British Empire at Its Territorial Peak in 1921.

The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates, and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height, it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power.[1] By 1913, the British Empire held sway over 412 million people, 23% of the world population at the time,[2] and by 1920, it covered 35,500,000 km2 (13,700,000 sq mi),[3] 24% of the Earth’s total land area.[4] As a result, its political, legal, linguistic, and cultural legacy is widespread. At the peak of its power, the phrase “the empire on which the sun never sets” was often used to describe the British Empire, because its expanse around the globe meant that the sun was always shining on at least one of its territories.[5]


The British Empire in South Asia came to an end in 1947.  In its place, South Asia was partitioned into two successor states, the Dominions of Pakistan which had a Muslim majority and India which was largely Hindu dominated.


The leaders of the newly created nations of Pakistan and India, Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Mahatma Gandhi.

King George V

In this drawning, King George V is shown wearing a classical Muslim turban with the triangular Khulla and Shamla flourish as Colonel-In-Chief of five cavalry regiments, including the King George’s Own Lancers, in the British Indian army (circa 1911).

Plaque unveiled by the British High Commissioner to Pakistan in honour of three soldiers from modern-day Pakistan who were awarded the Victoria Cross during the First World War.

British Indian Army soldiers recuperating from fierce battle in Flanders Fields.

The 2nd Indian Cavalry Division getting ready for battle near Mons.

89th Punjabis Infantry Regiment had a most distinguished record of service during the First World War. They served in Aden, Egypt, Gallipoli, France, and Mesopotamia. Naik Shahmed Khan won the Victoria Cross from this regiment.

Punjabi soldiers – Muslim, Sikh and Hindu, getting some well deserved rest.

Muslim soldiers readying their positions to repulse the German attacks

Khudadad Khan from Chakwal Pakistan, the first British Indian soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross.

British Indian troops readying for deployment on the Western Front.

Muslim soldiers from the Punjab filling up on rations.

British Indian Muslim troops sojourning at the British Royal Pavillion in Brighton.

British Indian Muslims at gas mask drill during the 2nd Battle of Ypres, 1915.

The National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire laid out a memorial paving stone in honor of Khudadad Khan – the first South Asian, the first Punjabi and the first Muslim recipient of the Victoria Cross.

The Baluch Regiment.

57th Wildes Rifles

King George V, Delhi, India.

2nd Queen victoria own rajput light infantry Flanders 1914-15et interdum.

9th Punjabis. Left to Right Afridi, Sikh, bangash, Swati, Yusufzai, Punjabi Muslim. Watercolour by Major AC Lovett, 1910