A staggering 885,000 Muslims supported the allied cause during the first world war, recruited from far-flung parts of British empire, including the Punjab, Bengal and Kashmir. Many served on the front line of some of the deadliest theatre of the war from the north and east of Africa to the middle east with high numbers from Bangladesh, Somalia and Yemen – all serving the British Merchant navy.
The British Indian Army alone totalled around 1.4 million troops with 430,000 being muslim. Little is known about the contribution of muslims in the first world war.
Private Mobed Shaffi of the Royal Indian Army Service Corps (RIASC) listens to the broadcast with some of his fellow soldiers around a table in the Hall of India, 1942
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.
This new exhibition explores the untold stories of the more than 400,000 Muslim soldiers in the First World War, and features personal stories and loans from relatives of those who served.
The exhibition has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Library of Birmingham and links historical research with personal testimony from Birmingham people whose Muslim relatives served in the First World War.
21 Oct – 5 Mar 2017
Monday to Thursday, 10am – 5pm
Friday, 10.30am – 5pm
Saturday and Sunday, 10am – 5pm
- This event is free