For Indian soldiers the conditions in Europe were particularly difficult. Their thin cotton uniforms were inadequate and, as a result, women in England began knitting woollen mittens and warm socks to send to the Front. As well as wet and freezing conditions in the trenches, soldiers in all armies experienced food shortages. What food that was served was rarely hot.
With heavy casualties, field hospitals in Europe were overwhelmed by the wounded. Thousands were shipped to hospitals in the south of England. Many Indian soldiers went to Brighton where the Pavilion was converted into a hospital. The wounded were greeted by cheering crowds.
It was thought the Indian-style architecture of the Brighton Pavilion would make the men feel more at home. There were genuine efforts on the part of British volunteers to cater to cultural needs. Indian food was served and soldiers were treated by doctors and nurses carefully selected to be of the same religion or caste (or at least able to speak their language).
However, some Indian soldiers reported feeling a little like prisoners as they were never allowed to visit the local towns without a British guard.