I am not able to read the complete inscription in French on the postcard but few words can me made out – magnificent soldiers .. brave! The first Indian troops to participate in the western front in Europe in 1914 were of the Meerut or 7th Indian Infantry Division and Lahore Division.

The regiments as well as stations under Meerut Division varied from time to time. On the eve of the First World War, the headquarters of Meerut Division were at Landaur, Mussoorie with the following brigades forming part of this division Meerut Cavalry Brigade and Bareilly Brigade (headquarters Ranikhet), Dehradun and Garhwal (headquarters Lansdowne) Infantry Brigades.

The 7th (Meerut) Indian Cavalry Brigade operated as a formation of the British Indian Army on the Western Front initially as part of the 2nd Indian Cavalry Division, fighting both in France and Flanders. Subsequently the Meerut Cavalry Brigade operated as an independent brigade during the Mesopotamian Campaign. Near the end of the war it fought in the Battle of Shargat in 1918 and later was present during the occupation of Mosul.


At Brockenhurst, Hampshire in the United Kingdom, a 500 bed hospital was built for injured Indian soldiers which was called the Meerut Indian General Hospital (Lady Hardinge Hospital for Wounded Indian Soldiers). The hospital was later used by soldiers from New Zealand as the No1 New Zealand General Hospital. Interestingly, Brockenhurst also had a Hindu cremation ground.

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