Army

Saragarhi Day 2021 Commemorated With 3m Bronze Statue Of Sikh Soldier

The statue was unveiled in Wolverhampton after local Sikhs raised more than £100,000 to commission it.

A three-metre high bronze statue of a heroic Sikh soldier has been unveiled in Wolverhampton to mark Saragarhi Day 2021.

The annual Saragarhi Day commemorates the men who died defending a modern-day Pakistan on 12 September 1897.

Saragarhi was a small outpost, on the border between British India and Afghanistan, in the north-west frontier.

When 21 men of the 36th Sikhs found themselves surrounded by 10,000 hostile Afghan fighters, they had a choice: surrender or fight to the last round of ammunition.

They chose the latter and all 21 men died.

The statue was unveiled close to the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Wednesfield and depicts Havildar Ishar Singh, the officer in charge of the Sikh soldiers who fought to the very end.

The organisers of the Wolverhampton event, the Guru Nanak Gurdwara, asked the British Army for support. 

Troops from 210 Battery, 103 Regiment Royal Artillery gave a field gun as the statue was unveiled (Picture: British Army).

11 Signal & West Midlands Brigade provided soldiers from Wolverhampton-based 4th Battalion The Mercian Regiment who formed a marching parade with band.

Troops from 210 Battery, 103 Regiment Royal Artillery also gave a field gun salute after the statue was unveiled.

The annual Saragarhi Day event is commemorated by Sikhs across both the UK and the world, but this year is special as local Sikhs raised over £100,000 to commission the statue.

The Jathedar Sahib, the spiritual leader of the Sikh faith, travelled from India to unveil the statue - with the event streamed live to a global audience of Sikhs.

#Major Daljinder Singh Virdee, Chairman of the Defence Sikh Network, said: "Saragarhi Day is a way to remember the vital contributions that Sikhs have made to the UK.

"The history of the British Army is filled with stories of men and women who have displayed our core values of courage, discipline, respect for others, integrity, loyalty and selfless commitment and paid the ultimate sacrifice in defence of the nation and its interests."

"The sacrifice made by our brothers 124 years ago is an example to British troops then and now: 'Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal!"

 

Cover image: Three-metre high bronze statue of a heroic Sikh soldier unveiled in Wolverhampton to mark Saragarhi Day 2021 (Picture: British Army).