Introduction to the Exhibition

It is thought that only one in fifty people actually know just how big the Muslim contribution to World War One was (1914-1918). For instance, one and a half million Indian soldiers contributed to the war, and 400,000 of these were Muslims. Tens of thousands of Arabs also contributed to the war. At least 89,000 Muslims died fighting on the British side. It is important for every British person – Muslim or not – to remember the sacrifice that the Muslims made for this country.

This exhibition is one of the only ones ever devoted to the subject of the Muslim contribution to World War One. By exploring it, you should be able to find out many interesting facts about this topic. It is separated into several sections, starting with how Muslims were recruited, then going through aspects of their life during the war, such as how they sent letters to their families and what hobbies they had, all the way to their burials. The idea is to understand what the Muslim contribution to the war was, but also to form a picture of what the individuals involved would have experienced. You can feel read the information and letters, watch the videos, and look at the photographs and artefacts on show. All of the information here is true, and has been researched in libraries, archives and museums.

By the end, aside from knowing something about the Muslim contribution to the war, you may also find that you have built a picture of an individual: perhaps one soldier, his family, uniform, hobbies and concerns. To help remember the individual stories, then, every time you see the Stories of Sacrifice logo, it means that this part has the outline of a personal, individual story. It’s important to remember that these huge numbers are made up of one individual after another.

Exhibition Map



  1. Guide to Exhibiution
  2. In Numbers
  3. Theatres of War
  4. Recruitment
  5. Animals
  6. Letters
  7. Newspapers
  8. Conversion
  9. Prayers
  10. At Sea
  11. Propaganda

  1. Sports
  2. Hospital
  3. Desertion
  4. Sykes Picot Agreement
  5. The Arab Revolt
  6. The Arab World
  7. Women
  8. VC Winners
  9. Indian Order of Merit
  10. Burial
  11. Living on

  1. Display Case
  2. Display Case
  3. Display Shelf
  4. Display Shelf
  5. Display Shelf
  6. Display Shelf
  7. Multimedia Station

The Team

  • Researcher and Curator: Dr Islam Issa (Birmingham City University)
  • Project Manager: Ashraf Ali
  • Advisors:
    • Dr David Omissi (Hull University)
    • Andrea Winn and Stephen Welsh (Manchester Museum)
  • Graphics: Stuart Bainbridge

Exhibition Partners

British Library Logo

British Library

St Pancras
The British Library
96 Euston Road

01937 546060

national army museum logo

National Army Museum

National Army Museum,
Royal Hospital Road,
London SW3 4HT

020 7881 6606

Forgotten Heroes

Imperial War Museum Logo

Imperial War Museum

IWM London
Lambeth Road
London SE1 6HZ
United Kingdom

020 7416 5000

First World War Centenary Logo

First World War Centenary

IWM London
Lambeth Road
London SE1 6HZ
United Kingdom

020 7416 5000

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Logo

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

01628 507200

Manchester Museum Logo

The Manchester Museum

The University of Manchester
Oxford Road
M13 9PL

0161 275 2648