• 10.00am - 5.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London
  • 10.00am - 5.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London

The Indian Army at the Palace

Officers of the Indian Contingent, Hampton Court, June 1911

Zakira Begum shares the stories of some of the Indian Army soldiers encamped at Hampton Court Palace in the early 20th century.

During the first half of the 20th century, soldiers from the Indian Army camped in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace on a number of occasions. They were invited to join the coronation celebrations of Edward VII (1902), George V (1911) and George VI (1937), as well as the First World War peace parades in 1919. For some, this would have been their first visit to England.

In 1919, almost 1,800 Indian Army officers, soldiers and civilian workers stayed in a camp specially created to house them during their stay. At the time, this was one of the largest gatherings of people from India and South Asia ever assembled in Britain.

About the speaker

Zakira Begum

Zakira Begum is an interpretation officer at Royal Historic Palaces. She was the project lead on The Indian Army at the Palace, an exhibition which explores the forgotten story of the Indian Army soldiers who camped at Hampton Court Palace in the early 20th century.

The exhibition runs at Hampton Court Palace until September 2024.

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"First time @NAM_London today. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Thought the presentation & interpretation made the subject accessible..."