The public has flocked to watch colourful displays and moving dramas at a spectacular interactive event at Southall Army Reserve Centre hosted by 151 Regiment RLC, 562 Transport Squadron RLC.
The event was held to commemorate one of the proudest days in Sikh history, the Battle of Saragarhi. It was a great opportunity for the local community to meet officers and soldiers from 151 Regiment RLC and commemorate the Sikh community’s warrior past.
On 12 Sept 1897, 21 British Indian Army Sepoys (Sikh soldiers) defended the Saragarhi outpost in the hills of the North West Frontier Province, now Pakistan but then part of British India, against 10,000 Afghan tribesmen.
Rather than surrender, the soldiers fought to the death for nearly ten hours with ammunition and bayonets. Although the outpost was lost, the Afghans later admitted to having lost around 180 of their soldiers and many more wounded, demonstrating the expertise of the Sikh soldiers.
To honour the selfless commitment and courage of these Sikh warriors they were posthumously awarded the Indian Order of Merit, the highest gallantry award of the time.
Celebrating our shared history and heritage is an important part of what binds military personnel serving today, giving them an enhanced sense of purpose and belonging.