This book is the account of a young Emergency Commissioned Officer’s impressions of the Indian Army during the Second World War. First, as a Cadet at one of the three main Officers’ Training Centres, where young aspiring officers from the home country mixed with those with family roots in the subcontinent- British, European, Indian and Anglo-Indian. Second, as a newly commissioned officer on-the North-West Frontier, followed by a period on the North-East Frontier and Burma.
During this time he describes some of the moral issues confronting officers and men in the Indian Army, including the horrors of the Bengal famine, and the maintenance of loyalty and morale as Independence approaches. Paul Norris is well known to many as the author of two previously published BACSA books on his family’s involvement in India, Ulysses in the Raj (1992) telling of the diaspora of many Greek families to Asia in the 19th century, including his own, and settling into the social/commercial fabric of the British Raj yet retaining their proud ancestral traditions; and, Follow my Bangalorey Man (1996), a personal account of growing up in the city now famous for its technology, his secondary education at the well-known St Joseph’s European High School, and then sailing for England to complete his studies just as war breaks out. With Willingly to War, this completes the trilogy of his ‘Odyssey’ in India.