Men of the 45th Sikhs (52nd Infantry Brigade, 17th Division) marching with the Guru Granth Sahib to attend a spiritual service (‘divan’) whilst on campaign in Mesopotamia, 1918. (Imperial War Museums acc. no. Q 24777).
From the forthcoming book ‘Warrior Saints: Four Centuries of Sikh Military History’ (kashihouse.com, 2013).
British officers leading Indian troops in both World Wars had close, often first-hand, experience of fighting alongside Sikhs soldiers. The Sikhs’ loyalty, bravery and sense of honour were summed up in the words of General Sir Frank Messervy: ‘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.’
Amandeep Singh Madra
Sikh Discover Inspire – The G T 1588 Initiative
GT1588 facebook page