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UK Sikhs Famed For Their Courage


Aug 14, 2012
Many years have passed since the 1939-45 war against German and Japan.

At times, we recall the happenings that took place during these years. It was a time when members of the Commonwealth came together to offer their soldiers and airmen to help us defeat the enemy.

Men from India, Pakistan, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand others stood alongside British soldiers and airmen fighting the enemy.

I must mention the bravery of the Sikh soldiers, who fought in Burma, in thick mud and driving rain, yet drove the Japanese army back and later celebrated victory.

Now, here in England, it is pleasing to know that those who stood by us during the war, were able to settle here with their families – a small way to thank them for coming to our aid in 1939.

The men who made this effort to join us in the fight against Japan and Germany would have passed on, but their families can be proud of the men who did so.

I was on a hospital ship and I always found injured men from the Sikh community never complained of their injuries. Their religious teachings gave than the strength to get better, which many did.

The 47th and 123rd Indian Brigade were involved in the fighting in Burma.

Mr M Patrick, Ibstock.

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Dec 4, 2011
My Grandfather was a Sikh army veteran in the 11th regiment of British Army and was stationed in Burma.
He passed away a few years ago, but I still remember the way he used to give me some war descriptions and stories, that would fascinate me as a young kid.

These sikh soldiers ALL wore turbans and refused helmets completely.
He said it was a sign of defeat and

I remember my grandfather telling me that the MOST difficult thing wasn't the fighting, but it was being on the battleground with your close friends and colleagues beside you and you witness them getting taken down.
He said it was most difficult to have to just walk beside them while they lay wounded and dead to find safer ground whilst trying to avoid cross-fire.
Some of them had already told him to move on as per their attack/defense strategy before they went down, and had insisted not to try to carrying their wounded bodies. He said there were moments when he was helpless and just had to move past their bodies with the rest of the force according to command and plan.

I can recall that on two or more occasions, he had encountered this devastating scenario of watching his colleague die after being taken down right beside him.
I remember him telling me that the only way he could pay some respect and show some dignity was by exchanging the dastaars like a true sardar, during those last few seconds or after they had breathed their last breaths.
He would have shared many days and nights with these fellow soldiers and I know that I wouldn't have the guts to be in such positions.
I was probably around 9 yrs age at the time, but even then I could sense the emotions that he had when picturing these scenes.
I don't think I ever realised the significance of such brave acts at that young age when he told me, but I can clearly see how they maintained that inner strength in the name of sikhi.

To witness these kind of sacrifices changes the complete emotional outlook that the war veterans have.
This is why they are so rigid, tough,disciplined, hard natured, but at the same time they have the utmost loyalty.

It was mostly because of my grandfather's services for British commonwealth, that he migrated to UK near 1949/50. This makes me a 3rd generation brit and my kids as 4th gen.
Funny enough, here in Canada my kids have not yet come across any kid in their same age group who is also a 4th generation westerner !
Most kids their age have 90's migrated parents !!

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