World War I photos of Indian troops at Gallipoli battle

  • PTI, None, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 24, 2015 20:56 IST

An image of a Sikh soldier holding an ingenious 'Jam Tin bomb,' a cannister stuffed with shrapnel and explosives, at Gallipoli battlefield in Turkey is part of two photo exhibitions that document lives and contributions of soldiers from Australia, New Zealand and India in World War I.

The exhibitions opened here today pay tribute to the centenary of Gallipoli Landings on April 25, 1915 - and 100 years of shared military co-operation between the three countries.

According to Australian High Commissioner to India Patrick Suckling, more than 5000 Indian soldiers were either killed or wounded in the Gallipoli battlefield.

They fought with allied troops including those from Australia and New Zealand, known as Anzac troops, Canada, and France and Britain.

Australian war historian Peter Stanley and Squadron Leader (Retd) Rana T S Chhina from United Service Institution (USI) teamed up to curate the first exhibition titled "Indians and Anzacs" that sources archival material from the the three countries.

"New Zealanders, Indians and Australians were at forefront of the Gallipoli landings, 100 years ago this year. These exhibitions commemorate the troops' collective efforts and sacrifice and provide a poignant glimpse of shared experiences and relationships forged on battlefield," New Zealand High Commissioner to India Grahame Morton said.

The ingenuity of the soldiers have been depicted in the photographs, such as the 'Jam Tin bomber', a silver replica of which was gifted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by his counterpart in Australia during his visit there.

To tide over insufficient supplies in Gallipoli, the soldiers made weapons and equipment from the items they found around them. Grenades were fashioned by filling old tins with explosives and pieces of shrapnel including nails, small pieces of shells and cut up scraps of barbed wire.

The second exhibition, "Camera on Gallipoli" developed by Australian War Memorial, features photographs of the campaign taken by Sir Charles Ryan, who served as a surgeon in the feat along with several other wars that Australia participated in.

His photographs capture the nuances of the daily lives of the soldiers.

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