Saraghari Day

Today marks the 120-year anniversary of the Battle of Saragarhi.

It’s perhaps one of the least-known great battles in British military history.

The battle was fought on 12th September 1897 between the Sikh soldiers of the British Indian Army and Pashtun tribesmen, in what is now known as Pakistan.

In what has been described by some historians as one of Britain’s greatest last stands, the military contingent made up of just 21 Sikh soldiers were attacked by 10,000 Afghans - and chose to fight to the death rather than surrender.

The battle took place at its namesake Saragarhi, North Western Frontier Province.


The regiment itself acted under the leadership of Havildar Ishar Singh.

The battle lasted nearly 10 hours, a feat in itself, considering the degree to which the Sikh troops were outnumbered.

Although Sikh contingent was eventually defeated, the tribesmen themselves lost around 180 soldiers over the course of the battle, demonstrating the courage and expertise of the fearless Sikh worriers.

The troop was later awarded the Indian Order of Merit, the highest gallantry award in existence at the time, as a celebration of their selfless actions.

At the time, the Sikh regiment was the most decorated in the Indian Army.

This year is only the fourth time that Saraghari Day has been officially recognised by the British Army, but celebrations will be held later today in memory of those who lost their lives in this incredible last stand.