He’ll remind us that alongside the British ‘Tommy’ fighting for King and Country, soldiers from Asia and Africa; from the Dominions of Canada, Australia and New Zealand; from Ireland and from the West Indies fought for King and Empire.
Once again, Ian will use war memorials to inspire his search for soldiers’ stories. He’ll visit battlefields of the Western Front and search for evidence in local archives, war diaries and contemporary newspapers.
Ian will meet descendents of soldiers from diverse parts of the Empire – from India, Jamaica, Ireland and Canada. He’ll discover the soldiers’ reasons for joining up, how they were treated by their comrades and superiors, and how their service affected the Empire and even helped shape emerging national identities.
Some were shamefully exploited, some celebrated and honoured, some nearly forgotten. Of all of these Empire Soldiers Ian will ask: ‘should they have fought for us’? He’ll reveal that, in fact, they were ‘us’.