939 to their return to an India on the verge of Partition.

Review

‘An important and essential work ... The story of how our ancestors fought in massive numbers for the country that colonized them needs to be told again and again and again’ SATHNAM SANGHERA, author of Empireland ‘Groundbreaking ... a riveting and moving account’ YASMIN KHAN, author of The Raj at War

‘An incredible and important story, finally being told’ MISHAL HUSAIN, presenter of BBC Radio 4 Today and author of The Skills

‘A fitting recognition of the contribution of Dunkirk’s forgotten soldiers ... now more than ever we need to learn the lessons of our diverse history’ ANAS SARWAR, Member of the Scottish Parliament

About the Author

Ghee Bowman is a historian, teacher and storyteller based in Exeter, England. During his six decades, he has worked in the theatre, for NGOs and in education in the UK and around the world. This book, his first, sprang from research he undertook to explore Exeter’s multi-cultural history, three photos of Indian soldiers wearing pagris in Devon leading him to The National Archives, an MA at Exeter University and then a PhD. His five-year-long study of the Second World War’s Indian contingent took him to five countries. Ghee is a Quaker and a lifelong learner. He has two daughters and a small garden where he tries to grow vegetables.

9789390742097
in stock INR 699
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The Indian Contingent: The Forgotten Muslim Soldiers of the Battle of Dunkirk

ISBN: 9789390742097
₹699


Available At: Hauz Khas
Details
  • ISBN: 9789390742097
  • Author: Ghee Bowman
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan
  • Pages: 310
  • Format: Hardback

Book Description

‘An important and essential work’ SATHNAM SANGHERA

‘An incredible and important story’ MISHAL HUSAIN

‘Groundbreaking ... a riveting and moving account’ YASMIN KHAN

‘A fitting recognition of the contribution of Dunkirk’s forgotten soldiers’ ANAS SARWAR

The incredible untold story of the Indian soldiers at Dunkirk.

On 28 May 1940, in the early days of the Second World War, Major Akbar Khan marched at the head of 299 soldiers along a beach in northern France. They were the only Indians in the British Expeditionary Force at Dunkirk. With Stuka sirens wailing, shells falling in the water and Tommies lining up to be evacuated, these soldiers of the British Indian Army, carrying their disabled imam, found their way to the East Mole and embarked for England in the dead of night. On reaching Dover, they borrowed brass trays and started playing Punjabi folk music, upon which even ‘many British spectators joined in the dance’.

What journey had brought these men to Europe? What became of them and their comrades captured by the Germans?

With the engaging style of a true storyteller, Ghee Bowman reveals for the first time the astonishing story of the Indian contingent – the Muslim soldiers who fought in the pivotal Battle of Dunkirk – from their arrival in France on 26 December 1939 to their return to an India on the verge of Partition.

Review

‘An important and essential work ... The story of how our ancestors fought in massive numbers for the country that colonized them needs to be told again and again and again’ SATHNAM SANGHERA, author of Empireland ‘Groundbreaking ... a riveting and moving account’ YASMIN KHAN, author of The Raj at War

‘An incredible and important story, finally being told’ MISHAL HUSAIN, presenter of BBC Radio 4 Today and author of The Skills

‘A fitting recognition of the contribution of Dunkirk’s forgotten soldiers ... now more than ever we need to learn the lessons of our diverse history’ ANAS SARWAR, Member of the Scottish Parliament

About the Author

Ghee Bowman is a historian, teacher and storyteller based in Exeter, England. During his six decades, he has worked in the theatre, for NGOs and in education in the UK and around the world. This book, his first, sprang from research he undertook to explore Exeter’s multi-cultural history, three photos of Indian soldiers wearing pagris in Devon leading him to The National Archives, an MA at Exeter University and then a PhD. His five-year-long study of the Second World War’s Indian contingent took him to five countries. Ghee is a Quaker and a lifelong learner. He has two daughters and a small garden where he tries to grow vegetables.

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