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UK 'Proud' Derby Sikh Soldier Bur Singh Johal Dies, Aged 98

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'Proud' Derby Sikh soldier Bur Singh Johal dies, aged 98


By ELLA RHODES

Bur Singh Johal, pictured above in his Army uniform and wearing his medals, above left, fought for the British Army in Burma, Malaya and Singapore during the Second World War.

Bur Singh Johal, pictured above in his Army uniform and wearing his medals, above left, fought for the British Army in Burma, Malaya and Singapore during the Second World War.

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A "proud" former Sikh soldier who fought for the British Army in Burma, Malaya and Singapore – and took tea with Lord Mountbatten – has died, aged 98.

Bur Singh Johal's family said he was "charismatic and charming" – becoming heavily involved in Derby's Sikh community and supporting the county's Poppy Appeal efforts each year.

Originally from the Punjab, Mr Johal, of Goodale Street, Normanton, joined the British Army in 1933 and fought from 1939 to the end of the Second World War, first in Burma and then in Singapore and Malaya.

He went back to India in 1947 to tend his land in the Punjab and then becoming a driver for the Punjab Government.

Mr Johal's son, Charanjit Singh Johal, 59, said his father met Lord Mountbatten while in Burma.

He said: "He was very, very proud of being in the British Army and would often show people his medals.

"He had a cup of tea with Lord Mountbatten in Burma, who told my father he was very brave."

As an ex-serviceman, Mr Johal gained an employment voucher which enabled him to move to England with his family in 1964 and settle in Derby.

He became heavily involved with the city's Sikh community and was a foundry worker at Qualcast. He always attended the remembrance day services in Derby's Market Place and supported the Royal British Legion.

Charanjit's twin brother, Amarjit Singh Johal, said: "My father was very charismatic and charming, he would talk to anyone and was very witty. He would light up the room."

Amarjit said his father was very proud to be living in Britain and made sure he voted in every election. He said: "He was very business-minded and worked hard in whatever he did."

Charanjit said his father had taught him many things. He said: "He had a good life, he saw all of his children grow up and married all his children off himself."

Mr Singh was married to wife Gurdial, who died five years ago, for more than 60 years and wore his wedding ring until the day he died.

Amarjit said: "She was a very strong woman and he absolutely adored her."

Charanjit said: "We will miss him and his memory will live on forever in the hearts he touched.

"He was an excellent role model and taught his children and grandchildren very important lessons in life and which we will cherish and live on in his honour."

Mr Singh's funeral is on Friday. His family are meeting in Goodall Street at 10am, followed by a service at Markeaton Crematorium. Call Derby 349994 for more details.

Members of the Royal British Legion will also be attending the funeral.

He also leaves two daughters, Kulwant Kaur Sanghera and Charan Kaur Lidher, as well as daughters-in-law Gurdev Kaur Johal and Rattan Kaur Johal and sons-in-law Tarlock Singh Sanghera and Avtar Singh Lidher.

Read more: http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/Proud-Derby-Sikh-soldier-Bur-Singh-Johal-dies/story-20342500-detail/story.html#ixzz2ny1l4Gsh
 

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By the 5th Guru Arjan Dev, the shabad is on Ang 616 of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, translation by Dr. Sant Singh Khalsa.

ਸੋਰਠਿ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥
Soraṯẖ mėhlā 5.
Sorat'h, Fifth Mehl...

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