Dominiek Dendooven is a researcher at In Flanders Fields Museum. In the past he has mainly worked on the presence of non-European troops on the Western Front, resulting in a number of exhibitions and publications.
Between 1914 and 1920 more than a quarter million Indians and Chinese served as in a subaltern capacity on the Western Front.
Their engagement in the war in Europe – the first mass encounter of Asians with the continent and its inhabitants – not only changed the way Europe and its civilisation were seen in Asia, but also had a lasting impact In India and China.
In this paper I will explore what effect their passage in Europe had on the hearts and minds of soldiers and labourers from Asia and and how this affected their home societies on political, cultural, and educational levels.