British officers salute Sikh bravehearts | Sikh Vogue

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British army officers paid tributes to the martyrs of the epic battle of Saragarhi, when the contingent of mere Sikh soldiers overcame the might of 10,000 Afghan soldiers. Despite losing their lives, they brought with them the best displaying extraordinary courage and valour on September 12, 1897.

In an event organised to commemorate the 120th anniversary of Battle of Saragarhi, a delegation from British High Commission having several officers of the British army and representatives from different organisations saluted the Sikh brave hearts at Nirvana Club.

The event began at Guru Ram Das Academy, where students of the school presented gatka and cultural programme, from where the delegation went to the Nirvana Club nearby.

The delegation comprised members from England, including Major Gen Duncan Francis, Col John Richard Kindall and others. Speaking on the occasion,
Col Kindall said it was a hugely inspiring story of not only courage, but loyalty for fellow soldiers, for their regiment, the army and the country.

“This is the story of two nations — the British and the Sikhs, who first met in the battle field and left as friends. The Sikhs in the British army carry on that tradition of valour,” he said.
They were bestowed with gallantry award — Indian Order of Merit. A retired army officer present on the occasion, said: “Generally individuals are given gallantry awards, but it is very rare that the entire unit is bestowed with a gallantry award.”

Major Sartaj Singh Gogna, who is part of the British Royal Army, said he was two, when his family migrated to Britain from India. He studied pharmacy, but realised his true calling and joined the British Royal Army at the age of 21.

He said the Battle of Saragarhi has been an inspiration and so has been the participation of Sikhs and Indian Regiments during World War I and World War II. There are around 187 Sikhs, who are part of the British Army, he said.

Ranvir Singh, who is serving the British army, said they were following Sikh values and ethos in the British Army.

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