Ministry of Defence
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We Were There: Black History Month

There is a rich history of racial diversity in the Armed Forces of the British Crown which can be traced back over several centuries.

To mark Black History Month we will be profiling members of the UK Armed Forces from countries across the world on the ‘We Were There’ Tumblr page.

The largest contingent of military forces outside of the UK came from India. The Indian Army started life in the 17th century when the East India Company recruited local personnel to guard its interests, although formed units were not organised until the mid-18th century. It recruited throughout the sub-continent, mainly in the south and coastal regions where the earliest European interests were located.

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