The French artist Paul Sarrut made these 13 drawings of Indian soldiers stationed in France during the First World War.

Troops serving in the British Indian Army began to arrive in France in September 1914, and remained there until they were moved to Mesopotamia in November 1915. Sarrut made studies of the soldiers, both as groups and as individuals.

His drawings now provide rare insight into the lives of Indian troops on the Western Front, particularly during the very cold winter of 1914-15.

Almost all the drawings are signed and dated, most with the location also recorded. The intimacy of some of the studies suggests that Sarrut was documenting exactly what he saw, with one sketch showing a soldier with his hands stretched out to warm over an unseen fire.

The National Army Museum’s existing holdings include 36 drawings by Sarrut, as well as
a full set of the lithographs he published under the title British and Indian Troops in Northern France, 70 War Sketches by Paul Sarrut, 1914-1915. However, none of the drawings in this new acquisition is included among the published prints, making them a unique and important addition to the collection.


From the artist to the possession of Major Arthur Wallace Dunlop, 23rd Sikh Pioneers. Passed down through Dunlop’s family; purchased from the daughter of Dunlop by Satpal Singh, a collector and dealer in Sikh militaria.

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