The Maharajah of Bikaner

by Hugh Purcell

‘This volume will be most useful to readers interested in the princely states and one of the most prominent Indian rulers of the twentieth century.’

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. Prominent among them were The Roads to War, the obituary of Oswald Mosley and the BAFTA-winning American Civil War. His previous books include After the Raj the Last Stayers-On and the Legacy of British India and a biography of Lloyd George (Haus Publishing, The 20 Prime Ministers of the 20th Century).

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