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Life

100 years on, Asia has largely forgotten the 'Great War'

The global conflict of 1914 to 1918 began a transformation of the continent

Poppies and photographs grace the Thiepval Memorial to unknown soldiers of the Somme battle. (Photo by Denis D. Gray)

SOMME, France -- Wielding lances and swords, their pennants flying, the Indian cavalrymen galloped up a slope toward the trees, meeting withering fire from machine-guns that were not supposed to be there.

"They galloped on through with no hope," wrote an eyewitness to the charge by men of the 20th Deccan Horse, a cavalry unit of Britain's Indian Army, during the battle of the Somme. "A magnificent sight. Tragic," the eyewitness said.

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