Diversity

New 'tactical' prayer book for Sikh personnel inspired by WWI image of trenches

A new daily prayer book has been launched for British Sikh personnel on the battlefield as part of a project inspired by images of troops in the trenches of the First World War.

The Nitnem Gutka Sahib, a collection of Sikh hymns and prayers to be read daily and which is waterproof and tearproof with a camouflage design, was launched at the Central Gurdwara Khalsa Jatha in Shepherds Bush, London.

Major Daljinder Singh Virdee, of the Defence Sikh Network, said the idea for the prayer book project was inspired by an image of a Sikh soldier with a prayer book in the trenches of France in World War I, adding that many Sikh soldiers fought with the allied forces during the Great War and the Second World War.

Sikhs now make up 0.1% of the regular UK forces.

When they first joined the military, many Sikhs in this country were simply handed a Christian bible and had to get on with it.

This new prayer book is designed to keep Sikhs within the military close to their faith wherever they go.