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'Amar Singh - fait a Orléans', 16 October 1914

Lithograph by and after Paul Sarrut (1882-1969), 1914.

One of 70 lithographs of sketches by Paul Sarrut, No 81 in a limited edition of 250 entitled 'British and Indian Troops in Northern France', published by H Delepine, Arras, 1920 (c).

Head and shoulders portrait of Captain Amar Singh, who served as an aide-de-camp with the Sirhand Brigade, which was part of the 3rd (Lahore) Division. He kept a diary which gives us a valuable insight into their part in the fighting on the Western Front. He wrote, 'There is no doubt that the Indian troops have done very well indeed in this war so far... The cold has been most intense but they have withstood it wonderfully well. The sickness has been very little indeed except the sufferings from the cold. As a matter of fact the average sickness has been very much below the British troops. It is not so much the cold that has worried them as the dampness. It gets very cold in India too, but that is pure and dry cold. The conduct of the troops has been wonderfully good both in the firing line and in the billets... A great trouble under which we have laboured is that whenever we fail in the slightest degree anywhere people raise a hue and cry whereas if a British troop fails under the same circumstances no one mentions it. The Indian troops had done very well all along but when we had the reverse at Givenchy and Festubert there was a hue and cry. However no one at that time said that there were British troops in it as well... I do not know what is expected o f the Indians. After all a man can give his life up and no one can say that the Indians have been sparing themselves in any way. What more proof can be required than one of the Gharwal Regiments who were six hundred strong at Neuve Chapelle in March last and of them only fifty-five came back.'

Camille Georges Paul Sarrut was born in Grenoble in May 1882. He was an artist and engraver who studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français from 1909, under the name Paul Sarrut. Having undertaken national service in 1903, he rejoined the French Army in 1914 as a corporal and served during the First World War (1914-1918). That same year he was posted to the British Army as a Military Liaison Officer and interpreter for the French, Indian and British troops on the Western Front. The National Army Museum holds a large collection of original sketches that Sarrut drew during the war, many of which he published in this set of lithographs in about 1920.

NAM Accession Number

NAM. 1959-09-231-4


Copyright: The Estate of Paul Sarrut


National Army Museum, Study collection

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