ARMY AND SIKHS MARK ANNIVERSARY OF BATTLE
ARMY personnel joined members of the Sikh community to mark the 120th anniversary of the Battle of Saragarhi in Britain, while similar events were held in India.
The battle marks the martyrdom of 21 British Indian Sikh soldiers who died in a heroic last stand against 10,000 Afghan tribesmen in 1897.
The event on September 12 saw army personnel and Sikhs take part in a ceremony in the presence of the holy text, the Guru Granth Sahib, at the National Memorial Arboretum.
A group of British soldiers led by Major General Duncan Capps CBE attended Saragarhi Commemoration events in India.
Captain Daly Singh Virdee, a Royal Army Medical Corps pharmacist serving in the British Army Reserve, attended events in Amritsar, Punjab, and met school children, military personnel and religious and political dignitaries.
He said: “As a serving Sikh officer this was a unique opportunity to travel back to the land of my origin” and added a remembrance service was held on the anniversary day in Ferozpur, where the majority of the 21 Sikhs of Saragarhi came from.
The British team also met serving Sikh soldiers from the Sikh Regiment and the Sikh Light Infantry Regiment.
“We had much in common with our Sikh military counterparts and it was evident these men serving today have the same values and standards of those 21 brave Sikhs in 1897,” said Captain Virdee. “Their story will continue to inspire me and is a part of history I will always draw strength from. My hope is to be able to visit and spend more time with the Sikh Regiment and the story of the 21 brave men will continue to grow and inspire generations to come,” he added.