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CWGC PhD opportunity to shine light on Indian war dead

The CWGC is delighted to announce the availability of a fully-funded PhD opportunity, supervised in collaboration with the University of Essex and University of Kent.

This exciting project, entitled Historical Inequalities in Commemoration: The Imperial War Graves Commission and the Indian Dead during and following the First World War, will be funded by the Consortium for the Humanities and the Arts South-East England (CHASE) as part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council doctoral training partnership programme.

This exciting project builds on the findings of the CWGC’s Report of the Special Committee to Review Historical Inequalities in Commemoration (2021) and aims to better understand the differences in the ways the Imperial War Graves Commission commemorated the dead of the Indian Army after the First World War. Drawing on the wealth of material in the CWGC's archives, and with the support of an expert supervisory team at the CWGC and the partner universities of Essex and Kent, the successful applicant will be conducting research that both contributes to the CWGC's mission and deepens our knowledge of the impacts of empire on individual lives.

Photo: Battle of Mahiwa 16th-19th October 1917, German East Africa. The Kashmir Mountain Battery in action. IWM Q 15458

This work will dovetail with the CWGC’s ongoing non-commemoration project and will provide the first detailed comparative study of the treatment of the Indian dead following the First World War. It will make important contributions to the organisation’s understanding of how and why differences in treatment exist between theatres of war and groups of casualties and has the potential to support changes in the commemorative landscape.

Dr George Hay, CWGC Official Historian, said:
“This project marks an important moment for the CWGC. Not only are we leading our own rigorous research projects, but we are also now building links with the wider academic community to bring in new opinions, voices, and expertise to help us interpret and understand the organisation’s history. This is a really exciting opportunity to help us tell the story of the CWGC and potentially make changes to the way in which we commemorate the dead.”

For more information about this opportunity, please see the CHASE advert. The closing date for applications is 2 May 2022. Informal enquiries can be sent to the CWGC’s Official Historian, Dr George Hay (, or the project’s principal supervisor, Professor Lucy Noakes (

Tags CWGC funded PhD University of Essex University of Kent Non-Commemoration Report