The British Library has recently commemorated with a series of articles the life of Seamen from South Asia, who played a vital role during both world wars.
Known as lascars, around 3,427 of them during the First World War and 6,600 during the Second World War lost their lives,while many others became prisoners of war.
Their bravery and commitment, in often terrifying situations, have been largely overlooked.
Pioneering historians such as Rozina Visram have highlighted the importance of their role and the extent of their sacrifice, but until now, relatively little has been known about the stories of individual lascars.
The India Office Records team was therefore delighted to find documents describing the role these men had during the was. They took part in the landing operations in Africa, Italy, France and Burma.
The documents describe also the awarding of honours for bravery under fire and when ships were torpedoed and sinking, courageous rescues, service to others, leadership and fearless devotion to duty.
See more here.