Education Pack

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What is Subterranean Sepoys?

It is a 55-minute long drama for radio, produced to BBC broadcast standard, intended as a jumping-off point from which to stimulate discussion about the Indian Army’s contribution in World War One.


Who is this Pack for?

It is for both adults and teachers of Key Stage 3+4 in English, History, Drama and Citizenship. Or for anyone who likes to read.


How to Use it

This Resource Pack can be used entirely online or printed out.



Why fiction?

To help fill in the gaps that history leaves. We believe that social history is partly about trying to understand people from another historical period in an emotional sense, rather than a purely factual context. The characters’ struggles within the story help to open up themes for discussion.

Why a Radio play specifically?

To emphasise the role of SOUND in the trenches and to gain access to the intimacy of the sepoys’ environment.

Most soldiers could see no further than the trench wall or a few metres at night. Hearing became the primary sense for survival.

Most of the sepoys and their families were illiterate. They relied on the spoken word.

Deprived of visual stimuli and the written word, we become more focused as listeners, providing more fertile ground from which to engage in the emotional world.