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Sikhs in WO1

 
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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Nov 2005 17:21    Onderwerp: Sikhs in WO1 Reageer met quote

[quote]The Lahore and Meerut Divisions followed by Secunderabad Cavalry were engaged in the Western Front (France-Belgium) during World War I. Many of these soldiers were Sikhs. In the first battle of Ieper (22 October 1914) a platoon of Dogra Sikhs died fighting to the last man, and Jemadar Kapur Singh kept on fighting until everyone else was out of action except for one wounded sepoy. As he did not want to surrender, he committed suicide with his last bullet.

After the bloody battle of Neuve Chapelle, France (10 till 13 March 1915) the Sikh Regiments had lost eighty perccent of their men and three regements stood at only sixteen percent of its original composition. A Sikh soldier wrote to his uncle in Jallandhar (Punjab)

Thousands and hunderds of thousands of soldiers have lost their lives. If you go on the fields of battle you will see corpses piled upon corpses so that their is no place to place or put hand or foot. Men have died from the stench. No one has any hope of survival, for back to Punjab will go only those who have lost a leg or an arm or an eye.The whole world has been brought to destruction."
Quote:


Lt. General Sir James Wilcox, Commander of the British Indian Corps,

"It was the dark days of 1914 when our men had to face mortars, hand grenades, high explosive shells for which they themselves were not provided. They could reply only with their valour, their rifles and two machine guns per batallion. And yet they did it."

Verder:
http://www.sikhspectrum.com/112003/sikh_france.htm
http://www.sikhs.nl/Main/World%20War%201%20&%202/WorldwarI_Ypres.htm



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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Nov 2005 17:27    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

http://users.pandora.be/rajhans.orchestra/concerts.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Nov 2005 17:27    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote


http://www.unitedsikhs.org/us-eu/petitions/petition_eng.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Nov 2005 17:32    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

A Tribute to the Sikh
Contribution in World War I on
the battlefields of France and Belgium
Lest we forget...
http://www.sikhs.org/ww1/index.html

http://www.sikhs.org/ww1/ww1sikh4.avi
Quote:

Film Footage
To view very rare World War I footage click on the image to the left and wait for the film to download to your hard drive. If the film clip does not begin playing automatically after downloading, right click on it and click on 'Play'. The movie is in avi format, 56 sec, 3.7MB download.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Nov 2005 18:14    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

http://media.sikhsangat.com/vid/Sikhs_in_Modern_Wars.wmv
Sikhs in de oorlogen van de 20e eeuw.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 25 Nov 2005 12:27    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

http://www.forumeerstewereldoorlog.nl/viewtopic.php?t=2585
En er is een boek verschenen over de Sikhs in WO1
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BerichtGeplaatst: 08 Dec 2005 13:18    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

On April 2-4 1999, thousands of Sikhs from all over the world meet in Ieper, Belgium, to pray for peace in the world. This is a historical date for the Sikhs. In April 1699 - in days of persecution and repression - the tenth and last guru, Gobind Singh, initiated the Khalsa, in order to give strength and a strong feeling of identity to his followers. The European Sikhs are convinced that the City of Peace, Ieper (Ypres), amidst the fields of Flanders, - Poppy day may ring a bell for some - is the appropriate place for this anniversary celebration. Here fell many Sikhs, together with so many from both sides, in the Great War of 1914-1918. In their memory and in memory of all persons anywhere in the world who are oppressed, or are victims of war and violence, an Akhand Path will be held. This is a continuos reading of the whole Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture of the Sikhs.

***

From the introduction to the beautiful little booklet: 300 Years of the Khalsa - A Celebration of Peace. It continues with a short description of the Sikh religion, the Khalsa, and a brief history of the Sikhs and of
their contribution to the Allied war effort.

***


In the notorious Ieper crescent, also referred to as the Ieper Salient, out thirty different nationalities were deployed. Among these the Indian troops were present in significant numbers. Although most Indian troops were stationed near Neuve-Chapelle in France - the impressive Indian Memorial there commemorates this - they were also thrown into the First Ieper Battle - October 1914 - and the Second - May 1915. About 24000 men of the Meerut and Lahore Divisions disembarked at the Mediteranean port of Marseille in September/October 1914. There were two kinds of units in the British Indian Army: ethnic like the 47th Sikhs or 129th Baluchis, and mixed, like the 57th Wilde's Rifles. All officers were British.

In France, the Indian soldiers had of course serious problems of communication. The climate too was very harsh for them. In January 1915, a Sikh soldier wrote to his uncle in Jalandhar: "This country is very
pleasant, but it is very cold here. Nobody has any clue about the language. They call milk 'doolee' and water 'doloo'!" [du lait, de l'eau]

From the 22nd of October 1914 there were Indian Troops in the trenches near Wijtschate and Mesen. On 26th October 1914, at 3 pm, the 129th Baluchis and the 57th Wilde's Rifles staged an attack to the south of Hollebeke. This was the first action of the Indian troops in the War. On 1st November the Indian troops were withdrawn from the front near Ieper. In the next months they were deployed near Fesubert, Givenchy and -- Neuve-Chapelle. Six months later, 25th April 1915, the Lahore Division pitched tent near
Ouderdom. These troopss had been brought in a hurry to bolster the French and British who had suffered much in the first German gas attack - on 22nd April 1915. One day after their arrival, they were ordered to attack across an open field near Wieltje. In the resulting carnage, on that spring day, 348 of the 444 men of the 47th Sikhs met their death.

Like many other, Bhan Singh, the orderly of a Captain Banks of the 57th Wildes Rifles, was noted for his courage. When his captain fell, and although himself wounded and weak with facial injuries, he still tried to
save him, instead of withdrawing. When Banks finally died, Bhan Singh retrieved his personal belongings. For several days, the severe attacks continued, including a chlorine gas attack, without gain or loss of one
yard of territory. Finally the Indians were withdrawn, on 30th April. Between 24th and 1st May, 1915, the Lahore Division lost 3889 men, one third of its total.

After they left the Ieper Salient in May 1915, Indians were deployed only sporadically here.After yet another bloody battle , near Loos inSeptember 1915, the Indian divisions left Europe and were deployed in Mesopotamia. That does not mean that all Indians had indeed left western Europe. Members of the Indian Labour Corps and of the Indian Cavalry were seen in western Europe, several times over the next three years.


***


Cooperation was sought by a group of European Sikhs, from the In Flanders Fields Museum and the Cultural Centrum Ieper. (Ieper is about 50 km south of Ostend, around 150 from the Dutch border.) The Belgian province of Flanders was most generous: the large town hall of Ieper, with four large halls were made available for use by the Sikh sangat, a huge khanda was placed on the tower, with beautiful lighting, a large langar kitchen was installed, buses for use for the tours to the battle fields were made available, wide publicity was given, ... the list is long. Support also came from Sikhs abroad; items were generously supplied for the Exhibition. These included Birs that had accompanied the valiant to cold war-torn Europe and had returned back to Punjab, with the surviving few, when it was all over.

In Flanders Fields Museum
Stad Ieper - city of peace
Flemish Bond
European Sikh Community

See also: http://www.sikhspectrum.com/112003/sikh_france.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 08 Dec 2005 13:19    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Historical Background:

On 22nd April 1915 at 5 p.m. the 2nd Battle of Ypres began with the first succesful gas attack in history. Again the British Indian Corps - not yet recovered from the terrible Battle of Neuve-Chapelle - was called upon to fill a gap in the line.

The Lahore Division was now under command of the British 2nd Army of Smith-Dorrien. Among the British Indian troops the warning was spread that, in case of the use of gas, a handkerchief (or the pagri-dastaar) was to be placed over the mouth. It was recommended to soak the handkerchief (or pagri) in urine.

After the gas attack, the Germans had gained a considerable portion of the northern part of the Ypres Salient. Now the British, together with the French troops, wanted to make a counter-attack in order to force the Germans to withdraw from this new position. On the morning of 26th April 1915, the Lahore Division assembled between the Ieper-Langemark road on the left and Wieltje on the right, some 600 yards north of la Brique. The Ferozepore Brigade moved to its position through Vlamertinge, but the Jullundur Brigade went to Wieltje by the road winding along the Ypres ramparts. There they were caught in a heavy bombardment.

As soon as the division was deployed in the fields near Wieltje, they were shelled with tear gas.After the first gentle slope, they arrived in an inferno of gunfire, machine gun fire and shells, among which also tear gas shells. The men fell by the dozen.

It is obvious that the number of casualties was extremely elevated. The 47th Sikhs, which was in the first line of attack, lost 348 men from a total of 444, or 78 % of the battalion! It was almost annihilated. In total the attack resulted in almost 2000 casualties in the two brigades. During this attack, Corporal Issy Smith of the 1st Manchesters, which belonged to the Jullundur Brigade won a Victoria Cross. Amidst heavy shelling and continuous gunfire, he had ceaselessly evacuated the wounded.

Also Mula Singh and Rur Singh of the 47th Sikhs distinguished themselves by saving many lives. Bhan Singh, a Sikh of the 57th Wilde’s Rifles, was wounded in the face early during the attack. Nevertheless, he stayed near his officer, Captain Banks. When Banks fell, Bhan Singh thought just of one thing, bringing Banks back, dead or alive. Weakened as he was, he stumbled on with Banks’ body under heavy fire until he was completely exhausted. However, he did not return without first saving Banks’ personal belongings.

Germans reopened the gas bottles at 2.30 p.m. When the gas reached the Indian troops, an Indian havildar was heard shouting: “Khabardar, Jehannam pahunche”, which means “watch out, we have arrived in Hell”. In no time the ground was filled with men being tortured in a terrible way.

But let’s get back to the night of 26th -27th April 1915 when the chlorine gas was to be smelt the whole night. Only late that night could the remnants of Major Deacon’s party be relieved. The Ferozepore and Jullundur Brigades were withdrawn to the Brieke while the Sirhind Brigade replaced them in the first line. Men of the 34th Sikh Pioneers did try to consolidate the difficult position when Major Deacon did manage to keep a stand.

Later, two men of that unit, sappers Jai Singh and Gujar Singh, were awarded the Indian Distinguished Service Medal because they had established communication lines under constant fire.

For more informations, please read at :
www.sikhspectrum.com
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BerichtGeplaatst: 08 Dec 2005 13:28    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

http://indians19141915.canalblog.com/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Aug 2007 12:16    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Leeuwen van de Grote Oorlog

Door de uitbraak van oorlog in Europa voegde India, de Kroon Juweel van het Britse Rijk, zich bij de geallieerden in de slag op 4 augustus 1914. Met de grootste hoeveelheid vechtende vrijwilligers die India bijdroeg aan het Britse Rijk, produceerde het land tussen de 900.000 en 1.5 miljoen gevechtstroepen in 1919. De Sikhs onder de troepen, een van de twee loyale ‘krijgsrassen’ van het Britse Raj, verzamelden zich in gigantische hoeveelheden, zowel voor de koning als voor het Rijk en de verdediging van Europa

In het begin van de oorlog bedroeg de Sikhistische militaire hoeveelheid ongeveer 35.000 man van de 161.000 troepen van het Indiase leger. Dat is 22% van de gewapende machten. Toch besloeg de hoeveelheid Sikhs minder dan 2% van de totale Indiase bevolking. Aan het einde van de oorlog boden 100.000 Sikhs zich vrijwillig aan bij de Britse gewapende machten. Een aantal Sikhs droegen zich aan bij de Franse luchtmacht en de Amerikaanse Expeditie.




Terwijl de Sikh soldaat voor zijn diensten aan het Rijk maar een magere 11 roepies per maand werd betaald, nam hij zijn taak als soldaat op als een religieus aspect in een geromantiseerd idee van het dienen als martelaar en een ridder van de koning.

Een Sikh soldaat genaamd Indar Singh, vocht in de Somme in september 1916, en schreef een brief naar huis betreffend:

“Het is hoogst onwaarschijnlijk dat ik levend terug zal keren. Ben niet bedroeft om mijn dood, want ik zal sterven met mijn wapens in de hand, in harnas. Dit is de beste manier om te mogen sterven.”



Terwijl ze keer op keer verdrongen werden door de Duitsers, bewees het idee van martelaarschap en heldendom een noodzaak op het slagveld. In feite vonden de Britten het noodzakelijk om zich met Sikhistisch Geloof te voeden, en stonden het toe om in de Sikh-gebieden tijdelijke Gurdwaras (Sikh tempels) op te zetten. Ook werden Sikhistische festivals geobserveerd, traditionele Sikh wapens gebruikt (quoiten en sabels), en was het spirituele Sikh script genaamd Guru Granth Sahib, geen onbekend voorwerp. Deze werd gedragen tijdens Sikh marsen en zelfs in de frontlinies van Sikh troepen.

Dit artikel kan niet zomaar herdacht worden zonder deze krijgers, die vochten met en tijdens ziekten, vuil, gas aanvallen en de aanvallen van Duitse troepen, met stelregel geweren, hun tulbanden dragend ter bescherming, hun ongeschoren haar en lange baarden, zoals beschreven door hun religieuze vertrouwen.

Het gemiddelde Indiase bataljon bedroeg ongeveer 764 man toen ze arriveerden in Frankrijk. Maar in November 1914 hadden de 47ste Sikhs slechts 385 mannen over. In Gallipoli verloren de 14de Sikhs 371 officieren en mannen in slechts enkele minuten. Duizende Sikhs stierven in vele andere ‘ontmoetingen’, zoals in Neuve Chappelle en de Somme.

In de eerste slag om Ieper in Vlaanderen in 1914 vocht een peleton Dogra Sikhs tot de laatste gesneuveld was. De laatste man schoot zichzelf neer met zijn laatste patroon omdat dat volgens hem een betere optie was dan zich over te geven

Na de bloedige slag om Neuve Chappelle in 1915 had het Sikh regement 80% van zijn mannen verloren. Drie regementen waren slechts met een percentage van 16% over.

De “Zwarte Leeuwen” van de Punjab, zoals de Arabieren hen in Mesopotamia noemden, gaven hun leven voor de verdediging van vrijheid in Europa, voor een bondgenoot die hun thuisland regeerde. Toch deden ze dit, om rechtvaardigheid te beschermen, zoals de Gurus hen die had bijgebracht.

Verwijzingen:
Singh, Arjan. Punjab Sher: Een website over Sikh militaire geschiedenis. http://www.punjabsher.com (momenteel inactief)

Madra, Amandeep Singh en Parmjit Singh. Warrior Saints: Three Centuries of the Sikh Military Tradition. London: I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd

British Broadcasting Company. BBC History - World War One. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/war/wwone



“De engelsen en de vrouwen uit deze plaats [Frankrijk] zijn blij ons te zien. Zoals bloemen openen. Ze schudden de handen van onze mannen wanneer ze ontscheept zijn, en zijn gepoogd om hen uit eigen hand te voeden... De Duitsers zijn bang van onze mannen, maar het zijn stevige kerels. Diverse keren hebben ze de witte vlag laten zien en aangevallen, maar nu kennen we hun trucs en zijn velen gevangen genomen. Verspreid dit nieuws overal, want dit is de enige brief die ik je kan sturen.”

Citaat uit een brief, daterend 15 december 1915. Geschreven door een Sikh cavalerie soldaat bij een post in Marseilles.

http://www.sikhs.nl/LeeuwenvandeGroteOorlog.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Aug 2007 21:19    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Voor wie meer over de Indische bijdrage aan het Westelijk Front wil weten, er is net een mooie kleine tentoonstelling in het IFF, inclusief over hun hospitaal in Brighton.

Wienne
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BerichtGeplaatst: 26 Aug 2007 11:07    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Wienne @ 22 Aug 2007 22:19 schreef:
Voor wie meer over de Indische bijdrage aan het Westelijk Front wil weten, er is net een mooie kleine tentoonstelling in het IFF, inclusief over hun hospitaal in Brighton.

Wienne


Op 26 augustus gaat die dicht.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 25 Apr 2008 9:20    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Two World Wars and the Sikhs
Bhupinder Singh Holland


At a time when social scientists claim that in reality, the ethical society is located in the West, it is time that it pays ttention to what the Sikhs have done for the construction of that part of the world. The Sikhs came forward and helped the Europeans at the time of grave crisis of World War I and II and gave their lives in thousands and in return, all they are asking is the free world to come forward and give due respect that we deserve and to our symbols of faith.

The forces of British India played a major role in both World Wars. Nearly 1,700,000 men and women of the Commonwealth including some 169,700 from the forces of undivided British India died in the 1914-18 and 1939-45 Wars. In the first World War, the strength of the British Indian Army rose to one million and in the 2nd World War with two and half million. During WW-1, it fought in China, France and Belgium (Flanders), Mesopotamia against Turkey, Irak, Iran, Egypt , Palestine, Gallipoli and in East Africa.

The Royal Indian Marine whose ships were armed in 1914 served with the Royal Navy as auxiliary cruisers on escort duties and others as river gun boats in the Mesopotamia campaign or as coastal minesweepers.The Royal Indian Marine was also resposible for the fitting out and dispatch of the vessels conveying the expeditionary forces sent overseas from British India.

There are 15,519 Burial place ( Smaads ) of the British Indian soldiers and 64,963 are commemorated by Memorial thus total of 80,482 have died in Ist World War (1914-18) according to the register of Common Wealth War Grave Commision.

But I am sure there are many more British Indian casualties whose names were never recorded and who are by consequence not commemorated. I think this is due to the battle circumstances and perhaps poor administration. I give you some examples:

Mr. Dominiek Dendooven from the Documentary Center of In Flanders Fields Museum, Ieper (Belgium) wrote his account to me, in view of some historical facts that the Documentary Center has preserved regarding the Western Front.

"The losses of the 57th Wilde’s Rifles and the 129th Baluchis were great during the last two days of October 1914 (during the 1st battle of Ieper). The Wilde’s Rifles lost 300 out of 750, the Baluchis had 240 men killed, wounded or taken as POWs.

The Menin Gate in Ieper has the name of 15 casualties from the 47 Sikh Regiment while alone on 27 April 1915 (during the 2nd Battle of Ieper) out of 444 men 348 did not come back. They are nowhere else commemorated. Between 24th April and 1st May 1915, the Lahore Division had lost 3,889 men, or 30 % of the troops it had employed."

In 14 months the Indian Corps had lost 34,252 men (dead, wounded, ill, or prisoners of war) on the Western Front.”

Basra Memorial, Iraq has the largest 33,367 British Indian soldiers Commemoration by Memorial followed by Delhi Memorial, India Gate (12,321), Neuve Chapelle Memorial, France (5015).

Amara (Left Bank) Indian War Cemetery, Iraq has the largest Burials (Smaads) of British Indian soldiers (5000) followed by Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery (2513) and Mazargues War Cemetery, France (1002).

In 2nd World War, a compaany of the Royal Indian Army Service Corps was part of the British Expeditionary Force in 1940 campaign which ended in the evacuation from Dunkirk ( France ). Divisions of British Indian Army fought in the Western Desert, in the Middle East, in Eritrea, Ethiopia, they fought in Italy and took part in the liberation of Greece. But against Japan in the east, British Indian Army played its greatest role right through from the reverses of 1942 to the final overwhelming victory of 1945.

Till 1945, the Royal Indian Navy was a strong force of 28,000 officers and men and took part in action in the Red Sea, the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, the Bay of Bengal and the Mediterranean, also in the combined operation of the coast of Sicily and Burma. Their role in transporting the armies and essential supplies even to the civilian populations cannot be forgotten.

Royal Indian Air Force played its role from the beginning of 2nd World War (1939) with one squadron and strength of 200 officers and men. It had grown by 1945 to a strength of 28,500 and nine squadrons. It saw action throughout the Burma campaign. British Indian officers also served in the Royal Air Force in Burma,Europe and other theatres.

To honor 300 years of Khalsa and the sacrifice of Sikh soldiers during World Wars, the City of Ieper together with the European Sikh Community organized a Celebration of Peace on Sunday 4 April 1999 at Cloth Hall in Ieper, Belgium.

Flt. Lt. Mohinder Singh Pujji, a pilot of Royal Air Force who took part in the European campaign was honored along with several living soldiers of World War II by Governor Paul Brijn of Inflanders Province. Flt. Lt. M.S. Pujji has stated, "I was posted to No.253 Squadron RAF, flying Hurricane IIB fighters from RAF Kenley, which is a couple of miles south of Croydon. We were a mixed bunch, with pilots also from Poland, America, Canada and Australia. Equipped with twelve machine guns, our hurricanes were extensively flown day and night, to intercept German bombers and reconnaissance aircraft."

There are 12,830 graves (Smaads) of the British Indian soldiers and 76,388 are commemorated by Memorial, thus total of 89,218 have died in 2nd World War (1939-45).

Delhi Memorial, India has commemorated 22,838 soldiers followed by Rangoon Memorial, Burma (19,661) and Singapore Memorial, Singapore (12,100).

Taukkyan War Cemetery, Burma has graves (Smaads) of 1,819 British Indian soldiers followed by Imphal Indian Army War Cemetery, India ( 809) and Kranji War Cemetery, Singapore (668).

Engraved on the graves of Sikh soldiers is Ik Oankar Siri Waheguru ji Ke Fateh Sanskare Gaye in Gurmukhi. Sepoy number, full name, name of the regiment, and date of death are all printed in block letters in English. These samadhs of the Sikhs can be found across Europe, Middle, South & Far East Asia and Africa. They are well maintained, cleaned, and decorated by Commonwealth War Grave Commission.

Similarly, most Hindu soldiers are Gorkhas, and engraved on their graves in Sanskrit are the words, Oom Bhagwattee Nammo. Rest of the particulars are the same. In the same way, our Muslims brothers have the holy words from Qur’an written in Urdu on their graves with all the particulars mentioned above.

India has the largest number of British Indian soldiers 49,285 Buried - Cremated and Commmemrated on Memorials and other countries are: Iraq (43848), Burma (22,932), Singapore (13,556), France (8886), Egypt (8171), Italy (5773), Iran (3471), Tanzania (1990), Turkey (1742).

As I said earlier that the actual number is much more than has been recorded by Common Wealth War Grave Commission. Research is needed by Government of west Punjab (Pakistan) and by Government of east Punjab (India) as most of the casualties are from united Punjab. Hence the recorded history of British Indian soldiers who died in both Wars is :


Ist World War (1914-1918) 80,482

2nd World War (1939-1945) 89,218

Total 169,700


Besides this, more than quarter of a millon were wounded, ill, or prisoners of war.

"In the last two world wars 83,005 turban wearing Sikh soldiers were killed and 109,045 were wounded. They all died or were wounded for the freedom of Britain and the world, and during shell fire, with no other protection but the turban, the symbol of their faith."

(General Sir Frank Messervy K. C. S.I, K. B. E., C. B., D. S. O.)

"The Sikh Regiment in the Second World War"

Colonel F T Birdwood OBE

Published in Great Britain by Jarrold and Sons Ltd., Norwich

Foreword by General Sir Frank Messervy K. C. S.I, K. B. E., C. B., D. S. O.

Most of the People in Punjab does not know that their forefathers, the Sikhs have fought gallentry in Europe including Italy in the 2nd World War and played an important role for the liberation of Europe and paid heavy price for the freedom of mankind along with Allied forces as part of the forces of the Commonwealth.The total Allied casualties killed, wounded and missing were 312,000; of these, 42,000 of the killed belonged to the forces of the Commonwealth in Italy. Sikhs, Gurkhas, and Muslims, the traditional warriors has a great history in Italy during that terrable and painful period of war.

It is interesting to note that in Italy, Sikhs are living in large number( about 90,000 ) next to England in Europe and have established more than two dozen Gurdwara's there.

A tradition has been set up that every year on the November 11 (Armistice Day 11 November 1918), hundreds of Sikhs are coming from throughout Europe to Ieper to take part in the Poppy parade and pay homages at Menon Gate, the national monument of World War-I in Belgium and at Hollebeke where a monument has been built by Belgium Government and inagurated by 'Panj Piare' in memory of the Sikh soldiers to mark the celebration of peace on 2,3,4 of april 1999 dedicated to the 300 years of the birth of the Khalsa. Official invitations are being sent to Gurdwara's of Belgium, Holland and France every year. Last year a delegation of the Sikhs working for the British Police also visited this place. Free meal (langer) is also served on this occasion.

Graves (Samaads) are visited by the families of these soldiers from Punjab, Europe, Canada, USA, and Great Brition. Since 1999, on May 4, the liberation day of Holland, a strong delegation of Sikhs also pays respect in Amsterdam at the National Monument of 2nd World War at Dam square.

As you must be aware, in March 2004 a law was passed in France that bans conspicuous religious symbols and attire in the classroom. Under this law, Sikh schoolchildren are banned from wearing the Sikh turban. The same people who fought for the freedom of mankind and the world including France has been denied their right of freedom.They all died or were wounded for the freedom of Britain and the world, and during shell fire, with no other protection but the turban, the symbol of their faith. A Sikh's right to wear his articles of faith has been challenged in schools, the workplace, Prisons and other public places. Sikhs suffer increased harassment at airports because they wear the Turban. Sikhs can’t have their photos with Turban on the Driving licence, Identity Card including French Passport. Is not a shame on part of the French Government ? Our forfathers did not gave their lives that their children should suffer. This is a great unjustice and Sikhs througout the World, specially in France are fighting a legal battel.

On 31 May 2006 Sikhs Lobby MEPs Against Turban Ban in France in the EU Parliament. and the fact that we cannot and will not ever compromise our faith.

The Sikhs came forward and had helped the Europeans at the time of grave crisis of World War I and II and gave their lives in thousands and in return we the Sikhs are only asking the free World to come forward and give due respect that we deserve and to our symbols of faith. Only then the sacrifices of our great forfathers, given for the freedom of mankind, will be worthwhile.

The author is based in The Netherlands and has doggedly researched the topic for years. This is his first article for the WSN.

© http://worldsikhnews.com/23%20April%202008/Two%20World%20Wars%20and%20the%20Sikhs.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Aug 2008 23:54    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

In het IFFM is nu een thema op gang over de legers die in Wo1 hebben gevochten. Daar word ook dus de Sikhs voorgesteld, is wel prachtig te bekijken. Het uniform als ik me niet bergis maar ook twee modellen van die hoeden op zich hebben. Wellicht gewoon doeken want ik zag een soort helm eronder zitten. Mss voor te kunnen vertonen. Dus wie niks te doen heeft, kan zich daar wenden. Tot september (ik dnek de 17de) is die nog te bezichtigen. Wink
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BerichtGeplaatst: 18 Apr 2009 6:01    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Impact of the Great War 1914 – 1918 on Sikh soldiers and their letters

By Bhupinder Singh Holland

These letters of Sikh soldiers project their courage, loyalty, will to win the war or die like Sikh heroes. They have followed the great Sikh tradition of martyrdom laid down by their Guru Gobind Singh to protect and save the mankind from any type of oppression. Letters also narrates the condition in which they had to fight. The Great War was terrible and Sikhs have contributed by giving their lives in thousands. Most of the letter were detained and never reached destination.

In Europe, the Sikhs have fought in Belgium-Flanders at Ypres twice from 22 October 1914 till 31 October 1914 and from 22 April 1915 till 1st of May 1915 and in France at La Bassee, Neuve Chapelle from 10 to 13 marches 1915, Auber’s Ridge, Festubert, Loos 25 September 1915, Givenchy and Somme from July 1916 to November 1916.
To understand these letters from Sikh point of view, some history background is very essential.

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© http://www.emgonline.co.uk/news.php?news=4586
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BerichtGeplaatst: 04 Jun 2010 20:00    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Sikhs take journey to remember WWI fallen
Friday, 4 June 2010 10:56 UK

A group of Sikhs have travelled to battlefields where members of their community fought in World War I. BBC Asian Network's Poonam Taneja joined them.

The location is the quaint French town of Neuve-Chapelle and a gathering of Sikhs surrounds a stone podium as prayers are recited in Punjabi.

The Sikhs are from Britain and they are on a journey across battlefields in northern France and Belgium to honour Indian soldiers who died fighting for Britain in World War I.

The Indian Army fought in every major theatre of operations during the war and around 65,000 Indian fighters were killed.

In Neuve-Chapelle, Indian soldiers under British command were part of two Allied divisions that fought the Germans in 1915.

There were heavy losses and an enclosed memorial garden circled by domed pavilions and towering columns is now a permanent reminder of their sacrifice.

In addition, the names of more than 4,700 soldiers of the Indian Army who lost their lives are carved into the stone walls.

Harjit Parmar has come from the Midlands and, together with his family, studies the rows of Sikh names etched into the walls in an experience they all find deeply moving.

A sombre Mr Parmar has mixed emotions as a sense of pride is mingled with sadness.

Lack of recognition

"I feel proud that we contributed and were there but also sad at how many people died to give us the life that we have now," he told BBC Asian Network.

As the group continues the tour of where Sikhs fought on the Western Front, they visit the Belgian trenches of Bayernwald and Wytschaete, scene of the first battles involving Indian battalions.

The one-day tour is proving to be the learning experience the organisers - the Anglo-Sikh Heritage Trail - had hoped as the group discovers more about the contribution made by Indian and, in particular, Sikh soldiers.

However, with the increase in knowledge and understanding during some emotional moments, there is also a sense of a lack of recognition when it comes to the efforts of their community in the war.

According to Harbinder Singh, honorary director of the Anglo-Sikh Heritage Trail, there are various reasons for this.

"As soon as the British Empire came to an end the stories of the Indian Army became almost redundant," he said.

"I think in Britain there was a reluctance to acknowledge sacrifices other than those of British troops. Unfortunately, this was seen as a war for the British.

"Our recognition needs to given due gravity within what is said about remembrance and the great wars.

"I think we need a greater emphasis on the fact that there were other communities that voluntarily gave their lives."

Connection with past

The desire to educate current and future generations of Sikhs and Asians is one of the reasons behind the trip, as Mr Singh believes it is vital for the contribution of those who fought to be highlighted.

The journey has certainly proved an eye-opening experience for Jag Parmar, the wife of Harjit.

"I came on this trip because I wanted to know the position of the Sikhs in World War I," she said.

"I'd heard a little bit about it but I didn't really know that we had played such a significant part. This trip has allowed me to actually come to a place where they fought and died.

"Growing up, I was taught history at school but never to this extent and I don't think children these days are either.

"So I think it's really important they come along and experience it first hand. You really do feel a connection with the past coming here."

At the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium, there is a memorial ceremony every evening which is dedicated to the commemoration of British and Commonwealth soldiers who were killed in battle and whose graves are unknown.

As buglers from the local fire brigade sound the Last Post, a group of Sikhs lays wreaths under the arches.

For brothers Taran and Gurinder Singh it represents a moment of pride in their heritage.

"It makes me proud because our forefathers died so that we could be here today," said Taran.

"We can walk around the streets of London and people will recognise us as Sikhs - people who fought among their grandfathers."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8720648.stm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 20 Jun 2010 23:19    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

http://www.sikhmuseum.com/buckam/index.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 05 Dec 2010 0:38    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

http://maninblue1947.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/ieperypres-remembering-sikh-soldiers-in-world-war-i-3/

Ieper/Ypres, remembering Sikh soldiers in World War I

Belgium - Ieper/Ypres
http://www.flickr.com/photos/12445197@N05/sets/72157621976532703/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 05 Nov 2011 23:07    Onderwerp: Sikh sacrifice in Belgium Reageer met quote

Battles of Ieper, Belgium (1914-1915)

As soon as the war broke out in early August 1914, both British and the French were mobilizing their respective empires. Soldiers and labourers from all over the world were brought to the Western Front. More than 30 different nationalities were engaged in the Ypres Salient.

We must not forget that it is very difficult to define a nationality. For instance, Belgians include Walloons and Flemings, French includes Bretons, Occitans and Flemings, who were often unable to speak or understand French. The British includes of course, English, Scots, Welsh, Irish, Channel Islanders, and I might have even forgotten some.

I’ll just mention some nationalities apart from the main warring nations such as the British, German, French and Belgians. At a later stage in the war there were Americans and Portuguese troops. Further on there were Danes and Poles in the German army, as well as Russian and Italian P.O.Ws who were forced to work on the roads for the Germans. In the French Army, one would find Moroccan, Algerian, Tunisian, Senegalese, other West Africans, and troops from French Guyana as well as labourers from Indochina - the Ammanites.

Verder lezen:
Sikh sacrifice in Belgium
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BerichtGeplaatst: 05 Nov 2011 23:17    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Nog meer:
Lions of the Great Wars

Sikhs in World War 1

When Sikhs saved French honour
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BerichtGeplaatst: 14 Nov 2012 19:43    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Quote:
Film reveals Canadian Sikh community’s World War I stories

When it comes to the history of Canada’s South Asian community, Sikhs form a significant portion of the mosaic.

Every year, Canadians participate in the Remembrance Day ceremony and pay special tribute to those compatriots who died defending their country during the wars.

Until recently, nothing much was known about handful of Sikhs who joined the Canadian army and fought during the First World War

This year on Remembrance Day another little known part of Canadian history was brought to light by the hour-long documentary “Canadian Soldier Sikhs: A Little Story in a Big War.”

The documentary reveals the fascinating and untold story of those Sikh immigrants who enlisted in the Canadian Army during the World War I, reminding Canadians of the many challenges faced by ethno-cultural groups in the process of making Canada their home.

They were volunteers who fought, and some died, for a country that was not only discouraging and preventing South Asians from immigrating to Canada but were also denying them Canadian citizenship.

With a long military tradition Sikhs have always been at the forefront in serving their country. Over 65,000 Sikh soldiers fought in WWI as part of the British Army and over 300,000 Sikhs fought against German and Japanese tyranny in WWII.

While searching for information on a group of 40 Sikhs who came to Victoria, British Columbia in 1906 -1907 for his film “Searching for the Sikhs of Tod Inlet,” David Gray discovered that eight Sikhs, with the surname Singh, had enlisted in the Canadian Army in the First World War. Two additional Canadian soldier Sikhs have since been found. This part of Canadian Sikh history was virtually unknown and thus of great interest to the Canadian Sikh community.

The film goes back in time to observe the soldiers on their journey. From the enlistment process and training, to their transport to France by ship and their return to civilian life, the documentary features the struggles these Sikh soldiers faced and the battles they fought, including those during which two of the men were killed.

The film also follows one injured soldier back to Canada on a hospital ship and to Kitchener’s TB hospital.


The gravestone of Private Buckam Singh. – Photos courtesy Sikh Museum
He was 25-year-old Private Buckam Singh, who came to Victoria, British Columbia from Mahilpur village in the Hoshiarpur District of Punjab in 1907 at age 14 and eventually moved to Toronto area in 1912/1913.

He fought for Canada, came back and died alone in Kitchener, far from his birthplace in 1919 in a community that did not know the funeral rights of Sikhs. His grave in Kitchener is the only known First World War Sikh Canadian soldier’s grave in Canada.

His family, who lived in Punjab, British India, knew nothing about his time at war. They just received a notice when he died.

While he never got to see his family again and died forgotten almost 93 years ago, his heroic story has only recently been reclaimed and celebrated.

About five years ago, Sandeep Singh Brar, a historian from Brampton bought a Victory Medal that led him to a Kitchener cemetery, where he found the tombstone of Private Buckam Singh. With the discovery of the Victoria Medal of Private Buckam Singh a heroic story of bravery and adventure has been uncovered.

He enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the spring of 1915. He served with the 20th Canadian Infantry Battalion in the battlefields of Flanders during 1916.

Buckam Singh, whose grave drew little attention for almost 90 years, now attracts hundreds people every year for Remembrance Day Sikh prayers at the Kitchener cemetery.

Images of his war grave, a remembrance service almost 90 years after his death, and the story of how his war medal was discovered, bring a personal touch to the film.

The film ends with the story of the soldiers’ return to civilian life, the tracing of their descendants, and the visit to the European grave sites of two of the Canadian Sikh soldiers.

Singh who died alone without his family has once again been reunited and embraced by his fellow Sikh Canadians after a separation of nearly a century.




http://dawn.com/2012/11/13/film-reveals-canadian-sikh-communitys-world-war-i-stories/

website van de film: http://canadiansoldiersikhs.ca/film.html
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