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Commemorating Race and Empire in the First World War Centenary$
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Ben Wellings and Shanti Sumartojo

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781786940889

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786940889.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 29 May 2020

Commemorating Race and Empire in the First World War Centenary

Commemorating Race and Empire in the First World War Centenary

Chapter:
(p.7) Commemorating Race and Empire in the First World War Centenary
Source:
Commemorating Race and Empire in the First World War Centenary
Author(s):

Ben Wellings

Shanti Sumartojo

Matthew Graves

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781786940889.003.0001

In November 2016, at the halfway point of the First World War Centenary, a modest exhibition based on volunteer research and supported by the UK Heritage Lottery Fund opened in the London suburb of Wood Green. Far from the Western Front presented accounts of South Asian servicemen who served across the many theatres of war. It was only mounted for a few days, but it sought to complicate both the dominant British narrative of the First World War as trench warfare in France and Belgium, and common depiction of the British forces as white. By focusing on the ‘untold stories of South Asians whose crucial contribution shaped the First World War’ the exhibit sought to remind (or inform) visitors that ‘there was more to the First World War than the mud and trenches of Europe’. The exhibit rediscovered stories that sought to shift common perceptions of the Great War in London and introduce alternative threats and hardships into the collective memory of the War: ‘the threat of lions on patrol in East Africa, thirst in the 50 degree heat of the Sinai desert, and starvation at the Siege of Kut’....

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