They also served: The Commonwealth in WWI
While the British Isles suffered greatly in WWI, the Commonwealth nations of the larger Empire have something of an unsung history.
India (which at the time included modern Pakistan and Myanmar) had 74,000 soldiers killed in the war with a further 65,000 wounded. The Government in India was pushed close to bankruptcy because of the war. Besides the 140,000 on the Western Front, nearly 700,000 Indian troops then served in the Middle East, fighting with great distinction against the Turks in the Mesopotamian campaign.
At the disastrous and badly-prepared Gallipoli Campaign in Turkey, which incurred a huge loss of life to Allied troops; Indian, Gurkha, Australian and New Zealand troops fought side by side. The Indian Corps won 13,000 medals for gallantry including 12 Victoria Crosses.
Speaking of the ANZACs, 330,000 Australians saw active duty, of which over 60,000 died and 137,000 were injured. 100,471 New Zealanders fought in the war, with over 18,000 killed and more than 40,000 wounded.
15,000 soldiers from the West Indies Regiment saw action in France, Palestine, Egypt and Italy during the First World War. 2,500 of them were killed or wounded. Men from the West Indies won 81 medals for bravery, whilst 49 were mentioned in dispatches.
Then there were the Canadians. Canada’s total casualties stood at the end of the war at 67,000 killed and 250,000 wounded, out of an expeditionary force of 620,000 people mobilized (39% of mobilized were casualties). Seventy Canadians were awarded the Victoria Cross during the First World War, many of them posthumously.
55,000 men from Africa fought for the British during World War 1 and hundreds of thousands of others carried out the vital roles of carriers or auxiliaries. Contributing African countries included Nigeria, the Gambia, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), South Africa, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Nyasaland (now Malawi), Kenya and the Gold Coast (now Ghana). It is estimated that 10,000 Africans were killed. African troops were awarded 166 decorations for bravery.