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Kishan Devi’s 1916 postcard to her father is centrepiece of event focusing on families from Undivided India split apart by The Great War
A UNIQUE event marking the centenary
of a rare postcard written in the Great War by Kishan Devi to her father, Sepoy Sewa Singh is being held at 5pm on 25 January 2016 at Pictorem Gallery, 383 Hoe Street, Walthamstow, London. This postcard is possibly the only surviving example of its kind.
The card is postmarked 7 February 1916, and is written in reply to a letter home from Sepoy Singh, who was serving with Empire troops in the Sinai and Palestine campaign against the Ottoman Turks.
Kishan Devi, who was from a Panjabi background, had recently learned to read and write.
'Mother says you can write your innermost thoughts to us. I will read the letter. We do not rely on anyone to read the letters. I will read the letter.'
The postcard’s owner, Avtar Singh Bahra, will speak at the event and the contents will be read in English translation and in Panjabi by the actor Pia Khan.
Dominic Rai, the organiser of the event, will also share about the four-year project, Salt of the Sarkar, which tells the story of over a million soldiers from Undivided India who fought for Britain in the Great War.
Last year Salt of the Sarkar published a World War One centenary edition of Across the Black Waters, a classic novel by the great Indian writer Mulk Raj Anand (1905-2004) the father figure of modern Indian literature in English.
The novel follows the progress of the sepoys from their arrival by ship at Marseilles in September 1914 to the bloodstained wastes of the Western Front during the first winter of the War.
The project was launched in October 2014 in the House of Commons at a Commemorative Event chaired by Labour MP John McDonnell.
Admission to the event at the Pictorem Gallery, Walthamstow, is by invitation. Further information from Dominic Rai on firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone 07519 634 282
Postcard loaned for the duration of the Empire, Faith & War exhibition at Brunel Gallery London 2014. English translation from the original Panjabi by Baljinder Singh and Sukhdeep Jodha.
Buy World War One Centenary Edition of Across the Black Waters from Shalimar Books: http://bit.ly/1ByLrWk