Reforming the Indian Army

Douglas Haig’s diary, March 1915 to July 1916 (catalogue reference WO 256/4)

This extract is from Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig’s diaries and dated 9 April. It refers to Sir Walter Lawrence, the Commissioner for the Welfare of Indian Soldiers, and his view on why the Indian Army needed to be reformed.

Transcript (highlighted passage)

Sir Walter Lawrence from the India Office (who is a kind of inspector of Indian arrangements, hospitals etc) came to see me. He stated that the condition of the Native troops since the Neuve Chappelle action has changed and much for the better. All are most cheery now and anxious to remain and fight until the enemy has been beaten. He was of the opinion that the whole administrative arrangements of the Indian army were out of date and must be remodelled. In my opinion the war has proved that the whole senior officers on the Indian establishment are too old for their work.

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