The story of the Indian soldiery in the Great War needs a new telling and one important chapter of it will be about the Maharajah of Bikaner: Dashing, autocratic and a formidable public speaker, Ganga Singh commanded his own camel corps called the Ganga Risala, fought on the Western Front and in Egypt, became the first Indian general in the British Indian army and persuaded the maharajas to unite into the Chamber of Princes. As a result of this and his war record he was invited by Lloyd George to attend the Imperial War Conference in 1917 and then the Versailles Peace Conference two years later, where he persuaded the other delegates to include India in the new League of Nations, quite an achievement as it was not an independent nation. Less successfully he tried to prevent the dismemberment of Turkey.
Hugh Purcell is a writer, documentary film producer and lecturer with a long-standing interest in India, the Raj and the First World War. He worked for many years producing history programmes for BBC radio and television. He is a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and an FRSA. He has visited India continuously since 1964 and knows the Bikaner family. Hugh has filmed for the BBC in India and has taken tour groups round the sites of the Indian Mutiny. Professor Alan Sharp is Provost of the Coleraine Campus at the University of Ulster. He joined the History Department at Ulster in 1971 and has been successively Professor of International Studies, a post in which he helped to set up degrees in International Studies and, later, International Politics and Head of the School of History and International Affairs. His major publications include The Versailles Settlement: Peacemaking in Paris, 1919 (1991) amongst others.