The First World War brought different cultures into contact on a huge scale, and in a great complexity of circumstances. Between 1914 and 1918, there were over one million Asian and African men, from a variety of countries, stationed in France alone.

Colonials, Neutrals and Belligerents during the First World War

In 2013, Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) awarded funding for a three year project led by Dr Santanu Das of Kings College London, to investigate how the conflict created and shaped encounters between peoples and cultures from belligerent, colonised and politically neutral countries. The project sought to explore the new cultural spaces created by the First World War, and looked at the lasting consequences for Europe, in terms of social, cultural and literary memory.

As an Associate Partner, IWM's archives provided a rich resource to the researchers investigating the process of encounters and interactions with colonial and dominion soldiers and labourers during the First World War, as recalled by British soldiers, workers and nurses. IWM staff also contributed to seminars and workshops.

More information can be found on the CEGC website, or in the CEGC Sourcebook.