The contribution from the princely states of India during World War 1

Reference; India and World War 1 (Budheswar Patil)

His Highness the Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan Bahadur, the Nizam of Hyderabad subscribed a total amount of Rs. 1,64,00,000 towards War loan, free gifts of Rs. 1,53,00,000 towards the payment of the War charges of the 20th Deccan Horse and the 1st Hyderabad Imperial Service Cavalry, Rs 1,00,000 to the Prince of Wale’s Relief Fund, Rs 1,00,000 to the Imperial Relief Fund of India, Rs 15,00,000 to the Admiralty in aid of the anti-submarine campaign, Rs. 1,00,000 to “Our Day” collections, Rs. 15,00,000 as special donations towards the prosecutions of the War, Rs.3,75,000 ton. Their Majesties for the relief of sufferers from the War on the occasion of their silver wedding, Rs. 2,00,000 as a share of expenditure of Hospital ship ‘Loyalty’ maintained by the Princes of India. Other subscriptions made by him amounted to Rs. 1,44,600. In 1918 the Nizam gave to the Indian Government a loan of 50 lakhs in silver bullion, pending the arrival of the dollar silver from the United States of American.

The State Workshops were vigorously engaged on ammunitions works the most important work being the construction of cordite boxes, shells, and transport carts. The total value of the work completed was Rs. 12,50,000 in round figures. The First Hyderabad Imperial Service Cavalry regiment and the 20th Deccan Horse fought in different theatres of the War.

His Highness the Maharajah Sir Krishna Raja Wadiyar Bahadur of Mysore offered to His Majesty’s Government the military and other resources of his state for the Imperial purposes. He offered the Imperial Service Lancers which fought in Egypt. He also supplied ambulance carts and trained horses. Besides he contributed fifty lakhs of rupees towards the cost of the Indian Expeditionary Force in Europe, ten lakhs as a free gift, fourteen lakhs to Relief Fund, sixty-five lakhs to the War loans, twenty-one lakhs in British and nineteen and a half lakhs in Indian Treasury Bills. The people of Mysore contributed nearly forty-five lakhs of rupees to different War funds and the war loans. Some 19,000 army blankets were supplied by the state, along with 1,50,000 feet of rosewood to the Gun carriage factory at Jabbalpore and 30,000 teak metre gauge sleepers for railway construction in Mesopotamia. The pecuniary assistance rendered by His Highness, his state and his people amounted to over two crores of rupees. He supplied five thousand recruits for War purpose.

The chief contribution in money of his Highness Maharajah Sayaji Rao Gaekwar of Baroda was a sum of five lakhs towards the War Gift Fund, a sum of fifteen lakhs of rupees for the purchase of Ford vans, a monthly contribution of Rs. 12,000 from 1st January 1916 amounting to Rs. 5,16,000 at the end of the War and Rs. 4.70,000 to several War relief funds making a grand total of Rs. 34,86,000. The state took War loan bonds by direct purchase and by the conversion of the total value of Rs. 1,04,00,000. The non-official subscriptions to the War loans amounted to about rupees eight lakh in addition. He placed his fine palace in Bombay at the disposal of the military authorities for use as a Hospital for officers. The State Chief Medical Officers’ services were lent to the Indian Medical Service. He offered 154 horses to the British cavalry.

His Highness Maharajah Sir Pratap Singh of Jammu and Kashmir placed the entire resources of his state under the disposal of the Government of India. The state sent 2nd Kashmir Rifles to East Africa, a battalion of the 2/2 Kashmir rifles to Gilgit, one draft of the Kashmir Imperial Lancers to Egypt and another to Mesopotamia, the Kashmir Mountain Battery No.1 to East Africa as well as maintained an army for restoring peace and order in the Frontier. The military expenditure incurred on troops sent overseas alone amounted to Rs. 1,11,00,000 in round figures. His Highness subscribed large amounts to the War loans and various War funds.

His Highness Maharajah Sir Balaram Varma of Travancore contributed to the Madras War by Durbar Rs. 4,00,000 and by Durbar officers and etc, Rs 50,168 to the Imperial Relief Fund by Durbar Rs. 65,000, by Durbar officers and etc., Rs. 49,783, to the Hospital ship ”Madras” by Durbar Rs. 92,000, by officers and etc, Rs. 39,218, to the Hospital ship “Loyalty” by Durbar Rs. 50,000 to the first Indian War Loan by Durbars Rs. 15,00,000, War bonds 1920 by Durbar officers and private individuals through the state Rs. 1,84,400 to the second Indian War loan by Durbar, War bonds 1925, Rs. 10,00,000, by Durbar officers and private individuals through the state Rs. 1,44,300. The state also supplied ammunition and etc, worth of thirty thousand rupees. A motorboat was handed over free of charge for its use in Tigris.

Major General His Highness Sir Madho Rao Alizah Bahadur Scindia of Gwalior supplied 300 beds for the equipment of the Hospital ship, a motor ambulance fleet costing £25,000, a motor transport costing £23,000,  nine aeroplanes costing £22,500, and horses worth Rs. 157,050, founded a convalescent home at Nairobi at the expense of about £12,000 and a monthly recruiting expenditure of about £1000 gave £30,000 as Red cross gift for Indian and British troops £30,00, to the Prince of Wales’ Fund £5,000 for Belgian sufferers, Rs, 321,593 to the Imperial Indian Relief Fund and liberal amounts to various War funds and War loans. At the War Conference in April 1918, he offered 3 lakhs of rupees a year for the duration of the War.

Her Highness Nawab Sultan Jahan Begum of Bhopal state contributed Rs. 200,088 to the Hospital ship “Loyalty” Rs. 1,50,000 to the Imperial War Relief Fund of India, Rs. 6,00,000 to the Indian War loan, Rs. 1,99,500 to the National War loan, England and Rs. 40,472 for the comforts of the soldiers at front and manufacturing weapons in state workshop. She supplied sixty-three men from state Infantry to the 5th Company A.B.C. on active service in October 1914 and fifty-one men as a draft for Indian Infantry from the Bhopal Imperial Service Infantry. She also supplied seven motor drivers and 11 signallers for active services. Mohammud Nasrullah Khan Bahadur heir apparent invested Rs. 1,36,000 in postal cash certificates and gave Rs. 1,01,091 in gifts. Her youngest son contributed Rs. 2,00,000 to the War loans and Rs. 42,230 to different War funds.

His Highness Sir Sahu Chhatrapati Maharajah of Kolhapur State, a direct descendant of “ Chhatrapati Shivajee” furnished more than two thousand recruits at a cost of nearly one lakh of rupees contributed Rs. 15,00 to the Prince of Wales’ Fund Rs. 10,000 towards the Indian Relief Fund, a sum of Rs 3,00,000 to defray the expenses of Expeditionary Forces and 100 horses for the use of the army in the War. His subjects contributed Rs. 35,00 towards the Indian Relief Fund and Rs. 13,80,417 to War loan. The Maharajah placed his residential house in Shimla and his house in Lahore and Ambala at the disposal of the Government of India for the accommodation of the wounded persons of the War.

Major General His Highness Sir Swai Mudha Singh Bahadur of Joypore State supplied as many as 12,420 recruits, 1181 officers and men, 1331 ponies and 360 carts. He contributed Rs. 10,00,000 to the expenses of the War, Rs. 1,00,000 to H.R.H. The Prince of Wales War Relief Fund, Rs. 1,00,000 to the Imperial Indian Relief Fund, Rs. 1,00,000 to the Hospital ship “Loyalty”, Rs. 80,000 to the Silver Wedding of Their  Majesties the King Emperor and the Queen Empress, ,  Rs. 66,666 as New Year gift to H.I.M.  The King Emperor to be utilised for the Imperial Indian Relief Fund, Rs. 30,000 to various War funds and others.

His Highness Major General Sir Bhupendra Singh Mahendra Bahadur of Patiala State supplied as many as 37,020 recruits, contributed Rs.45,00,000 to the War loans and Rs. 82,31,845 to various War purposes. Contributions in material valued over two lakhs of rupees and clothing and other supplies to men serving in the army amounted to Rs. 70,000. The State also presented for War purposes 405 horses and 21 mules costing more than a lakh and a half.

The Maharajah Jagat Singh Sahib Bahadur of Kapurthala State made some significant contributions towards his War effort. He subscribed Rs. 29,954 to the Indian Relief Fund, (including the subscriptions of State officials and subjects); Rs. 50,000 towards the expenses of the State regiment in 1916,  Rs. 3,00,000 to the English War Loan, Rs. 2,50,000 to the French War Loan, Rs 9,35,000 to the first and second Indian War Loans (including subscriptions of State officials and subjects), Rs. 30,000 per annum towards free rations of the army men. Besides, he contributed one extra Company of 100 men as an addition to the State Regiment. The strength of the Imperial Service Regiment Depot was nearly doubled costing about Rs. 20,000 annually. The arrangement was made for the double payment to the rank and file of the regiment in the field and batta to mounted officers etc., in addition to that granted by the Government.

His Highness Maharajah Chura Chand Singh of Manipur State offered the Manipur Double Company and Manipur Labour Corps which rendered distinguished services during the War. The Maharajah contributed an aeroplane and four motor ambulances amounted to Rs. 51, 300, Rs 14,670 to various relief funds, comfort funds and memorials, Rs 40, 830 towards the expenses of the Double Company and Rs. 3,044 towards the expenses of the Labour Corps.

His Highness Major  Raja Sir Baldeo Singh of Poonch State offered very important War services, 18,000 men, i.e. one out of three men of his State joined the army to fight against the enemy. His total contribution to various funds amounted to Rs.14,44,597.

His Highness Sir Ifitkar Ali Khan Bahadur of Jaora State subscribed Rs. 2,64,000 to the first and second War loans, Rs. 1,33,300 for charities and the Indian Relief Fund and Rs. 36,000 for machine guns and other war purposes.

H.H. Maharajah Biswanath Singh Bahadur of Chhatrapur State contributed Rs. 1,62,291- 13-1 and a half to the War loans and various funds.

H.H. Thakur Sahib Sir Bhagbat Singji of Gandal State subscribed Rs. 5,00,000 to the Indian War loan and Rs. 6,00,000 to the Viceroy loan (England). Its contributions to the various War funds amounted to about a lakh of rupees. The people of the State invested Rs. 50,000 in the Indian War loans.

H.H. Swain Maharajah Sir Sawant Singh Bahadur of Bijwara State subscribed on behalf of the State Rs. 7676-13-19 to the Indian Relief Fund and Rs. 16,115-6-8 to the various War funds. It supplied 51 men to the Indian Labour Corps for France and secured a good number of recruits for the War.

H.H. Maharajah Sir Bhanwar Pal Deo Bahadur of Karauli State supplied 500 recruits mostly combatants as its war effort. The Durbar subscribed a lakh and ninety thousand rupees towards two Indian War loans. H.H. also contributed Rs 55,512 to various War funds.

H.H. Maharajah Brijinder Singh of Faridkot State contributed Rs. 6,71,531 to various funds, supplied tents, artillery, harness, horses, ponies and camels worth Rs. 1,02,000. Rs. 17,89,060 were invested by the State in the War loans. The total number of Faridkot men serving during the War were 2759 or more than twelve percent of the eligible males.

H.H. Raja Joginder Sen Bahadur of Mandi State contributed 1146 recruits to the Indian Army and granted them 3234 acres of land the value of which at the lowest computation was about 8 lakhs. In addition Rs. 60,000 was contributed to the War fund and over six lakhs to various War loans.

H.H. Sidi Mohammed Khan of Janjira State contributed 134 recruits and paid Rs. 8,000 annually for four years towards the expenses of the War. The contribution of his Highness and his people towards the War loans and the different War Funds amounted to nearly three lakhs.

H.H. Sir Ranjit Singhji of Nawanagar State personally served in the Western front. The State’s contribution in money and materials amounted to Rs. 17,12,473 and the deputation of the Imperial Service Lancers cost it about Rs. 1,15,000 over and above normal peace charges. Besides the State and its subjects invested Rs. 33,07,339 in the War Loans.

H.H. Sir Syed Mohammad Ali Khan Bahadur of Rampur State joined the scheme for the hospital ship “Loyalty” lent houses at Nainital for the accommodation of sick and wounded and presented horses and other useful gifts and generously contributed to the Imperial Indian Relief Fund. The Rampur Indian Service Infantry rendered valuable services in East African Campaign.

H.H. Maharajah  Narendra Shah Bahadur of Tehri Garhwal also played an important role in his War effort. Over sixteen hundred combatants and nearly a thousand non-combatants were enlisted through the State agencies and at State expenses for British regiments and about seven thousand youths of the State were enlisted by other agencies for Indian and some of the Native State armies. The Durbar also granted various concessions and boons such as free kit and rations, bonuses and cash grants, free grants of land and reward to recruits. The State incurred a direct expenditure of Rs. 1,32,000 and an indirect expenditure of Rs. 62,000, besides contributing over twenty thousand rupees to various War Funds and subscribing Rs. 5,00,000 to the War loans.

H.H. Maharaja Ramanuj Saran Singh Deo of Sirguja State made strenuous efforts to supply a large number of recruits, contributed over Rs.30,000 to War funds and invested along with his late father Rs. 2,30,000 in the War loans.

H.H. Maharajah Rana Sahib of Porbandar State contributed Rs. 10,000 to the Indian War and Relief Fund, Rs. 8,000 to Ambulance Motor Car, Rs. 12,600 towards women’s branch of the Indian Imperial War and Relief Fund, Rs. 12,058 to the East Indies Naval Station Relief Fund, Rs. 15,000 to “Our Day” funds, Rs. 2,000 to the St. John Ambulance War Hospital and a large amount to various other War funds.

H.H. Raja Sir Bije Chand of Bilaspur State supplied 1,100 recruits and subscribed Rs. 2,15,000 to the War loans and Rs. 40,000 to different War Funds.

Sir Parasuram Rao of Jamkhandi State offered a Motor Ambulance and personally accompanied it on the Western front in 1915. The State also subscribed Rs.2,40,000 to the War loans and Rs.91,888 to various War funds.

Maharajah Purnachandra Bhanj Deo of Mayurbhanj, the largest of the Feudatory States in Orissa expressed it’s loyalty from the beginning of the War to His Majesty the King Emperor. A sum of rupees 89,217 was contributed towards the various funds for the relief of those who suffered in the War. The State also invested Rs. 35,61,542 in the Indian War loan. The Maharajah made a gift of an aeroplane and a Motor Ambulance.

The State also rendered valuable services in recruiting a large number of coolies for the Indian Labour Corps. In addition, the Maharajah offered his personal services in any capacity in the War and this offer being accepted by His Excellency the Viceroy, the Maharaja was gazetted temporary Honorary 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery (I.P.) and in this capacity served in France.

H.H. Sir Bir Mitro Daya Singh Deo of Sonepur State subscribed Rs. 545,000 to the Indian War loans and handsome amounts to various War funds. The Maharajah also supplied funds for the purchase of Maxim guns and it was through his efforts and leadership that two aeroplanes were presented to military authorities for War purposes at a heavy cost raised by subscription from the brother chiefs of Orissa. He helped in obtaining labour recruits for Mesopotamia and France and offered his personal service with State Sepoys. For his War services, he was created a K.C.I.E. with a permanent salute of 9 guns.

H.H. Thakur Sahib of Mori State contributed Rs. 50,32,000 to the War loans and Rs 75,000 to different War Funds. He also presented four motor ambulance cars, a metre gauge engine, two cavalry horses, several tents and a large amount to the Recruiting Fund of the Kathiwara Company under formation. The State workshops were placed at the disposal of the Government and the State Bungalows and Out-houses at Rajkot were handed over to the military authorities.

Lieutenant Colonel H.H. Maharajah Sir Amar Prakash Bahadur of Nahan State offered to the Government his personal services in connection with the Great European War along with the resources of the State. He sent the Sirmoor Sappers and Miners to Mesopotamia to help the Government and when these Corps with other troops of Government were besieged and taken prisoners at Kut in the loyal and heroic discharge of their duty, a second Corps was reorganised and sent on active service to Mesopotamia.  The Durbar incurred Rs. 2,18,244-3-9 over the maintenance of their Imperial Service troops over and above the peacetime expenditure. In addition to the above the Maharajah gave ample proof of his faithfulness to the Government by making various gifts of money and material from time to time including Rs.4,00,000 to the War loan out of which two lakhs were accepted as War Loan and the other two lakhs were offered as War gift and subsequently transferred to the Indian Relief Fund.

Raja Padma Singh of Bashahr State supplied 700 recruits, contributed Rs 3,72,450 to the War loans and large amounts to different War funds along with a Motor ambulance.

The Raja Rana Sahib of Jabbal State offered his personal services to the Government for the War. His brother Kanwar Lakshmi Singh joined the Army with 130 men. The State contributed Rs. 10,00,000 to the Indian War Loans and Rs. 80,000 to various War funds.

H.H. Sir Ram Varma of Cochin State contributed over three lakhs of rupees to the several War funds and subscribed nearly four lakhs to the first War Loan and about five lakhs to the second, besides giving an income tax free loan of a little over one lakh and twenty-eight thousand and supplying timber to the Munitions Board worth nearly a lakh of rupees. It also furnished 581 combatants and 493 non-combatants.

H.H. Maharaja Sir Malhar Rao Bala Sahib Power of Dewas State offered a gift of Rs. 1,30,000 towards the cost of War and purchased War bonds worth fifty thousand. A small body of recruits was sent to Ambulance Corps.

Mir Sir Inam Baksh Khan of Khairpur State sent his Imperial mounted services Rifles and Camel Transport to participate in the operations in British East Africa, in Egypt and on the North-West frontier of India. The state contributed Rs 23,000 towards various War funds. A sum of Rs. 4,00,000 was subscribed by the State towards the War Loans exclusive of public subscriptions amounting to Rs. 6,91,053.

Colonel H.H Rana Udai Bhan Singh of Dholpur state had offered two thousand recruits in 1917 and 1918 for the Indian army and raised a body of troops, 650 strong called the Narsingh Battalion. He placed under the disposal of the Government his two houses in Agra to be used as army clothing factory. The High land home at Simla, the Dholpur Club building for the Narsingh Battalion and the Tewari Bag Guest House for the officers of the same battalion. The Raja donated Rs 32,000 as a war gift, Rs. 25,000 as war charity, two motor cars worth Rs 20,000, Rs18,000 for the Luck Bag, Rs. 8,500 for a motor ambulance, Rs. 7,500 to the Indian relief fund; Rs. 6,000 to the aeroplane fund; Rs 2,828 as rewards for the recruits and etc. He also subscribed Rs. 130,000 to the War Loans. Public subscriptions to the War Loans raised in the State amounted to Rs. 302,929-4-0.

Lt. Colonel H.H Maharaja Sir Madan Singh Bahadur of Kishengarh State subscribed Rs. 1,44,200 to the War Loans and Rs. 23,872 to various War Funds and charities Rs. 26,600 were raised by the public services in the State.

H.H. Maharaja Sir Prabhu Narain Singh of Banaras State made very substantial contributions towards the War and in recognition to his services the Government was pleased to raise his salute from 13 to 15 guns, to grant him the honorary rank of Lt. Colonel and to make the title of Maharaja hereditary in the family.

Maharaj Sir Bhagabati Prasad Singh of Oudh (Balarampur Raj) contributed to the War Loans Rs. 25,63,412.80 and through Estate Thikadars Rs.2,58,075-00 making a grand total of Rs.28,21,487-80. His contributions to Indian War Relief Fund, to Imperial War Relief Fund, to Prince of Wales’ Fund and etc., amounted to Rs.3,16,369 and through Estate Thekadars Rs.73,600-60.

The Hon. Raja Rajendra Narayan Bhanja Deo of Kanika was the first in Orissa to supply to supply recruits for Labour Corps and subscribed handsomely to the War Loans and War Funds. Besides, he presented a Motor Ambulance and Motor Launch for Mesopotamia.

Raja Biswanath Saran Singh Bahadur of Tilot Estate off Rai Bareli contributed Rs. 18,000 towards the United Provinces War Fund and invested Rs.55,000 and Rs.5,812 respectively in War bonds and cash certificates. The tenants of the Estate also invested Rs.3,386 in cash certificates and contributed Rs.1,174 towards the “Our Day Fund”. The Estate also supplied 524 combatants and 183 non-combatants.

H.H. Maharaja Samar Singh Bahadur of Jodhpur State placed all the resources of the State under the disposal of the Government of India. He himself served in the Front till 1916. The Jodhpur Imperial Service Lancers spent no less than five years of distinguished service at the Front and by their heroic fight at Haifa and in the Jordan Valley they maintained a glorious record in the military history of the War.

H.H. Lieutenant Colonel Maharao Sir Umed Singhji Bahadur of Katah State supplied 337 recruits to the Indian army, Rs.1,00,000 towards War expenses, Rs.40,572 towards the Rajputana Aeroplane and Machine gun fund and Rs.1,33,310 to various War Relief Funds. The investment by the State in the two Indian War Loans amounted to Rs.25,22,790 while those by the people to Rs.4,41,448. Contributions from the Privy purse of the Ruler to different War Funds amounted to Rs.1,54,485 and those by the subjects of the State of Rs.57,438.

Among the most important items supplied in connection with materials were a pontoon bridge costing Rs.38,000, wagons costing Rs.20,000, tents costing Rs.10,521 and an ice machine worth Rs.8715. Some 7.87 of the average annual revenue was paid by the State for War purposes. 









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