Jogendra Nath Sen

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Jogendra Nath Sen
Jogendra Nath Sen.jpg
Jogendra Nath Sen
Nickname(s) Jon or John
Born 1887
Chandannagar, French India
Died 22 May 1916 (aged 29)
Somme, France
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 1914-1916
Rank Private
Battles/wars Battle of the Somme, First World War

Jogendra Nath Sen (Bengali: যোগেন্দ্রনাথ সেন) (1887 - 22 May 1916) was an Indian private soldier in the British Army who fought in the First World War. He is believed to be the first Bengali soldier to have died in the First World War.

Early life[edit]

Sen was born in Chandernagore, a French colony in Bengal.[1] His mother was a widow and his elder brother was a doctor.[2] Sen travelled to England in 1910.[1] He took admission in the University of Leeds. During his studies he took up a job in Leeds Corporation Electric Lighting station in Whitehall Road. Sen completed his B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering in 1913.[1] He could speak seven languages.[3]


After completing his studies, Sen was staying in Grosvenor Place in Blackman Lane in Leeds.[1] In September, 1914, he enlisted in the 15th West Yorkshire Regiment also known as the Leeds Pals Battalion.[4] Sen was the only non-white in the 15th West Yorkshire Regiment.[3] Even though he was better educated than his compatriots, he had to enlist as a private because as a non-white he could not have been made an officer. Sen was very much respected by his peers in the army. He was called as Jon Sen or John Sen.


On the night of 22 May, Sen was in action as the member of a wiring party that was heavily bombarded. Sen was hit in the leg by a shrapnel. When he was being dressed up, he was hit again in the neck and he died instantly. He was buried at the Sucrerie Military Cemetery in Colincamps in Somme, France.[3] His personal items were sent to his brother in India who later donated them to the Intitut de Chandernagore in Chandannagar.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Private Jogendra (John) N. Sen 15/795". Leeds Pals. Stephen Wood. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Ghorai, Jayeeta (17 July 2015). "Leeds remembers its forgotten Indian war hero". The Times of India. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Roy, Amit (7 March 2015). "'Jon Sen', through bloodstained glasses". The Telegraph. Kolkata. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 
  4. ^ "Blood-stained glasses relate story of 'Jon Sen', first Bengali to be killed in WW1". Business Standard. 8 March 2015. Retrieved 31 July 2015.