1900-1919 | Civilians slaughtered | Executions | Flogging | Martial law | Sri Lanka

Martial law in Ceylon, hundreds shot on sight, thousands arrested

2 June 1915 On 2 June 1915, Sir Robert Chalmers, the governor of Ceylon, on the pretext that ethnic rioting between Muslims and Sinhalese Buddhists had been provoked by German agents, declared martial law. There was, however, no evidence to suggest any German involvement.  Bonar Law, Secretary of State for the Colonies, admitted a month…

1900-1919 | India | Racism

General – ‘The Indian is simply not fit to lead his men’

31 January 1915 On 31 January 1915, despite the hideous casualty rate suffered by commissioned British officers in the trenches of the Western Front, General Sir James Wilcox commanding the India Corps, refused to appoint Indian officers to lead his soldiers. ‘The Indian,’ he explained, ‘is simply not fit to lead his men against Europeans….

1900-1919 | Executions | Iraq | Massacres | Prisoners murdered

Arab villagers who run away ‘meet their end on the scaffold’

14 January 1915 During the First World War, British troops were deployed to Mesopotamia (now Iraq) to force back Turkish forces and secure a post-war territorial stake in the crumbling Ottoman Empire. After landing on the Persian Gulf coast, one of their first tasks was to search Arab villages, which had been deemed potentially ‘unfriendly.’…

1900-1919 | Concentration camps | Detention without trial | Looting and plunder | Racism

13 MAY

BRITAIN REACTS TO ANTI-GERMAN RIOTS BY DETAINING GERMAN CIVILIANS [ 13 May 1915 ] During the First World War, the British government deliberately played on widespread anti-German and anti-Austrian sentiments. On 13 May 1915, Prime Minister Herbert Asquith, aching to receive accolades from a xenophobic press, informed parliament that all German and Austrian civilians living…