Have you ever seen a trench map from the First World War written in four languages? No? We hadn’t either, until we started digging deep into our records about India’s involvement in the conflict, as part of our First World War 100 programme. This fascinating map shows the area around Loos, in northern France, and it is annotated in French, Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu (WO 297/3265).
This map produces lots of questions: who was it made for? Where did they come from? Who were they working with? Who translated it? We wanted to find out more about the men who would have used this map, their communities and their experiences of the First World War (to read about the modern day countries within India’s 1914 borders visit our map).